Pleasley Vale



This postcard with a Mansfield postmark was sent on the 7th July 1910  from Jack Smith to his mother, who lived in Boston Lincolnshire. Did Jack walk along this idyllic valley and enjoy the sound of the river and birds singing in the trees? Did he venture on and hear the noise of the Textile Mills which provided jobs for many people from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire for a great number of years.


In 1937 Arthur Mee wrote in his book on Derbyshire that Pleasley was

‘A workaday village but with some lovely ways. The little River Medan bounds it from Notts, winding through the deep wooded Pleasley Vale to the cotton mills across the stream.’


Today [2009] Pleasley Vale is still a pleasant place to walk, where the noise of the river and birds can still be enjoyed.

The cotton mills ceased production a number of years ago, and for a while the area looked very forlorn and derelict. However the buildings have been refurbished and are now a Business Park. The Pleasley Vale Outdoor Activity Centre can also be discovered there. No doubt Pleasley Vale is still a place that attracts people from both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Jackson & Son Grimsby

Comments about this page

  • Hi there,

    I work for the current owner of Pleasley Vale Mills, and am in the process of compiling a digital, historic archive of the site’s history.
    Ready through your comments has been fascinating, and I was wondering whether anyone had any images, other memorabilia, or would be willing to tell me their stories from their time in the Vale?

    By Kay Gregory (11/10/2023)
  • I worked in no 2 mill from 1969 to 1985. l started in the winding room and finished in the blending room. My first training manager was Harold Peck. There were lots of names I can remember who worked in no 2 mill.

    By MR STEPHEN WILCOX (27/06/2023)
  • I worked at the mills round about 1970 operating a rovermatic machine ( I think it was called). I have very fond memories of the people and management there. I lived in Mansfield Woodhouse at the time. I would love to hear from anybody from that time.

    By John Pinnick (21/08/2022)
  • Reply to Sam Jennings re the bungalow.
    It was still standing circa late 80’s although abandoned and heavily vandalized with most of the roof tiles missing etc. It was demolished at some point in the 90’s probably due to deteriorating condition.
    I don’t know why it was abandoned but whoever owned it is probably regretting the demolition given the price of rural properties today.

    By Steve (09/04/2022)
  • I lived in Pleasley Vale when I was a child. I lived in ‘The Bungalow’ that was in between Bernard Greenhalgh & Sykes farm (behind the cricket ground).
    My father Harry Jennings worked as a driver for the Mills & my mother, Mary Jennings & sister also Mary, used to work in the Mills. I remember Phil & Anne Yates & their daughter Debbie who lived on top row & also ran the club/bar, & also Nora & Bob who lived next door to the Yates. George Holmes I also remember very well as when my mother & father split up he was my mum’s boyfriend for a while.
    Can anyone tell me why The Bungalow was knocked down /demolished as I can not find any information on this? It was the only home to be knocked down, although I do remember it being haunted & being surrounded by woods and fields. The farmer’s lane ran up the side of it & there was an old railway track behind the bungalow too.
    I love the Vale it is my go to place when feeling low

    By Sam Jennings (10/07/2020)
  • Hi,
    I am interested in finding out more about an address in the vale namely, ‘The Den’.
    My grandfather Joseph Quinlan lived there at the time of his death 4th Dec 1969.

    By Ed Coulstock (18/02/2020)
  • Comment added on behalf of Denise the contributor below. –

    My name was formerly Denise Watson. I was brought up in Mansfield Woodhouse and went to what was then The Manor Technical Grammar School. I have just found out that I have missed the 60th anniversary reunion, which I am really upset about. One of my best friends was Pauline Greenhalgh whose father was Bernard Greenhalgh, Pleasley Mills manager, who was mentioned in a post by Sian Greenhalgh his granddaughter.

