Old Ilson Blog 1858


Jan 10th

You might recall that the Rev. Edwin William Symons of Christ Church in Cotmanhay died last year, on December 19th, aged only 47. We now learn that E. Miller Mundy Esq, of Shipley Hall has presented the Rev. Thomas Fowler with the vacant incumbency. He was previously the curate of St. Mary’s Church in Nottingham.

Jan 12th

Yesterday evening John Hutchinson, unmarried son of cowkeeper Joseph and Catherine (nee Beardsley) of Heanor Road, stepped out of the last, third-class carriage of the Nottingham train at Ilkeston Junction station. As you probably know, at that point the platform is at its narrowest, being about three feet wide, and is situated between the main line and the branch line going to the Town Station at the bottom of Bath Street. John missed his footing, slipped and fell onto the branch line, precisely at the moment that the passenger carriage was coming along the same line from the Town Station. The carriage was pushing five empty trucks in front of it and the first of these went over John’s body, killing him instantly. He was 37 years old.

Jan 13th

Yesterday John Wakefield, a baker living at a yard bearing his name, close to the Travellers’ Rest beerhouse, appeared at the Court of Bankruptcy in Nottingham.
It was at the end of last year that John was declared bankrupt and at this bankruptcy hearing dubious financial behaviour on the part of the baker was suggested.
Prior to his court appearance, the baker had transferred some money which he held in various money clubs in Nottingham to ‘parties, under peculiar circumstances’.
He then left for Manchester, taking with him £200, as his wife Margaret had admitted. A large surplus of this cash remained unaccounted for. His creditors suggested that John’s flight to the north-west was a prelude to his leaving the country but that the declaration of his bankruptcy had forced him to return to Ilkeston.
John seems to have a very ‘relaxed’ business attitude — he keeps no books at all and seems to rely upon memory to recall transactions and debts.
Of course, in his testimony, John put a totally different complexion upon his actions. He had not tried to hide any of his assets, and had given a full account of all the monies he had received and paid over the last 12 months .. all from memory of course, as no account books existed !!  He had not fled to Manchester, and while there his bankruptcy came as a complete surprise to him. However the hearing judge seemed unimpressed by what he heard and consequently the baker has been awarded only a third class certificate.

Jan 14th

I see from today’s Nottinghamshire Guardian, that Richard Evans of the Pottery, has just completed ‘very extensive alterations‘ to his premises, introducing the ‘most approved machinery, by hand or steam-power’, leading him to offer lower prices than any competitor and improved quality and durability. Now also, he has just added the manufacture of Terra Cotta goods of every sort: ‘ground indicators, grave, space and section markers’.
Stoneware sanitary pipes, water closet pans, sink traps, water filters, fancy vases, vitreous jars and bottles, border tiles and fire bricks, etc., etc., were still available of course, at Ilkeston Potteries, established 1807.

Jan 17th

The behaviour of some of our town’s residents is often beyond my understanding.
Henry Harrison has been out of work for over six months, and he has a wife and young family, several of whom are sick. Yesterday he appeared at the Smalley Petty Sessions, charged with brawling at the Sir John Warren Inn approaching midnight on January 4th. He was fined a mitigating penalty of 6d plus 18s costs. He said he couldn’t pay — but why was he out drinking, leaving an ailing family alone at home ?
He was allowed 14 days to pay, or 21 days in jail.

Jan 17th

And more strange behaviour, outlined at the same court .. also yesterday

William Woodroffe, landlord of the King’s Head Inn, was walking back from Nottingham on January 6th, having conducted some business in that city in the morning. He stopped for supper at the King’s Head in Wollaton, home to brothers Thomas and William Burton, washing his meal down with a little ale and a drop of gin and water.
About half past nine in the evening William left the Wollaton house to continue his walk back to Ilkeston and on Trowell Moor was joined by  Patrick Pollard, tinman and brazier, who has a shop just accross the Market Place from the King’s Head, and John Harrison, lacemaker. They were also walking home to Ilkeston.
The trio journeyed on to Gallows Inn and were crossing the canal there when an argument seems to have developed. William accused Patrick of trying to push him off the road, of hitting him with a bludgeon of some kind and of rendering him senseless, while John was egging on Patrick, using very colourful language.
As the alleged assault was taking place a young Stapleford lad, Samuel Richards, was returning home from Ilkeston and saw Patrick strike at William. After a brief conversation the lad hurried to the nearby brickyard of John Wilson and enlisted the help of Charles Beighton, foreman at the brickyard, and labourer William Hallam, both of whom were working there. Together the three found the injured William and he was escorted home to the Market Place in Ilkeston by two of the Good Samaritans.
On their return to Ilkeston, innkeeper William and his two ‘rescuers’ went immediately to confront Patrick at his home where they found him still with John Harrison and not in the best of moods. He was most uncooperative while lacemaker John threatened to re-arrange young Samuel Richard’s teeth. The confrontation seems to have ended when Police Constable Rouse arrived.
Yesterday they all appeared at Smalley Assizes where Patrick and John suggested this was a case of self-defence. Despite the fact that none of the other witnesses agreed with them, the defendants argued that innkeeper William was helplessly drunk and they had taken him ‘in charge’ to prevent him from being robbed. As they approached the town William had become belligerent, struck out at Patrick and threatened to push him into the canal. What else could they do but retaliate?
This testimony did not impress the Bench and Patrick and John were each fined 10s with costs; or in default of paying, six weeks in gaol with hard labour.

