THE VILLAGE TODAY
Morley is still a very rural village but changes have gradually taken place. Electricity was the first amenity to arrive in 1922 although the Church and the Three Horse Shoes were not connected until 1930. A small sub-station was erected next to the School on the Main Road. Piped water from the Derwent Valley has been available since 1936.
A bus shelter was erected in 1939 at Morley Bridge (paid for by money left over from the Coronation celebrations). The other four bus shelters in the parish were provided later by the County Council.
Street lighting and sewerage disposal are now complete services, Almshouses Lane and Morley Lane being the last to be connected to the main sewerage in August 1965.
The two old stone quarries on the Moor and Brackley Gate have been used by the local Coun¬cil for tipping refuse, much to the annoyance of local inhabitants.
A Parish Council was formed in 1931 and meetings take place in the school at regular in¬tervals. It is responsible for keeping the local authorities in touch on any matters requiring attention to roads, footpaths, housing, bus shelters, lighting etc.
Sixteen houses and four bungalows were erected by the County Council and completed ear¬ly in 1962 in Brick Kiln Lane. The field used was at one time well-known for its primroses, so Primrose Drive was chosen as a name for the new area. The occupants are chiefly Morley people. More recently, several houses have been built in Brackley Gate and Cloves Hill. A number of old condemned cottages at the bottom of Almshouses Lane were demolished in 1966 and three houses and a bungalow erected on the site. The large cottage by the side of the Moor Pond has also been demolished and a house and bungalow erected immediately in front. The pond was also filled in. This land, which is one of the oldest parts of Morley, with its seventeenth century Sacheve¬rel Almshouses, has since lost much of its charm. The Almshouses are in reasonable repair and are occupied by any elderly who qualify, single women and married couples, as well as men laid down in the original bequest.
There are still many varieties of wild flo¬wers to be found although they are decreasing, and the Derbyshire Naturalists Trust acquired in 1966 its first nature reserve in the village in an effort to preserve the rare and other plants in the area.
A Women's Institute was formed in February 1950 with a membership of fifty-two. The first officers were:- President, Miss D. Topham; Secretary, Mrs. M. Slack; and Treasurer, Mrs. J. Morley. As Morley is a very scattered village the Women's Institute has played a great part in bringing its womenfolk together. Meetings are held monthly and are of an educational and social nature.
An association for the elderly people of the parish was formed in 1957 by Mr. and Mrs. M. Bladon with a committee comprising representa¬tives from the various organisations in the vil¬lage. Monthly meetings are held in the Chapel room in Almshouses Lane and a summer outing and Christmas party arranged each year.
Mr. and Mrs. M. Bladon were also responsi¬ble for starting a Youth Group in 1957, but this was taken over and organised as a Church Youth Group in 1962. This was disbanded during 1963 whilst extensive repairs were made to the Recre¬ation Room. It was reformed in the autumn of 1964 by the County Youth Service who invited re¬presentatives from the various organisations in the village to form an Adult Management Commit¬tee, but eventually the Club was forced to close from lack of support.
There is a branch of the British Red Cross Society in the village. Miss M. Adams is the Township Leader and together with a committee has been actively engaged in raising funds and giving help wherever it is needed for many years.
Broomfield Hall was purchased by the Derby¬shire County Council in 1947 from Mrs. Crompton, the widow of the previous owner who was very interested in the Hall becoming the new centre of agricultural education for Derbyshire, to be known then as the Farm Institute. Mr. J.R.Bond who had been Agricultural Education Officer for the County since 1914, became the first Principal. 425 acres (170 ha) of land were also pur¬chased or tenanted, comprising Broomfield Farm, Lime Farm, Old Top Farm, Tunnel Farm, Church Farm and Brook Farm, to form the college farms for teaching and practising farm skills and demonstrating good farming.
The first thirty-six Students were nearly all ex-servicemen. By 1953 there were forty men on the one-year residential course and many day-release students. In April 1954 Mr. P.A.Missen became Principal and in the same year a large hostel and Assembly Hall were opened. The first ten women students attended in 1955 taking the same course as the men.
Additions to the teaching facilities inclu¬ded a machinery workshop in 1957 and subsequently a new set of farm buildings to be called New Top Farm, comprising a piggery in 1957 and a new range of cattle buildings in 1959 with a milking parlour. New farm staff houses were added. The Old Top Farm at Morley Bridge was demolished. Eventually Church Farm tenancy was concluded and the County bought some land west of Lime Farm and north-east of Breadsall Cross Roads. In the sixties teaching workshops, lecture rooms, laboratory, demonstration ring and more farm build¬ings replacements increased the facilities to meet the educational needs of farming for Derbyshire.
The present Principal, E.V.J.Bathurst Esq. B.Sc., was appointed from 1st January 1976. At that time farm buildings and land were combined into the College Farm to be managed as one unit so as to provide optimum facilities for profit¬able farming, combined with the increased use of the farm for the teaching and practice.
Broomfield Hall now houses the female students, the dining and kitchen facilities and the administrative offices of the College. Many of the original fireplaces, ceilings and excellent wooden fittings are still preserved.
Finally, as time marches on, the Turret Clock above the old stables (now the Annexe) was made and installed by Smith of Derby in 1873. It is still in its original form - hand wound, pendulum, non-striking; and is still keeping excellent time - a good example to those who observe it daily! It must tick on to measure the progress in farming and in gardening and to mark the careful preservation and continuance of all that is so good and pleasant and lasting in the country way of life; while those beneath it surge with the vitality and vigour of modern youth, tempered by mother nature into sons and daugh¬ters of the soil. The future well-being of Broomfield Hall and Estate will then be well assured.
In 1959, the Rectory became the Diocesan Retreat and Conference House. To this building, but detached from it, was added a twenty-four room dormitory block and the House and new block together accommodate a maximum of forty people. Christian Societies from all parts of the country visit Morley, many of them returning year after year.
The Reverend R.P.Stacy Waddy was appointed Rector of Morley and first Warden of the Dioce¬san Retreat and Conference House in 1959 and was made an Honorary Canon of Derby Cathedral in Oc¬tober 1963. He was succeeded in 1967 by the Reverend G.W.Burningham, who served as Rector until 1972.
In 1972, following the closure of the Re¬treat House (Red House) in the Southwell Diocese the Retreat and Conference House at Morley became a joint venture for the Dioceses of Derby and Southwell. Responsibility for domestic management of the House was then undertaken by Sisters of the Community of St.Lawrence at Belper who had performed similar duties at the Red House. The appointment of Rector of Morley has been in suspense since 1972.
This year the Sisters have returned to the Community and a new Warden and Housekeeper have been appointed.
At the time of going to press, the popula¬tion of the village is 439.
Most of the working population travel out of Morley each day to, the many industrial and commercial enterprises in the neighbouring town of Derby and surrounding area. Teaching staff from many schools in the area live in the village. The numbers employed on the farms has decreased considerably due largely to farm mechanisation and economics. Trades in the village include a builder, plumber, welder and landscape gardener. There is one public house, but still no shop or garage.