My father was a great storyteller, especially of tales about Grindleford, the village that he loved so much. During his latter years he retold these stories to me time and time again. I always found them interesting, poignant and amusing – I never tired of hearing them.
My brothers and myself often suggested to Dad that he should get the stories set down in written form, to preserve them for posterity. He did make a rough start at this, jotting down the bare outlines of some of his favourites in an old exercise book. Sadly he died before getting very far with them.
It was when this exercise book was found that I decided to type out the stories so that all three of us, Peter, Malcolm and myself could keep a copy as a family memento of Dad. When I had done this, I was left with only five or six pages of material, and I realised that many of the stories were missing. I then resolved to write down as many of them as I could from memory, plus the valuable help of Mother!
Like all good folk-tales they may not all be literally true, they may stray slightly from the original event. That though, is the story-tellers perogative!
I apologise to anyone who may be an unwitting victim of this “writer’s license”.
Alan P. Jacques, Grindleford.
This is dedicated to the memory of Thomas L. Jacques.
Thanks to Harry Preston and George Green for the loan of photographs. To John Hancock for permission to use quotes from the records of the Eyam and Stoney Middleton Association for the Prosecution of Felons.Following on from his fathers vision to see these stories published Thomas Jacques’ grandson Simon inspired the idea of a website to create a lasting record of Grindleford history, fact and fiction.These stories, once told to his family and friends in the small locallity of Grindleford by the well known local charater Tom Jacques, are now availible for the wider world to enjoy.Simon wishes to express his gratitude to Becky Shore for transcribing all the original manuscript to digital format, John Mottashaw for reproducing the images and Berie Stott for designing this impressive website.