Letter 3

Continued from Letter 2

September 3rd, 1937.

Henry Carrier, who lived in New Street (now Station Road), had one or two lace machines at the back of his house. After Fritchleys left their house, which was next to his, Henry took it and enlarged his business. He had five sons, Enoch, the eldest, was a grocer at Mr. Joseph Carrier’s, Bath Street; William, Henry and George worked with their father, but Tom, the youngest, died when about fifteen or thereabouts.

All the Carriers of those days were descended from one stock, and the three sons of Henry were typically Carriers. They always walked out together, and could be seen some part of each day walking down Bath Street on the carriage way. They were dark skinned, full whiskered, and only of medium stature. They were called the ‘Three Hebrew Brethren’.

A John Carrier lived in Pleasant Place. He had two sons, John, who became a draper, and William and Charlie, who were machinists. George Carrier, who lived in Stanton Road, had one daughter. George worked a warp frame at H. Carrier & Sons.

The old needle factory at Kensington was owned by Mr. Cope. After Mr. Cope came Edwin Tatham who, with his family, Agnes, Walter and Ted, lived in the old house against the factory. In 1854 Amos Tatham and his family came to Ilkeston. Herbert, the eldest, married Helen Sudbury, the youngest sister of the first Mayor of Ilkeston. William married Elizabeth Ann, daughter of Mr. Joseph Carrier. Eliza married William Green, a schoolmaster, and Sarah married Arthur Sudbury, eldest son of William Sudbury, butcher and farmer, of Oak Well Farm. The other son died before reaching manhood. Amos Tatham and family lived in a house at the top of Park Road. The houses have been pulled down and a garage built on the site. They next moved into a house on the west side of Nottingham Road.

When Edwin Tatham left the town in the mid sixties, Amos and family moved into the old house against the factory, and again, when Edwin returned to Ilkeston in the early seventies, Amos bought a piece of land in Belper Street, on which he built a small factory, and a house. They went into the lace trade, and ultimately increased their building.

Ted Tatham, Edwin’s son, married his first wife, Lavinia Flint, daughter of  a farmer, of Gallows Inn. His second wife was Lizzie Goodacre, also a farmer’s daughter.

When Queen Street was opened, Mr. Frank Hallam, a pit contractor, bought the lower part, and Mr. Francis Sudbury the upper part. At that time the Sudbury family lived in the old white house opposite Weaver Row, and their warehouse or room for taking in the hose made by outside frame workers was detached room against the house.. This room was afterwards Mr. Sudbury’s butchers shop, later on it became Jacob Hawkins’ Cycle Store.

Mr. Frank Hallam built seven houses on his land. In the first lived Mrs. Walker, a widow, and her son John, who established the printing business in South Street. Mr. George Elsey, painter and decorator, and Thomas Potter, his wife and two daughters, Sarah and Ann. Sarah married Mr. Brakes, a widower, Ann married Douglas Meakin who was killed one morning in Oak Well Pit.

Mr. Hallam lived in the double-fronted house, and Mr. Wright, miner, his wife, daughter Selina, and son Henry in the next. Mr. John Mee, machinist at Ball’s, his wife and two daughters Ann and Phoebe, lived in the bottom one.

Mr. Hawkins bought the land on the west side of the footpath leading into the field, now known as Albert Street. Mr. Hawkins started his foundry in the old building opposite the Nag’s Head.

When Albert Street was opened, Mr. Joseph Richardson, who had been foreman joiner to the late Isaac Warner, bought the land from the lower stile to the cross one, and started as a builder, etc. But unfortunately he developed consumption and passed away, leaving one son, Allan, who became a schoolmaster. His aged father, who had lost an arm, helped in the business, until it was finally disposed of. Mr. Hawkins bought the land, and extended his foundry.

Our Places of Worship!

The noble church of St. Mary, which is a landmark for the surrounding country, has always been with us and we are proud in being able to call it ‘Our Church’. Ebenezer Chapel, on the Common, has very interesting memories for me. As a child I often accompanied my father when he was appointed to preach there. The chapel was a commodious room with forms for the congregation. I remember going one Sunday afternoon to the chapel. A young man, a probationer for the teaching plan, was to preach his trial sermon, and my father was deputed to attend, and give a report to the committee. William — not his real name — opened the service very well indeed, then gave out his text, and began to preach. After a few minutes he stopped, looked round the chapel, and then laying his hands on the Bible, put his head on them. It was a tense moment. The congregation sat perfectly still, but my father, without any hesitation, went up, spoke a few quiet words to William, placed him on the pulpit seat, and then finished the service. I have never forgotten that incident. William was encouraged to try again, and was successful.

