INTRODUCTION

Peak Dale grew up alongside the limestone quarrying industry in the last decades of the 19th century. Many changes have occurred since that time but today village and industry continue to prosper. In 1989 the village has a population of around 850 and the number of houses has increased to 328. There are two shops (Peak Dale Stores owned by E. R. and G. L. Holmes and Peak Dale Post Office run by J & C Pryce) and two licensed premises (the Midland Hotel, proprietors W and A Proudlove and the Great Rocks Social Club). One hundred and six children attend Peak Dale Primary School and the village has a bus; Play School and Mothers' and Toddlers' Group. Holy Trinity Church and Upper End Methodist Chapel are well cared for by number of people from the community. There is a village football team and brass band, (now combined with Dove Hole Band), and the last few years have seen the construction of a bowling green and the development of a youth motor cycle club The quarrying industry is still the main employer in the area. Imperial Chemical Industries employ about 500 people at their Tunstead Quarry where around 4,500,000 tons of limestone are extracted each year. In Dove Holes Dale the quarries, formerly owned by S. Taylor Frith Co. Ltd., are now worked by R. M. C. Roadstone Limited and 150 people are employed on the site R. M. C. quarry around 15,000 tons of stone per day and about half of the 3,000,000 tons annual output is transported by rail.

The first two chapters of this book describe how Peak Dale came into existence and outline the stages of its growth and development to the end of the 19th century. The remaining three chapters are drawn mainly from oral testimony and attempt to convey something of what life was like for those who lived and worked in the village during the period approximately 1900 to 1920.

 

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John Howe and his children outside their home, Ivy Cottage, 22 Upper End Road.

Left to right are John Joseph Howe, Robert Leonard Howe (killed in First World War), John Howe (father) and Annie Howe