The Riley Houses were on the northern side of the road, just after the Station Road corner with Bath Street.
George Riley, a machinist at Carrier’s, had a plot of land on the north side.
He built three or four houses.
George and his family lived in one.
The Riley brothers had an interest in a row of properties on the north side of New Street. Adeline is probably recalling the 1860’s when she remembers two houses being occupied by the Rileys, though in fact they made more use of the row than that…. as we shall see.
The Brothers Riley and the Cockayne Sisters
George and Samuel Riley were two sons of John, framework knitter and house proprietor, and Jane (nee Walker) and both married daughters of Joseph Cockayne and Ruth (nee Musson).
Both Riley brothers lived in these houses in Station Road throughout the 1860’s and beyond — and died there, Samuel in December 1876 and George in December 1885, his wife Charlotte having died there in the preceding year.
Sarah, first wife of Samuel, died there in 1862. His second wife, Esther, died in November 1878 at Shipley, the place of her birth.
In 1862 a new burial ground was added to the Churchyard at St. Mary’s from land donated by the Duke of Rutland.
It was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Lichfield on Thursday May 29th of that year and Samuel’s first wife, Sarah, who had died on May 31st, was the first person to be buried there.
The internment took place on June 2nd and “many hundreds of people assembled to witness it”.
The Pioneer welcomed the extension; “we have no doubt the new portion of the ground will in a short time be rendered a beautiful repository for all that is mortal of departed friends”.
It was far from a ‘beautiful repository’ to ‘An Aggrieved Churchman’ who wrote to the Pioneer in November 1875 and who described it as “more like a dung yard than a grave yard” – the dung being that of the 20 or 30 geese who felt at liberty to wander in the area. In the same paper ‘A Mourner’ had also spotted the geese as well as their companion ducks and a grazing horse in the burial ground.
“A dog is not even allowed in the Dissenters’ Cemetery on the Stanton-road, which is kept in a very tidy state: but in the sacred spot attached to the old Church animals of every description appear to be welcomed. “
And how is the extension viewed today? How many Ilkestonians know of its existence?
After the death of Samuel’s second wife Esther in 1878, the husband of Samuel’s eldest child Mary acquired Samuel’s interest in these properties. That husband was David Johnson, joiner of Bath Street and son of joiner James ‘Jimmy’ Johnson alias ‘Squeeze-me’ and Jane (nee Bramley). David went on to acquire the rest of the Riley properties after the death of George Riley senior and added to his holding in subsequent years such that by about 1900 he owned the majority of the properties on the north side of Station Road, between Bath Street and North Street. Several of these dwellings were given over to his children and their families during this period.
After this brief visit with Levi and his family we meet one of Ilkeston’s two Henry Carriers