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Ellafella

The Old Bell & William Morley

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In his brilliantly interesting book, "The Men who made the Rams", author and Derby County fan Peter Seddon writes "Initially named Derbyshire County Football Club, the birth was announced in the press on 7th May 1884 – so ‘The Rams’ have bullish Taurus character. But to avoid confusion with the Derbyshire County Football Association, the name was quickly modified. On 13th May 1884 the lively infant ‘Derby County’ was officially christened – the scene of this auspicious occasion was a meeting at the ancient Bell Hotel in Sadler Gate. Given that this iconic hostelry has recently re-opened after major refurbishment, a commemorative adornment might well be appropriate.[my emphasis] After all, Derby County has touched so many lives – what better place than the cradle of its existence to raise a glass in tribute?" 

Attending the Fans' Forum last week, I was expecting to see some kind of permanent marker to this historical association. The Bell Hotel though, despite being a fascinating and wonderful venue shrouded in historical character seems to have no outward sign of its place in the birth of our great Club; No plaque with the name William Morley and no rampant ram. 

What do we as fans think of this? Surely, this is something that we should all work to rectify, perhaps with the Club's help? Maybe, we could have a poll? Should we erect a plaque to Mr Morley and mark the Bell Hotel as a site of profound historic significance in the history of Derby County? Your thoughts, please?

{William Morley, Founding Father of Derby County, is the chap on the extreme left, back row, in the bowler hat}. 

i3idlg.jpg

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5 minutes ago, reveldevil said:

The Bells a commercial establishment, if they wish to put a plaque up that's there business, leave them to it.

As long as it doesn't prevent them doing 2 cans of Red Stripe for £2, I'm all forrit.*

 

 

 

 

*20 years since I've been in, maybe the specials have changed since.

 

I believe if you ask the bar staff nicely, they'll wring the beer towels off the bar into a half-pint glass for you for a quid. :mellow:*

 

 

 

 

* Monday nights only, after 10:30pm 

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55 minutes ago, Ellafella said:

In his brilliantly interesting book, "The Men who made the Rams", author and Derby County fan Peter Seddon writes "Initially named Derbyshire County Football Club, the birth was announced in the press on 7th May 1884 – so ‘The Rams’ have bullish Taurus character. But to avoid confusion with the Derbyshire County Football Association, the name was quickly modified. On 13th May 1884 the lively infant ‘Derby County’ was officially christened – the scene of this auspicious occasion was a meeting at the ancient Bell Hotel in Sadler Gate. Given that this iconic hostelry has recently re-opened after major refurbishment, a commemorative adornment might well be appropriate.[my emphasis] After all, Derby County has touched so many lives – what better place than the cradle of its existence to raise a glass in tribute?" 

Attending the Fans' Forum last week, I was expecting to see some kind of permanent marker to this historical association. The Bell Hotel though, despite being a fascinating and wonderful venue shrouded in historical character seems to have no outward sign of its place in the birth of our great Club; No plaque with the name William Morley and no rampant ram. 

What do we as fans think of this? Surely, this is something that we should all work to rectify, perhaps with the Club's help? Maybe, we could have a poll? Should we erect a plaque to Mr Morley and mark the Bell Hotel as a site of profound historic significance in the history of Derby County? Your thoughts, please?

{William Morley, Founding Father of Derby County, is the chap on the extreme left, back row, in the bowler hat}. 

i3idlg.jpg

An early example of photobombing as well.....

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1 minute ago, ilkleyram said:

An early example of photobombing as well.....

Indeed, we don't know who that is/was, though we know the identity of all the others*, including the goalscorer of Derby County's first home league goal - arise Henry Plackett (front row, second from right). His brother, Lol, (extreme right, front row) scored 2 goals in Derby's first ever league game, away to Bolton Wanderers. Both Placketts subsequently defected to join the Red Dogs. 

* thanks to Peter Seddon's book. 

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2 minutes ago, uttoxram75 said:

Statue of William Morley somewhere outside the Bell in Sadlergate or at the very least a plaque on the wall or set into the street.

And a Derby Day with free beer (if Mel's reading):D

on 13th May at the Bell Hotel. 

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10 hours ago, Ellafella said:

It's been there since 1650 Angry and has recently had a major refurb and is one of the most prestigious inns outside of London. Sells a fine range of real ales...

You know somewhere's expensive when they give the Camra members 40p discount a pint.

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10 hours ago, Ellafella said:

It's been there since 1650 Angry and has recently had a major refurb and is one of the most prestigious inns outside of London. Sells a fine range of real ales...

It's 50 years since I worked in the local history library in the Wardwick but I recall that the date on the drainpipe at the top said 1611 though there was always debate whether it said 1677. Looked more like the latter to me. Wonder if it's still there. Also of interest is the fact that the black and white half timbered cladding is fake and not original. It was put on in the 1930s. There are (or were) lots of photos of the plain brick pub in the 1920s and earlier. 

I remeber the pub well from my mod days in the 60s  it was one of the pubs where we met up, the others were the Seven Stars and the Dolphin  

 

 

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i remember us getting chucked out of there in the early nineties because i was mucking about and tried to lift up my mate above me head. another mate then decided to have a go at the bouncers.....bad idea :-) 

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Derby County's election to the founding members of the football League caused a bit of a kerfuffle especially amongst other Clubs in Derby who had a greater claim - Derby Midland formed in 1881, Junction Street 1870 and St Luke's (1870)  and even in Nottingham where certain teams had been around for longer. Peter Seddon's research turned up the likely reasons for Derby County being favoured...

" Not least was that their County Ground home boasted facilities far better than virtually every rival enclosure - apart from a proven capacity for healthy gates, most visiting clubs admired 'its splendid level playing service on some of the finest turf in England.' Secondly - and this cannot be overstated - the Midland Railway Station - lay right in  the centre of England at the heart of the established and still growing transport network making Derby easily accessible for visiting teams and supporters ...". In contrast Sunderland was not among the original 12 being considered geographically remote. "Thirdly - ...the Derby Committee was composed of thoroughly affable men whose hospitality knew no bounds. The post match dinners at the ...Bell Hotel had garnered quite a reputation among visiting sides. Collectively, these fringe factors rendered a trip to Derby one that other clubs eagerly anticipated. Derby County were a club of the right calibre, run by men of the right sort. Perfect candidates to be "in". " (The Men who made the Rams, Peter Seddon, 2013, p50).

So the Old Bell Hotel was a factor for Derby having the right "qualifications" for membership of the Founding Clubs of the Football League. I think that fact ought to make it a special place in Derby County's history and for it to be officially marked. 

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