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Wednesday 28th February 2024  

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A Barge from Cupitt’s Coal Wharf, Quorn; at Mountsorrel Wharf, 1908

Explaining the Pictures
Photographs 1 and 2 were taken at Mountsorrel Wharf in 1908, when a Mountsorrel ‘Band of Hope’ group went on a canal outing to Leicester. The Band of Hope was a society formed in the mid-1800s, promoting lifelong abstention from alcohol among young people. It was often associated with the non-conformists.

The photographer, Cooper, of Leicester, was standing initially (Photograph 1) on the opposite bank to the wharf and for Photograph 2 he was standing on the humpbacked bridge over the canal. See Image 3, where the barge is represented by a purple rectangle and the photographer’s position is indicated by a green circle (Pic 1) and a red circle (Pic 2).

Image 4 was supplied by John Doyle from Mountsorrel Heritage Group. It is an aerial photograph of the wharf in 1926 and the red cross shows the position of the barge.

The photograph of the buildings as they are today (2024, Image 5) was kindly taken by John Doyle. Note that the end building has been re-roofed to tie in with the adjacent buildings, and all the doorways and windows have been radically altered/filled in/replaced.

The Quorn Connection
Photograph 2 bears the name ‘R. Cuppitt & Sons, Quorn No 1. Quorn Coal wharf was owned by Edward Warner of Quorn Hall, was rented out to Robert Cupitt and run by him and his son, Thomas Cupitt. The Cupitts lived in Quorn for only a short time, probably only between 1907 and 1909. Thomas Cupitt is recorded as a coal dealer in a trade directory from 1908, and in tax records compiled in 1909, his father Robert is listed as the occupier of the coal wharf. Thomas was born in North Muskham (near Newark), Nottinghamshire in 1881 and married Emily Vincent in 1907. The couple had just one child, Edna May Culpitt, who was born and baptised in Quorn in 1908. By the 1911 census the family was living in Hasland near Chesterfield and Thomas had returned to his previous occupation as a bricklayer at the local coal mine. Thomas died in 1922 aged 42.

History of the two Postcards
Research revealed that the two postcards (1 and 2), were originally owned by Clarice Wignall of Mountsorrel (1923 – 2019). On the reverse of Image 1 was written: “Band of Hope outing - Clarice’s Mum and Friend on extreme left”. Clarice’s mum, Gertrude Pendery (who was born in Quorn in 1891), looked to be in her late teens and a trawl of newspapers provided the date of 1908, with an article in the Leicester Chronicle on Saturday 15th August 1908:

Mountsorrel
A Novel Outing - The Wesleyan Band of Hope had their annual outing in a novel way on Saturday last, by engaging a wide boat, which was furnished and decorated by Messrs J. H. Barrs and W. Thrupp. Upwards of 140 embarked, in the presence of many spectators at Mountsorrel Locks. Singing was led by a harmonium, presided over by J. Tyler (organist). Songs, sacred and sentimental, were given by F. C. Pepper, J. Tyler, J. H. Barrs, Miss Burnham, Miss Tyler, the Misses Mayes, T. Newman, and W. Thrupp. On board was an ice cream and sweet stall, managed by Mr. W. Veasey. Tea was served on board in picnic fashion by Mrs. Bancroft, Misses Verney, Thrupp, Burnham, Tyler, Mayes, and Mrs. and Miss J. H. Barrs. After reaching Belgrave Bridge, the return journey was made in great style, and Mountsorrel was reached amid much merriment after a seven hours’ trip on the canal.


Research and Acknowledgements
This story was only possible due to the working together of three local historians and one helpful lifelong Quorn resident! Nick Miller sent Image 1 to Sue Templeman (Quorn Village On-line Museum), who initially thought it was Quorn Coal Wharf. Quorn resident Chris Sharp, who lives in the (converted) old wharf store in Quorn, soon put her right! She consulted John Doyle from Mountsorrel Heritage Group and everything became clear.


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 Submitted on: 2024-01-25
 Submitted by: Nick Miller, John Doyle, Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 2569
 Artefact URL: www.quornmuseum.com/display.php?id=2569
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own (new browser tab).

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