Morley Street


Morley Street is a short street that runs from Station Street to where it turns ninety degrees left to become Kingsley Street. Currently, it is one-way towards Station Street. Now, the only residential properties appear to be numbers 2 and 4 which are physically attached to the property that forms 60 Station Street.

Salvation Army

The former Salvation Army building stands on the “odd” side of Morley Street. It consists of two buildings, one of which is labelled “Young People’s Hall” which currently houses Back to Front Swimming School. This has been there since at least March 2019. The building appears to have been for sale in August 2009.

Salvation Army buildings in Morley Street in 2010 when at least the hall was for sale © Dave Bevis licensed for re-use under this Creative Commons Licence

I am grateful to Donna Lancashire for explaining the reasons behind why the Salvation Army sold the youth hall. She explains that “it was vandalised with lead being stolen off the roof and was damaged by the rain fall it had that year… rain damaged the walls and flooded it out and would have cost thousands to repair“. Her view was that the hall would have still been Salvation Army if it had not been vandalised.

Back to Front Swimming School

A number of contributors on Facebook noted that the Salvation Army building now houses a swimming pool. James Bird noted that it offers “lessons for kids“. He explained that the changing area is in what was the old youth hall with the pool itself in the old main building.

This image of the swimming pool in the old Salvation Army building was kindly shared by Nick Martin

Attending Activities at the Salvation Army

My mother and grandmother sometimes attended services at the Salvation Army. For example, in March 1947, mum played Peter in a play “Stories of the Master” at the Salvation Army having previously performed the play at their own chapel, Bourne Methodist.

Extract from mum’s diaries for 9-15 March 1947 including mum performing in a play at the Salvation Army on 15 March. Mum would have been 13 at this point

In February 1951, mum was part of a group from Bourne who gave another play at the Salvation army. This one was called “The Mother of a Disciple“.

Extract from mum’s diaries for 4 to 10 February 1951. This covers her going to the Salvation Army as part of a play on 10 February. She felt she probably should not have gone as she was not well but she felt she had to as “no-one else could do my part

People from the Salvation Army Came to Bourne

Sometimes, people from the Salvation Army participated in activities at Bourne Chapel. For example, in November 1953, there was a tea and concert at Bourne as part of the ladies’ effort. This involved songsters from the Salvation Army.

Mum’s diary entries for 27 to 29 November 1953 including the visit to Bourne of the Salvation Army songsters on 28 November. Roy refers to my father. My parents had just started “courting” at this point

Joint Church Activities

There were also sometimes joint church activities which involved Bourne and the Salvation Army. In particular, this included the Whit Walks in which the Salvation Army band played.

Top left – news cutting related to 1950 Whit walk 
 Top right – joint service in Kingsway Park in 1951. Captain Carby of the Salvation Army is on the extreme left. Others included Rev S Butler, Mr W Hazlewood, Rev P Robinson and Rev R W Salmon with Mr W Marsh at the microphone
 Above – photo from the 1951 Whit Walk featuring Olive Smith and Hazel Munns

Salvation Army Band Performances

In February 1960, the Ministers’ Fraternal organised a concert by the Nottingham Salvation Army Band at the Festival Hall in aid of Sue Ryder’s fund for displaced persons. Grandma went with mum and Mary and Derrick Leach. There are some details of the Ministers Fraternal in the Kirkby Directory of 1969 (p27).

Top – extract from grandad’s diary for 3 February 1960
 Above – details of Ministers Fraternal from Kirkby Directory 1969

Photographs of the Salvation Army

A number of contributors on Facebook shared their memories and photographs of the Salvation Army in Kirkby.

Left – this photo was shared by Kathryn Chapman. It shows her father Ken Unwin and Ruth Holloway and is from 1942
 Middle – this photo was shared by Donna Lancashire. It shows her mother Gladys Newall with Major Peter Pratt. Frank Towns and Denise Francis commented that they recalled Major and Mrs Pratt
 Right – this photo was also shared by Donna Lancashire. It shows Salvation Army Sunday School in 2008. People featured are Courtney Holmes, Gladys Newall, Richard Welby and Ruth Castree, the daughter of Major Peter Pratt

Memories of the Salvation Army

Denise Francis recalled that her mother, Ivy Escott, was a member of the Salvation Army. She recalled “many happy memories of times there“. Janet Pratt noted that her in-laws Peter and Mary Pratt ran the Salvation Army from 1997 until it closed. Janet noted that Mary also worked in the Care and Share Shop and that her daughter helped her grandmother in the school holidays. Melanie Roberts recalled that her parents attended the Salvation Army as she did until she was 14. She noted that, “there used to be a yearly excursion to the seaside with a Butlers bus sat on Morley Street waiting for us to get on. Ready for the big day.” 

