Walking and Talking

A few years ago, in an attempt to get fitter, my neighbour and I embarked on a series of regular walks around the area. Not sure it did much for the waistline but we did have a lot of fun.

My neighbour has lived in Peggs Green for over 40 years and I'm a relative new-comer with only 13. So as we walked - we talked.

Me :"That extension looks smart, but you can see the old cottage behind."
She exclaiming: "There used to be a family of 6 living there, I wonder what happened to them?"
Me:"How did they manage in such a small place?"
She:"Well, there was no indoor bathroom and toilet. It was tin bath in front of the fire and up the garden in all weathers to the loo. There was no mains sewerage in some of the village until the 1970s."

And so we prattled on, stopping and exclaiming and reminiscing. But it gave me a broader view of what Coleorton used to be like.

Of course, even my neighbour's memory only goes back half a century. The village is much older and a bit of research yields even more interesting facts about how people lived, worked and played hundreds of years ago.

Last year The Coleorton Heritage Group organised some "History Walks" around the southern parts of the parish. We started off from Coleorton Wood car park. Coleorton Wood is the site of Coleorton Colliery no 3 - or Bug & Wink as it was also known. Terry Ward told us about mining in Coleorton and the dreadful conditions the miners - men and women and young children - had to endure to make a living. We heard about Terry's great uncle Jim Platts who had two pet foxes and the history of the previous Queens Head Inn on The Rowlands.

The Rowlands is actually in Swannington Parish and that was where the Baptist Chapel was built, because The Coleorton Beaumonts would not allow non-conformist churches within the Coleorton parish boundary. The chapel there now has been remodelled into a delightful family home. An earlier chapel stood in the field to the side, but is no longer visible.

Despite much new building there are still several cottages over 200 years old with interesting history. Some were used as "spar shops" for making baubles which tradesmen sold as ornaments and souvenirs at the increasingly popular seaside resorts like Weston-super-Mare.

We then walked along Prestons Lane, across The Moor to the Millennium Garden and along the old Ashby Road to Viscount Beaumont's School. From there across the fields back to The Moor to visit the restored Communal Bakehouse before returning to Coleorton Wood car park.

Coleorton Heritage Group organise History Walks a few times each year. Take a look at our "walks" page >> or you can follow the heirtage Trail (details on the same page.)

Sandra Dillon

August 2019

Note: If you have memories of growing up in Coleorton we'd love to hear them. Please email heritagegroup@coleorton.org.uk or phone Sandra on 01530 440000.