Daughters of the British Empire in Tennessee
Not Ourselves but the Cause
Members Home Towns

The DBE in TN has members from all over the Commonwealth.

We are a very Multi National Group of ladies from England, Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Canada!

On the following pages you will find some interesting articles written by some of these ladies describing their home towns with some excellent tourist information and links to other sites should you ever wish to visit one of these lovely towns.

Belper, Derbyshire
Aldershot, Hampshire
St. Albans,
Shrewsbury Shropshire
                                                                    Belper, Derbyshire By Hilary Abercrombie

Belper is a medium sized town located between Milford and Matlock Bath on the A6 road.
The town’s name is thought to be a corruption of the name Beaurepair (beautiful retreat), the name given to a hunting lodge, the first record being a charter of 1231.

Although the main claim to fame of Belper is it’s cotton mills, previous to that Belper was famous for nail manufacture. These quality nails were used throughout the world. If your surname is Naylor then it is most probable that your family originate from Belper.

In 1776 Jedediah Strutt arrived in Belper and developed a knitting machine, which made his fortune; Richard Arkwright and Jeremiah Strutt developed a partnership to build the first water powered cotton spinning mills here in Belper. Over the next couple of decades from 1786. six mills were built.

Today only the North and East mills remain, The East mill was built by the English Sewing Cotton Company in 1912.
The North mill is open to the public and if you visit Belper I would recommend that you take a tour round this building.

Between 1838 and 1840 the North Midland Railway was built through this town, it was engineered by George Stephenson. The unusual feature about the path of the railway through Belper is the fact that Mr. Strutt did not want to see the trains, Because of this fact the railway lines run in a cutting. This means no level crossings or footbridges were required.
The new passenger station on King Street was opened on 10th March 1878; the original train station is now covered by the supermarket.

After the Second World War, J.W.Thornton, the chocolate maker moved into the town from Sheffield, this helped to alleviate the employment problems arising from the decline of the Nail manufacturing and the Cotton Mills, the latter have almost disappeared now.

Belper is twinned with Pawtucket Rhode Island, the connection being Samuel Slater from Milford who was an apprentice of Jedediah Strutt and absconded to America to found that country’s cotton spinning industry.

I would like to thank Tony Winslade (qualified Blue Badge Guide for Belper) for a lot of this information.
Back to the Top
Belper Town Centre
Strutt’s North Mill
                                                  Aldershot, Hampshire by Michelle Leighton

I would like to share with you about the town where I was born-a long ,long time ago! 44 years to be exact. I was born in Aldershot

Aldershot is a town in the English County of Hampshire, 37 miles southwest of London. Aldershot is known as the “Home of the British Army” and as my Dad was in the Royal Engineers, it was fitting I was born here.

The army connection with Aldershot made the once small village grow rapidly into a Victorian Town. In 1854, at the time of the Crimean War Aldershot’s Garrison was established as the first permanent training camp for the British army. This led to a rapid population expansion going from 875 in 1851 to in excess of 16,000 by 1861! (9,000 being from just the military).

The Garrison was then needing to be rebuilt in 1961-69 and with a complicated process completed by the architecture and engineering firm , Building Design Partnership.

My father was in the Royal Engineer Corps and then moved to work for the Transport and Road Research Laboratories (TRRL) in Crowthorne, Berkshire.I was born in 1970 and my mother and father, after they met in Austria on a skiing holiday, moved to Barbados,with his work in the Tropical Section of TRRL and his ability to help design road surfaces for use in hot climates.

In 1972 Aldershot experienced the first in a series of mainland IRA attacks.Seven people,all civilian support staff, including five catering staff, a gardener and a Catholic Priest were killed in a car bomb attack on the 16th Parachute Brigade Headquarters Mess.A further 9 people were injured and the IRA claimed it was as revenge for the Bloody Sunday Massacre. There is now a memorial garden there which was used to mark the 40th Anniversary of the bombing in 2012.

