Letter 10

Continued from Letter 9

April 15th, 1938.


(Last week Mrs. Wells in her reminiscences of old Ilkeston, had reached the shop next to South Street Chapel, belonging to Mr. James Hithersay, grocer. This week her description takes us down to the Toll Gate, kept by Mr. William Campbell, a tailor).

Then came the old house occupied by Mr. Thomas Tomlinson, shoemaker. He had one son who became a United Methodist Free Church Minister; he married for his first wife Millicent Fisher, the adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Childs. She died when her first baby was born. His second wife was Miss Rendel, only daughter of Rev. S. Rendel, a very popular minister in the Ilkeston Circuit. The Rev Tomlinson developed consumption, and died leaving a widow but not any children. The two daughters of  Mr. Thomas Tomlinson were Mary, who married Mr. Thomas Pegg, of Long Eaton, and Annie, who lived at home. Next were two new shops. The first was tenanted by Mrs. Brown, a widow, and her little daughter Annie. Later on she married Mr. Wright, who joined her at her grocery business. They had several children; Newel, who married Miss Ogden, Louisa and Ada, who married Mr. Henry Smith, son of the late Mr. Henry Smith, shoemaker, Bath Street.. The next shop was taken by Mr. Ralph Shaw, butcher. They had not any children. Mrs. Shaw attended the South Street Chapel. The last shop on this side was very old, it belonged to Mr. Sanders, a greengrocer.

On the East side of South Street, the first shop was Mrs. Robert Fretwell’s. She lived in the last house in Burgin’s Row, now demolished. Her father, Mr Burgin, added a shop to the house, and Mrs. Fretwell used it for a general business. Her husband, Mr. R. Fretwell, had the blacksmith’s and shoeing forge lower down. They had two sons, William, who became a veterinary surgeon, and Bob, who died in early manhood. The next tradesman was Mr. John Birch, joiner. He built two cottages on the back-to-back plan, also a two-storey workshop. I have seen Mr. and Mrs. Birch working the saw-pit, Mrs. Birch at the bottom, Mr. Birch at the top. There were three children, Sally, who married Mr. Amos Beardsley, baker ( Mrs. Beardsley was a milliner ); Mary, who married Tom Hebbern, son of the landlord of the Poplar Inn, Bath Street; and Dick, who left Ilkeston when young, but returned to his native town in middle life. The next shop was Mr. F. Haley’s, butcher. The front room of the house had been converted into a butcher’s shop. Mr. F. Hawley died in middle age, leaving a widow and four children. Mrs. Hawley carried on the business until Ted, the eldest son, was old enough to help her. Annie, the eldest daughter, married Philip Bacon, grocer. Florrie married a head gardener and left the town. Harry, the youngest, became a clever pianist, and was known as Stanley Hawley. Unfortunately, death cut short a very promising career. Mr. John Moss had two shops, for his pawnbroking and tailoring business. He had one son and two daughters by his first wife. John married Miss Lizzie Barker of Burr Lane. He had a tailor and outfitting business in Bath Street; Emma, eldest daughter married Mr. Henry Thompson, draper, Bath St., now H. Carrier & Sons’ offices. Pollie married Mr. Burrows, a schoolmaster. The next shops were very seldom let. Then came Robey, the greengrocer. Mrs. Robey was a very delicate person. Their only son helped his father. He married a Miss Fraser. Next was old York, the marine dealer. Old York had a small cart and donkey for his rag and bone collecting. He had two sons and one daughter. The eldest son married Harriet, eldest daughter of George Riley, New Street, now Station Road. He left Ilkeston when a young man. Charles was a painter and decorator. I think he married Miss Whitchurch. Lucy was at home. The last shop was Shaw, the harness and saddle maker. I think he had a son and daughter. Then came the Toll Gate. Mr. William Campbell, the gate keeper, was a baker (?), and plied his business at home. Mrs. Campbell died, leaving him with two daughters. Lucy married Mr. Stephen Barnes. Annie was in domestic service.

[We regret that a line was inadvertently omitted in last week’s article by Mrs. Wells, on the tradespeople of South Street in the fifties of last century. With regard to the family of Mr. William Briggs, clock-maker and repairer, the sentence should have read – Ann* married Mr. Wm. Barnes, butcher; Joseph, John. Lizzie* married Mr. Seth Manners, etc. (The unfortunate omission of the part starred made the sentence read that Ann married Mr. Seth Manners, which, of course, is incorrect) – Ed.]

Continued in Letter 11