Helen Clark, of Ockbrook and Borrowash Historical and Archaeological Society, tells the story of life-long Borrowash resident Joan Millband – the latest person to commit their memories to the group’s ongoing Unexamined Lives project.
JOAN Millband has lived in Borrowash all her life but is not planning on being buried there. This is despite the fact that she is no stranger to cemeteries; a graveyard visit was as integral to her childhood as a trip to the sweet shop.
These visits did, however, have some plus points. She said: “I like to read headstones. You can learn a lot from headstones, can’t you?”
But on balance, Joan could have done without the regular pilgrimages to Nottingham Road Cemetery.
“I used to have to go up winter, summer, rain and snow, with my Gran and my Auntie Annie Boothwaite and take these damn flowers,” Joan remembered.
“I used to have to go and get the water and take it back.”
Any flowers left over after family graves had been decorated would be placed on the grave of an unknown boy.
Joan explained: “The ground wasn’t consecrated where he was. The Boys’ Brigade or someone from the chapel made a wooden cross for it and there was a jam jar.
“I used to go and put my little bits and pieces in it. It was just a mound of earth. Continue reading