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No Angel!

Updated: Mar 13, 2021

This is not a reference to Dido's debut record from 2001 (although I have to say that she has a better record with No Angel than her namesake has with her Test and Trace two decades later) but rather a reference to the loss of the Angel Hotel in Chesterfield.

Standing on the corner of Derby Road and St. Augustine's Crescent it was most likely built in the late1920s. It doesn't feature on the 1921 6" Ordnance Survey map and I haven't been able to find it in Kelly's 1925 directory, but by 1931 a Harry Varley was in residence according to the Derby Daily Telegraph, which was reporting the granting of probate after the death of his father. In all probability he was its first licensee.

Harry was a member of a politically active family with one brother being a county councillor and another being the MP for Mansfield from 1923 until his death in 1929. He himself was the mayor of Chesterfield in 1934 and in honour of his service to the town he was made a Freeman of the Borough in 1947.

Like many in politics it seems he may well have been no angel himself. In 1923 Harry was the subject of an action for slander brought against him by J. Stanley Holmes, an Independent Liberal election candidate. The claim was settled after Harry publicly withdrew some previously made statements. I wonder what they were.

Harry died in 1948 but the Angel continued on until 2010 when it closed and was converted into a Tesco Express. Tesco's website still refers to the pub, giving the address of this Express store as:

198 Derby Rd, Angel Pub, Chesterfield, S40 2EP in March 2021.

So, just like the Rutland Arms in Baslow, the Parrakeet in Hurlford and Somerset House in Calow another pub has been converted into a convenience store. At least it's still serving the community and hasn't been flattened like the Walton Hotel which used to stand just up the road.

The 2010 image by Peter Barr is copyright and reused under this license: CC BY-SA 2.0.

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