Mothers’ Union – October 2014

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The Mothers' Union

Mothers’ Union Report  – 9th October 2014

   We met on a bright but blustery afternoon in the Derwent Room. Sue Attenborough thanked everyone who had helped with Harvest decoration and wished Brenda Baker a Happy Birthday for the 26th when she will be 87 and congratulated Patricia on her 70th earlier in the month.

   The Derby Diocesan Conference is to be held in Chesterfield on the 14th with the Deanery providing raffle prizes. The theme for the coming year is From Seedtime to Harvest.

   She welcomed Stephen Flinders as our guest speaker for the afternoon.

   Stephen told us he had received, out of the blue, from Weymouth a diary, which started in 1867, ending 30 years later. It was written by a Catherine Crompton, wife of the chairman of Stanton, who came from a wealthy banking family. George, her husband, was also Treasurer for the county of Derbyshire. After marrying in London in 1865, they had a family of 11 children, of which four died in infancy. She wrote about their deaths in a very sparing manner. Her diary entries generally were almost note form, recording her daily activities, her travels and her husband’s frequent business travels. They lived at several prestigious London addresses, moving in society circles and bearing witness to notable happenings of the time.

   In 1883 they moved to Stanton Hall. There had been a mediaeval hall there before the one built in the 18th century. There are no photos of Catherine except possibly one taken at the laying of the foundation stone for St Bartholomew’s at Hallam Fields in 1895. This church replaced the “Tin Tabernacle” of 1880 (given by the Crompton family for the workers at Stanton to attend worship) and the corrugated iron church was rebuilt on Alvenor Street as a mission for St Mary’s.

   George Crompton died in 1897. Catherine stopped writing her diary after recording the obituaries and messages from family, friends and acquaintances. She moved back to London a wealthy widow, dying there in 1919. She, her husband, George and many of their children are buried in Stanton By Dale churchyard.

   Stephen traced her origins back to a Nottinghamshire family from Flintham. Her mother married a Stanton worker and after her death, Catherine went into service in Chesterfield in the early 1860’s – the start of her life with her future husband. To know the full story and its twist and turns you will need to attend Stephen’s full talk! A fascinating tale for a sunny afternoon.

medal   Mothers’ Union next month will be 13th November when we will meet at the Erewash Museum at 2pm to look at the WW1 exhibits before moving on to the Cantelupe Centre for our refreshments.

   Mary Hawkins

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