1857 draft Blog

May 16th

I learn from the Leicester Chronicle that Messrs Lindley and Firn of Leicester, who were responsible for the restoration of Ilkeston’s Parish Church in 1855, are still in possession of part of our chucrh, They removed an effigy of a knght in armour, cross-legged m– his head covered with a hood of mail, and mail all over the body except the knees, which are covered with plates. The effigy is of the thirteenth century and is said to be a Delawar. When is it to be ‘repatriated’ ?

May 20th

Tomorrow a Police Force arrives Ilkeston … though George Small will still be with us.

Jun 1st

Yesterday, Whit Sunday, the twenty third anniversary of the Ilkeston Sunday School Movement was celebrated. Baptist and Wesleyan schools amalgamated in the South Street Wesleyan chapel where John Columbine addressed them. At the same time the Independent and Primitive Methodist schools assembled at the Independent Chapel in Pimlico to be addressed by the Rev. Ebenezer Sloane Heron. All the children were then assembled and marched to the Cricket Ground where hymns were sung

Jun 6th

At the Young Men’s Christian Association last Monday the members receivedshort but entertaining and instructive addresses on ‘Comets’, ‘Evil Habits’, etc. etc. — the speakers were Messrs. John Columbine, Samuel Chester, Thomas Dodson Fritchley and William Gregory. and the respected president of the institution, Samuel Carrier, in his usual eloquent and unusual style. Thomas Henry Small was ‘in the Chair’.

Jun 11th

Our station master, James Tizley, is to leave us — he has recently been appointed as Relieving Officer for the Basford Board of Guardians, first district, with a welcome salary of £90 per annum. Several townsmen intend to present Mr. Tizley with a testimonial in appreciation of the kind and obliging manner in which he has discharged the duties of his office towards the public.

James replaces Joseph Haynes, who has resigned.

June 22nd

A week ago a young lad, Joseph Walters, aged 19, was accidentally killed at an Ilkeston ironstone mine … on the surface, he overbalanced and fell to the bottom of the pit, there being no guard rail to protect him. These dangerous and privileged pits are not subject to the same Act of Parliament as coal pits No notice has to be given to Government inspectors when a death occurs, and nor is the pit mouth guarded as in coal pits. And iron pits are exempt from local rates !!!

Jun 27th

A provisional committee has been set up in the town to take steps for the erection of a town hall. I know nothing of its composition at the moment.

Jul 5th

Daughter Elizabeth Potter was a young lass whose parents, William and Sarah, live in Pimlico. Three months ago she married Cotmanhay coalminer Henry Henshaw and then, about one month later she gave birth to a daughter who remained unnamed until her death on May 15th 1857, aged two weeks … a death which seems to have had a severe effect upon Elizabeth. It appears that a couple of nights ago, Elizabeth had spoken to a sister and stated that she had poisoned her child, by adminstering to her a dose of laudanum — thinking that the baby would be too much trouble for her to bring up. The medicine had induced convulsions in the child and she died a few hours later.
Yesterday morning, Elizabeth prepared breakfast for her husband who then left for work. Then she was seen walking towards ‘Stable Well’ near Cotmanhay Wood but only later was she reported missing. The well was dragged and Elizabeth’s body recovered.
I expect this will be another case where the inquest jury will return a verdict of ‘Death caused by temporary insanity’.

Jul 9th

A month ago I mentioned that a testimonial for James Tizley, the Town Railway Station master, was being considered. I now see that the local Pioneer newspaper has taken up a similar cause for parish constable George Small. “If strangers to our town, non-ratepayers, ‘birds of passage’, and ‘rolling stones’, are deserving of some mark of public esteem, surely one who has faithfully discharged the most important, and oftimes unpleasant duties of a parish officer, ‘without fear, favor or affection, during 27 years, well deserves a testimonialworthy of mention in our parish records.

Why has this come about ? We have just learned that, as a consequence of a new police force in the parish being established, George Small’s duties as high constable will be terminated. Thus a Committeee has been formed to receive subscriptions and to consider what an appropriate testimonial might be.

Jul 30th

Last Monday Richard Evans, of Ilkeston Pottery, opened his spacious new room to a public tea, to raise funds for the Ebenezer Sunday School. The event was well-attended, but did not include any representatative of the Ilkeston Pioneer who were not invited !! Needless to say the newspaper was not best pleased.

Aug 1st

Yesterday saw the last day of the three-day cricket match at Derby take place, between the Eleven of All England v. the Twenty-two of Derbyshire. Ilkeston’s finest, in the shape of Thomas Attenborough, John Paxton and Isaac Gregory had been chosen to represent the County. It is too soon to report on how they fared.

Aug 2nd

I report that the three Ilkeston cricket representatives acqitted themeselves well. Of particular note was the bowling of John Paxton who took a total of seven wickets in the two All-England innings.

Aug 3rd

The Ilkeston News was ‘born’ in April 1854 and its original editor was John Joseph Poole, based at his Market Place offices. However last month he was appointed as postmaster in Ilkeston and now has 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’ has passed into the hands of a committee and at the same time has adopted a new name, ‘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.

Aug 2nd

As many of you will be aware, Ilkeston’s Brass Band is held in very high esteem, not only in the town but with a wider audience, and of course, by  the Pioneer , which last month wrote “where is there a country band to equal that of Ilkeston?”
Now we learn that the musical ensemble has recently acquired a serious debt after a purchase of new music, triangles, cymbals etc. and a public appeal for funds in underway, led by John Goddard, Frederick Flint and Samuel Aldred of the Band.
“Who, among our 7000 inhabitants, has not frequently been captivated by its dulcet and enlivened strains? Do not townsmen and strangers alike bear testimony to the high musical skill displayed in the performances of the Ilkeston Band? … music has asserted its right place as a great moral educator; it is no longer a superfluity of the rich, but is finding its way into every nook and corner of Old England, and acting as an antidote to the grosser pleasures of life; we therefore feel no hesitancy in urging the public to render our musical townsmen that material assistance which will not only enable them to meet their engagements, but will stimulate them to rival in their profession the performances of those highly-cultivated bands allied wth the proud yeomanry and military of the nation.” Who could resist such an appeal ?

