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The Ilkeston News

… pausing at London House of Kitty Beardsley we can examine this print newcomer to Ilkeston.

The Nottingham Review of April 14th 1854 heralded the arrival of a new journal for Ilkeston — the Ilkeston News, ‘a new light’ arising ‘on the onward path’ to stimulate the minds of its townspeople.
At that time, its putative competitor, the Ilkeston Pioneer, had been in circulation for just over a year, yet already it had forsaken its original promise to offer a platform for a wide range of views and opinions; it was firmly an organ for the Conservative Party.
Thus the Review hoped that this new paper “would offer space to those who remain unheard” and that “the two Eds will not come into collision, and for want of better employment amuse themselves by writing of persons when they ought to be writing of principles, and of politicians when they ought to write of politics; there is plenty of room for each, plenty of work, and plenty of patronage if they will but deserve it, and employ their space wisely and well; if not they will be disseminating evil instead of good, and as a sure consequence, one, if not both, must give way”.

Some hopes !!!

The Ilkeston News was a monthly miscellany until the end of June 1855 when the Newspaper Stamp Duties Act was finally repealed. The duty on newspapers had been introduced in 1712 and the 1815 Stamp Act raised it to 4d a copy, thus pricing a newspaper outside the range of many people on very limited incomes. Many radical campaigners and publishers argued that it was a tax on knowledge, fought against it and often refused to pay it. Though the tax was reduced to 1d in 1836 it was only abolished in 1855. Amongst other things this abolition meant that the ‘News’ could now become a weekly broadsheet newspaper of eight pages, appearing every Saturday as ‘The Ilkeston News and South East Derbyshire Advertiser’, priced 1d.

Thus the first copy of this newspaper’s New Series appeared on June 30th 1855. Its stated aims were to present independent views, ‘belonging to no party but that of the people‘.

The original editor of the ‘News’ was John Joseph Poole, based at his Market Place offices, but when he was appointed as postmaster in Ilkeston in July 1857 Joseph had to relinquish his former position — postal regulations did not allow a person to hold both that office and publish a newspaper at the same time.
Consequently the ‘News’ passed into the hands of a committee and at the same time it was renamed ‘to be more expressive of more neighbourly quality’.
And its new title?  The Ilkeston News and Ripley, Riddings, Codnor, Ironville, Heanor, Hallam, Eastwood, Kimberley, Sandiacre, Stapleford, Long Eaton and Sawley Advertiser.
By the end of the year Belper and Erewash Valley had been added to the list.

By 1860 John Joseph Poole was trading at the bottom of Bath Street, opposite the Rutland Arms Railway Hotel, and from there he left the town to take over Clarke’s Boarding House and Dining Rooms at 26 Clumber Street in Nottingham.


Hold the back page !!

Having navigated the front page of the first edition of the Ilkeston News (New Series), dominated by the advertising of local tradespeople, a reader had to turn through seven pages of articles relating to provincial, national and international news before arriving at ‘Local Occurrences’ … a back page devoted to ‘Ilkeston News’.

In this first edition the list of Local Intelligence on page 8 included …

…. news of the continued expansion of Ilkeston Water Works.
…. a recommendation to visit Mr. Seville’s temporary Photographic Gallery in the Market Place for a personal portrait .. but be quick before he had to move on!!
…. the recent anniversary services held on June 17th at the Wesley Reform Chapel in South Street….
…. and a notice that  just over a week later at their quarterly meeting, the same Wesleyan Reformers decided against the proposed amalgamation of the Reformers with the Wesleyan Association. In fact ‘there was not much inclination to join any other branch of the Wesleyan family’, although this feeling did change a few years later. (see ‘The Wesleyans split‘)
…. a report that the Old Wesleyans desired to build a new chapel once they had secured a site for it. And this land — in Market Street — was acquired in the following month.
…. a short account of the Nottingham Floral and Horticultural Society’s annual meeting at which Ilkeston’s own ‘George Small and Son‘ won a long list of prizes.
…. a note that Ilkeston Baths (of world-wide fame!!) were once again open after a temporary lack of water had caused a brief closure.

…. Throughout the page was a liberal sprinkling of ‘doom and gloom’ — falls, fractures and fatal accidents.

