After Oakwell Farm, next came the newly opened Belper Street.
Plots for building were still being offered for sale, but buyers did not come along very quickly.
Belper Street was one of the first streets made by the new Local Board in 1867.
Under the Local Government Act, the Local Board had the power to order that roads in its district should be properly sewered, levelled, paved, etc. — these improvements to be undertaken and paid for by the owners of property on those roads. If the owners refused to comply with this order the Board could execute the work itself and charge the cost to the property owners, according to their frontages.
Solomon Robinson built a house here….
Both the 1871 and 1881 censuses show Cossall-born lacemaker Solomon Robinson living in Belper Street with his family.
‘Genial and kind, always the same happy face’ (Philip Straw 1893)
His wife was born Ann Rigley, the daughter of collier Samuel and Hannah (nee Chambers) and she married Solomon in 1850.
By the last decade of the century they were at 4 West Terrace off North Street where they both died, Ann in 1892 and Solomon in 1910.
Joseph Cope the Carrier
…. and Cope the carrier built another on the west side, but otherwise the road had not attracted building on it.
The Cope family were carriers since 1862.
The 1870 Harrod & Co. Directory informs us that Joseph Cope goes to Nottingham every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and he leaves Ilkeston for Belper every alternate Monday, calling at Heanor, Smalley and Kilborne. He leaves the King’s Head, Belper, stopping at Kilborne, Smalley and Heanor on his return.
Carrier Joseph spent the earlier part of his life living in the Hunger Hill area of Nottingham Road and it was while there in 1867 that he came into conflict with the Local Board.
He owned land and premises adjoining the ‘new’ streets of Belper Street and Union Street (sic), and so was required to ‘sewer, level, pave, flag and channel’ those parts of the streets which adjoined his property to the standard required by the Board.
Joseph pleaded poverty … a lack of income coupled with a wife and six small children to support. The Local Board therefore carried out the work and sent Joseph a bill for £23 15s 3d which he was ordered to pay. The carrier still refused to pay — he could not see why the work had been done in the first place as there was not the slightest need for it. He would not pay a penny and the Board could take what proceedings it liked. So there!!
Thus Joseph became the first person in Ilkeston to be prosecuted by the Local Board for non-payment.
At the petty sessions he was described as ‘a man of considerable means’ but when the judgement went against him and he was ordered to pay for the work, he asked for three months grace. The court suggested that he should approach John Wombell, clerk to the Board, who was in a position to assess his request.
Perhaps it was too much to beg before the Board and Joseph paid the full amount almost immediately.
Almost ten years later Joseph and the Board were in conflict again.
The carrier was refusing to remove a wall, post and railings in front of his house in Union Street and which were causing an obstruction. At Ilkeston Petty Sessions he was fined 40s, an amount which would be remitted if the obstruction were removed.
Some years later Mr. James Butt built for himself a house in Union Street.
We shall meet James Butt and his family as we move back into South Street. (See Burgin’s Yard and Row).
The Miner’s Arms
Belper Street and Union Street were declared public highways in June 1869.
At the corner of Belper Street and Derby Road was the Miner’s (or Collier’s) Arms beerhouse with James Aram as the landlord in 1871 – he had been there since the late 1850’s. This was 9 Derby Road.
In 1879 the landlord was Joseph Childs who was also owner of a fine, young and obedient boar pig.
Joseph was so confident that his pet was well-trained as to place a wager that the animal would follow him from his Derby Road home, along South Street and into the Market Place. Thus, dressed in black velvet breeches and swallow-tailed coat, yellow waistcoat, white stockings, and carrying a piece of bread in his hand, the landlord set off from the Miner’s Arms, followed by his faithful pig.
Despite several pauses the wager was won, the scene causing much amusement to a large crowd of spectators.
And on the other corner of Belper Street and Derby Road, opposite the Miner’s Arms, was the Three Horse Shoes.