To record all the organisations which have existed in the parish over the years is quite a formidable task no sooner is the list considered complete than another name is remembered. Furthermore some clubs have been formed within a bigger club e.g. Hodthorpe Workingmen's Club - Fishing Club, in these circumstances only the parent club is listed either in this chapter or under 'Inns and Institutes'.
Within the limited space available only the briefest details are given for the organisations mentioned. For those readers seeking more information, a more comprehensive file is being compiled by the Local History Group.
Hodthorpe Boys Brigade met in the years before the Second World War at their headquarters in the tin mission chapel (now demolished), which stood at the top of King Street adjacent to the brick built chapel.
Whitwell, 1716 Company, CLB was founded in May, 1 900 by Canon Mason with the Rev. Polehampton in charge. George Heartley, village blacksmith and Boer War veteran was the first member. Later officers in charge were Major Warner and Captain Fred Taylor. Khaki uniform was worn until 1930, with KRR on the shoulder straps, the CLB being attached to the King's Royal Rifle Corps. The Company was in abeyance during the Second World War and later restarted with Mr. Sam Stubbings, a former member, as Captain. The Company was finally commanded by Mr. Tom Machin and disbanded in 1973.
The game of bowls was started in Whitwell in the early 1 900's, when a small green was laid at Whitwell Social Club and was well established by l9l8. In 1928, the green was opened at the Miner's Welfare for both crown green and flat link bowling. The green suffered from the horses of the Cheshire Yeomanry during the war but was re-laid in 1949. Teams now compete in the Mansfield and Retford Leagues. Names associated with bowls include Benjie Hall, Keg Taylor, Jack Brown and members of the Scott family.
A brass band was first known in the village in 1875. During the 1920's the British Legion Band was formed with headquarters at the George Inn. The Whitwell Silver Prize Band followed, supported by the Colliery and conducted by Mr. Waiters until about 1936. The band was reformed under conductor Mr. West, at the Middle Club and in 1950, under the CISWO, moved to the Miner's Welfare with conductors J. Harrison and J. Bright. Early in the 1960's the band was reformed under Wilf Wheatley and the present conductor, Dennis Wheatley, took over in 1970.
The first annual conference of the British Legion took place on Saturday, 14th May, 1921; the Whitwell British Legion was then formed from the existing United Services in the village. The Whitwell Branch of the Royal British Legion meets in the headquarters (presently the Mallet and Chisel) on the last Saturday in every month.
Wesley Choral Society founded in the 19th century and conducted by Mr. Chades Milnes until 1902, when his son Robert took charge.
Aeolian Gleemen: formed by Mr. Robert Milnes at the Portland Street Methodist Church. They broadcast on the radio in 1926.
Portland Male Voice Choir: successor to the 'Gleemen', was also conducted by Mr. Robert Milnes and broadcast on the radio.
Worksop Methodist Circuit Male Voice Choir: currently based at Portland Street Methodist Church and conducted by Mr. Alan Coates.
Mother's Union: the Hodthorpe Branch was founded in 1928 and the Whitwell Branch in the following year. The Steetley Branch is now defunct.
CEMS: the Church of England Men's Society was formed on 4th October, 1909 when the Rev. Polehampton was Rector. The Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in 1969, when the Bishop of Repton was the guest speaker. The CEMS has now disbanded.
Methodist 8 o'clock Group: a group of ladies formed within the Methodist Church who meet at Portland Street each month on a Thursday evening.
CO-OPERATIVE WOMEN'S GUILD
Founded at Hodthorpe in 1925 with President, Mrs. Unwin; Treasurer, Mrs. L. Turner; Secretary, Mrs. Tindall (Canada) and later Mrs. Francis. 'The meeting room was at Hodthorpe Co-op, in the room above the butchery shop.
The Whitwell Cricket Club was formed on the 21 st January, 1895 with headquarters, first at the George Inn and later at the 'Vaults Hotel'. Other teams had represented the village some twenty years earlier, their detailed results being recorded in the first Parish Magazines.
