Cynthia remembers Shirebrook of old

As more and more towns across the country report the shops and pubs on their high streets are dying an ex-Shirebrook woman recalls a different time.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 11th January 2014, 3:30 pm

Cynthia Robinson (88) was born and bred in the Model Village housing estate and remembers her hometown as a bustling pit village with dance halls, pubs, packed-out churches and ballrooms.

The ex-teacher, who now lives in Mansfield, has particularly fond memories of Shirebrook Girls’ Grammar School.

“It was lovely,” said Cynthia. “We were very well behaved and respected our teachers and looking back I can see what an excellent start in life it gave us.

“It would not fit in with Shirebrook today though. It was a different world.

“We were introduced to music, literature and theatre - quite an achievement for miners’ daughters.”

Cynthia arrived in Shirebrook in 1927 with her parents, George and Enid Quenby, who had married while George was serving with the British Army in India.

While George worked at Shirebrook Colliery, Edith was a midwife.

Widower and mother-of-two Cynthia lived a busy life as a girl and was keenly involved with the Model Village congregational church, taking part in a pantomime to raise money for a church hall.

Cynthia, who went on to work at schools across the county, including Warsop’s Sherwood Street Girls’ School, has particularly vivid memories of the war years in Shirebrook.

“We were used to air raids flying over at night on their way to bombing Sheffield,” she said. “They used the pit siren to warn us.

“I can remember a landmine was found near the railway. My father found some silk from the parachute which dropped it which I gave to Mansfield Museum.”

If you have old photos, footage or any other material which brings the town’s history to life they could be used in a film marking the official launch of Shirebrook Academy.

To contribute please phone Bolsover District Council on 01246 242323.