Aldershot has many interesting places for visitors to visit due to it’s long history. You can see the Wellington Statue which is a monument to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington and the victor at the Battle of Waterloo and later Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. There is also  the Airborne Museum (Hartenstein), Aldershot Military Museum,the Imperial War Museum,The Museum of Army Flying, the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery(Commonwealth war graves),the National Memorial Arboretum (national site of remembrance), the Aldershot Observatory and nearby in Farnborough there is the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Museum full of Royal establishment-related aircraft and a wind tunnel.

Another interesting fact was that The Beatles played at The Palais Ballroom in Aldershot on the 9th of December 1961. It was supposed to be their first London Show but was infamous because it was not advertised properly and only 18 people showed up as the Aldershot News neglected to feature Sam Leach’s advert for the show!

Finally, Aldershot is known for it’s interest in many sports including Football, Rugby, Cricket, Greyhound racing, stock car racing and speedway. They even hosted three of the five events in the modern pentathalon at the1948 London Olympics! The swimming was held at the Aldershot Lido, fencing at the Maida Gymnasium and the cross-country equestrian event was held at Tweseldown. All of the equestrian events, excluding the Prix des Nations, were also held at Aldershot. It was announced on 15th January 2008 that Aldershot would be chosen as GB’s official training camp for the British Olympic Team, but later confirmed they would be training abroad! You win some , you lose some!!!

Some useful Links to
Aldershot          Visit Aldershot
Carlisle Cumbria By Joan McCulloch

I was born and raised in Carlisle,Cumberland (Cumbria now). It was my husband's and my home until we moved to Tennessee in 2001.

Carlisle or Luguvalium as the Romans named it, lies in the North West corner of England, sandwiched between Scotland and the Lake District.
It is a town of approximately 70,000 inhabitants and has been a major city in England for centuries.

The first people to populate Carlisle were Celtic warlords and armies. Later on the Romans based their northern armies in Carlisle.

In the Middle Ages Carlisle changed hands between the Scots and the English many times. The Castle was built in 1092 by William Rufus the son of William the Conqueror and stands witness to many bloody battles. Today it is still in good shape and has many hisoric references to the bad old days. Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner in the Castle on her way to London to face her death.

In the 13th to the 17th century Carlisle was a major town in the family fueds known as the Border Reivers.

Carlisle today is a busy bustling city with links to the beautiful countryside it sits in. It has a thriving farmers market, a horse race course, it hosts the annual Cumberland Show and has many historic places to visit. See the links below.

If you are planning a trip to Britain I would highly recommend a visit to Carlisle where you can drive over to Scotland or the Lake District and the English East Coast resorts are but a two hour drive away.

Carlisle today is still home to many industries such as Pirelli, United Biscuits, Nestle as well as some remaining wool mills.

Links to Useful Sites

Historic Carlisle

Tullie House Museum

The Border Reivers

More Useful Information

Back to the Top
                                                                                      Kendal, Cumbria by Carol Montgomery

My home in England is in the far west of the Yorkshire Dales, in the county of Cumbria. Our local “big town” is Kendal in South Lakeland. The ruined remains of the 12th century Kendal Castle sit on a hill nearby.

The Castle Dairy, on Wildman Street, is where I first came upon Sticky Toffee Pudding at least 40 years ago. Since then, this delectable dessert has turned up first in menus over the north west, and now everywhere in England.

Below is more information about this remarkable building. Do explore the link   which provided this great photograph, for a detailed description.

Castle Dairy“The Castle Dairy is a medieval building located in Kendal, Cumbria. The name implies a connection to Kendal Castle and it is possibly the town’s oldest continuously inhabited structure. A Grade I listed building, it is now a restaurant.” Wikipedia

Elaine became a friend (I think she was very taken with my husband) and closed the restaurant to the public so that we could have our night before the wedding feast there. We were very sad when Avril died and then Elaine retired. She shared her most famous pudding with us and here is her recipe.

