Letter 5

Continued from Letter 4

December 17th, 1937


On the east side of Bath Street, against the Town Station, were two small shops occupied by Mr James Chadwick. One was a general store, the other had a few groceries in it, also there was a marine store at the rear of the house. Mr. Chadwick, his wife, three daughters, and one son, lived on the premises. They were all members of the Old Wesleyan Church. The son married Miss Sally Hancock of ‘The Bridge House’, Kirk Hallam. One daughter married Mr. Joseph Scattergood, undertaker, etc. Mr Chadwick was a humorist, and sometimes played jokes upon his customers. One day a man went into the general shop, and asked Mr. Chadwick for some spectacles, saying that he needed them, as he was troubled with failing sight. James gave the man several pairs to try, but he could not read in any of them. At last James picked out a pair, handed them to the man saying, ‘I think you will be able to read well with this pair.’ The man put them on, and said delightedly’ They are quite right, I can see to read well with this pair.’ James said’ Yes, my friend, you do not need spectacles, your sight is quite good; the pair you have on have not got any glasses in them!’ The shop next to Twells’ field was a butcher’s shop. Here lived Mr. and Mrs. Twells, and their little boy Willie. Mr. Twells died in early manhood. Years later Mrs. Twells married her second husband, Mr. George Barker, registrar of births and deaths. Next came Moses Mason, the tallow chandler. The business had descended to Moses and his sister, who assisted him, from their father, Moses Mason, senior. Candle making in those days was a very profitable business, as everybody used candles.


Ilkeston streets were not lighted by gas until 1857. It was not until oil lamps came into general use that shops and houses began to be illuminated with them instead of the long and short eights, sixteens and twenty-fours, the name given to the candles in use at that time. Oil coming into use made a great difference to Mason’s. As far as Ilkeston was concerned candle making became a dead letter, and Mason’s had to depend upon the outlying villages for their trade. Mr. Mason’s eldest son, Moses William, married Miss Emma Maltby, sister to the late Mr. Charles Maltby, of Dalby House. Janey died and Lizzie left Ilkeston. Writing of the candle trade brings to my mind the story of old Tunnicliffe, the Parish Clerk. One Sunday the Rev. Moxon was preaching in the old Parish Church of St. Mary, his subject being Moses speaking to the children of Israel. On reaching his peroration he called out, ‘And what did Moses say?’ Old Tunnicliffe had evidently been asleep, for he started up, and said ‘Hey sez they’ll be no moor candles till tothers ur peed fur.’

Two young men named Woolliscroft took the new shop next to Wilton Place, built by Mr. Wilson, and started in business as drapers. Later on they dissolved partnership, one brother going to Dewsbury, the other brother, Charles, staying at Ilkeston, where he built up a good business. Mr. William Wade, grocer, came next, then Mr. Hayes, ironmonger. The small shop against Chapel Street finally became Argyle’s tin shop. Mr. Smith had a small shoe shop against his double-fronted cottage. He had three sons, George, Henry and Edward, and one daughter, Sarah. She married Aaron Aldred, a machinist, at Carrier’s. Henry married for his first wife Lizzie Riley, for his second wife Miss Howard, sister to Ben Howard. Edward went to Glossop, was very successful, and returned later to his native town. The next shop was a tailor and outfitter’s. Here lived Mr. and Mrs. Wass with their son and daughter. They attended the old Wesleyan Chapel in Market Street. The next shop was called ‘London House’, kept by Mrs, Beardsley, or, as she was familiarly called, Mrs. Kitty Beardsley. This was the leading millinery and drapery establishment in Ilkeston. She also had a grocery business. In the family there were three sons and four daughters. Solomon, Amos and Albert were bakers. Mary became Mrs. S. Lowe, of South St., Maria Mrs. Flint, Kate Mrs. Brand, and Betsy Mrs. Bamford.

The next shops were higher up the street, just below the Almshouses. The first one, empty for a long time, was afterwards taken by Scales & Salter’s, shoe people, next to Mr. Riley, china dealer. The third shop was occupied by Mr. Isaac Gregory, grocer. His wife was sister to Mr. Bob Marshall, of the White Lion, White Lion Square. Mr Gregory was a machinist at Ball’s, his wife attended to the shop. When they retired they lived at Gregory House, Gregory Street. The next three shops were on the Carrier property against the factory entrance. In those days shops were not always occupied, and these shops were empty for some years. Mr. Joseph Carnill, watch and clock maker, took the lower shop. He also worked a warp frame at Carrier’s. Mr. John Wilson, shoemaker, had the middle one, but the top shop had a succession of tenants. Then came Mr. Joseph Carrier’s shops. The grocery and drapery shops had small bow windows, two in each shop, door in the centre. The hat shop was the lower front room of a house. The back and upper part was used by Carrier’s for girls embroidering lace gloves, mitts and falls. The windows between the grocery and drapery shops were utilised for gentlemen’s wearing apparel.

Mr. Joseph Carrier was the youngest son of Henry Carrier, founder of H. Carrier & Sons. He married Jane Attenborough, sister of Isaac Attenborough, of the Sir John Warren Inn, Market Place. There were seven children. The assistants in the grocery shop were Thomas Fritchley, Enoch Carrier, and William Hithersay, in the drapery, Thomas Small and Henry Coxon. Mr John Wombell, printer and stationer, came next, and it was here that the ‘Ilkeston Pioneer’ was launched on July 1st, 1855. Mr. John Wombell, his wife, two daughters and one son lived on the premises. Next to the ‘Pioneer’ office was Mr. George Small’s seed and vegetable shop. This shop had two small windows, one in Bath Street the other in East Street. The door was on the corner. Mr. Small also had the nursery gardens in the Lawn. He had three sons. Lambert was with his father, Thomas at Mr. Carrier’s, and George was also in the gardens. Martha was at home, Nelly was in attendance at the shop.

Continued in Letter 6