Letter 16

Continued from Letter 15

December 30th, 1938.


On the South Side, past Bunting’s pork shop and Dr. Murray’s yard, were two old houses. Mr. Bartlam worked a stocking frame at home. A spinster lived in the second house. On the North Side was a house occupied by Mr. William Osbourne, engine driver at Carrier’s. Next were two larger houses. The first was where my sister and myself were born. The next was occupied by Mr. Henry Carrier, senr., the founder of Henry Carrier & Sons, his four sons and one daughter. Henry , junior, went to the Mount Street, Nottingham, warehouse. William and Samuel managed the Ilkeston, business; Joseph had the shops in Bath Street. The daughter married Mr. Macdonald. They both died young, leaving one son, Henry. He married Ellen, the eldest daughter of the late Thomas Hives, of the Rutland Hotel. Next came a double-fronted house. The tenant was Mr. Henry Harrison, machinist at Carrier’s. There were three daughters, Hannah, who was a popular singer at concerts, both at home and away. She is, I believe, at the present time Mrs. Tom Wardle. Agnes and Eliza, the latter died while still young. Going through the entry, you came to the stairs leading to the Old East Street Warehouse. On the left were two cottages. In the first lived another Mrs. Harrison. In the next, lived James Scattergood, a machinist at Carrier’s, Tamar his wife, and Fred, their son. In this cottage Allan Dodd, the cricketer, was born. Past the entry in East Street was old Mr. Meakin’s house. Then came the two new houses built by the late Mr. James Goddard. He had two sons and two daughters. Henry went into the Civil Service, and was stationed at Nottingham. Frank, who I think is still living, followed his father as a builder. The daughters were Lavinia and Mary. The other cottage was occupied at one time by Mr. William Attenborough, the cricketer, and I believe he died there.


On the North Side, standing back from the road, was Warner’s old public-house. Mr. Warner prepared a salve that was very good for burns, etc. The two or three cottages in the yard. A twitchel running through the gardens , came out opposite Dodson House. Below Warner’s public-house but still in Burr Lane, and standing close to the road, were two old cottages. In one lived Mrs. Walls, and her daughter. Mrs. walls kept a Dame’s School. When she died, Miss Walls kept on the school, but becoming unable to pay the rent of the cottage was given notice to quit. She had nowhere to go, and did not know what to do, when some kind friends at the old Unitarian Chapel offered her the use of two pews. As these pews were very large, she had one for her school, and the other she lived in, and by this kind action Miss Walls’ difficulties were overcome.

When I was at Ilkeston, about four years ago, I visited Miss Walls’ grave, which is in the North-West corner of StantonRoadCemetery, and was very pleased to see that some kind friend was keeping the last resting place of Miss Walls in very good condition.

Lower down Burr Lane on the right hand side was Mr. Robert Walker’s old house, it stood quite alone in a large garden. He was the eldest son of Mrs. Walker sen., of Queen Street. A distance further down on the East Side were two cottages. In the first lived Mr. and Mrs. Brentnall, their son William, and daughter Sarah Ann. Mr. Brentnall was a machinist at Ball’s. The daughter was a dressmaker. The next two or three cottages were up a yard, and faced south. Old Mrs. Brown lived in one, her sons Chillas and Rordon lived in the others. Chillas and Rordon Brown worked at Ball’s and Dunnicliffe’s Factory. This finished the houses on the East Side of Burr Lane, there were no more buildings until you came to Albion Place.


The first house built by Mr. Ball was called Albion House, and he and his family lived in it until Dodson House was built. Mr. Ball’s family consisted of two sons, and three daughters. Susan, the eldest, married Mr. Bailey, of Bailey’s factory, on the Common. Mary became Mrs. Fry. Her husband was in the firm of Dunn & Fry, booksellers, South Parade, Nottingham. Lizzie Ann married Dr. Wood. The eldest son, William, left Ilkeston, and I understand became a gentleman farmer. John remained with his father. Further on in Albion Place were two four-roomed cottages. In the first lived Mr. and Mrs. Barker. Mrs. Barker had a Dame’s School In the second lived their son Sam, his wife two sons and one daughter. The eldest son, Sam, became a Professor of Music, and lived at Sheffield. George took over Mr. Thomas Small’s drapery business in Bath Street. Mary, the daughter, died in girlhood. There were two or three old cottages facing East, with gable up to the road, also three more cottages near Jack Lee’s Yard. Mrs Pritchit and family lived in the end one.

