This letter appeared in the Ilkeston Advertiser’s Correspondence column on April 2nd 1937 and was a prelude to Adeline’s series of articles on ‘Ilkeston in the 1850’s’.
To the Editor, ‘Ilkeston Advertiser’ Sir, -- The account of the 82nd annual report of the Ilkeston Permanent Building Society, which appeared in your issue of March 19th, interested me very much, much as it has recalled to my memory some incidents of its beginning. On the north side of East Street are two substantial looking houses. In the first one -- now occupied by a tradesman -- lived my parents, and in this house my sister, Lucy Eleanor, and myself were born. In 1853 Mr. Samuel Carrier, of H. Carrier and Sons, my father, the late John Columbine, and several other kindred spirits, met in our front parlour to discuss ways and means by which to form a building society, and in 1854, The Ilkeston Permanent Building Society was started. Mr. S. Carrier was secretary until his death in 1865. His brother, Mr. Joseph Carrier, grocer and draper, succeeded him, and held the office until his death in 1880. The monthly subscription meetings were held in the old parlour until the Town Hall was built, when a room for the monthly meetings was engaged. My father sat with the secretary to receive subscriptions on Ilkeston Statutes night, then held the last Thursday in October. When we left the East Street House it was divided into two parts. The back part was occupied by Miss Hannah Mellor, sister of John and William Mellor, butchers, of South Street and Ilkeston Common. The front part, except the parlour, was empty for some time. At election times, there were lively scenes between the “blues and yellows”. Our parlour was brought into use for the polling station, and I remember seeing old Squire Mundy, who was a rabid Tory, come into the room, with his men, and look who they voted for, and woe to the man who dared to vote “yellow”, for he would certainly receive his ticket on the following Saturday. Peter Stanley, of Cotmanhay, brother to Mrs. Flint Hawley, butcher, of South Street, had the courage to vote against Squire Mundy, and on the Saturday following, received his ticket of dismissal from the Shipley Colliery Co. But later, nothing daunted, he started a small general shop in his cottage at Cotmanhay. He gradually built up a good business, and in his later years was able to retire upon a comfortable competency, which I do not think he would have been able to do, had he remained at the pit. – Yours etc. ADELINE WELLS. Eastbourne. With the Editor’s permission, I would like to send, in the near future, a contribution on Ilkeston and its inhabitants in the fifties of the last century. [The Editor will be pleased to receive such contributions.]