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The Ford Grinds Up From Grindleford.

Another Tuesday, another hospital appointment. This one was a rematch with the consultant in Sheffield who showed me my internals on the big screen before Mrs Bygone Boozer drove me home, passing the former Talbot in Ednesor on the way. The same consultant whose intervention had inadvertently seen me being whisked to Accident and Emergency at 4am, thirty-six hours later. Still, no hard feelings as I'm sure he didn't mean to infect me with a bug which would produce a case of suspected sepsis.

Mrs BB wouldn't be my chauffeuse on this occasion. She'd already driven off with a bike in the back of the Citroën to take part in a ride with some friends leaving me with the ageing Ford, which would have to see me across the moors to Yorkshire's second largest city.

At least it's still school holiday time so there's no hold up in Bakewell and before I realise it I'm passing the former Station Inn, and the now possibly lost Eyre Arms, in Hassop. I didn't even have to wait at the four-way temporary traffic lights at Calver and soon found myself entering Grindleford.

Just before the Ford crossed the River Derwent, to grind its way up towards the railway station, it passed these rather unremarkable looking cottages.

Red Lion Grindleford

I don't think that they would've been any more remarkable at the end of the nineteenth century, but somebody decided that they were worth recording in a photograph. Not just that. The photograph was deemed worthy of being turned into a postcard.

Red Lion Grindleford

What is worthy of note though is the large sign attached to the wall of one of them. It could possibly indicate that it was once a pub. The 1898 Ordnance Survey map of the village confirms that this was indeed the case . It also gives us a name – the Old Red Lion.

Extract of the Ordnance Survey's 25-inch map, published 1898.

The earliest record of it that I've managed to dig up so far is from Glover's 1829 directory which shows that a Thomas Outram would've been mine host in those days.

Extract from Glover's 1829 directory.

There seems to have been quite a number of Outrams in the village back then, and also a fair few pubs. Neither the Fox nor the Miners' Arms is in existence today, and so far I've been unable to pinpoint their locations.

In contrast, even without the aid of the map, the location of the former Old Red Lion isn't too hard to track down. Above one of the doors of the terrace is some red paint.

Red Lion Grindleford

A closer look and it's just possible to still make out the pub's name...

Red Lion Grindleford

...and if that's not a big enough clue, then how about this from a little further along the terrace?

Red Lion Grindleford

If an Outram was the first occupant of the Red Lion that I've managed to track down, its final occupant was also an Outram.

In 1881, Joe and Ellen Outram were in residence, along with their young daughter, Fanny.

Extract from the 1881 census.

A decade later they were still there and their family had grown...

Extract from the 1891 census.

...and when, in December 1894, Joe was buried in Eyam by the Reverend Freeman, Ellen continued to run the Red Lion as the entry in the next census shows.

Extract from the 1901 census.

She wasn't there for much longer though, as it closed shortly after. However, Ellen stayed in the business and moved to the new Commercial Hotel. That, I am pleased to inform you, is still trading. I've even had a pint or three in it after an afternoon of running around on the cricket field which now exists by the bridge. No longer the Commercial Hotel, today it goes by the name of the Sir William Hill.

I've to grind my way up to the same hospital once again, to see the same consultant, in a couple of months' time. If I've managed to track down the whereabouts of the former Fox or Miners' Arms by then I'll let you know. Watch this space!

The Ordnance Survey map extract has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the terms of this licence.

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Another interesting tale :-)

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