PETER LOFTY’S MEMORIES
I was born in 1963 and have lived in Derrington most of my life. My earliest memories date from about 1965.
My mother would often take me to watch the trains go by. I would wave at the drivers and they would wave back. One day we went to watch the trains and a gang of men were taking up the rails and sleepers and putting them on wagons pulled by an engine. I guess that was the last ever train to run on the railway line.
I remember the crossing keeper’s cottage being empty but the large crossing gates were still there.
The village telephone box used to be situated by the cottages at The Square, next to the box was an old “kissing gate”. This gate (or a similar one) is now installed on the Greenway at one of the entrances to the millennium green.
If you went down Crossing Lane a few hundred yards you would come to the entrance to a field next to which was an old corrugated iron garage which for many years contained an old classic car.
When I was growing up, the village had two shops and a post office. The larger of the two shops was run by Mrs Dean and was located in Mount Pleasant. The Post Office was next to the pub and was run by Mrs Clay and is now one of the cottages in The Square. The smaller village shop was run by Mrs Lees and was situated opposite the cottages in The Square at the entrance of Crossing Lane in a large white painted building which is no longer there.
Mrs Lees’ shop was very small, it always had an elaborate display of tinned goods, boxes and packets in the window stacked like pyramids. It was definitely not self-service, Mrs Lees served you from behind a small counter taking items down from the many shelves or disappearing to get something from “out the back”.
The Village also had a hairdresser’s which was situated in Quorn House (more or less opposite the Village Hall). The room to the left hand side of the front door was the salon.