Strange personal links from this visit..

Spencer went on to tell me more about the pottery work and the artist Joseph Wrights connection to the Coke family who lived in Brookhill Hall, a hall up the road from where I grew up in Pinxton. I knew this place as a small ex mining village in the 1980's during the miners strikes, full of social and urban decline and in the most part empty. Spencer showed me a grand painting by Joseph wright of the Coke family at Brookhill Hall. It seems Joseph Wright was a family friend of the Cokes. This same family has links to and owned Holkham Hall in Norfolk, where I live now. (not the hall!) One of the Cokes set up the ceramics factory in Pinxton.

As I child , I heard rumours about one of my uncles finding a dead body on the lane up to the hall, who after some family research happened to be the last surviving member of that branch of the Coke family.

From the conversation with Spencer, Winston Churchill's father and other dignitaries of the time visited the hall.

It was a strange day, as the Museum also has a room dedicated to Bonnie Prince Charlie ( Stuart, my family name) and the Jacobite uprising as Derby was as close to London as the uprising got.


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