Past Unforgotten – Tibshelf

Tibshelf street names and names of other locations which have now disappeared, plus significant events in Tibshelf’s recent history.

Staffa Street

Now part of High Street between Vicar Lane and Hardwick Street. Disappeared in 1960  as a result of some unimaginative standardisation of street names by Blackwell RDC. Named after the Isle of Staffa in the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, by the man who invested in the erection of the shops along Staffa Street between Vicar Lane and Hardwick Street, because he was so impressed with the island. The same gentleman had connections with the Seeley family who owned the “Bottom Pit”. The name lives on in Staffa Drive at the “Bottom End”

Jessamine Terrace

Small row of terrace houses of which now only one remains. The site is now Dennis Rye Ltd’s. Builders yard.

Primrose Terrace

A picturesque and evocative name which belies its location in the bottom pit yard. A small group of miners’ houses built around 150 years ago but long since demolished, being unfit for modern habitation.

St. Thomas' Row

Two long rows of artisans’ houses built to accommodate the miners who worked at Tibshelf “Bottom Pit”. As with the houses on Primrose Terrace, which were similar in style, they were condemned and demolished in the late 1960s. They (St. Thomas’ Row) formed part of a small but distinct community with its own pub, (Tibshelf and Newton Miners’ Welfare), Church (The Mission, now the HQ of the Scouts and Guides), Alfreton Road Chapel, (long demolished and now a car park adjacent to the school), a grocery & general provisions shop (A branch of the then Tibshelf Co-op), and a fish and chip shop (Ada Ford’s, who made lovely greasy, and overflowing with cholesterol, traditional fish and chips). The Parish Sports Ground was also part of this thriving and unique community. Named after a major landowner in Tibshelf, St. Thomas’ Hospital, the name lives on in St. Thomas’ Close.

Propect Terrace

A row of terraced houses overlooking the then Mansfield Road (now High Street), and demolished in the 1970s. The Staffa Health Centre now occupies the site. The northern end was an off-licence, the proprietor being a stalwart of Chesterfield FC, the centre half (somewhere between midfield and the back three, four or five) in the 1950s, and later, a scout for Burnley FC.

Fox Park

A small row of terraced houses on Doe Hill Lane near the junction with Peewit (Pyewye) Lane, (also known as Nethermoor Lane). Demolished in the 1960s because they were considered unfit for human habitation. The garage opposite (now Maun Motors) was known as Fox Park Garage, selling Esso Petrol, and later Jet.

The Chicken Run

Now part of the Five Pits Trail, the Chicken Run was a narrow footpath which ran from the Station Yard, parallel to the former railway, to Sunny Bank, opposite Elm Tree Row. The route is more or less that which is that followed by the Five Pits Trail.

Bryan's Yard

Adjacent to the former chemist shop (now a travel agent’s office), and named after the farmer who lived in the adjoining farm to the north east. The site is now occupied by a detached house which erected in the early 1950s.

Malthouse Brewery Row

Row of terraced cottages behind the Crown Hotel, and demolished in the 1930s

Spike Island

That area around the White Hart, and including the old cottages opposite. Exact boundaries not known.

Giant's Bum

A man-made topographical feature between Staffa Drive and the Five Pit’s Trail. Created as a result of tipping during the construction of the Great Central Railway in the late 19th Century. The form of the tipping was descriptive of a giant’s bum. It is now largely overgrown and its original form is much less discernible

Tibshelf's Tornado

Not a tornado, but a whirlwind which wreaked havoc at the “Top End” from Chesterfield Road to Hardwick Street, and Brooke Street. The name was immortalised in Tibshelf’s own successful marching band of the 1980s…….The Tibshelf Tornados. More information on the whirlwind will be included in the future.

The Flower Show

A major event in Tibshelf which took place in early August every year at the Parish Sports Ground. Apart from the horticultural displays, and competitions for baking, animal breeding etc., the afternoon was taken up by an athletic event including running, cycling, tug-of-war etc. In the days before professional athletics, all prizes were in the form of goods which were displayed in the windows of the Tibshelf Equitable Co-operative Society Limited on High Street, or Staffa Street as it was known then. Tibshelf’s own athlete, Tommy Hullatt was a regular competitor at the event. A page on Tibshelf’s Flower Show will be included in the future.

The Woodyard Fire

The Bottom Pit Yard was the repository of timber baulks which were used as pit props in the local mines. It was known locally as the Wood Yard. One day it caught fire………!!!!!!! Its location was just beyond the reservoirs which are now the fishing ponds..