Of course, I can’t lay my hands on the original recipe, but I remember putting the sauce in the bottom of a pudding basin with the pudding mix on top and steaming it. It came out wonderfully gooey and may have had Golden Syrup or treacle as part of the sauce. If it shows up, I’ll update this! All I know is it was REALLY good.

Below are some links to Websites about Kendal. Please feel free to browse these. Who knows you may want to visit this old beuatiful town.

Visit Cumbria



Carol Montgomery DBE Centre Court Chapter, Knoxville, TN.

Back to the Top
Back to the Top
                                                                      Mirfield, Yorkshire by Terry Smook

I was born in Mirfield, Yorkshire during 1949 and have visited there only 3 times since leaving at the age of 15.

Mirfield is in West Yorkshire and is a thriving little town. The main industry years ago was the wool trade, but now it seems to be more of a hub for ‘barge’ traffic – deliveries and tourist trade.

There is a network of canals going through Mirfield and I remember being very central for Leeds, Huddersfield, York, Bradford etc.

Tha wud nivver uv nawn
(translation: you would never have known!)

Patrick Stewart was born on 13 July 1940 at Camm Lane in Mirfield.

OK so who is he? Treckies will all know him as the Captain of the Star Ship Enterprise, Jean-Luc Picard.
Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest fame died and was buried in the cemetary at Mirfield. The inscription on his grave reads:

“Here underneath dis laitl stean
Laz robert earl of Huntintun
Ne’er arcir ver as hie sa geud
An pipl kauld im robin heud
Sick utlawz as his as iz men
Vil england nivr si agen”
Obiit 24 Kal. Dekembris 1247

Emily, Charlotte and Anne Brontë each spent time in Mirfield. The three girls were educated at Roe Head School over the period 1831 to 1838. Charlotte was both pupil and mistress here.

Historic Mirfield
Terry Smook
Centre Court Chapter

Back to the Top
                                                               Queensland Australia by Sandra Anderson

My home town is Townsville, Queensland (QLD) Australia. Due to Queensland being such a large state we refer to the northern part as North Queensland and call ourselves North Queenslanders.

The Great Barrier Reef is the most well known attraction of the area and a little farther north are the most beautiful rainforests. We are also fortunate to have easy access to many tropical islands for great holiday destinations and it is also a good starting point for going into the Outback.

Our lifestyle is very casual, just think Tropical and you get the idea.

Japanese influence
In 1896, Japan established its first Australian Consulate in Townsville, primarily to serve some 4,000 Japanese workers who migrated to work in the sugar cane, turtle, and pearling industries.With the introduction of the “White Australian Policy’ the demand for Japanese workers decreased, causing the consulate to finally close in 1908.

Townsville is a large Military Base and during World War Two had a large USA contingent so of course there were many marriages between Australian women and US Marines and due to the fact that my husband’s father was one of these marines, my husband (Fred) has always had a desire to live in the United States. (so here we are!)

Townsville became a major staging point for many of the Sea Battles in the Pacific War.

US bombers based in Townsville carried out the very first raid on Papua New Guinea, US Forces converted many of the roads around Townsville into Runways and Taxiways and set up small communities to support these. Some of the remains can still be seen to this day!

Useful Links to Townsville

Trip Advisor

Read about Townsville
                                                     Southfleet in Kent by Melanie DeWitt

History of the Parish of Southfleet

Southfleet is a small village, which includes the Hamlet of Betsham, five miles SW of Gravesend in Kent; although it is a civil parish within Darftord Borough. Many of its buildings, including the Ship Inn, are extremely old. Church cottages are over four hundred years old and the Old Rectory dates back to the 14th Century, or perhaps even earlier than that. The Rectory has a number of ghost stories told about it, including one about a monk said to have been bricked up in one of the rooms, and a Lady in Brown who was supposed to have been locked away to die in the cellar. Whether the two were associated in life and whether that association, whatever form it took, had anything to do with the manner of their deaths seems to have become lost among the lumber of local lore.