The United Methodists also fielded a team. Cricket matches have been played on the Church Field, Belph Common, Station Road, adjacent to the Arrow Farm and on the existing cricket field. At various times, teams have played in the North East Derbyshire Cup, the Scarcliffe and District League (1 895-99), the Wales and District League, the Derbyshire League (1909, 1912) and the Bassetlaw League. First class cricketers include:
Mr.. G.G. Walker also played with W.G. Grace for the Gentlemen v Australia
Mr. Les Jackson toured India with the MCC and played for the MCC v New Zealand.
Mr. E. Alletson scored 189 runs in 90 minutes for Notts v Sussex, including 36 runs in two overs.
There were also teams at Hodthorpe including: St. Martins, Tigers, Villa, Youth Club, Reserves, and 'Hodthorpe'. Jack Kitchen and Harry Wilson each won six Derbyshire Medals, playing for the same teams.
Football grounds used in the Parish include:
Hodthorpe: Birks field, Haslam's field, Recreation Ground.
Whitwell: Recreation Ground, Station Road, Belph Common, Church Field, Sunnyside, Bakestone Moor and Steetley Corner.
First class footballers include: Harry Lowe (Liverpool captain), Jim Plant (Sheffield United), Cyril Oxley (Liverpool and others), Bernard Oxley (Sheffield United and others), James Willie (Billy) Jones (Notts County, Brighton & Hove, Crystal Palace), Horace Biggin (West Ham), George Sadler (West Ham), Eddie Sadler (Portsmouth), Bob McCall (Notts Forest), Ron Leverton (Notts Forest), Geoff Beswick (Notts Forest), Chris Tyers (Glossop), Harold Milner (Chesterfield), Tom Stansbury (Lincoln City), Brian Taylor (Middlesborough, Doncaster, Rochdale) and Ian Bennett (OPR and Newcastle).
The Girls Friendly Society was officially founded in 1875. Services were held in the Parish Church for the enrolment of new members and the commissioning of associates. Meetings were held at the Manor Rooms and later in the Civic Centre until the society ended in 1973.
Founded by Mrs. J. Betts in September 1986, at the Civic Centre, for children from 5 to 16 years.
Greyhound races were held for a short period in the field at the side of the Dale Inn.
Hap-Ki-Do is a martial art first practiced in Whitwell at the Civic Centre in 1982. Meetings are now held at the Community Centre on Saturdays for Juniors (6-1 1) and on Sundays for Seniors. Not considered as a sport, the art is non-competitive, but the Group do give displays.
HAPPY VALLEY GIRLS
A women's social group based at Hodthorpe WMC. The group meet for indoor games and occasional outings.
HODTHORPE AND WHITWELL BIRD SOCIETY
Formed in 1972 with six founder-members: M. Rawson (Chairman), R. Rawson (Sec.), D. Dannatt (Treas.), W. Potter, 1. Ardron and M. Conway. Based at the Miner's Welfare, membership grew to over 50. Bird shows were held at Hodthorpe and Whitwell. The Society has now disbanded.
Horse racing was held for one day as part of the 'Feast' celebrations, usually with two races, commencing at 2.30pm. After a lapse of 20 years, pony races were held on Monday, 6th August 1838 over a mile course; the ponies ran in heats. The race headquarters were at the George Inn. Stakes were usually Half a Sovereign or Three Sovereigns. Some races were run over hurdles. Pit pony races were held in l930 on Church Field.
LOCAL HISTORY GROUP
Local History classes were first started by Mr. Malcolm Dolby in the early 1970's and continued by Mr. D. Wordley. The Local History Group commenced in November 1986 with ten founder members and meets regularly in the Community Centre on Tuesday evenings. Attendance now averages 40-50 and the 'History of Whitwell' is one outcome of its activities.
MEALS ON WHEELS
A group of volunteers who collect subsidised meals from the Meridian factory at Clowne, for distribution to the aged and infirm in Clowne RDC.
A social group organised by Mr. J. Webster which meets on Monday evenings in Hodthorpe Church Hall. Proceeds are used for charitable work.
