In the 1930’s Adeline Wells wrote a series of letters to the Ilkeston Advertiser, describing her life in Ilkeston in the 1850’s. The content of these letters has formed the basis of this site, which also includes a collection of sketches, anecdotes and data relating to some of the people who lived in Ilkeston from the 1840’s to the 1880’s, about the places they inhabited and about events in their daily lives. Also included is a lot of genealogical detail about these people in the hope that it may be of use and interest to others.
I have before me a picture of St. Mary’s Church on a summer’s evening, with the parishioners wending their way to church, painted in 1856. It is the more interesting because the figures represent well-known townspeople of that day. A local lady to whom the picture once belonged knew whom the figures represented. Unfortunately she never committed a list to paper and as she paid the debt to nature many years ago, it is not likely now that they will ever be known. In the apparel of these old Ilkestonians tall hats, poke bonnets, crinolines and parasols are prominent. Several of the boys are sporting ‘toppers’. Raising the hat was a custom in 1856, as at least two of the figures are showing this courtesy.
The Market Place at the Church gates was unbroken by any road or pavement, and on the left is shown a portion of the old building, removed many years ago, and known as the Butter Market. (by The Rambler, Ilkeston Pioneer, Dec 30th 1932)
Your contributions, comments on the content, suggestions, requests what to include in the site or how to improve it …are all very welcome.
If you have any questions about your own Ilkeston research and you think that I or others may be able to help, please put them forward.
You can contact me either via ‘Your Comments’ on the site (click on ‘Have a question? Make a comment?’ and scroll to the bottom)
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now are you ready to start the journey?
Before you do, you may be interested in a recent project by Fred Pringle (see ‘Your comments’)