    I was so surprised and excited to see the name Sian Greenhalgh appear on this site and to read her story of her retracing her footsteps in the vale. I too have been doing just that. I have been living in Pleasley for 5 years now. I left the Mansfield area in 1976 when I joined the Women’s Royal Air Force. Having travelled extensively around the UK and abroad I only returned to the area in 2014. I have great memories of our friendship and going to Pauline’s house with Lynn Kennedy, my other best friend at the the time. Sadly after the 1980’s we lost touch. It would be wonderful if Sian or others could reconnect us. The three of us used to belong to a youth group called SAG (Social Action Group) and we used to walk from Mansfield Woodhouse through the vale to Hardwick Hall. The were very happy and carefree days for me.

    By Editors (05/11/2019)
  • The film, Mills, Machines and Memories was made by Mansfield Museum and can been seen on YouTube –

    By Liz Weston (16/04/2019)
  • I remember you Ian Kennedy. I had to scratch the old memory box but I think we called you Cap ? I never had a job that I liked as much as the one in the Mills although at the time it did not appear so. The people were fantastic the atmosphere was great and we all worked hard and respected the managers . I suggest that you look up the film that Mansfield Library made last year about people who worked in the local mills. I am in it and so is George Wright’s son

    By Stewart Jones (11/04/2019)
  • I also worked at Pleasley mills from the 60s until redundancy in 1981. I remember Bernard Greenhalgh well. He arrived from Lancashire in the late 60s as No.1 Mill manager, and finished up as general manager of all three mills. I gained my first supervisor’s job under him and have fond memories of my time there, in fact I would probably have retired from there if it wasn’t for redundancy!
    I also remember Jack and Stewart Jones very well. (Hope you’re well Stewart).

    By Ian Kennedy (15/11/2018)
  • Ralph Stone is doing a book signing and presentation of the book at The Nags Head, Pleasley on Saturday 28 June between 2pm and 5pm

    By John Allcock (25/06/2014)
  • Just purchased the book ‘Pleasley – A Study in Time’ by Ralph Stone from café in Pleasley Vale Nursery. Very interesting to read article re Stuffynwood Hall as I lived there from the age of two to sixteen years. Yes very beautifull pleace to live and have very fond memories of the vale. Can remember having taxi to school in my latter years (Fanshaws of Shirebrook). What a shame the Hall wasn’t looked after my father Richard (Dick) Scales sold it early 70’s. Helen

    By Helen Fell ( nee Scales) (20/06/2014)
  • Sian Greenhalgh I knew your Grandad in fact he set me on. I was a Supervisor in No.1 and No.2 Mill whilst your Grandad was Manager. I had time for him, He knew his job but was a crafty devil management wise. My dad was also a Manager at Pleasley Vale Jack Jones was his name and I followed in his footsteps. I have lots of fond memories of life in the Mills which is where I met my wife. I am certain if I look I have several photos of the people who worked there Regards Stewart Jones

    By Stewart Jones (16/01/2014)
  • Pleasley Vale and its mills have always been an interesting sight to see,redolent of industry and power,and as you walk through there now,it is nice to see the vale busy again and the buildings being used.On a recent walk however I was quite surprised to see £500.000 plus properties built on the site of the former Vale house.The stone steps down from Pleasley Park will bring you out here to where the lodge houses are,you then can join the footpath beside the engineering work’s or go through the vale.I well remember the mill buildings standing silent in 1987 on their closure,the silnce in the vale where was once frenetic activity,the frames being hauled out to be sent abroad to more forward thinking economies than our own.

    By John. (05/10/2013)
  • I lived in Pleasley Vale at Gardeners Lodge, with my parents and 6 siblings. I worked in Mill 2 and my mum cleaned the offices and dad was driver for the directors and co. We had a lovely life there playing in the dam and the river, walking through to the Viyella Social Club where we did old time dance,  on a Sunday watching them play cricket, life then was great. I met my husband there. sadly both my parents have passed away but I still go to the vale.

