History – 1911 Census
In 1911 Andrew Chamberlain and his wife Nora lived at 16 Ratcliffe gate Mansfield, they had four children Robert (16), Gerty (11), Ida (8) and Beaty [sic] (6). Andrews occupation was a Shopkeeping Traveller.
Many years later, I used to deliver newspapers as a lad for Chamberlain News, the little newspaper shop that is to left side of the Brown Cow on Ratcliffe Gate, also known as the birthplace of Robert Dodsley the poet. The paper shop known as Chamberlains News was run by the Chamberlain sisters Ida and Gert. They were very old ladies and liked you to be on time every day.
I had a morning and Evening Post round for the sisters. I think they were related to the Chamberlains of Rock Hill (see page Rock House Families). They always gave a nice tip at Christmas and usually some chocolate bars. I can still remember their faces.
The room where they lived in the shop always had a great coal fire roaring in the back and in the winter it was lovely and warm in the shop when you went inside from the icy cold weather after delivering the papers. One of the sisters was usually toasting bread in the open fire.
Ida and Gerts sister Beatrice (Beaty) had a post office in Woodhouse.
Bob was brother to the Chamberlain sisters and continued to deliver papers for many, many more years on his bike until his early 80’s, that’s what I was told by his grandson a few years back.
Bobs grandson also told me that after the sisters had passed away, he had the job of clearing out the shop and he discovered a rent book and which showed how Ida and Gert had managed to only pay Mansfield brewery £1 per month rent !!!! They had somehow slipped though the net. No wonder Gert always had a crafty grin on her face.
The old shop is now part of the pub and I have since been back and had a pint in the room to just sit and quietly remember how I lugged that great big bag of news papers out every morning and evening to earn just £3.00 a week back in 1981, about the cost of a pint these days.