Returning to Burr Lane, on the West side were two cottages, fronting South. Askew’s lived in one, old Thomas Ball in the other. Over these cottages was a room approached by a long flight of steps. Here John Burrows lived and worked his stocking frame. Next was Ball’s old family house. The house faced Ball’s Factory, the back being in Burr Lane. This house was tenanted later by Mr. William Gregory, pit contractor. The came two or three cottages, all facing West.; with backs to Burr Lane. Mr. Tom Gregory and his wife lived in one of them. Next came the hedge dividing Chapel Street from Burr Lane. Two new houses were next. Mr. Barker, his wife, two sons and two daughters lived in the first one. The eldest son, Alick, became a pork butcher in Bath Street. The youngest, Frank, like his father, was a cowkeeper; Lizzie married Mr. John Moss, outfitter in Bath Street; Ellen was a dressmaker. In the second house lived Mr. John Goddard, a machinist at Carrier’s. He had three sons and one daughter. John, the eldest son, worked at Ball’s, and became the first landlord of the Anchor Inn, Market Street. George and Isaac worked at Carrier’s for some time, but both were very musical, and succeeded in gaining appointments in the Duke of Devonshire’s Band at Buxton. George became the conductor of the band, holding that position for many years. Ruth, the daughter, was a very popular singer. She married Mr. Harry Beaumont, who was for many years organist at St. Mary’s Church.

At this time all carriage traffic from Ilkeston to Cossall had to proceed down Burr Lane. New Street and Chapel Street were cul-de-sacs. When the branch railway to the Junction was stopped, a few of the principal residents had the hedge removed from New Street and improved the road to the Junction, so that people could walk in comparative comfort. New Street was then renamed Station Road.

At the end of New Street in Burr Lane, was a field which led to the old Slack Road, and over the branch line into another field that finished on the Common, opposite Cotmanhay Road. In the lower field there was for many years part of an old iron boiler. My father told me that there had been an explosion that caused the boiler to lie there. I forget where the explosion had been.

The upper field was turned into building plots, but it was not very attractive, in fact the road was so bad that one member of the Local Board said that the road was worse than a pigsty. The name caught on, and for many years that part of the town was called ‘PigstyPark.’

There were no houses down New Station Road, except Norman’s old Farm House in a field on the south side leading up to the Park and Hilly Holies. On the canal bank, towards Evan’s Potteries, were a couple of old cottages. Mr. Howard lived in one. He had two sons. Ben the ‘Orator’ and Alva, three daughters. Martha, who was a pupil teacher at the British School, under Mr. Holroyd. The second became Mrs. Henry Smith. Jane remained at home. A tiny cottage was built at the side of the line leading to Cossall. This was occupied by John Allen, the sole porter at the Junction. He married Miss Southey.

It was a nasty dreary walk to that station. Those who had to go to Nottingham by the early morning train had to face all kinds of weather. There being no bus or conveyance of any kind, it was no unusual thing for people to be thoroughly wet by the time they reached the station. When there the waiting room would be cold and cheerless, but the waiting shed across the line was even more dreary, so people waited in the cold room until the train was signalled, and then walked across the low crossing opposite the station to get into the train.

Travelling in those days was not the comfortable affair that it is today. When the Trent Junction was reached, Nottingham passengers had to change, and then came a tiresome wait, until the Erewash Valley train came in that would take them to Nottingham, through Attenboro’ and Beeston.

Retracing our steps up Station Road, we come to a narrow side road. Here in later years Mr. Shaw built a small house, in which he and his family lived. I remember two of his daughters, Frances and Janey. Continuing through this road we come to another lane, which is now Lower Chapel Street. Here was some old property, with backs up to the road.

We return up Burr Lane until we come to High Street. The first house on the East side was occupied by Mrs. Harrison. She was a widow with one child. I believe Mr. Harrison was killed on the railway. The second house was in the occupation of Mr. Charles Sudbury, machinist at Ball’s. There were three daughters, Sally, Mary Ann and Betsy. The son William left Ilkeston when a young man. In the other cottages leading to Mrs. Lee’s garden, lived Anchor Carrier, Goddards, Wheatleys and Spencers. In the garden below lived Mrs. Penty Lee. I do not know whether ‘Penty’ was her late husband’s name, or an abbreviation. She married as her second husband Mr. Thomas Severn, but was nearly always called Mrs. Penty Lee.

Leaving High Street, we pass on our left Dr. Norman’s House, and on our right the old Unitarian Chapel, and so come to Anchor Row. This was a very nice and quiet part. Mrs. Hithersay sen., with her daughter lived in one house, Mrs. Sudbury and her daughter in another, also Carriers, Turtons and Laceys.