    By june holmes (24/09/2013)
  • I went to work in No 3 mill after l left the Co-op dairy in late 1973, I worked in the card room, you had large rolls of raw cotton that were called lapps, they were fed into the card machine that combed the seeds out and the clean pure cotton fed into something called a doff bin, when full it went to another department for spinning. It was busy work and good pay but it was very dusty and l decided after 6 months it wasn’t for me. I saw the mills many years later after they closed and it looked very depressing, I’m glad to hear they have improved these historic buildings. l hope one day to go back and take a look, the area sure was beautiful on a summers day.

    By Paul Robinson (13/09/2013)
  • P.S Iam also interested in the history of the mills at the time my Grandfather worked there ( Bernard Greenhalgh) and also beyond. Anyone with any info, please add your comments.

    By Sian Greenhalgh (09/09/2013)
  • Very fond childhood memories of Pleasley Vale, where I stayed at my grandparents house at Meden Bank, not far from St. Chads church. My Grandfather Bernard Greenhalgh was mill manager of Pleasley Mill. Revisited Pleasley today, where we retraced our family walks, near the house and surrounding area. Still is a very, beautiful and picturesque place. Brought back a lot of fond memories that I will always treasure 🙂

    By Sian Greenhalgh (08/09/2013)
  • During WWII my father was a sergeant in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps stationed at Pleasley Vale, where some property owned by the mill company had been requisitioned by the army as storage for military equipment. During the summer holidays of 1943 and 1944 my sister and I came to stay in the Vale as guests of a family called Yeomans, who lived in a terrace of houses not far from the mills. The Yeomans’ had a son called Russell, a similar age to myself, and some time later he came to stay with us at our home in Manchester, and I was able to introduce him to cricket at Old Trafford. I have often wondered what Pleasley Vale is like now, and whether any of the Yeomans family are still in the area. I would love to make contact with anyone who can supply any background to all this!

    By Alan Howarth (05/08/2013)
  • I used to work in the mills from 1976 till they shut down and I have really fond memories. I loved it….so sad now when I take a walk down there with the dogs, I made so many friends there I often think about them.

    By janet crowder (13/06/2013)
  • When leaving school in 1948, my sister worked at the Pleasley Mills, so I joined her by starting work in the number 1 Mill….Special buses were laid on to collect the workers from Mansfield and take them to the mills..We used to catch the bus at the bottom of Quaker Lane, which was a single decker, I think it was 7. 0-clock each morning….I was placed in the Cotton Spinning room which had rows of machines called Mules….These machines went backwards and forwards along long aisles spinning the raw cotton onto bobbins as they went in and out….They made one hell of a noise as they spun their merry socks off…Everyone had to get close to each other and shout to be heard…I also played cricket for the Pleasley Vale Mills cricket team at 15…I left after 3 months after deciding it wasn’t for me…

    By alan curtis (13/06/2013)
  • You can walk through, and with a pass or info about a relevant business, you could possibly get through via the tannoy. I remember Pleasley Vale well, in sunshine and shade, and have had some tremendous adventures and fun times down there. Glad to see the former mill buildings back in use. Surprised to see how vale house had been rebuilt, this occupies a prominent site and was possibly too far gone to be renovated. The caves behind contained prehistoric remains at some point I once read it had a tennis court at the rear too.

    By John. (23/02/2013)
  • I am now 42 years old and have lived on the nearby estate of Bull Farm not far from Pleasley Vale, as a child we had many great days down the vale, building swings across the river, fishing in the river, even swimming in the nearby stone quarry when it was flooded. The mills were not in use then and did look a real eyesore, but now that the business park is open it looks a lot better, I just find it a shame that you cannot drive through from woodhouse to pleasley and enjoy the scenery and reminise what it was like when I was younger. (now there are barriers at each end of the vale) is there a reason for this and can you walk through?

    By adrian caunt (13/03/2011)

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