Shirebrook shown within Derbyshire
Population 13,300 (civil parish)[1]
OS grid referenceSK522678
Shire countyDerbyshire
RegionEast Midlands
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode district NG20
Dialling code 01623 (74)
Police Derbyshire
Fire Derbyshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK ParliamentBolsover
List of places

Coordinates: 53°12′17″N 1°13′11″W / 53.2048°N 1.2197°W / 53.2048; -1.2197

Shirebrook is a town in the Bolsover district of north-east Derbyshire on the border with Nottinghamshire, England.[2] it had a population of 13,300 in 2011, reducing to 9,760 at the 2011 Census.[3] It is on the B6407, and close to the A632 road, between Mansfield and Bolsover. The town has been coined 'Little Poland' by the town's residents.[4]

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

Area Summary Shirebrook and Pleasley division in the east of Bolsover covers the parishes of Shirebrook and Pleasley. The towns of the same name make up most of the urban nature of the division, split by the more semi-rural area in the centre. In 2012, Shirebrook and Pleasley had a population of 13,300 and a population density almost three times that of Derbyshire as a whole. Whilst the area has a younger age profile than the county as a whole, with a higher proportion of people aged 16–24 years, it has a higher than average percentage of lone pensioner households. The division is the most deprived areas of the county, with higher than average levels of child poverty and children eligible for free school meals. The division's unemployment rate has halved in the past year, but it continues to have a higher rate of out-of-work benefit claimants and a lower proportion of economically active residents than elsewhere in the county. Educational attainment levels in the area are low. Although attainment at GCSE level is slightly above the county average, attainment at foundation stage is amongst the lowest in the county and there is a significantly higher proportion of adults without qualifications. Absenteeism at both primary and secondary level is significantly higher than the county averages. Life expectancy in Shirebrook and Pleasley is low and a significantly higher than average proportion of people have their day-to-day activities limited by a health problem or disability. Mortality rates are considerably higher than average, with early deaths from cancer being particularly prevalent. However, the area performs better than Derbyshire overall on the rate of alcohol related hospital admissions for all ages.

The Great Northern former-pub, once a frequent social point in Shirebrook


Sports Direct complex in 2007

Shirebrook Colliery operated in the town until April 1993. It had previously been linked underground to nearby Pleasley Colliery.[5] The workforce was roughly evenly divided during the strike of 1984–5, which led to deep community divisions between strikers and workers, and briefly earned the nickname "the Belfast of England".[6]

In addition to two ongoing fabrication-engineering businesses at nearby Langwith, Shirebrook has a large furniture retailer and the large manufacturing and distribution warehouse base of Sports Direct with 3,000 workers built on the reclaimed Shirebrook colliery site.[7][8]

Sports Direct employs large numbers of Eastern-european immigrants, which has caused ongoing concerns for locals feeling intimidated by gatherings in the town square and other open public places, involving drinking and other anti-social behaviour.[9][10] 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 retrictions in public spaces.[11][12]

Many workers are indirectly-employed by agencies using zero-hour contracts,[13] which has attracted media attention for their labour practices and has been referred to as a "gulag".[14] 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.[15][16] Ashley responded in March 2016 by publicly refusing the summons, further declaring the MPs to be "a joke".[17][18]

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 time-frame of three-months or greater may be required.[19]


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

Shirebrook also has many primary schools and nurseries such as:


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 Mansfield as one of the largest towns in the UK without a station, but the line remained opened 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 for the new Robin Hood Line services from Nottingham to Worksop. 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[20] (later part of the Great Central Railway and subsequently the LNER) 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


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. OS Explorer Map 270: Sherwood Forest: (1:25 000):ISBN 0 319 24040 1
  3. "Town population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  4. "The neglected mining town that has turned into Little Poland". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  5. Northern Mine Research Society, the Nottinghamshire Coalfield
  6. MacIntyre, Donald (16 June 2014). "How the miners' strike of 1984–85 changed Britain for ever". New Statesman. UK. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  7. Shirebrook eyesore to be site for industrial development Chad, local newspaper, 19 April 2002. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  8. Sports Direct Distribution Centre, Shirebrook, Notts March 2015, Retrieved 19 March 2016
  9. Clash of cultures blamed for street drinking problem in Shirebrook Chad, local newspaper, 2 June 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  10. Couple linked to Sports Direct in court again on modern-day slavery charges Chad, local newspaper, 11 January 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  11. New police powers promised to tackle antisocial behaviour in Shirebrook Chad, local newspaper, 18 June 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2016
  12. 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
  13. 'Dickensian' protest against zero-hour contracts at Sports Direct BBC News 9 September 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  14. 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.
  15. Sports Direct boss pledges all employees to be on above minimum wage Chad, local newspaper, 31 December 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  16. Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley threatened with 'contempt of parliament' Chad, local newspaper, 9 March 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2016
  17. Sports Direct boss labels MPs “a joke” and refuses summons Chad, local newspaper, 22 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016
  18. Mike Ashley snubs 'joke' MPs' inquiry into working practices Telegraph, 21 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016
  19. Nine promises Mike Ashley has made to workers at Sports Direct Chad, local newspaper, 8 June 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016
  20. Cupit,T., Taylor, W., (1984 2nd.Ed.) The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway, Trowbridge: The Oakwood Press
  21. "John Hurt – Famous Derbyshire People". 23 April 2012.
  22. "Jason Statham – Biography, Photos, News, Videos, Movie Reviews".
  23. Colin Tarrant biography at IMDb

External links

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