Letter 8

Continued from Letter 7

March 25th, 1938.


The first shop in South Street was occupied by Mr. John Mellor, butcher. He was a bachelor. His niece, Miss Bates, was his housekeeper. The shop stood on what is now Wharncliffe Road. The next shop was a chemist’s and druggist, kept by Mr. Richard Potts. It was also the General Post Office. The Potts family consisted of two sons. Smith, the eldest was a chemist, and left Ilkeston when a young man. Charles was also a chemist. He started in business, in a new shop at the bottom of Bath Street. There were four daughters – one assisted Miss Hannah Horridge in her dressmaking business, Jane and Kate, the two youngest, managed the Post Office. Kate, I believe, was the only one of the daughters to be married. She married William Smith, eldest son of Mr. William Smith, draper, Market Place. When Mr. R. Potts retired, he went to live in Robin Hood’s Chase, Nottingham. The next shop was a pork shop. This property was very old. It belonged to the Balls. One of the sons, Thomas, carried on a small pork business. The shop had been built in the bank, and a flight of stairs led up from the small shop to the house above. All this side of South Street had been parcelled out, and had fair-sized gardens at the rear. Mr. Richard Daykin, who was a joiner at Stanton, bought a plot and built two shops and houses on it. The first shop he occupied and started a grocery business. Mrs. Daykin managed it until Birch, the eldest son, was old enough to take charge. Fred was a pupil teacher at the British School, and after Mr. Wright Lissett resigned he became the head master. Mr. W. Armstrong lived in the second shop. He was a furniture dealer, also a cabinet maker. Herbert Armstrong, their eldest son, died while still a boy. Mrs. Armstrong was Mrs. Daykin’s sister. Mrs Sam Lowe had the next plot and built a good house and shop on it. This property has been acquired by the Co-operative Society. The Lowe family consisted of  seven daughters and one son. Sally married John Carrier; Juliana died when she was about 18 years old; Mary Ann; Betsy married Eddie Jones, second son of Mr. M. Jones, first landlord of the Brunswick Hotel; Kate; Joe, who died when about fourteen; and Fanny, who married Mr. Whitehead, who became headmaster of Shipley School. The next shop was built by Mr. William Gregory. He was the first engine driver at H. Carrier & Sons. Mrs. Gregory managed the book selling and stationery business. They had four children, Selina, Ben, Theo and Agnes. The shop was given up, and Jane Skevington – Mrs. Kitty Beardsley’s sister – began business as a draper. Afterwards Mr. David Pressland, of Bath Street, furniture dealer, took it, and I believe died there. Annie the eldest daughter, died while young. Mary married a journalist, and on leaving Ilkeston with her husband, took Mrs. Pressland with them. Mrs. Pressland died rather suddenly some years later. Gregory’s orchard next to their shop was bought by the U.M.F.Church, and South Street Schools were erected on the land.

Continued in Letter 9