Turning into the Market Place, below Matthew Hobson’s corn and seed shop, were two houses. Dr. Murray lived in the first one. In later years Dr. Wood lived here. Next was Pat Pollard, the tinsmith’s house. After he left, the house was taken by Mr. Francis Sudbury, who became the first Mayor of Ilkeston. He married Miss Lizzie Bennett, eldest daughter of Mrs. Bennett, of the Wine Vaults, East Street, and this was their first home. There were no more private houses until you reached West’s Yard, next to Mrs. West’s drapery establishment. In this yard were two or three old cottages. Mrs. Pepper lived in one in 1850. Where the Town Hall now stands were three cottages built on the original bank. These were separated by walls, and approached by steps. Mr. Fred Mitchell, shoemaker, lived in the first. There were four children, Isaac, Emma, Harry and Abie. The next tenant was Mr. Mather, tailor. I remember two children, Frank and Fanny. Mr. Rice opened the third as a grocer. The wall had been taken down and a large window put in the front room. He afterwards removed to the shop on south side of Park Road.


The first private house in South Street, on the west side were up Ball’s yard, at the side of the old Post Office. Here lived old Mrs. Ball, when she died her son Adolphus (always called Dolf), went to live in the cottage. He was a machinist at Ball’s. I remember two children, Fred and Lizzie; both died when about fourteen or thereabouts. The other son Tom lived in the next cottage. A small shop had been built in the bank below the garden, and this he used for a pork shop. Tom was the only one of the Balls that I remember being alien to the Lace Trade. The next private houses were in Pleasant Place. These were built in 1856-7 by Mr. William Carrier. Three of the first tenants were Mr. William Campbell, Tailor, with two daughters, Lucy and Annie; Mr. John Carrier, Smith at Carriers, three sons, John, William and Charlie, the Rev. George Haywood, first-resident Minister of South Street Chapel, one daughter, Sarah, also sister-in-law Miss Bennett. When Queen Street was opened, Mr. Francis Sudbury senior, built a small factory at the front, also a warehouse at the rear. The cottage he built below was occupied by Mr. John Fish, who, in later years became Parish Clerk. Mr. Frank Hallam, Pit Contractor, built the six houses below. First tenants were Mrs. Walker, her daughter and son John, who was a printer at Mr. John Wombell’s ‘Pioneer’ Office; Mr. Elsey, decorator; Mr Thomas Potter, his three daughters, Ellen, Maria and Annie; Mr Frank Hallam; Mr. Wright, miner, his wife son and daughter Selina; Mr. and Mrs. Mee and their  two daughters Ann and Phoebe. Mr. Mee worked at Ball’s, also his two daughters. At the bottom against England’s Field, afterwards Albert Street, Mr William Hawkins built two cottages, one he reserved for his stock of fireplaces, etc., the other he lived in. There were four sons, William, Jacob, Herbert and Charlie, and two girls, Eliza and Annie. Next to Mr. Hawkins foundry was a house built by Mr. Edwin Whitehouse of the White House, High Lane. This house was occupied by Mr. Fred Flint, tailor. Both Mr. Whitehouse and Mr. Flint were in the Gentlemen’s cricket team.

Returning up Queen Street, the next house in South Street was the old white house facing south. In this house lived Mr. Francis Sudbury, senior, and his family, William, Charles and Francis, who became first Mayor of Ilkeston and four daughters. The eldest became Mrs. William Merry, Carrie died of heart failure. The next married Mr. Evans of Spring Farm, Kirk Hallam. Helen became Mrs. Herbert Tatham. In the five houses past the Nag’s Head were Mrs. Clark who had lodgers, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Rowley, a gardener, Mrs. Rowley was a laundress. I forget the next tenant, last was Mrs. Gregory. In the next house lived Mr. Platts, the sweep. Over the house was a sign showing the house, as it stood, with the sweep’s brush appearing out of the chimney. I often wonder what became of that picture. Mr. Platt was a clever ventriloquist, and it gave us great pleasure when we knew he was coming to sweep our chimneys, for he always gave us an exhibition of his skill. It was wonderful to us to hear him holding a conversation with an imaginary boy up the chimney, and he was always ready to give us this pleasure.

