Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another local entrepreneur

Have not posted for a while - mainly because I have been busy exploring the life of Samuel Theodore Bunning who was just the sort of rags-to-riches Victorian entrepreneur that interests me. Having started as a railway porter, he came to Beeston as its Station Master, managed to get control of the local brewery and eventually sold out to one of the local big names. And, like many of this kind, he gave away much of his money to good causes in his last years - but still managed to leave a fortune when he died in 1928.

Originally, he and his wife were buried on the lawn at their home but were later re-interred in Wilne Churchyard near Draycott in Derbyshire. I have often visited this churchyard - I have ancestors there too. Its a little remote, being pretty well surrounded by gravel workings but the church still seems to have an active congregation.

Last Sunday afternoon, the sun was shining but the long grass in the churchyard was very wet and, in turn, my shoes were getting very wet as I struggled to find the memorial. I knew it was overgrown and I hadn't found it when I came across two locals who had come to tend a grave. As is so often the case, a friendly question received an equally friendly response. They knew where it was and insisted on taking me there. Its a very big memorial but it sadly its gradually being taken over my trees which are growing through the grave site - its a great pity.

At least I got my photograph which I have now added to the story which you can see at

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