The Bensons lived in and around Newbold and Coleorton for many years and indeed William Benson (Billy) was a lay Preacher at the Chapel and lived at Benson Cottage in the Woolrooms for almost 90 years. (Bensons Cottage was previously home to the Richards family read article >>). The cottage was rented from the Beaumonts.
Billy Bensons father, also known as William, came down to Coleorton with the Lancashire Mining Company and married Emily Fairbrother. Billy Benson married Constance Edith Fowkes and most of their lives revolved around the chapel.
My dad James Leonard Benson (1922-2017) went to Griffydam School and the following is an extract from an interview he gave:
Leonard went to Griffydam School from the age of about 5 until he was 14. In Leonard's time the school was "The New School", i.e. the building in School Lane, Peggs green. At the time Leonard went to school the New School could not cope with the number of children so a class was set up in the "Old School" on Nottingham Road, which is where Leonard went.
The teachers were Miss Harris, referred to by the children as "Fanny Harris". Mr Elcock was the head teacher and the children referred to him as "Daddy Elcock". Mr Elcock lived in Osgathorpe and had a car, an old Ford, which must have been very unusual in those days.
School started at 9.00a.m. and went on to about 4.00p.m. although the children had a break for lunch. Most children actually went home for lunch, some took lunch to school. Lessons primarily consisted of reading, writing and arithmetic; although other subjects were included as the school had a woodwork room that doubled as a kitchen. The boys did woodwork and the girls cookery and needlework.
More about Griffydam Schools on the Griffydam History website.