The Wide Yard as it was called, was a cul-de-sac. Where the road now leads into Albert Street stood Mr. Hodgett’s shoeing shed. He lived in the house adjoining. There were two daughters, Sarah Ann who died of consumption, and Lizzie. Next to Scattergood’s shop in South Street, was a double-fronted house, enclosed by a wall. In this lived Mr. Baker. Past the S. Street Chapel, and Hithersay’s shop and hose was some property. In one lived old Mr. Tomlinson who was a farmer, he also had a public bakery. He had a wife and children, and his daughter by his first wife, and her child lived with him. Next was Mr. Thomas Tomlinson’s quaint old house, he was a shoemaker. He had one son Thomas, who became a Minister in the U. M. Free Church, and two daughters, Mary and Annie. Mary married Me. Pegg, of Long Eaton. Here we arrive at the Toll Bar, which was mostly in the occupation of Mr. William Campbell, tailor. He had two daughters, Lucy and Annie. There were two small cottages in the corner, between the Toll Bar, and Ralph Shaw’s saddlery shop. Mrs. Hallam, a widow, and her son, who had a wooden leg, lived in one of them. Then came Shaw’s private house, Yorke’s private house, and Mr. Yorke’s shop; he was a marine dealer, and had a very small cart, and a donkey for his collecting of rags, bones, etc. Next was Robey’s Yard. There was a flat over Robey’s shop and house, which was approached by a long flight of steps. At the side of the old Baptist Chapel, at the back of the shops, was a yard with cottages in it. Gladstone Street was merely a track, very muddy in bad weather, and as there were no houses in it, was avoided as much as possible. Mrs. Burrows had the first house past Gladstone Street. She did public mangling. Mr. and Mrs. Finch lived in the double fronted house next to Flint Hawley, the butcher. Mrs finch was formerly Miss West of the Market Place. Next another double fronted house occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Raynes, two sons and three daughters. Mr. Raynes was a book-keeper at Stanton. The eldest boy died young. Edith, Agnes and Dorothy were the girls, and James Henry, the surviving son. When Mr. Raynes died this house was turned into two shops and taken by Mr. Amos Beardsley, baker, and Mrs. Beardsley, milliner. Next came Mr. John Birch’s property, these houses were built back to back, a rather common practice in those days. He also built a single cottage in the yard. In this Mr. and Mrs. A. Beardsley commenced their married life, Mrs. Beardsley was Mrs. Birch’s eldest daughter. Mary married Mr. Tom Ebbern, of the Poplar Inn. Weaver Row came next. At this time these cottage were occupied by Mr. Mason, a stocking frame worker, and his daughter Jane; Mrs. George Topliss, basket-maker; Mr. Harrison, a machinist at Carrier’s; Mr. A. Tilson, who worked at Carrier’s; and another Harrison; Mrs. Potts, who lived in one, did public mangling. In the bend of the road leading to the parish pump was a tiny cottage. Mr. Fred Harrison lived in it. Past Weaver Row in South Street, on a plot of land, Mr. Francis Sudbury, senior, built three houses and a shop. Mr. Sudbury, with the remainder of his family moved into the house and shop. His son William, the butcher who had married Miss Gamble, of Nottingham, took the white house, and opened the detached building as a butcher’s shop. This building was afterwards utilised by Mr. Jake Hawkins, as a cycle store. The next house of the three was taken by Mr. William Merry, junior, who had married one of Mr. F. Sudbury’s daughters. The third house was tenanted by Mr. Charles Sudbury, who had married Miss Marina Burgin. Next came Warner’s block of houses, these were built back to back. Miss Eliza Birch, sister to Mr. J. Birch, lived in the first one, with her mother, and Miss Fritchley, with her niece Emma in the second. Both Miss Birch and Miss Fritchley were dressmakers. Up Warner’s Yard lived Mr. and Mrs. Lane, and their two little girls. Mrs. Lane died of erysipelas. Next was Warner’s house. Then the old cricket ground chapel, and the gates leading into the cricket ground. Below Warner’s Timber Yard was another cottage, with a fence round it, and last was Mr. Robert Fretwell shoing(sic) forge. Above the smithy in South Street, and standing back from the road with a grass plot in front, was Mr. Burgin’s house. His garden ran parallel to South Street. The came Burgin’s Yard. Two cottages stood back from the road. In the first lived Mrs. Topliss, and her grandson William, he was a pupil teacher at the British School under Mr. Holroyd. When he left there he became first clerk to Mr. F. Sudbury. Unfortunately he contracted smallpox from which he did not recover. Next was Mrs. Farmer, tailoress. She kept the boys’ clothes in good order for their parents. In the Row in the Street was Mrs. R. Fretwell, Mr. Burgin’s daughter, Mrs. Holland, who did public mangling. She had two daughters, one was married. Fanny and Ike, son were at home. Then came Mrs. Butt, the mother of the late James Butt, and last Mr. and Mrs. Hayes. Mr. Hayes was a barber. The Girls’ Church School was not built until 1859, so there was not any building in the Market Place, with the exception of the old Butter Market. The Boys’ School was in the room over the Butter Market, until the National School was built opposite the Church.

Continued in Letter 17