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Shirebrook School - Playing Fields - - 1003026.jpg
Skyline of Shirebrook from Shirebrook School, Playing Fields.
Shirebrook is located in Derbyshire
Location within Derbyshire
Population13,300 (civil parish)[1]
OS grid referenceSK522678
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtNG20
Dialling code01623
AmbulanceEast Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
53°12′17″N 1°13′11″W / 53.2048°N 1.2197°W / 53.2048; -1.2197Coordinates: 53°12′17″N 1°13′11″W / 53.2048°N 1.2197°W / 53.2048; -1.2197
The Great Northern former-pub, once a frequent social point in Shirebrook, converted in 2016 to a dry homeless shelter for a maximum of 15 men as an outpost-mission by Lighthouse Homes, a church project originally based in Rotherham[2][3][4]

Shirebrook is a town in the Bolsover district in Derbyshire, England. Close to the boundaries with the districts of Mansfield and Bassetlaw of Nottinghamshire,[5] it had a population of 13,300 in 2001, reducing to 9,760 at the 2011 Census.[6] It is on the B6407, and close to the A632 road, between Mansfield and Bolsover.

The town is served by Shirebrook railway station, on the Robin Hood Line.



According to David Mills in a Dictionary of British Place-names,[7] the area was first named in records in 1202 written in Old English as Scirebroc. This can be interpreted as Boundary or Bright Brook.

Prior to the intense and swift development of the Colliery at the turn of the 20th century, Shirebrook, even as late as 1872 it was little more than a chapelry of the larger Pleasley. Wilsons' Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 [8] describes "SHIREBROOK, a chapelry in Pleaseley parish, Derby; 3¾ miles NNW of Mansfield r. station. It was constituted in 1849, and it has a post-office under Mansfield. Pop., 342. Houses, 70. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £90.* Patron, the Rector of Pleaseley. The church was built in 1843."

Shirebrook Colliery was sunk in 1896 - 1897 by the Shirebrook Coal and Iron company[9] on land owned by the Duke of Devonshire, Joseph Paget (Pleasley Mills partner and builder of Stuffynwood Hall) and The Nicholson and Fowler Farming families. Professor Arnold Lupton of Sheffield was the Mining Engineer. The sinking of two shafts(plus a pumping shaft) was based on independent surveys by Henry Hall and Matthew Fisher, Managers of working collieries. The nineteen feet (5.8m) wide shafts met the 'Top Hard' seam at 430 yards (484m)

By 1897, a 'model village' was already being built close to the colliery to house workers. The Derbyshire Times of 30 July 1897 reports "About half a mile away a model village is springing up, some 150 houses have already been erected and about 420 are to be built"

Former Shirebrook Colliery

Shirebrook Colliery operated in the town until April 1993. It had previously been linked underground to nearby Pleasley Colliery.[10] The workforce was roughly evenly divided during the strike of 1984–85, which led to deep community divisions between strikers and workers, and briefly earned the nickname "the Belfast of England".[11]

In addition to two ongoing fabrication-engineering businesses at nearby Langwith, Shirebrook has a large furniture retailer.


Private helicopter at Sports Direct

The 93-acre former Shirebrook Colliery site was reclaimed for development at a cost of £24million, funded by English Partnerships and administered by East Midlands Development Agency.[12]

Re-titled as Brook Park, half of the entire business park designated as Zone 1 was allocated to Sports Direct after a planning application to Bolsover District Council in 2004 for four giant warehouses totalling 111,000 square metres, with a training facility, helipad and a retail store.[12] [13][14]

Sports Direct complex in 2007

Sports Direct amongst its 3,000 workers employs large number of people who decided to migrate to Shirebrook from eastern states of European Union

The situation caused certain group of locals feel intimidated, reportedly by gatherings in the town square and other open public places, involving drinking and other anti-social behaviour.[15][16] Councillors and Derbyshire Police therefore introduced in late 2015 a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), upgraded from the previous Direct Public Policing Orders (DPPOs), banning consumption of alcohol with further restrictions in public spaces.[17][18]

