Residents rush to defend Shirebrook after DH Lawrence postcard brands it ‘hideous’

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Proud Shirebrook residents have rushed to defend their home after a postcard in which DH Lawrence blasts the town for its ‘hideousness’ went under the hammer.

The century-old postcard, penned by the famous writer, was rescued from a skip and is expected to fetch £250 when it goes up for auction later this month.

DH Lawrence was not a fan of Shirebrook.

DH Lawrence was not a fan of Shirebrook.

It features a black-and-white picture of Old School House and Rock Cottages and is addressed to Nellie Holderness, a friend of DH Lawrence who he met while teacher training in 1911.

In the card, the Eastwood-born author writes: “I have got here but had to bike – not a single train.

“It is an awful fag.

“Shirebrook is a most hideous place. I contrast it with Eakring. Keep well – love to all – DH Lawrence.”

Marion Stockdale, Shirebrook Town Councillor for south ward, was keen to counter the writer’s scathing comments.

She said: “I’m Shirebrook born and bred. I’ve lived here for 70 years.

“First of all, the community we have here is charitable, welcoming and accommodating.

“We have good schools and good housing stock, and even then the town is going through changes that are bound to alter any negative outside perceptions.

“Shirebrook is deemed to be a high depravation area, but on the whole it’s a lively and lovely place to be. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Resident Ann Andrews said: “I can think of worse areas I’ve seen. Like everywhere, there’s always good and bad parts of towns and villages.”

And Janice Turton said: “It was always a hardworking mining town, not a chocolate box tourist village. You should be proud of your heritage.”

The postcard was passed down the family to Patricia Endean-Rowe whose grandmother was Nellie’s sister and also knew DH Lawrence.

Mrs Endean-Rowe, 71, a retired teacher from Eakring, initially feared it had been lost forever after it was almost binned.

She said: “Kitty Holderness, my grandmother, went to college in Ilkeston with DH Lawrence.

“They were trainee teachers together. Family legend has it that Lawrence was enamoured with Kitty but we don’t know that for certain.

“My great-grandfaher, George Holderness, became head of Eakring School and Lawrence visited the family at the School House in Shirebrook.”

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