Having moved to Shirebrook from London, we were looking for a community spirit village to bring our children into the real world, with life experiences. We chose Shirebrook due to its local market centre, impressive Schools and facilities, and transport links.
It’s not the Emmerdale experience that some may expect, yet it is surrounded by beauty like Cresswell crags, Clumber park, Hardwick hall and so on. The town has a legacy reputation from the mining days when it was full of pubs and nightlife fun, but like most of the UK, this is no more. Our interaction with locals is mostly warming and welcoming, our children have settled in at the Academy which is a fantastic set-up, joined local clubs and have made a bunch of friends. They’re a load of local community events that are arranged and its really interesting to see so many people that know each other from old, but are more than happy to welcome new people to the fold. Mike Ashley has brought an interesting twist to the village, whilst there may be a lot of Europeans working at sports direct, my experience is that the ones that do live in the village, contribute and have brought positive culture and experience. The Mike Ashley facilities, like Gym and Shops are tucked away at the old mine, I think they are a positive and bring business into the village, whereas locals don’t seem to appreciate that, maybe because there was a promise of local jobs for local people, and maybe that’s not the case.
As it’s a historic mining village, and surrounded by villages and countryside which also used to be mines, there are many walks and bike tracks to make the most of. The village centre is tired but has planning to be re-developed, it used to have a bustling Friday market which has dwindled down to a little car boot.
There are a few community clubs and a miners welfare, not for me as the welfare is like walking back into 1990. That said, there are some good bars like the Soldiers which cater for the party people in their 20’s/30’s, has an amazing Indian and decent takeaways, and there’s the Devonshire arms, our favourite go-to bar and restaurant, perfect country pub decorated to a modern standard, keep an eye out for local history hidden in artwork.