Next to the ‘Pioneer’ office was Mr. George Small’s seed and vegetable shop.
This and the adjoining Pioneer offices were later to become the Borough Arms Inn.
This shop had two small windows, one in Bath Street the other, (a small bow window) in East Street.
The door was on the corner.
Mr. Small also had the nursery gardens in the Lawn.
He had three sons. Lambert was with his father, Thomas at Mr. Carrier’s, and George was also in the gardens. Martha was at home, Nelly was in attendance at the shop.
Born at Shepshed, Leicestershire in 1805 George Small was the son of Lambert, gardener, and Elizabeth (nee Draper) who came to live in Ilkeston where George married Frances Lane, daughter of Cotmanhay butcher Thomas and Hannah (nee Shelton) on November 29th 1825.
Both Small parents died in 1834, leaving son George in control of the business….Small & Son of the Lawn Cottage Nurseries in Ilkeston, and others at West Hallam.
George had taken over the premises on the corner of East Street and Bath Street from butcher William Fritchley in 1843 and quickly converted them to sell his seeds, flowers and vegetables. His shop — a colour-washed structure with a roof of thatch — had one small bay window facing East Street, the other on Bath Street, and between them a corner door.
In November 1866 George’s son William — who was then landlord of the Bull’s Head Inn at Little Hallam — took over this shop to trade as a butcher.
In early 1867 the firm of George Small & Son finally moved its seed shop from the East Street premises to the warehouse at the Lawn Cottage Nurseries in Pimlico.
Fanny Small died at Lawn Cottage on May 31st 1877, and husband George just two days later, on Saturday, June 2nd 1877, aged 70 and 71 respectively.
George had been unwell for some time, suffering from a rheumatic complaint, and had not been able to walk for a year or two, such that his death was not wholly unexpected.
The following Tuesday afternoon saw their polished oak coffins — made by William Warner — carried together along Pimlico to the parish church to be buried in the churchyard extension.
“Muffled peals were rung on the church bells during Sunday and after the ceremony”.
The Nottinghamshire Guardian thought that there had been no previous instance of husband and wife being interred at Ilkeston at the same time within the memory of any resident.
The Broken Heart Syndrome
George and Fanny had been together as husband and wife for over half a century.
In a newspaper article (Guardian, January 9th 2015) Dean Burnett suggested that there may be a scientific explanation why some elderly couples, who have been together for decades, die within a few days of each other .. the ‘broken heart syndrome’.
The mental anguish and grief caused by losing a loved one can create stress which can then lead to numerous physical ailments, so serious that they may affect the heart. But even without direct heart damage an aged, frail and rundown body cannot cope with the shock of losing a long-term partner .. with fatal consequences.
In March 1878 their son Thomas Henry of Kilburn Colliery offered the gift of a richly-stained Eastern window to the Parish Church at Kirk Hallam in memory of his parents. The estimated cost was £700.
The New Inn.
In November of 1878, part of the estate of George Small senior was up for auction. This was the ‘well-accustomed and old-established’ New Inn beerhouse (occupied by Thomas Burnham), a butcher’s shop and adjoining dwelling house with frontages in Bath Street and East Street, occupied by William Small, and another adjoining grocer’s shop and dwelling house in East Street, occupied by Stephen Rose.
“Enquiries to Thomas Small of Kilburn or Joseph Small of Langley Mill”. (Joseph was at that time landlord of the Erewash Hotel at Langley Mill).
According to the Pioneer the premises were sold for a total of £2175.
In September 1884 the same copyhold properties were being offered at auction by the trustees of the estate.
Since November 1879 the New Inn had been occupied by Robert Bamford and was now described as having a tap room, bar, club-house, sitting room, kitchen, excellent cellars and three good bedrooms.
Also up for auction was an adjoining butcher’s shop occupied by William Small, and round the corner, at 1 East Street, a dwelling house and grocer’s shop, occupied by Mary Rose (nee Aldred), widow of Stephen and daughter of cordwainer Samuel and Lucy (nee Scattergood). The properties were sold at that time for the reserved price of £1500 to Joseph Small of the Harrow Inn, though not at the auction where they just failed to reach the reserve.
The Ilkeston Advertiser noted that 15 years earlier the same property had been offered for sale at auction but had been withdrawn at £2000.
In April 1887 these premises were owned by Messrs. Shipstone and Son, brewers of Basford, when a fire broke out in the thatched roof of widow Rose’s shop. The fire brigade arrived and eventually got control of the blaze but not before the roof was destroyed and the building rendered uninhabitable. Fortunately Mary’s personal goods were rescued from the cottage by willing neighbours.
As noted above, George’s property also housed the New Inn beerhouse in the early 1860’s — and kept by Arnold Harrison from 1863 until 1866.
For a time Ilkeston was blessed with two New Inn beerhouses and in 1885 both were represented at the Petty Sessions. William Trueman, keeper of the northern New Inn, was there unsuccessfully defending a charge that he had allowed gaming on his premises viz. he had played a couple of games of skittles for beer. Meanwhile George Scattergood, keeper of the southern New Inn, was more successful. He faced a charge of allowing his premises to be open after 11 o’clock at night but when he showed that he was entertaining only friends the case was dismissed.
In 1890 Ilkeston Borough Council received a letter from Adkin Toplis, then the landlord of the New Inn, seeking permission to allow him to change the name on the ‘Painted Sign’ on his beerhouse. Permission was granted and hence on the 1891 census we find Adkin now at the Borough Arms.
As for the ‘other’ New Inn ….
In July to August of 1874 James Bonsall applied to build a new stable at the rear of the New Inn.
In January 1875 Francis Orgill was landlord of the New Inn at 39 Bath Street.
In September 1875 his licence was renewed although he had been convicted of keeping the inn open during prohibited hours.
In September 1876 the Inn’s licence was transferred to collier Joseph Bonsall, son of James and Sarah of Bonsall Place. Joseph died there in September 1880, aged 40, whereupon the licence was transferred to his widow, Harriett.
George Small’s one-time assistant Thomas Horsley had married Hannah Hutchinson in 1828; she was the daughter of Joseph and Catherine (nee Beardsley).
Like his father, their only son Joseph was a renowned cricketer of the town – “I well remember the old man bowling slow underhands in cricket matches, and doubtless he it was who taught Joseph to be such an ‘artful dodger’ in the way of getting at an opponent’s weak spot”. (John Cartwright)
Having played for Ilkeston Rutland Cricket Club, by the 1866 season he was engaged professionally at Everton, Liverpool where in the first nine weeks he scored 64 runs and took six wickets per innings.
In the 1867 season Joseph was playing cricket for Leeds Clarence Club which had engaged him as a ‘professional’. In August of that year, batting at their Kirkstall ground against Boston Spa, he scored 173 runs in over six hours. When he went in the score was 59 for 1 and by the time he was out it had risen to 379 for 6. Boston Spa never got time to bat and the match was a draw.
In a match against local rivals Gledhow Club at the same venue a month later Joseph scored another ‘ton’ — 114 runs – almost without giving a chance. Not content with that, seven wickets fell to his credit in the first innings, three being bowled by Joseph.
A week later at the same ground and Joseph enjoyed his ‘benefit match’ played between the ‘Gentlemen’ and the ‘Players’ of Leeds District. But he didn’t enjoy it too much. He was out for a duck..
However, during that season, Joseph took a total of 104 wickets for 630 runs – an average of 6 runs per wicket.
In 22 innings he scored 716 runs, twice not out.
We have at last arrived at East Street.