Oct 15th

Joseph Smith is a cordwainer who lives in Bath Street, just below the Queen’s Head Inn. Three years ago his first wife, of almost 20 years, died, and rather foolishly as it turned out, Joseph looked around for another wife. He found one in Heanor by the name of Mary Knight, ten years his junior. They married in May, but had only lived together these last two weeks, after which they both found themselves at Smalley Petty Sessions. Joseph was charged with assualt upon Mary — seizing her hair, pulling her out of bed, kicking her and threatening to break her neck and kill her. Joseph of course denied all of this — how could I kick her when I had my shoes off ?! Joseph claimed that he was the injured and assaulted party, that his wife was out at all times of the night, wandering the Common, and was accusing him so that she might get maintenance from him, and find someone else, —  somebody that she likes better. At this point the magistrates had heard enough — the case was proved, Joseph was bound over in the sum of £20 to keep the peace and pay costs. Aftre some wholesome advice from the Bench — which fell on deaf ears — Joseph left court, looking upon his wife evidently in anything but love.

Oct 27th

The town seems awash with assaults by and upon people who really should be more careful. Yesterday we heard yet another case at Smalley. This one involved John Poole (who was mentioned in the Blog earlier this year) and his wife Catherine, versus the watchmaker Edwin Wragg, all of the Market Place. The initial arguement was over alterations that the latter was making to his property and which seemed to impinge upon his Poole neighbours. Of course they couldn’t settle their differences amicably, came to shouts followed by blows, followed by this appearance at court. The exasperated magistrates wished so much that the inhabitants of Ilkeston would settle such disputes without resorting to court so often — but as they had, in this case, judgemnet was made in favour of the watchmaker — a mitigated fine of 6d was ordered, plus costs.

Nov 10th

Matthew Hobson, chairman of the Board of Highways, has just issued a stern warning to townsfolk …. That, if any person shall encroach on, or wilfully obstruct the passage of any carriage, or footway, by erecting scaffolding, laying lime, bricks, mortar, or other matter or thing whatsoever thereon, so as to be a nuisance, immediate proceedings will be taken under the 5th and 6th William Fourth, cap. 50

Nov 12th

I just see in the Pioneer a notice from the Churchwardens, stating there will be a meeting in the National School-room tomorrow afternoon to consider a plan to light the town with gas once more. Many hope that a successful positive outcome will be achieved through it.

Nov 10th

It appears that in the ‘fight’ of Wragg versus Poole — which I mentioned about a fortnight ago — we have just witnessed Round 2. Yesterday at Smalley Petty Sessions, Edwin Wragg charged John Poole with assault, and this occurred just after the pair had returned from the same ‘venue’, having fought out Round 1. The evidence was very involved and contradictory, as one might expect; many witnesses were called, nearly all of them by the defendant; charges were made that Edwin was drunk at the time of the alleged assault and so could not recall events clearly or embroidered them. In the end the magistrates, having heard the several witnesses speak in John’s defence, could do no other that dismiss the charge as not proven. Edwin was left to pay the full expenses. Have we heard the last of this feud ?

Nov 24th

Yesterday the ceremony of laying the corner stone of a new chapel for the General Baptists took place in Queen Street, near to the present Water-works — in the afternoon at half past three. It was performed by the Rev Robert Pegg, Alderman of Derby and the town’s Mayor last year. I must also mention the contribution of the Baptist choir at the evening meeting at the old chapel in South Street; it was organised and led by George Small West, draper of the Market Place, and whose family members are long-time Baptists.

The architect who designed the new chapel is William Henry Booker of Nottingham, although a town tradesman, Jedediah Wigley, has been chosen to build this new addition to the area.

Dec 2nd

Another meeting of Ilkeston’s ratepayers has been called by Churchwardens William Riley and Samuel Potter, again to consider the lighting of the parish by gas. It will take place at 6 o’clock of the evening of Monday, December 14th 1857 at the Boys’ National School Room.

Dec 15th

It appears, as a result of the Ilkeston Vestry Meeting (– commonly called the Ratepayers’ meeting –)  last evening, that the town will continue to be without street lighting for the foreseeable future. All motions to put the plan into place were opposed vehemently. The last hope rests in the results of a public vote which was called for and which will shortly be held.

Dec 18th

Yesterday, at Derby County Court, we had to endure Round 3 of John Poole versus Edwin Wragg. It was a claim by the former for damages to his property, perpetrated by the latter, and once more, the case involved several witnesses drawn from the class of Ilkeston’s finest tradesmen.

John is in the invidious position of being a tenant of Edwin and when the landlord decided to do some alterations to his Market Place property, it seems he forgot to tell John about the work — John of course being his next door neighbour !! As a consequence of Edwin’s alterations and ‘improvements’ his tenant has lost a hen house and water tub, though he has gained his own privy (previouly he had only a shared one) and a cistern and pump. Most of the witnesses in the case testified that the dwellings of  both men had been improved by the work.

Nevertheless Edwin still had to pay a penalty — for the annoyance caused to John by the work, and for the latter’s loss of light and air caused after Edwin had constructed his brand new back kitchen.