The village of Stanley, which lies between Ilkeston and Derby, holds many childhood memories for me. I was born and bred in Nottingham (apart from a brief sojourn in West Hallam) and every Sunday afternoon we used to drive over to Stanley and visit relatives. My father's family all lived there, and by coincidence my mother's sister had married a Stanley farmer, so after gathering at my grandmother's house for tea, we would drive up Stanley Hill and visit my aunt and uncle (and cousins) on my mother's side, before returning home. Grandma's house was always full on a Sunday afternoon. My father had two brothers and a sister. One of the brothers still lived with my grandma, the other brother was at Stanley Common with his family, and my aunt was just a few minutes walk away from her mother's house. When I was older I would sometimes visit Stanley on the bus (or on my pushbike) and Grandma would take us walking, sometimes to Dale Abbey, sometimes to the "Wooden Bridge" over the old railway (closed by the Beeching cuts in the 1960s), and often to the church, which she loved to visit, and would regularly clean.
    In 1977 Grandma died, followed in 1980 by my aunt. By this time I had left home, and my cousins also moved away, so I did not have the opportunity to visit Stanley so often. When I returned recently many things had changed. The Wooden Bridge is no longer there, and even the railway cutting is almost invisible underneath the trees which have grown there. The Post Office has moved and several shops have disappeared. My mother remembers a very different Stanley even to the one I knew. When she first met my father in the early 1950s Stanley was a very small village. Later the Council built a lot of houses and the population grew.
    During the 1980s I became interested in tracing my family history, but it is only recently that I have gone into the detail of my Stanley connections. Several of my father's ancestral lines were from the village, and I now see so many familiar names in the churchyard that I almost feel that I should take a car full of flowers each time I visit! I regret the fact that my grandma died before I became interested in genealogy - I am sure she could have told me many interesting stories. Her youngest sister, however, lived until 2006 and had an amazing memory, so she was a great help. It was when my great-aunt's daughter (who lives in America) sent me a number of photographs that I began to widen my study to include "fringe" relatives. Eventually this became a fully fledged "One Place Study."
   Quite simply, a study of a particular area, be it a village, town, or part of a county, with particular reference to its people, parish registers, censuses etc. The concept was pioneered by John Palmer, whose Wirksworth Website is well worth looking at even if you have no relatives there. John's website also contains a list of all other One Place Studies which he knows about. I am grateful to John for the advice he gave me in setting up this study.
    The map below (taken from a 1960's Ordinance Survey map) shows Stanley and the surrounding area:

    On the far right is part of the town of Ilkeston, and to reach Stanley one takes the A609 from the town centre. Nearer to Stanley this is known as "High Lane." After passing the turning to West Hallam, the next left turning leads to the former West Hallam station, which was next to the colliery. Both the station and the pit are now long gone, the station buildings having been converted into a private house. At the T junction just past the station, a right turn leads into Station Road, and a few yards later you enter Stanley. The village is essentially one main road which bends left and right several times. Various side roads such as Coronation Road were built in the last 50 years to accommodate the expanding population. At the first bend (to the left) a footpath on the right leads to Stanley Common (part of the parish but in reality quite separate), whilst the road passes the old vicarage, thatched cottage, and St Andrew's Church. On the next bend (to the right) is the War Memorial and local school, then on the third bend is the only remaining public house, the White Hart. The Post Office used to be on this corner too, but has now moved to new premises. Also on this bend is the junction with Morley Lane, the only route by road to Stanley Common which does not involve leaving and re-entering the parish. The Methodist Church stands on Morley Lane.
    Continuing on the main road, you cross over Stanley Brook. Here, at the corner of Dale Road, stands a white house which was once the Bridge Inn. After this the road ascends a steep hill (known as Stanley Hill), and at the top you leave the parish and head on towards Derby.
    Historically, Stanley was a mining village. West Hallam colliery has already been mentioned, but there were also other pits in the area, including one at Mapperley. They all closed down in the 1960s. Stanley also has several farms and a disused quarry, but nowadays it is essentially a commuter village for Derby and Ilkeston.
    The Stanley OPS has evolved gradually. Starting out as a simple exercise in tracing my family tree, I soon realised that many of the families in the village had intermarried, and there was scope for producing a large tree of related individuals in Stanley. Thus the "Stanley Tree" was born (see elsewhere on this site) and has now grown to over 2000 names. At the same time I started the "Stanley Photo Album" (which can also be found on this site), using first of all photographs supplied by relatives, then expanding to include other peoples photos. The next turning point came when I obtained photocopies of some of the Stanley censuses to use in my research. I was eventually persuaded to make these available on line (thanks, John Palmer and Brett Payne!) and after that a full One Place Study seemed inevitable. I have added a lot of information since then, and will continue to look for other sources. All the information on this site is also stored by myself in a database, using the genealogy program "Custodian III."  This database can be easily searched and I am happy to do so - please e mail me if you are looking for specific names.
    This website will continue to evolve over months and years. If anyone has any contributions to make, such as photos, memories or corrections to the site I will be happy to receive them. I hope this site will be of use to everyone with genealogical interests in Stanley.

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