The old Primitive Methodist Chapel was in Chapel Street. I believe it has been converted into a dwelling house. The new Bath Street Chapel was built in the late forties. The people who attended it in those days were called Ranters, because of their fervour, but now they are treated with more respect. When we lived in the old house in Bath Street (now a cinema is on the site), and my maternal grandmother paid us a visit, she went to that chapel. It was not far from our house, and as she was lame, that was a consideration. I always accompanied her on these occasions, and I have heard her say that she enjoyed the services.

The Unitarian Chapel was one of the oldest, if not the very oldest in the town —I believe it was a Presbyterian Church prior to being a Unitarian. It had large box pews, and it was in one of these that Miss Walls lived, when she had to leave her tiny cottage in Burr Lane, where she kept a small school.

One Night a very regrettable — but true — incident took place in the old chapel. Pat Pollard, a genial Irishman, who lived in the house next to that occupied by the late Dr. Wood, and carried on the business of a tinsmith, using as his workshop the basement, which was approached from the outside by some steps. He mended the boiling pans, kettles, etc., for the housewives around, but as he had an incurable thirst, Pat was very often at the Wine Vaults in East Street, and pans, etc., had to wait until he had time to mend them. One Sunday night, Pat and one of his convivial friends took a bottle of ale — not a modern bottle — and secreted themselves in one of the box pews. During the early part of the service they were drinking, and when all was quiet, he began to sing, ‘Blest is the man who killeth a pig, and sendeth his neighbour a fry’, etc. Of course, they were turned out of the chapel, but it was a shock to the congregation. When Pat’s behaviour became known, people were disgusted, and Pat very soon found it expedient to remove himself and family from the town.

The Independent Chapel at the beginning of Pimlico was a very old one, and its services were well attended. I remember the Rev. R. Allsebrook, also Rev. W.W. Jubb. The last-named was the first to live in the new house in Market Street, now the Anchor Inn. In the ‘Ilkeston Advertiser’ of Aug. 13th I saw the Rev. Alfred Bonser had passed away. It brought to my memory pleasing thoughts of his father, the Rev. John Bonser. When the Rev. John Bonser retired from the ministry he went to live in Addison Villas, Addison Street, and Nottingham. When my family went to live at Nottingham, we were close neighbours, and I understand that their only child, the late Alfred, was born at Addison Villas, and when he had passed his studentship at Paton College, Nottingham, he proposed going for a missionary, and I believe did so. I suppose when the WharncliffeRoadChurch was built, the name Independent was changed to Congregational.

The old Cricket Ground Chapel was the home of the Old Wesleyans. It was built in 1786, and was a place of worship until 1859 or thereabouts, and was the South Street Sunday School until 1867. When the ‘Fly Leaves’ were published about 1846, and caused a split in the Wesleyan Society, one section built the South Street Chapel and removed to it, the other section remaining at the Old Cricket Ground Chapel, under the name of the United Methodist Free Church. When the Old Wesleyans found the upkeep of the South Street Chapel too heavy for them, they built a small chapel on the west side of Market Street, and the United Methodist Free Church took over South Street Chapel. When the WesleyanChurch in Bath Street was built, the Methodist New Connexion took the small chapel in Market Street. This building disappeared many years ago.

The Cricket Ground Chapel ceased to be the South Street Sunday School in 1867, when the scholars were transferred to the new South Street Schools, and the dear old chapel was closed. I cannot say that I enjoyed the change. The new schoolroom seemed too large, and inhospitable, but we were very crowded in the old chapel, and it had been decided that a larger room would be beneficial in many ways. If I had been a wealthy woman, instead of a scholar, I would have bought the dear old chapel, and converted it into a shrine, because of the beautiful memories connected to it.

One Sunday morning, soon after we had removed to the new school, Jimmy Dupe, of Nottingham, who was appointed to preach at South Street Chapel, came with some friends into the schoolroom. They had flags and banners with them, and were singing revival hymns. They walked with the scholars to the chapel, where Jimmy preached. He took for his subject David before the ‘Ark of God’. During the service Jimmy began to sing:

‘There was a man of old renown,
King David was his name,
He danced before the Ark of God,
And I can do the same.’

Jimmy danced round the pulpit as he sang, and I could not help wondering what would happen if the pulpit door came unfastened, and Jimmy disappeared down the stairs. But all went off safely

Jimmy used to hold what he called his ‘Harvest Festival’ at Nottingham. On the Sunday evening after Goose Fair had ended, he would hold a service on a stage of one of the shows, kindly lent to him for the purpose. This he would decorate with vegetables, etc., and he always had a good audience. One Sunday evening I attended his festival, and during the service, a man called out, ‘Jimmy, your chapel wants whitewashing, shall I do it for you?’ Jimmy said ‘Yes.’ The man said, ‘Where shall I begin?’ Jimmy replied, ‘On the ceiling.’ The people laughed. The man was silenced.

Continued in Letter 4