Lane End Farm Fire

Two major fires within a short space of time. Lane End Farm is located near the junction of Chesterfield Road and High Street. Lane End Farm was noted internationally for its pig breeding. Unfortunately, the fire caused irredeemable loss to the concern.

Johnson's Nurseries

Chrysanthemum growers of world wide fame. The location of the nurseries was where St. Thomas’ Close is now. They later moved to where Newton Road Stables are now, but by then it was too late. A sad loss to Tibshelf’s heritage.


Before comprehensive education, pupils in Tibshelf who were successful in the 11 Plus went to Tupton Hall Grammar School. Those who were successful in the 13 Plus went to William Rhodes School, or Violet Markham’s, both in Chesterfield. There are many instances of Tibshelf pupils who went on to greater things after failing the 11 Plus. Tibshelf School continues to be a beacon of local education but has since relocated to its new site on Doe Hill Lane (2015). The old school buildings have been demolished (2015).

Forecroft Colliery

A small colliery situated to the rear of 35 Spa Croft. The colliery closed in the 1870s.

Tibshelf Co-Op

Tibshelf Co-op was once known as the Tibshelf Equitable Co-operative Society Limited. It had branches not only at St. Thomas’ Row, but also at Newton (near the War Memorial), Morton (opposite the Live and Let Live pub), and New Higham (near the crossroads on the A61). A later branch was built on Derwent Drive when the then-new housing estate was built. The Co-op boasted a butcher, a drapery store, a general grocer’s and provisions store, plus, in earlier times a bakery, cobblers, and many other outlets which you would expect from a major retail provider. Tibshelf Co-op was there before ASDA. Tibshelf Co-op was taken over by Mansfield Co-operative Society Limited, and then by The Greater Nottingham Co-op. It has now lost all its branches and has been re-located to where it was first sited. The old Co-op shop remains empty.

Croft Bros.

Once a major retail outlet in the village. Croft Brothers’ was located on the open area of land opposite J&S News. Croft’s were not only the local chemists’, but they were also significant provisions merchants, rivalled only by the Co-op, and a provider to local agriculture. Croft Bros. had the first telephone number on the Tibshelf Exchange, Tibshelf 1, and this is still reflected in the telephone number of Croft’s the Chemist at Waverley Street (872201) having gone through several metamorphoses instigated by changes in the telephone numbering system.

Doctor's Surgeries

Prior to re-location at Tibshelf Health Centre, near the Church, and now the site of Enable, there were two doctors’ surgeries. The “Top End” was served by Doctor Hurst, and later by Doctor Hunt, at Heathfield, on High Street, opposite Staffa Health Centre, and by Doctor Graham, whose surgery was in the building occupied, until recently, by Derbyshire Drapes (opposite “The Crown”. It subsequently became a Dental Surgery, relocated from Hill Brow on Alfreton Road, when it was known as Hesketh’s Dental Surgery, inspiring much fear into the inhabitants of Tibshelf. I should point out that this fear was not caused by the practice itself, but by the fear which the populace in general had in respect of having ones’ teeth pulled. “Fairy Scent” did nothing to allay the author’s fears.

The Railways

Tibshelf once boasted three railway stations. The main station was Tibshelf Town, in the middle of the village, and accessed via Station Road at the side of the Wheatsheaf Public House. The line was built in the late 19th century by the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway, then reamed the Great Central Railway Company, later to become part of the LNER. Lord Beeching sounded the death knell in the 1960s, all traffic ceasing in 1967. Doe Hill Station, although nearer Morton, is still in Tibshelf Parish, survived a little longer, and is located on the Midland Line between Chesterfield and Nottingham. The line became part of the LMS. The third station, which closed to passenger traffic in the 1930s, is now the location of Smith’s Scrap Yard on Newton Road. The old station booking office is still there and has been converted to a dwelling. The line itself remained open as a goods line serving the North Nottinghamshire Collieries at Silver Hill, Butchers’ Wood, and beyond, providing an outlet to the mainline at Westhouses well into the 1980s. This line was also part of the Midland line.

The Hilly Fields

Depending on whether you were a “Top Ender”, or a “Bottom Ender”, the Hilly Fields were either down Westwood Lane, or the fields beyond Harrison’s Lane. Three streams once provided endless hours of pleasure for the local children whether “fishing” for minnows, sticklebacks, bullheads, or tadpoles. Alternatively, you could build a “dam” with grass sods and create a small pond. Yes, it was safe for kids of any age to go down the Hillies without adult supervision.

Tibshelf's Great War

View the film (here) produced to commemorate the centenary of WW1.