The Manor of Southfleet, with the church seems to have been given to the church and priory of Rochester by some of the ancient Saxon Kings.

The parish church of St Nicholas has 14th century origins, although pre-Roman Christian remains have been found in the area.

Southfleet had a railway station on the Gravesend West west Branch line, which had been opened from Fawkham Junction near Longfield on 10 May 1886; the line was closed on 14 March 1968, although passenger traffic had ceased on 3 August 1953. The section of the trackbed south of the A2 road of that closed line was originally utilised for Phase 1 of Channel Tunnel Rail Link line to London Waterloo (now not due to operate)

On the northern edge of the parish was the Roman settlement of Vagnicea along Watling Street and Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age remains indicate a long history of people living in the area.

Back to the Top
The Ship Inn Thanks to Flickr.com
Southfleet Church
Thanks to Pictures of England
Oast Houses at Hook Place Farm
Thanks to Wikimedia
                                                          St. Albans, Hertfordshire by Diane Jones

If anyone has not visited St. Albans, they are missing something. Found, just 25 miles outside of London and on the train route from Kings Cross to Bedford try to find time to get off the train for a day and explore all that St. Albans has to offer.

The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Alban stands on a hill overlooking the site of the once famous Roman city of Verulamium. It marks the place where Alban, a Roman Soldier stationed in Verulamium, was condemned to death and beheaded because of his belief in Christianity. You can still visit his tomb in the cathedral and he is known as the first Christian Martyr. The site of the Cathedral is surrounded by some of the original Roman Walls.

St. Albans is rich in architectural heritage, with ancient hostelries along the narrow medieval streets, the Cathedral, Verulamium Park, Gorhambury and the Roman Theatre, the Gardens of the Rose and many other fascinating historical sites.

You will find St. Albans has maintained its character and beauty and is one of England’s undiscovered historical cities.

Diane Jones
Centre Court Chapter

Did You Know That?

St. Albans began as a major settlement in the Late Iron Age?

Verulamium, the settlements Roman successor, became the 3rd largest city in Roman Britain?

Alban was the earliest Christian martyr in northern Europe?

The only English Pope was educated in St. Albans?

The Magna Carta was drafted in St. Albans?

The First Battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought in the Streets of St.Albans?

Some Useful Links to St. Albans

St Albans City

St. Albans Museum

St Albans Cathedral

Back to the Top
St. Albans Museum
St. Albans Cathedral
St. Albans Tower
Back to the Top
                                            Shrewsbury in Shropshire by Yvonne Jones

Shrewsbury town was founded in the 9th century.

It has a castle built in 1074 and an abbey that was built in 1083 which was a former monastery for benediction monks.

The river Severn meanders around the town like a horseshoe and there are two bridges the Welsh and the English that allow entry to the town.

The town centre has a largely unspoilt medieval street plan with timber buildings from 15th and 16th centuries, it also is partly walled around the outskirts to guard the town.
The A5 road is the straightest road that runs through the town and continues to London built by the romans, there is a Roman fort ruin outside of the town.

Charles Darwin was born and lived here for 27 years. The Quantum Leap was unveiled in the town in 2009, for the bicentennial of the birth of him.
The movie a Christmas Carol was filmed there with the actor George C Scott starred in it.

The football/soccer team played at the Gay Meadow Sadium which had the river behind it, so every game played there they  was a man in a boat on the river just in case the ball came over the wall!

Viroconium Cornoviorum , the old settlements Roman successor, became the 3rd largest city in Roman Britain?

The Quantum Leap is a sculpture situated next to the River Severn in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. It was created to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of evolutionist Charles Darwin, who was born in the town in 1809. The sculpture was unveiled on 8 October 2009 by Randal Keynes, a great-great-grandson of Darwin.

Some Useful Links to Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury Guide

Official Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury Thanks to Official Shrewsbury
Pictiure courtesy of the Shropshire Star
Quantum Leap
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Back to the Top
Contact us by clicking the Post Box