Paul Madin recalled that they had the funeral service for his mother, Polly Madin, in the Salvation Army Hall in 1991.

Elizabeth Smith recalled that when she was young, in the forties, “we used to go there to magic lantern shows it was like pictures. The factory was round the corner. New houses there now“. Valerie Webster recalled the factory at the side and that it was called Sengold. Apparently, she applied unsuccessfully for a job there.

Chris Redfern recalled that they used to have discos on Friday or Saturday nights in the seventies. He could not recall if they were held in the main Salvation Army building or in the hall.


I found some employment adverts for Sengold in a newspaper archive. These range in date from 1982 to 1991. In a 1982 advert, the factory is described as new. The company is described as a ladies garment manufacturers. In a 1983 advert, the address is given as Kingsley Street. It seems they also had a factory in Sandiacre. In a 1991 advert, the factory in Kirkby was described as a stand-alone satellite. I found details of a liquidation auction for their Kirkby factory in 1995.

Corner of Morley Street and Kingsley Street

On the corner of Morley Street and Kingsley Street is the Acre Centre for Young People and Kirkby College, now Outwood Academy whose address is Tennyson Street and this is where the entrance to the school is.

This photo appears to have been taken from the corner of Morley Street and Kingsley Street looking along the latter to Kingsway. It is from the Kirkby-in-Ashfield People Facebook Group

According to Bet-Bet Phillips, in a Facebook comment, “Mr Stirland had a garage and a club where the school is now his son was teacher at Kingsway boys and he married Edna Drable my teacher at Vernon road school for girls“. I wonder if it is that garage and club on the right of the photo above.

Not Mentioned in the Family Diaries

As far as I know, Morley Street itself was not mentioned in either my mother’s or grandfather’s diaries. There does not appear to be any particular connection to this street from our family except as mentioned above in relation to the Salvation Army.

Memories of Morley Street

A number of Facebook contributors had memories of Morley Street. Royston Nixon recalled, “ when I was a kid we used to call to a couple of houses at the end of the street and they were demolished to build the school in the 1950s. I used to go there with my dad in our van to exchange accumulators for the radios. They were oblong glass jar with acid inside you connected the terminals to run the radios. My dad was the Exide Battery Man, he charged them up and delivered them all over the place, when he finished his drop we often stopped at the end of Hodgkinson Road at the chippy which was run by the Fasey family not sure that is the right spelling but the place was a big corrugated shed like place, the chips were brill.

Frank Towns recalled that his mother worked as a sewing machinist in the seventies in the area around the corner between Morley Street and Kingsley Street. While he could not recall the precise location, he thought it was round the corner towards Kingsway.

A R Wood

In 1917, A Wood, an assurance agent applied for an exemption to military service to Kirkby Tribunal, see List of Men who Appeared before Kirkby Tribunal. He had previously been given a medical classification of C3 but had recently been reclassified as A. He was dissatisfied with this change. In his hearing, he noted that he had left the pit 18 months previously on medical grounds. He also reported that he was partially deaf. He was given a three months exemption and was granted leave to appeal. However, it does not appear that he did. He lived in Morley Street.

Residents of Morley Street

Between 1911 and 1939, there were only six households registered in Morley Street with seven registered in 1901. There is also a Morley Street in Sutton with many more households, 36 in 1901 and 101 in 1939.

Mary J Smith

In 1939, widow Mary J Smith lived at 1 Morley Street. Living there also was housekeeper Susannah Chappell.

Agnes Grimes

In 1939, widow Agnes Grimes was living at 4 Morley Street.

Lily Rymell

In 1939, widow Lily Rymell was living at 6 Morley Street with her daughter Joan (b1921). Joan was working as a lithographic operator.

In 1921, Lily Rymell was living there with her husband Henry who was a shunter with Great Central Railway. Living with them was their daughter Ruth Annie (b1914) and two boarders, Albert Preston Smith and Silvy Smith. He was a platelayer with Great Central Railway.

The Butlers

In 1939, Cyril and Alice Butler were living at 8 Morley Street with someone whose record is closed. Cyril was working as a coal miner below ground.

