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Children and soldiers at the Canal Tavern, Canal Row, Staveley, 1940s
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A scene outside the Canal Tavern taken during World War Two. The three men were soldiers billeted at the pub, while the children are (L to R) Ruth Higley, her sister Shirley Higley (later Hawkes), and Clare Costello.
The Canal Tavern was located at Canal Row (also known locally as Frog Row), one of two tiny and isolated settlements (the other was Lee's Buildings) located beside the Chesterfield Canal between Staveley and Hollingwood. It consisted of a terrace of nine dwellings at right angles to the navigation and a shorter row parallel to the towpath. The latter incorporated the Canal Tavern, as seen here.
Quite when the Canal Tavern came into existence is not clear - the building is not named as such on any Ordnance Survey 25-inch to 1 mile edition published between 1877 and 1916, nor is it listed in Bulmer's comprehensive 1895 directory of Derbyshire. It is is not until the 1938 OS edition that it is indicated as a public house, by which date all the adjoining houses had been knocked down, leaving the place even more isolated. Lee's Buildings had also gone by then and it is tempting to speculate that the licence for the pub serving that community - the Moulders' Arms - may have been transferred the short distance to one of the cottages at Canal Row. Demolition of the Canal Tavern was reported in the Derbyshire Times of 8 March 1963.