The inaugural meeting of the Old Age Pensions' association was held on 31st January, 1949 and the first general meeting a fortnight later, when the Rev. W.E.C. Sternberg was appointed as President and Mr. T. Lovat, Chairman. Meetings were held in alternate months at the Manor Rooms and Hodthorpe Church Hall; later meetings were transferred to the Civic Centre. In January, 1969, Hodthorpe formed a separate group, which continued to meet in the Church Hall before transferring to a private address in 1987. The Whitwell group now meet in the Community Centre and a separate group at the Mill Lane Centre, where Cllr. Albert Spencer was the originator.
The Pig Club was formed during the Second World War under the guidance of Mr. Harness, Fox Road. The main aim was the distribution of animal feedstuffs to members.
There is growing Parliamentary interest in Pre-school Playgroups; groups active in the Parish are:
· Whitwell Community Playgroup: formed in February, 1987
· Whitwell Community Toddlers' Group: formed in 1978
· Methodist Toddlers' Group
· Hodthorpe Playgroup
· Hodthorpe Tiny Tots
The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes has existed in Whitwell for many years as the Mason Lodge. The headquarters have been at various places including the Butcher's Arms, Jug and Glass and Holmefield Arms. The Lodge closed in 1989, some members transferring to Creswell.
The Rugby Club was formed in 1985 by David Nelson, Steven Nicholas and Thomas Bolding. Unable to obtain a ground inside the Parish, the team plays and practices at Clowne.
Whitwell Infants School Parents Association: formed in 1975 with 35 members and a membership fee of 15p. Mrs. E. Newton was Headteacher. Disbanded in July, 1983 on the closure of the Portland Street School.
Friends of Whitwell Primary School: formed in October, 1983 on the opening of the new Primary School on Southfield Lane. Mr. T. Ray is headmaster. The title 'Friends' was selected to extend the sphere of interest beyond 'parents'.
SCOUTS AND GUIDES
A Boy Scout troop was formed in Whitwell in 1910 by Mr. R. Ellis. There were four Patrols, with six boys in each, meeting weekly at the Manor Rooms. On 26th June, 1914, a Guard of Honour was formed by 30 scouts for the departure of King George V from Welbeck; however the troop lapsed during the First World War.
A troop was restarted in Hodthorpe in 1926 by the Rev. Hudson, with meetings at Hodthorpe and Steetley Schools. The first six members were: Herbert Wardle, James Hollingsworth, George Greaves, Fred Mottishaw, Norman Tindle and Albert Hollingsworth. The troop cycled 99 miles to their first camp at Scarborough, carrying full camping equipment with them.
In the 1930's, the 1st All Saint's Steetley troop was formed with Whitwell's last two curates, Rev. C. Branson and Rev. P. Tuckwell as leaders. The troop continued for a while during the war under the guidance of Mr. C. Kenyon.
The Whitwell Scouts were reformed in 1944145 with Mr. Larner as Chairman. Adventure Scouts were formed in 1966, becoming Venture Scouts in 1967. The Beavers were formed nationally in 1983 and at Whitwell in 1987.
The 1st Company of Whitwell Girl Guides was formed on 6th December, 1962 together with a Brownie troop. They were the first unit in England to combine with the Scouts to form a family group (in 1968). Some members became Queen's Guides.
The Whitwell Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade was formed on 22nd March, 1922 with Mr. J. Elise as the first Superintendent: he had previously been secretary to a group of First Aiders who functioned without a uniform. An earlier reference still to first aid, was in a paper dated 31st October, 1891 where 'Dr Ward was instructor to the Whitwell Ambulance Association'.
The ambulance men, nursing sisters, ambulance cadets and nursing cadets met for many years in the Miner's Welfare. One of their proudest moments was to form a Guard of Honour, under Ambulance Officer D. Brain, for Air Marshall Sir Robert George in August, 1963, at the opening of the new premises on the Recreation Ground for a Division 150 strong.
SUPERTROOPERS JAZZ BAND
Started by Mrs. V. Taylor in 1982, the band caters for the age group 8-18 years. The Secretary is Mrs. A. Godley and the band meets on Wednesdays and Thursdays in summer on Hodthorpe School field and in the Church Hall. The band is drilled by Mr. Trevor Allsop and competes in inter-band competitions; in 1988 they were placed first in four competitions.
