After the three empty shops … then came Carrier’s factory yard.
The lace business of H. Carrier & Sons was, I believe, commenced by Henry Carrier in the late twenties or early thirties, but as I have no access to either deeds or records I cannot say which.
The Carrier family occupied premises and garden ground in this part of Bath Street in 1809, including a workshop housing frames at the bottom of the garden.
In 1857 H. Carrier & Sons added a wing to their old lace factory in Bath Street, built an engine house, equipped the whole factory with shafting and installed stocking frames in the new part.
Men and their families came from Basford and district to work the new frames. Their names were Anthony, Benniston, Kirk and Whites, and by degrees the old stockingers were taken into the factory. Many women and girls were employed in seaming the hose, for where it had only been possible to make a single stocking on the old frame, on the new ones dozens could be turned out. The price of stockings went down, as the output was up, and soon a very poor quality was on the market.
The old-time stocking was made with good material and workmanship, but the steam worked frames, in many instances failed to give a satisfactory article to the wearer.
This business has ceased to exist, and the premises are used by H. Carrier & Sons.
Speaking before the House of Commons Select Committee on Railway Bills in 1866, Joseph Carrier described the firm’s movement of its goods.
“All our lace and hosiery goes to Nottingham, and the business connected with that has to be transacted by going to Nottingham….My brother employs a great many people. We have a greater weight of stuff than Mr. Ball; we make three or four times the quantity that he does; ours is a heavy material – we send tons a week to Nottingham. We send our manufactured stuff to Nottingham by the carriers and by our own conveyances. By rail we send hosiery in the rough, and it is finished in Nottingham. We pay 6d per bag by the carrier; what it is by train I am not quite sure; it would be something like 1s by an ordinary passenger train. We send a very small portion by rail when the carrier is gone; we do not make a rule of sending it by rail on account of the circuitous route and the expense”.
In June 1877 the partnership of Henry Carrier, Frederick William Goddard and Thomas Cutler of Nottingham and Ilkeston, trading as ‘Henry Carrier & Sons’, was dissolved.
In 1896 the Mount Pleasant factory in Nottingham was 16 windows long, three stories in height in one part, though a fourth storey had been added over the majority of the building. It employed between 40 and 50 hands, mainly women, and acted as the firm’s warehouse and saleroom, the principal factory being at Ilkeston.
In May of that year fire broke out in the finishing room, spread over the rest of the premises and destroyed most of it and its stock. Damage was estimated at £8000 – £9000.
In 1939, the year of the Ilkeston factory’s closure, the Ilkeston Pioneer noted that 60 or 70 years before, the factory’s whistle would proclaim the time to a large number of the town’s residents. ….
“When there was a doubt as to the time it was not an unusual question – Has Carriers gone? – or to be told – There’s Carriers”.
The youngest of Henry and Elizabeth’s sons was Joseph Carrier, draper of Bath Street, whom we shall now meet.