Please note: Family pages are organised by surname; however, this does not mean that all those people featured are related to each other. Where possible we will try to be clear about any connections there may be.
This gallery is from the Wadkin Archives
(Maggie’s Memories, p.29 – Nellie Carrington is Mary Ellen Starbuck): “The same caretaker was employed at school the whole time I attended, from five to fourteen years old. She was Nellie Carrington, the work was hard and badly paid. As I have mentioned before there were coal fires in school one in each of the three rooms and in the wintertime all three would need lighting every school day, that meant the caretaker would be cleaning up the ashes (if she had not done it the previous night) around 6am there would be three great buckets of coal to carry from the back of the boys’ playground, the school itself to sweep and dust, the pan toilets to clean, and windows extra and she never grumbled. There is more to write about Nellie in Hickling.”
(Maggie’s Memories, p.81 (see also p.95) – Nellie Carrington is Mary Ellen Starbuck): “She lived in a small cottage at the corner of Clawson Lane, (which has now been demolished and a modern cottage built in its place). The original cottage where Nellie lived, with her grandmother, mother and two daughters, had one bedroom at the top of the stairs and one room downstairs. Nellie took in washing especially at confinements and deaths, she would arrive at the particular house to collect the laundry, fasten it inside a sheet and sling the whole lot on her back, it would be returned clean and ironed, her wash house was a dark tumbledown place across her yard which was in the winter nearly always up to the neck in sludge, how she ever dried all the washing each week goodness knows, there wasn’t any water laid on and only a flat iron, a copper heated with coal and wood was all the means for hotting water, dolly tub and pegs and an iron mangle. Nellie was also the village school caretaker and during the winter months it was a tough job, up early to light three fires, get in the coal etc keep all the oil lamps filled and trimmed for use. In the winter when I was a girl there was a whist drive and dance every Friday or Saturday night and Nellie was present most of the time, when whist had finished she brought out her sweeping brush and dustpan and one or two men would help clear the room and Nellie would then sweep the floor and sprinkle with a powder ready for dancing, some of the men would make fun of her good humouredly, Nellie would wash the crockery used for refreshments, the water hotted in large kettles on the open fire, often one or two helping dry up, she would stay to lock up and would always be given some refreshments to take home, all this and would be paid 2/6 to 3/6 for the evening. Anyone needing the Doctor would leave a message at Nellie’s house, the Doctors from both Clawson and Colston Bassett calling each visiting day for the list. Dr Windley lived at Colston Bassett and every Monday after the Doctors visit to Hickling, Nellie would take her basket and walk (often over the fields) to the surgery for all the medicine, and it was all medicine in bottles, no tablets at all, she would then walk back to Hickling and deliver the medicine to the patients receiving 2d or 3d (in old money) per bottle, she would wear a long full skirt to the ground, a blouse, boots, a large shawl over her shoulders and an old wool hat or even a man’s cap. Nellie’s eldest daughter Emma was a young pupil teacher when I was at school leaving age, she then went to College and became Head Mistress of Thrussington School in Leicestershire, until retiring a few years ago, there was great credit indeed to Emma.”
(Note: Mary Ellen (Nellie) Starbuck’s mother (Mary Ann Starbuck) re-married following the death of Edward Starbuck; Mary Ellen retained her Starbuck surname in official records throughout her life (never marrying) but it is interesting that Maggie Wadkin remembers Nellie by the Carrington surname from Mary Ann’s second marriage. Both Nellie and Emma are also referred to in some news reports with the Carrington surname.)