There was the usual list of Death notices….
… on June 4th the sudden death of Mary Potter (nee Twells), wife of wharf labourer Joseph.
… on June 5th Ann Leadbeater (nee Bamford) widow of collier Robert, daughter of John and Hannah (nee Hofton), and mother of at least 13 children. The News gave her age as 77 — ten more than her registered death age. (Another reminder of the accuracy of newspaper statistics at this time?)
… and on June 26th the very sudden death of coal miner Samuel Smith, aged 22, son of John and Esther (nee Straw) and husband of Eliza (nee Syson) whom he had married just four months before his death, at Cossall Parish Church.
The inquest into Samuel’s death was held a day later at the Rutland Arms Inn, and was detailed on the same page of the ‘News’. Employed by coal master Samuel Potter, the collier was blasting down a mine when he was fatally injured by a fall of coal.
… there was also a note concerning the recent death of Marmaduke Lee, aged 92, at Basford Workhouse but late of Ilkeston.
‘The poor old man belonged to West Hallam, and had been relieved by that parish whilest living at Ilkeston,  but his landlord gave him notice to quit his house about a month ago and threatened to put his goods into the road and he and his wife were taken to the workhouse for shelter’.

…. In the same section one other inquest was covered….
…. that of four-year old Leigh Williamson (aka Lee or Henry Lee, son of brickmaker John and Mary?) held at the Jolly Boatman Inn on Awsworth Road.
‘The boy was blind with one eye, and it is supposed that he was walking on the towing path by the Erewash Canal, and not being able to see the water, he fell in and was drowned. He had been missing for two hours before they began to drag for him, and when found was quite dead’.

…. Fatal accidents included that of ironstone worker Stanton-born David Barber… a 16-year-old son of Job and Mary (nee Hardy) of Nottingham Road. He had been employed at the Butterley Company pit in Ilkeston for only one day when a large piece of ironstone fell on his head. The News printed grim details of his fatal injuries.

…. And less serious injuries included that of another Samuel Smith who, ‘while in a state of intoxication, got his leg broke in consequence of indulging his propensity for wrestling’. The News hoped that while he was convalescing Samuel would reflect upon his past behaviour and and in future live more soberly and act more rationally.

…. ‘The other evening an accident occurred to one of Mr. Small’s sons, a little boy. (Henry Huntley Small, son of George?) 
In company with some boys he was playing near the waterworks tank, and in the excitement of the sport some of the little folks ran on the plank laid across the open tank, Mr. Small’s son amongst the rest, when unfortunately his foot slipped and he was precipitated to the bottom of the tank, a depth of 8 or 9 feet. The fall produced insensibility, and he remained in a state of unconsciousness the whole of the night on which the accident occurred. We understand that he is now recovered’.

…. A little further afield .. at West Hallam, William Toplis was tending a steam-powered clay-crushing machine at the brick-yard when he tried to extract a small stone from the rollers. His hand was drawn into the machine which unfortunately had no reverse gear. Only by force was William able to pull out his crushed hand.
Dr. Robert Murray was called from Ilkeston to tend the injured worker and amputate a couple of fingers at the knuckle.

Unusually for a local newspaper at this time, the Ilkeston News included a report of local Births….
… on June 10th a daughter to Charles Sudbury and his wife Marina (nee Burgin-Richardson) of South Street — their first child Annie Mary
… on June 13th a daughter to grocer Paul Hodgkinson and wife Sarah (nee Fletcher) of the Market Place — Sarah.
… on June 13th a daughter to butcher George Bunting and wife Ann (Limbert) of East Street — their only child Annie Mary who was later to marry Henry Frederick Daykin.
… on June 25th a son to builder George Youngman and his wife Hannah (nee English) of Bath Street — this was Richard William. Less than a month later the same newspaper was heralding the birth of  Arthur George Youngman, the first child of bricklayer Benjamin George and Eliza (nee Jackson), in Extension Street.
Benjamin George was the eldest child of George and Hannah, and thus in that summer of 1855 the couple became parents for the eighth time (at least) and grandparents for the first time.

More usual was the list of Marriage notices. Of those taking place in Ilkeston …
.. on June 26th joiner Joseph Johnson of Woodhouse, Leicestershire married Hannah Taylor, daughter of farmer John of Pewitt Farm and Elizabeth.
… on June 11th Pimlico lacemaker John Bostock, eldest child of William and Sarah (nee Henshaw) married Selina Rigley, daughter of  Moors Bridge coalminer Benjamin and Mary (nee Tomlinson)
… also on June 11th builder Frederick Shaw, son of William and Mary (nee Mather) married Marina Matilda Hawley, youngest child of South Street butcher John and Mary (nee Burgin-Richardson)

The Ilkeston News had a short life; its last issue was on March 6th 1858.


And now continuing up Bath Street, we meet the Allcock sisters.

Grand Tour