Markham name should command local respect

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We are fortunate in Stanfree to be blessed by the fortnightly visit of a mobile library.

The reliable service and friendly smiles of Roy and Ruth – the driver and assistant – are always worth waiting for.

Their experience and local knowledge is second to none, and they help us in our quest to gain insight and wisdom.

Recently, I borrowed a copy of an excellent book by local author, Anthony J. Hallam, on the History of the Family Markham (1823-2003).

What an insight you get into the dynasty of highly motivated industrialists.

Charles Markham Snr married Rosa, the daughter of the famous architect, Joseph Paxton, who designed the mid-19th century Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. They went on to raise five children in Tapton House, after the death of George Stephenson.

It was their eldest son, Charles Paxton Markham, who went on to give Chesterfield and the surrounding area the fame and fortune it gained throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

The names Markham Vale and Markham Road are bold reminders of the vision and drive this family had for this area.

Most of the Markham family are buried in a private plot on the southern side of Tapton Golf Course, but the eccentric Charles Paxton Markham was buried at the highest point in Staveley Cemetery.

I recently visited Charles’ grave and was appalled to see the surrounding marble edges were damaged and out of line.

Surely, this man who gave so much to the town of his birth deserves to be remembered more reverently than that?

Geoff A. Evans

Stanfree