Morton history: 1900 to 1911

Notes from Barrington Darby (Local historian):

During the widening of the Morton section of the Erewash Valley line which was in full swing in 1900, a considerable amount of stone was extracted from Padley Wood Cutting, some of which was used in the building of Stonebroom Church.

Both Padley Wood Farm and Hagg House Farm, were affected by the dispute which led to the loss of the road bridge over the railway at Padley Wood.

£1,000 compensation was paid by the Midland Railway to Mr. Sitwell (Lord of the Manor) and £300 to tenant Mr. Cutts.

The Midland Railway (Pilsley Branch) was also completed around this time, built to link Pilsley Colliery with the Midland Railway main line at Morton (Pilsley Junction).

In the early 1900’s the Cricket Club hired Thomas Talbot and his horse drawn cart / carriage to convey players to and from away matches. He also took parties to Chatsworth House, Hardwick Hall, Hardwick Wakes and many other places.

Morton Hospital was opened in 1905 by the North Derbyshire Hospital Committee as an isolation and fever hospital (now Morton Grange Nursing Home). Also in 1905 the ‘Live and Let Live Inn’ was sold to Mansfield Brewery.

In 1906, water closets replaced the old earth closets and gas lighting was installed at Morton School. Trees felled and hedgerows uprooted to make way for more houses along Main Road must have drastically altered the appearance of the village.

On January 1st 1909 Mrs. Cooper became the first person in the village to receive the Old Age Pension. The amount was 5 shillings per week (in pre 1971 coinage) payable to persons over 70 years of age.

On October 1st 1910 Horner’s Weekly newspaper printed an article headed ‘The Centre of England’. Details were given plus two photographs, of the unique distinction claimed by a pretty Derbyshire village – which of course was Morton.

The death occurred on April 15th 1910 of the Reverend J.W. Maltby, aged 81, Rector of Morton since 1864 – he was buried at Morton. Reverend Maltby was succeeded by Reverend Canon A.H. Prior from Mansfield. A notable event at which Canon Prior officiated, was the planting of the Yew tree near the Church Porch to commemorate the Coronation of King George V in 1911. Children representing the oldest families of the village took part in the ceremony.

© Barrington Darby