Saturday, 2 February 2013

Echoes of our Past NEWS............1st February 1890

Read all about it……. Echoes of our past NEWS
What was in the local news this weekend in 1890?

*Call for better wages for colliery banksmen –

A meeting was held at the Sun Inn at Chesterfield on behalf of the banksmen of the Derbyshire Collieries.  The Derbyshire Miners Association called the meeting and it was chaired by Mr Henry Jarvis of New Whittington. 

The whole purpose of the meeting was to attempt to gain equality and fairer pay for the colliery banksmen.  At present they were seen as less worthy of a decent wage as they only worked above ground, thus didn’t undertake the dangerous work like the underground men did.  Another issue was the fact that up until now there was no union for the banksmen and so they had not been united in numbers in their fight.  Now however a large number of banksmen had joined the Derbyshire Miners Association which meant that they had a large union of substantial power behind them.

It was argued that now the cost of living was rising; rents were higher, food and clothing were more expensive.  The Union asked that no “capable banksman" should earn less than 24s a week.  This would mean in reality a uniform increase in 20% of the wages paid.  Some collieries had already given their banksmen a wage increase –

West Kiverton 20%
Nesfield 20%
Silkstone 20%
Holbrock 16 ½ % (7d per day)
Langwith 15%
Glapwell 15%
Renishaw Park two three pences per day
Hornsthorpe two three pences per day
Tibshelf two three pences per day
Mapperley one three pence per day
Unstone Main 2d per day
Norwood 8d per day – the best rise up to now


*Missing Grassmoor man –

A collier from Charles Street at Grassmoor had been missing since Saturday after leaving his home at 6pm that evening.  The collier was named Charles Hartshorn and he had left home to visit Chesterfield Market, where he was last seen about 11pm that night at Messrs Tyler Brother’s shop in the Low Pavement.

The description was given out of Charles; he was about 64 years old, 5ft 9 inches in height, of pale complexion with dark hair, side whiskers, chin shaven, slightly pitted with small pox.  He was of stout build and was wearing a “serge coat, light checked trousers, patched at the knee and seat, black and white scarf, blue and white shirt, grey stockings, boots recently repaired”.  All of his apparel was said to be much worn. 

Charles was thought to have fallen in the rivers Hipper or Rother, as it was said that he was very drunk when last seen.  The police were making a search of the rivers when they discovered the body of an unidentified female in the River Hipper.  The whereabouts of Charles was still unknown at this time.

*Dronfield Education –

The H M Inspectors reports were read at a meeting in the Cross Lane Schools.  They were described as “on the whole satisfactory”.  The boys department had done extremely well and passed 83 1/2% which had earn the school a grant of £142 12s 4d.  The girls had done even better with 88% pass rate, which equated to a grant of £150 13s 4d.  The infant department which was run by Miss Beardmore had also gained a grant (for the first time) of 15s.  The total amount for the school was £385 10s 8d.

Changes in the school teachers at Cross Lane School were also noted.  Miss Edwards a pupil teacher had been given a new job at nearby Woodhouse School.  Her salary would be £35 per year.  The position of Assistant Master at Cross Lane School had also been advertised and they had received 6 applications.  A Mr A E Broome from Ashton near Manchester was the successful candidate and was appointed at an annual salary of £45.

Over at the Woodhouse School the pass rates had been even better, 915 in the mixed department.  This meant that they had been awarded a grant of £104 7s 6d.

*Fatal accident at Rodlsey –

On Saturday last a farm servant named Thomas Rodgers was assisting to load a cart with the bags of wheat, which he had to carry down some steps from the corn chamber.  He was employed by Mr Burton a farmer at Kedleston.  As he was carrying a bag down the steps he lost his balance and fell down the flight of steps.  He injured his spine and was taken to the infirmary. 

Sadly his condition worsened and he died the next day.  His parents live at Rodsley near Ashbourne.


*Evans - on 8th January son of Rev E Muirhead Evans, vicar of Ilkeston


*George James Ogden only son of Samuel Ogden to Elizabeth Dean, only daughter of the late Francis Walter Ogden on 22nd January at Wirksworth

*William son of the late William Gregory of East Moor to Maria Drabble eldest son of J H Drabble of Hollins House, Old Brampton on 27th January by license at Old Brampton Church

*William Cutts potter to Alice Lowe at Chesterfield Parish Church on 20th January


*Maria Douglas wife of Bowery Douglas J P and ex-mayor of Chesterfield at the Cottage, Chesterfield on 27th January.  Maria was interred at Calow Church on 31st January

*John Hopkinson of Chestnut Cottage, Holmgate (late of Lifton Fields, South Wingfield) on 25th January

*Charles Wright of Manor House Farm, Tapton on 28th January, after many years of illness

*At Chesterfield Union Workhouse –

Jno Bush aged 39 years on 23rd January
Arthur Eastwood aged 16 months on 25th January
Miriam Rose aged 45 years on 25th January
John Wright aged 82 years on 23rd January


*Weather 1889 –

The head gardener at Chatsworth a Mr O Thomas had taken detailed notes on the weather of 1889.  Here are his recordings –

v  Greatest rainfall – March 8th 1.33 inches over 24 hours.

v  Highest temperature – 27th June and 6th July, 76 degrees

v  Lowest temperature – 6th January, 11 degrees or 21 degrees of frost

He also noted that “if it had not been for the bright hot weather in June and early July, the weather in 1889 would have been very little better than in the cold sunless year of 1888.  It will chiefly be remembered in Derbyshire for its extraordinary crops of grass, and the almost entire failure of the apple crop”.


*Living to an old age –

Belper Union were proudly reporting the ages of the people receiving relief from the Union.  In the district there were 112 people who were aged in between 70 years to over 90 years, which was described as “unusual”.

There were 3 people aged over 90 years, 4 people in between 85 and 90 years, 23 in between 80 and 85 years, 45 in between 75 and 80 years and 37 in between 70 and 75 years old.  The average age expectation at that time was late 40’s (1) so Belper was doing remarkably well.


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