Grandad Horsfield

John Horsfield

Married Gertrude Alice Yates.
Gertrude Alice was born in 1891 and sadly died 26th October 1917 leaving two children Vera and Anne. (Vera my Mum only only 8 days old).
Gertrude Alice Horsfields final resting place is at the very beautiful St Johns Chapel Coleorton [g/s no. 69].

John Horsfield married again to his second cousin Martha Ellen Collier in 1920.


Grandad John Horsfield was born  1887 in Fernilee and brought up by his father William and his Mother Harriet Ann Horsfield. He talked of many happy days spent in Fernilee his dad an engineer working locally on large engines.

On many walks with Grandad he told me many tales as a boy had so much fun in the country playing one favourite pastime was filling a key with gunpowder with nail used as detonator.  Playing with electric and electrifying a barbed wire fence and watching the chickens fly up in the air with a mighty shock.

Playing with mercury and floating metal objects.  Harriet got quite upset when she found mercury in his pocket frightened the mercury would melt her gold wedding ring.

On some of the long walks in fernilee with Grandad he always pointed out points of interest.

One day we walked down the Clough following the brook that flows under the house on Stony Gate. At the bottom of the Clough used to be a huge oak tree with a wrought iron railings as children we loved playing here.

Following the river down a small valley crossing the brook we came to a derelict barn at the side of the building there was a doorway we went in the barn had no proper floor just soil and looking up it had no floor above just a huge expanse.

To my amazement Grandad said he was born here in this very building.
Only quite recently I found out this used to be a Coachmans Cottage. The building has now been beautifully updated to modern standards as a holiday cottage to rent.
Walking down the Clough about 5o yards Grandad showed me the old coal mine ventilation shaft on shale bank he talked about times down a coal mine and the most strange things frogs that were completely transparent.
The brook eventually joins the River Goyt near the footbridge.

Walking along the River Goyt from the footbridge towards Fernilee reservoir and filter sheds. The river deepens at the bend in the river the ground on the opposite side goes vertically for 30 foot or more Grandad talked about the geology of the rocks pointing out the huge fault line that drops 90 degrees.

At this point the river is at its deepest and widest and children had made a dam with stones. Grandad said I learnt to swim here.

On one of our many walks leaving Fernilee Cottage up the green passed Broklehurst Farm over the old railway line. Yet more tales of the Fernilee Gunpowder works and some of the gunpowder was used in the Spanish Armada. And old ships timbers were used in our cottages.  Crossing over the old railway up the steep hill towards Long Hill. Grandad told me the farmer that lived in the farm before the Broklehurst used to make wine out of cow pats.

To be continued please visit again soon

Tony Edge.

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