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  Life in Late Victorian Tickhill


Extracts have been selected from The Parish Magazines to illustrate various aspects of life in Tickhill from 1891 to 1901. The first theme, to do with renovating St Mary’s, has echoes of the major fund raising project which began in 2007 to undertake essential repairs to St Mary’s. An extract follows:             

January 1896

We are deeply indebted to Miss Alderson, who has added to her already long list of benefactions to the Church, a new stained window over the Chancel arch, and the promise of renovating the Chancel walls.

The local National Schools are the second theme. The schools, the Infants’ School on Tithes Lane and the Senior or Mixed School on St Mary’s Road (then called Back Lane), attained consistently high standards in the various annual inspections they faced, for example:

 June 1897

            Drawing Report – ‘The award which has been made in respect of the instruction in Drawing given in the above named School, during the past year, is EXCELLENT’.

In contrast to today’s Welfare State, many people in the 1890s, whose lives were affected by accidents, illness, disability or general frailty, depended on charity to help them survive. Able-bodied people too sometimes faced hardship when extreme winter weather disrupted outdoor work. In the third theme we can see how Tickhill people helped each other and benefited from bequests made many years previously, as in the Candlemas Dole:

 February 1893

                                         £      s.     d.

6 Families receive   ...………0      5      0

14       ,,         ,,     ………..0      1      6

119     ,,         ,,     ………..0      1      0

____                                  _________

139 Families     ……… … £8     10      0

[One shilling ‘s.’ is the equivalent of 5p. There were 12 old pennies ‘d.’ in one shilling.] 

Two further themes, celebrations and leisure, show how local people, often with very limited free time, made great efforts to enjoy special national occasions and local diversions organised by public spirited individuals. Here is a note about the Bicycling Club: 

September 1897

Several enjoyable runs have been made. On Bank Holiday, August 1st, the route was to the Dukeries, by way of Worksop. After visiting Clumber and Thoresby, Edwinstowe was reached about 3-30. After tea, a pleasant ride home through Welbeck Park brought to a close a very enjoyable day.

A final section, a miscellany, brings together a diverse range of news items. Some show how individuals’ efforts were valued. Several items reflect the ever present need to raise money for the Church and individuals, as in the following example about the Clothing Club:

 December 1893

Our Club still continues its career of usefulness. During the present year, the numbers on the books have been as follows: Women 150, children 44, of which 145 women and 39 children have received benefit. The total sum deposited amounts to £150 8s. 1d., from the beginning of January to the end of October. Voluntary subscriptions in aid of bonus, £21 19s. 6d. Total, £172 7s. 7d. The bonus allowed this year has been 3/- on each adult’s card, and 1/- on each child’s card. On Nov. 6th the distribution of added up cards took place, and the members proceeded to the respective shops of Messrs. Jarvis & Jenkinson, whose goods we have reason to believe have given every satisfaction.

From 1891 to 1894 the Magazines usually consisted of just one page attached to a nationally-produced supplement entitled Home Words for Heart and Hearth, between twenty-two and twenty-four pages long. Unlike the modern Parish Magazines which are A5 size, the ones used for this publication were about quarto size, that is a little less than A4. The monthly magazines cost 1d (about ½ p). Each year the subscribers could have the twelve monthly issues bound into one volume at a cost of 1/- (5p). The illustration below shows the front cover of a Parish Magazine in January 1895, one of the very few included in the bound volumes. Advertisements also featured in the Magazines to help defray printing costs. The back page of the January 1895 Magazine is also shown below.




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