WHITWELL FLYING CLUB
The Club was founded in 1900 with Canon Mason as President. Founder members included G.H. Hardwick, G. Pressley, A. Gill, J. Beardsley (killed in 1914-18 war), Edson Bros. J. Woolley and T. Hardwick. Venues for meetings have been at the Jug and Glass, Boot and Shoe and Butchers Arms. In 1936, Webster Bros broke the Derbyshire Federation record with a bird that flew 515 miles from Marennes (France) in 516 minutes. At one stage, 14 members left the Club to form a separate club at Hodthorpe. The Club finished flying in November 1965 but after a year of inactivity, commenced flying again with Mr. W. Rawson as Secretary: he became a 'fancier' in 1917 and still keeps a few pigeons- in 1946 he won the 'Colonel Osmond Memorial Trophy', the race distance being 515 miles from Marennes.
WHITWELL AND DISTRICT GARDEN ASSOCIATION
Originally formed as Clayland Gardeners' Association in September, 1959 by J. Holt and H. Grey, the present title was adopted in January, 1988. The inaugural meeting was held at the Royal Oak and meetings are now held at the Community Centre on the last Sunday in each month. The garden store on the Health Centre car park is open to everyone, each Saturday during spring and summer and the last Saturday in each month during winter.
The Whitwell Players was formed early in 1984 by 12 people who met at the Holmefield Arms. Their first play was 'Curse of the Werewolf, performed on 21st June,1984. Prior to this Group, one had existed as early as 1892 - the St Lawrence Church Group; the Sheffield Daily Telegraph reports on a performance of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.
The Welfare Dramatic Group was formed in 1948 by Mrs. Joan Ellis, one of their early productions being 'Christmas Carol'. The Group reformed in 1960 with Norma Adams and one of the members, Clarence Stafford, was author of their first production 'Dear Striker'. Further re-formation occurred in l98O, when four plays were produced in the first year. A group is still active, meeting in the Community Centre.
WHITWELL WOOD NATURAL HISTORY GROUP
Formed by John and Fred Ellis in 1975 with ten members. The main activities have been bird ringing, record of flowering plants and trees, and the natural history of Whitwell Wood, Welbeck and the surrounding district. A publication entitled 'Whitwell Wood' sold on original print of 400 copies and a further 200 were then printed. The first meeting was held in the old Scout Hut; meetings are now held in the Community Centre. The first 'hide' was built in 1972 and the second in 1974. Further development continues in co-operation with the Forestry Commission. The group are pre-eminent in the country in the study of woodcock.
WHITWELL AND DISTRICT WOMEN'S INSTITUTE
The Whitwell and District Women's Institute commenced with 27 members and the first meeting was on 9th July, 1947, when a further 22 members were enrolled. Miss S. Haywood, President; Mrs. D. Streets, Treasurer and Miss H. Kirby, Secretary formed the committee. The Institute is a member of the De Rhodes Group and holds monthly meetings in the Community Centre. Since 1957 they have organised a successful house-to-house collection for Cancer Research.
A Womens' Voluntary Service group was formed in 1939 by Mrs. G. Larner, Mrs. Mettam and Mrs. Collingham to assist in the national emergency. They met in the old Scout Hut and the old Parish Hall. Subsequently, members assisted with the Meals-on-Wheels service. In 1966 permission was granted for "ROYAL' to be added to the title.
A group, led by Mrs. Wordley, operated from Hodthorpe Church Hall for many years after the war, while some Whitwell members were attached to a mobile unit.
Clubs which have their roots in the WRVS are:
· Whitwell 'Over Sixties' - Mrs. Larner
· Hodthorpe 'Darby and Joan' – Church Hall.
· Friendship Club - Bakestone Moor: formed in 1962 and moved to the Friendship Hall in 1965/6.
An informal group, formed in 1988, which meets fortnightly in the Community Centre on Wednesday mornings. The aim is to promote the art of Creative and Technical Writing.
Temporary groups established to provide a local service during the Second World War include:
National Fire Service Home Guard
Civil Defence Corps Observer Corps
First Aid Posts Air Raid Wardens
Air Training Cadets
Miscellaneous groups, to which more could possibly be added, include: