Pear Tree, Derby
Pear Tree shown within Derbyshire
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Derby South|
Pear Tree is an inner city suburb of Derby, England. It is situated next to the areas of Normanton, Rose Hill and Osmaston. Pear Tree (sometimes spelled as Peartree) could be described as a suburb within a suburb because the people of Derby would identify it as an area in its own right, but it could also be described as forming part of the larger area of Normanton.
Consisting mainly of workers' terraced housing, and some 1950’s local authority housing, Pear Tree is typical of an Edwardian/Victorian inner city suburb which, when built at the end of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, would have been regarded as bordering the edge of the then Town of Derby. The area was formerly the land of Pear Tree Farm, which existed locally well into the twentieth century, and from which the name of the district was derived.
The housing stock would almost certainly have been built to house workers in Derby’s then growing manufacturing industries including Rolls-Royce, the railways, and the chemical industries. Until relatively recently the housing stock in the Pear Tree, Normanton and Rose Hill areas was looking rather shabby and neglected. However, thanks to a rather forward thinking programme endorsed and part financed by the local authority, investment has been going into the area and the majority of the mainly terraced housing has been renovated to a modern standard providing useful accommodation for Derby's younger owners and first time buyers. During the 1970s and 1980s there were plans to demolish a large part of the houses, and the properties and businesses suffered considerable blight and became run-down; eventually only a small section of shops and housing on Pear Tree Road adjacent to Stanhope Street and Corden Street was demolished, with minimal compensation and grounds, and families who had lived there for decades and longer were forced out of the area.
Like neighbouring Normanton, Pear Tree now has a thriving multicultural community, with a particularly high number of residents of Asian origin. It has a small railway station situated on the main line to Birmingham, although only a few services actually stop there.
Until recently, Pear Tree's most famous landmark was the Baseball Ground, home of Derby's professional football club, Derby County F.C., for most of the twentieth century. However, the stadium was demolished in 2004 having been largely unused since the club's departure to Pride Park some seven years earlier. The site is now being developed to provide private housing and some social with landscaped grounds and a memorial to the site's historic past.
Steve Bloomer was one of Derby County's most outstanding footballers. He was an English footballer and manager who played for Derby County F.C., Middlesbrough F.C. and England before the First World War. Bloomer remains a legend at Derby County and the club anthem, Steve Bloomer's Watchin', is played before every home game. Bloomer signed for Derby County in April 1892, scoring 4 goals in his first game. He became Derby's leading scorer for 14 seasons and won the first of his 23 England caps (28 goals) in 1895. Steve Bloomer was married and had 4 daughters, two of whom died young. The family lived at 35 Portland Street in the Pear Tree area of the city towards the end of his playing days.
Another famous resident and footballer was John (Jack) Bowers (1908-1970) who played for Derby County between 1928 and 1936 and during this time appeared three times for England. He then joined Leicester City but his career was interrupted by the Second World War. From 1943 he spent two years as coach to Notts County youth team and then returned to Derby County as assistant trainer. He lived on Pear Tree Road with his wife (born Edith Mason) where they kept a china shop. Where their home was is now a park. They had two children, John and Susan. The son, John, also played for Derby County and was on the unveiling committee when the clock from the Baseball Ground was installed in its new position at Pride Park in 2009. 
Note on spelling
The name of the district as recorded on Ordnance Survey maps is Pear Tree, although the alternative spelling Peartree is also common locally. An example of the "official" spelling in use is the Pear Tree Inn public house. The Peartree variant is used by the railway station, the police station and the National Health Service clinic; this is also nowadays the more commonly used name by local businesses. With regard to local street names, the two word version is officially in use (Pear Tree Road, Crescent, Street), but this is usually reflected in older (pre-Second World War) street signs, more modern signs usually using Peartree. In some instances, these have been placed directly opposite older Pear Tree signage.
- "Ordnance Survey Election Maps website". Ordnance Survey.
- "Derby County:Steve Bloomer - First World War memories". Bygonederbyshire. 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Bowers http://www.dcfc.co.uk/page/125News/0,,10270~1597537,00.html)