Next were two larger houses. The first was where my sister and myself were born.
When we left the East Street House it was divided into two parts.
The back part was occupied by Miss Hannah Mellor, sister to John and William Mellor, butchers, of South Street, and Ilkeston Common.
The eldest of the ten children (at least) of lacemaker William and Rhoda (nee Palmer), Hannah Mellor was born in 1809 and died in October 1864.
Several of her siblings feature elsewhere in the town.
A Polling Station.
The front part, except the parlour, was empty for some time.
At election times, there were lively scenes between the ‘blues and yellows’. Our parlour was brought into use for the polling station, and I remember seeing old Squire Mundy, who was a rabid Tory, come into the room with his men, and look who they voted for, and woe to the man who dared to vote ‘yellow’, for he would certainly receive his ticket on the following Saturday.
Peter Stanley, of Cotmanhay, brother to Mrs. Flint Hawley, butcher, of South Street, had the courage to vote against Squire Mundy, and on the Saturday following, received his ticket of dismissal from the Shipley Co.
But later, nothing daunted, he started a small general shop in his cottage at Cotmanhay. He gradually built up a good business and in his later years was able to retire upon a comfortable competency, which I do not think he would have been able to do had he remained at the pit.
Ilkeston had been a polling place for the Southern division of the county since 1837.
The ‘blues and yellows’ were the supporters and voters of the Conservative and Liberal parties respectively.
At this time there was no secret ballot at elections, as Squire Mundy’s behaviour (above) indicates.
Voters could thus be influenced with bribes or threats, or rendered incapable of voting by intoxicating liquor or kidnap.
The National election of 1859 was recalled by Old Resident who remembered seeing a cab down Chapel Street, pasted with a placard urging, in bold blue letters, ‘Plump* for Mundy!’
(*As this constituency had two MPs, so those eligible to vote could cast two votes. ‘Plumping’ occurred when a voter gave both votes to the same candidate).
Later in the day a large celebrating crowd of Liberal supporters gathered around Pat Pollard’s shop front in the Market Place, clashing together Pat’s pots and pans to announce their victory ‘in the wild paroxysm of delight’.
Votes had been counted in Derby and the Liberals had won both seats in the South Derbyshire constituency.
The Honourable Augustus Henry Vernon and Thomas William Evans were the victorious Liberal candidates and Conservative William Mundy was ‘out in the cold’.
A jubilant Rev. Thomas Stevenson, — alias ‘Hop-o’er-my-thumb’ — minister at the Queen Street Baptist Chapel, appeared at the window of these Liberal Committee rooms opposite the Wine Vaults in East Street to announce to the crowd that “another Tory would never be returned for South Derbyshire”.
The happy throng then moved out of East Street, up the Market Place, to bait John Wombell, editor of the Pioneer and a staunch Conservative, who lived next to the Market Inn.
On this occasion however, John Wombell was to have the last laugh.
The report of a Liberal victory was premature and inaccurate. The Liberals had indeed won one of the two seats for the constituency but the second one was won by William Mundy and not by Lord Vernon.
The official figures were as declared by the High Sheriff ….Evans (Liberal) 3536; Mundy (Conservative) 3185; Vernon (Liberal) 3184.
“Needless to state, the Rev. Thos. Stevenson’s reputation as a prophet naturally suffered materially in consequence of the Liberal ‘victory’ having vanished into thin air”.
Several years later the Ilkeston Advertiser made reference to this election result.
“The one vote which gave Mr. Mundy the seat was — his own! He seated himself!” (IA 1883)
And in the 1931 General Election, Derby solicitor Abraham John Flint, the National Labour candidate, defeated the incumbent Labour candidate George Harold Oliver, securing a majority of two votes.
There were five recounts and no equivalent of ‘Tommy’ Stevenson to announce premature ‘victory’.
The Ilkeston Permanent Building Society.
Adeline’s letter to the Advertiser, quoted in the introduction, mentions….
“… the 82nd annual report of the Permanent Building Society…..interested me very much, much as it has recalled to my memory some incidents of its beginning…..
In 1853 Mr. Samuel Carrier, of H. Carrier and Sons, my father, the late John Columbine, and several other kindred spirits, met in our front parlour to discuss ways and means by which to form a building society, and in 1854, The Ilkeston Permanent Building Society was started.
Mr. S Carrier was secretary until his death in 1865. His brother, Mr. Joseph Carrier, grocer and draper, succeeded him, and held the office until his death in 1880. (In fact Joseph died in 1879).
The monthly subscription meetings were held in the old parlour until the Town Hall was built, when a room for the monthly meetings was engaged. My father sat with the secretary to receive subscriptions on Ilkeston Statutes night, then held the last Thursday in October.”
It should be remembered that Adeline was not born when the events that she is describing here took place.
It may be that she learned of them in conversations with her father, other members of her family, friends and acquaintances. This can always lead to errors, as can a defective memory, especially after several decades.
It is therefore useful to contrast her account with details from the Ilkeston Pioneer of the 1850’s.
The latter reported a first meeting of the Building Society held at Mr. Attenborough’s house in the Market Place – the Sir John Warren Inn — on January 6th, 1853. The meeting was addressed by Mr. C. A. Welby, who outlined the benefits of establishing a building society, and upwards of 30 people gave in their names as members.
One of these was John Columbine, a neighbour of Samuel Carrier, both living in East Street.
Adeline may be partially correct in describing meetings held at her house to discuss the embryonic society, although several of her dates are questionable.
The first annual meeting of the society was held on Tuesday, August 9th, 1853, in a room at the Boys’ National School in the town, chaired by George Small West, and it was reported then that the society had made promising progress even after such a short time. The first Society secretary was Samuel Carrier, a prominent member of Ilkeston’s lace industry, who died on January 20th, 1865, aged 46. He was succeeded as secretary by his brother Joseph, owner of the largest grocery and drapery establishment in the town, who died on a Friday afternoon, October 24th, 1879, at the age of 59. Both are buried in Ilkeston General Cemetery on Stanton Road.
About March 1854 the office of the Society was moved from the National School Room in the Market Place to the office of Charles A. Welby in East Street, because of the growth in the Society’s business.
In July 1875 the retiring directors of the Building Society were South Street cordwainer Frederick Mitchell, Thomas Ball of Dodson House and John Columbine. The latter two were re-elected.
John continued his directorship until 1879 when again he was re-elected. He shortly thereafter left Ilkeston for Nottingham.
In 2001 the Ilkeston Permanent Building Society merged with the Derbyshire Building Society.