Tibshelf From The Air
The following photographs were taken by Tibshelf resident, Mr. George Wilson of High Street, who was the official photographer at Rolls-Royce, who owned Hucknall Aerodrome, from which, no doubt, the aircraft flew. The aerodrome closed in March 2015, its future destiny probably being developed as a housing estate. The aerodrome used to hold annual air displays, the writer attending one in 1960. It was also featured in the film “The One That Got Away”, about the only German PoW who escaped, but was recaptured before he could leave the country. The date of the photographs is 1950/1915.
Starting at the “Bottom End”, this shows the Parish Sports Ground, or The “Crick” as it was called in those days, and surrounded by the line of poplar trees. which older residents remember quite vividly, and the majestic horse chestnuts on the other side.Sadly, after over 100 years of gracing the “Crick”, having been planted to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, they are only a shadow of their former self. St. Thomas’ Row is there in its entirety, as is Alfreton Row, and Sunny Bank. The fields beyond the Sports Ground is now the site of the Staffa Drive/Shetland Road housing estate, and St. Thomas’ Close occupying that triangular area of land between St. Thomas’ Close and Alfreton Row, which was then the home of the internationally renowned Johnson’s Chrysanthemum Nurseries. Can you spot The Mission which is now the home of the Tibshelf Scouts and Guides, but was then an active church, a subsidiary of St. John The Baptist Church.
Our plane has now swung round in a westerly direction, flying directly over Sunny Bank and looking towards the High Street and they recently completed West View. On the extreme middle left of the photo is Rock House Farm when it was still an operating farm, the farmer being Ben Smith. Beyond West View are the Hilly Fields, as they were known locally.
A little bit closer to the bridge, which can be seen to the left, we can get a more detailed look at the top end of Back Lane. The fields at the bottom of the photo are where Monsal Crescent and Peveril Road are. Near the top of the photo is the railway line which used to run from the main line just south of Tibshelf Town Station, up to the “Top Pit” yard.
On to the “Top End” we go, with our ‘plane flying directly over the then allotments. These were taken over by the Derbyshire County Council a few years later to enable to school to be extended, and playing fields to be created, which also involved the purchase of the Co-op fields. This photo would have been taken towards the end of June when the Wakes would traditionally arrive, and they can be seen setting up in the Co-op Field, on the right-hand side. In the bottom left-hand corner is Prospect Terrace with Dave Blakey’s (ex- Chesterfield FC Centre Half) shop at the end. Staffa Health Centre is now located there. The full length of Staffa Street is visible, and which, apart from cosmetic changes such as shop fronts, has changed very little over the years. This was also a time when all the shops were occupied; Tibshelf Equitable Co-operative Society central branch as it was then known, before being absorbed into Mansfield Co-op, and then Nottingham Co-op, Midlands Co-op, and whatever its called now. There was also the co-op butchers were the paper shop is, and a drapery department further along. There was the Post Office, Hunters, Mrs. Timmins’, Randles Furniture, Mr. Pacey’s Cake and Bread shop, a fish and chip shop, Bircumshaw’s Gents Hairdressers, a Confectioners, Whetton’s, Brown’s Butchers, Heaton’s Shoe Shop, and no doubt others that I have missed.
Our ‘plane has now turned east and is flying above the back of Hardwick Street. The earlier Vicarage is on the right of the picture, with all the trees that used to be there. Also still present at this time was the original Lincoln Street, to be demolished in the next couple of decades. This was a little community in itself boasting a shop on nearly every corner; paper shop, confectioners, greengrocery, Smith’s bread and cakes, with a bakery behind, not to mention the recently demolished, and redeveloped Brooke Street Club. Again, the Wakes can be seen setting up in the Co-op Field.
Another piece of Tibshelf’s past which has now disappeared, thanks to Derbyshire County Council and its somewhat unimaginative treatment of an iconic building in the village, i.e. demolition rather than re-use. It was known as Tibshelf Secondary Modern School then those who passed their 11+ went to Tupton Hall Grammar School, but all was not lost if you didn’t as many a pupil from the “Top School” achieved greatly in later life… Pupils from Tibshelf, Newton, Hilcote (“B” Winning), Westhouses, and Blackwell, and Wild Hill, received their education here. Also visible are the rears of the properties on what was then Staffa Street.
One final pass of our charter plane as it heads back south, no doubt to its home base of Hucknall Aerodrome. The station building is in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture, with the rears of High Street properties in the centre. Ashmore Farm is still operational as witnessed by the Dutch barn with its store of hay bales.