  Majority of Sports Direct employees came from countries marked yellow

Many workers are indirectly-employed by agencies using zero-hour contracts,[19] which has attracted media attention for their labour practices and has been referred to as a "gulag".[20] Having declined to appear previously, billionaire owner Mike Ashley was summoned to appear at Parliament before June 2016 to answer questions from a select committee of MPs.[21][22] Ashley responded in March 2016 by publicly refusing the summons, further declaring the MPs to be "a joke".[23][24]

Ashley eventually appeared before Parliament on 7 June 2016. Outstanding areas of concern were mentioned, including zero-hour contracts, lower than minimum-wage payments, workers' body searches, intrusive control of workers' personal habits, lateness penalties and sexual harassment. Ashley gave an undertaking to investigate and make changes, but suggested a timeframe of three months or greater may be required.[25]

Ashley was further criticised in 2017 by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for breaking his word by failing to enforce the withdrawal of widespread zero-hour contracts that he had agreed to in 2016. Corbyn's request for the UK Prime Minister to condemn Ashley's failure to end the practice was reported in the press as being "sidestepped" by Theresa May.[26]

A Polish couple who supplied workers to Sports Direct were accused of modern-day slavery in 2016.[27] They absconded before their scheduled trial appearance at Nottingham Crown Court in July 2017 and were believed by Police to be in Canada, despite having their Polish passports seized.[28]

In December 2017, the government through their Minister for Faith and Communities, Lord Bourne, announced a £1.26 million aid-package from the Controlling Migration Fund, after a bid from local networking groups Bolsover Partnership and Shirebrook Forward NG20 due to the large influx of Eastern European workers.

The money is a two-year investment intended to improve access to public services, stage community events, improve the shopping and Market Square area and ease pressures on housing, schooling and health services resulting from recent migration.

The project named Building Resilience will see investment into seven core areas:[29]

  • Community resilience
  • Market Square Enlivenment
  • Migrant community access
  • Improve access and quality of private sector housing
  • Social Norms and UK Laws
  • Additional GP resources
  • Healthy Workforce Programme


The local secondary school Shirebrook Academy on Common Lane is for pupils aged 11–16.

Shirebrook also has many primary schools and nurseries such as:

  • Park Infant & Nursery Schools
  • Park Junior School
  • Stubbin Wood Special School
  • Brookfield Primary School
  • Model Village Primary School


Shirebrook once had three railway stations. The last remaining station was on the Midland Railway (later part of the LMS) route from Nottingham to Worksop via Mansfield, and was originally known as Shirebrook West, despite being on the eastern edge of the town. The route lost its passenger services in October 1964, leaving Shirebrook without a station, but the line remained open as a goods route. On the site of the goods yard a diesel locomotive fuelling depot was opened in the mid 1960s. The station was re-opened in 1998 as Shirebrook railway station for the new Robin Hood Line services from Nottingham to Worksop via Mansfield. A wagon repair and manufacturing business have a rail link with the main line.

Shirebrook North station (originally known as "Langwith Junction", until renamed in June 1924), was opened by the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway[30] (later part of the Great Central Railway and subsequently the London & North Eastern Railway) in March 1897 and closed in September 1955. By then only one of the four routes converging on it was left- that to Lincoln: the Great Northern Railway's "Leen Valley Extension" line to Pleasley and Sutton-in-Ashfield had closed in September 1931; the LD&ECR line to Beighton via Clowne in September 1939, and that to Chesterfield via Bolsover in December 1951, due to the unsafe condition of Bolsover Tunnel. The filling in of the tunnel began on 10 October 1966, and used waste from Bolsover Colliery. The mouth of the old tunnel can be found on the southern edge of Scarcliffe, emerging just south of Ridgdale Road, Bolsover.