In 1911, Thomas Walter and Mary Ann Butler were living at 4 Morley Street with their daughter Edith Minnie. He was a colliery surface labourer.

The Bowmars

In 1939, Charles S and Lucy E S Bowmar were living at 10 Morley Street with two people whose records were closed. He was described as an undertaker, joiner and wheelwright. There are more details of Charles Stuart Bowmar and his family in relation to 40 Station Street.

The Toons

In 1939, Harry and Fortune M Toon were living at 12 Morley Street. He was described as a retired miner. They were there in 1921 and Fortune’s middle name was given as Matilda. With them then were their son Clarence F (b1890) and their niece Lucy C S Toon (b1895). Harry was described as a coal miner hewer at Kirkby Colliery. Clarence also worked there as an electrical wire man. Lucy was a milliner with Miss Holwell in Nottingham.

The Toons were living in Morley Street in 1911. With them were two sons Arthur (b1887) and Adrian (b1894). Arthur was a teacher and Adrian a student teacher. Their niece Lucy Claire Severn Toon was also with them too. They were listed at 12 Morley Street in 1901. At that time, their three sons and their niece were with them. Also with them was Harry’s brother Alphaeus, a widower, who was also a coal miner (hewer). I wonder if Lucy was his daughter.

The Hansons

In 1921, Samuel and Mary Hanson were living in Morley Street with Mary Jane Smith who is described as step-daughter. Samuel was the General District Rate Collector.

The Woods

In 1921, Arthur R and Clara E Wood were living at 4 Morley Street with their two daughters Hilda (b1910) and Gwendoline (b1911). He was an insurance agent for Pearl Assurance.

The Frisbys

In 1921, Ernest Frederick Charles and Fanny Brown Frisby were living at 8 Morley Street with their two sons Frederick James (b1917) and Alfred William (b1919). Ernest’s two brothers were also there, Alfred William and Albert Edward. Ernest was working as a goods shunter for Midland Railway. Alfred also worked for Midland Railway as a platelayer. Albert worked for Great Central Railway as a signal fitters labour.

Mary Ann Rose

In 1921, Mary Ann Rose was living at 10 Morley Street with her son Arthur (b1907). Letitia Williamson, a teacher, was boarding with them. Arthur was an apprentice painter with what looks like Devey & Dovey Painters and Decorators.

The Chadbournes

in 1911, Eli and Mary Jane Chadbourne were at 1 Morley Street. He was a railway platelayer.

The Gulleys

In 1911, Joseph and Annie Gulley were living at 6 Morley Street with their son Joseph (b1902). Joseph Snr was working as a colliery surface banksman.

The Goodmans

In 1911, Frank and Ethel Goodman were living at 8 Morley Street with their two children, Marion (b1906) and Frank (b1910). Frank Snr was working as a house painter.

The Bostocks

In 1911, Frederick and Kate Bostock were living at 10 Morley Street with their seven children, Edith Ellen (b1900), Ivy May (b1902), Olive Kitty (b1903), Irene (b1905), Frederick (b1907), Harry (b1909) and Constance Ethel (b1911). He was a coal miner hewer.

The Gumbys

In 1901, William and Maria Gumby were living at 2 Morley Street with their three children, Elsie (b1897), Edward (b1899) and George (b1901). William was a coal miner loader.

The Unwins

Also at 2 Morley Street in 1901 were Joseph and Eliza Unwin. He was described as a paper hanger.

The Frosts

In 1901, Thomas and Mary E Frost were at 4 Morley Street with their four children, Mary A (b1895), William (b1896), Thomas (b1898) and Clara (b1900). Thomas was a coal miner loader.

The Dugdales

In 1901, Joseph P and Mary Dugdale were living at 6 Morley Street with their two daughters, Mabel (b1897) and Gertrude A (b1900). Joseph was a coal miner loader.

The Millses

In 1901, George and Ann Mills were living at 8 Morley Street. He was a coal miner stallman.

The Edges

In 1901, John and Clara Edge were living at 10 Morley Street with their five children, Clara L Kerslake (b1871, a widow), Fanny S A (b1873), James E (b1876), Mary H M (b1880) and Lily M E (b1882). James was married and living with him was his wife, Georgina L and their two sons Ralph E (b1899) and James E C (b1900). Also living there was Clara’s son, Frank A Kerslake (b1897). John and James were bricklayers, Clara was a dressmaker, Fanny and Mary were vest machinists and Lily was a pupil teacher.

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