Shirebrook South station was on the Great Northern Railway's "Leen Valley Extension" line mentioned above, opened in November 1901 and closed in September 1931.

Notable former residents[edit]


The town's football club Shirebrook Town play in the First Division of the Northern Counties East Football League, and are based at Langwith Road. Before the current club was formed, Shirebrook Miners Welfare F.C. was the senior team in the area, competing in the FA Cup on occasion.


  1. ^ "Neighbourhood Statistics". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  2. ^ Pub to be turned into a hostel for homeless men Derbyshire Times, 19 July 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2019
  3. ^ Lighthouse Homes - about us Retrieved 21 August 2019
  4. ^ Homelessness project is offering beacon of hope. Chad (local newspaper), 22 June 2016, pp.27-27. Accessed 18 December 2020
  5. ^ OS Explorer Map 270: Sherwood Forest: (1:25 000):ISBN 0 319 24040 1
  6. ^ "Town population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  7. ^ Mills, David (20 October 2011). Dictionary of British Place-names. ISBN 9780199609086.
  8. ^ "Wilsons Gazetteer 1870-72".
  9. ^ "Picture the past".
  10. ^ Northern Mine Research Society, the Nottinghamshire Coalfield
  11. ^ MacIntyre, Donald (16 June 2014). "How the miners' strike of 1984–85 changed Britain for ever". New Statesman. UK. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  12. ^ a b Chad Nottinghamshire local newspaper, 5 May 2004. Retrieved 30 November 2017
  13. ^ Shirebrook eyesore to be site for industrial development Chad, local newspaper, 19 April 2002. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  14. ^ Sports Direct Distribution Centre, Shirebrook, Notts March 2015, Retrieved 19 March 2016
  15. ^ Clash of cultures blamed for street drinking problem in Shirebrook Chad, local newspaper, 2 June 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  16. ^ Couple linked to Sports Direct in court again on modern-day slavery charges Chad, local newspaper, 11 January 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  17. ^ New police powers promised to tackle antisocial behaviour in Shirebrook Chad, local newspaper, 18 June 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2016
  18. ^ Public Spaces Protection Order in place in Shirebrook and Langwith Junction to tackle anti-social behaviour Derbyshire Police, 5 November 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2016
  19. ^ 'Dickensian' protest against zero-hour contracts at Sports Direct BBC News 9 September 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  20. ^ Goodley, Simon; Ashby, Jonathan (9 December 2015). "A day at 'the gulag': what it's like to work at Sports Direct's warehouse". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  21. ^ Sports Direct boss pledges all employees to be on above minimum wage Chad, local newspaper, 31 December 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  22. ^ Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley threatened with 'contempt of parliament' Chad, local newspaper, 9 March 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  23. ^ Sports Direct boss labels MPs “a joke” and refuses summons Chad, local newspaper, 22 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016
  24. ^ Mike Ashley snubs 'joke' MPs' inquiry into working practices Telegraph, 21 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016
  25. ^ Nine promises Mike Ashley has made to workers at Sports Direct Chad, local newspaper, 8 June 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016
  26. ^ Jeremy Corbyn attacks Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley over zero hour contracts ChronicleLive 6 September 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017
  27. ^ Couple linked to Sports Direct in court again on modern-day slavery charges Chad, Nottinghamshire local newspaper, 11 January 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2017
  28. ^ International arrest warrant sought for Notts trio who fled trial Chad, Nottinghamshire local newspaper, 2 August 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017
  29. ^ Minister for Faith Lord Bourne launches a £1.26 million government investment in Shirebrook, Bolsover District Council, 14 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017
  30. ^ Cupit,T., Taylor, W., (1984 2nd.Ed.) The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway, Trowbridge: The Oakwood Press
  31. ^ "John Hurt – Famous Derbyshire People". 23 April 2012.
  32. ^ "Jason Statham – Biography, Photos, News, Videos, Movie Reviews".

External links[edit]