Jan 18th

At the inquest into John Hutchinson’s death which occurred three days ago, Joseph Tarlton, breaksman of Chapel Street, stated that is was usual to clear the Town Station of empty trucks at night which is what he was doing. There were three standing lights on the Junction platform but the one where the accident took place was obscured by the carriages as they came down the line. Consequently it would be pitch black at that end of the platform.
Today the Pioneer again took this opportunity to criticise the Midland Railway Company for its ‘gross inattention’, and to call for better lighting, a wider platform and improved accommodation at both stations.

Jan 30th

Wheatley Straw is the mine’s bailiff of Samuel Potter living on Heanor Road. Very sadly his youngest child Philip died yesterday. Some days before, the 8-year-old lad had been with his friends at the schoolroom, enjoying his dinner-hour when he wandered too close to the fire; his pinafore caught alight, and, naturally panicking, he tried to escape the room. This only made the fire worse. He was taken home where he lingered in some pain for four days.

Too late for the young lad, it was recommended that a fireguard be used in future at the school.

On the very same day, a similar death has also just befallen little George Beardsley, not yet two years old, the son of Alfred and Elizabeth of Grass Lane. I wonder how many more children must perish before more care is taken with unattended fires and unattended infants.


February 4th

Close by the property of Joseph Carrier, in Bath Street, the watch and clock-maker Joseph Carnill has just moved into the shop previously occupied by Edwin Wragg. It is close by the offices of the Pioneer newspaper.

Edwin has moved into Market Place premises.

February 6th

As you may recall — from January 17th !! — William Woodruffe is the landlord at the King’s Head Inn in the Market Place, and which he keeps with his wife Maria Nightingale Simpson — I  believe they have been there at least since their marriage in 1837.

Last October Maria noticed that she was missing a metal tankard from the inn, one easily recognisable as it had her husband’s initial on it, along with a number 5. It reappeared at the beerhouse of John Barker on Ilkeston Common, when his wife Sarah bought it for 4s from William McKnight, a visiting draper of Mount Street in Nottingham. He, in turn, had just bought it from someone for the same price and resold it immediately — not a clever piece of business !!

Suspicious Sarah took it eventually to the town policeman, Sergeant Hudson, and further enquiries identified labourer Alfred Cooper as the original seller of the mug — and landlord William was able to identify him as being in the King’s Head when the tankard went missing. Alfred initially pleaded innocence — he had bought the jug from a boatman, name unknown, but at the County Court yesterday, thought it wiser to plead guilty. Because of a previous offence he was awarded 3 months in prison with hard labour.

February 14th

The Ilkeston Pioneer now reports that the famous Cantelupe Monument has been restored and re-erected at the parish church, courtesy of present Lord de la Warr and Cantelupe.

“In the restoration of this monument the most eminent antiquarians have been consulted. They advised that the effigy should remain in its mutilated state, with one or two slight exceptions; but that the pediment should be restored to its original state, since sufficient remained to give a clear indication of what it once was. The manner in which the work has been done, and the correctness with which every detail has been followed, reflects the highest credit on Messrs. Lindley and Firn, who have shown themselves not only workmen but men of good taste”.

Here is a sketch of it made by a friend of mine.

February 19th

Next month the three newly-erected houses which you may have seen at the corner of Albion Place and Bath Street, are to be sold at auction by Charles Chadwick. So get along to the Rutland Arms on March 4th, well before 3 o’clock to ensure a place there !!

But before that, get yourself along, next week, to the Rutland Arms where auctioneer Charles is selling off some building land adjoining Ebenezer Terrace. That’s on February 25th at 7 o’clock in the evening.

However, in the morning, at 11 o’clock, at the building land mentioned above, Charles will be auctioning off a narrow boat and a wide boat, both at present moored at the Bridge Inn. Also in the auction will be a double-barrelled gun, a horse, two carts, two gas metres, some Bulwell stone, timber, widows, doors, iron pipes, chimney pieces, slates, tiles — the list goes on !!

You will know that Charles’s wife — Mary — is the sister of Thomas Hives, the proprietor of the Rutland Arms.


March 3rd

It looks like the bankruptcy of John Wakefield has finally been settled. His creditors can look forward to a payment of 6s in the £ !!

March 5th

I see that John Wombell is advertising for a man to take charge of his business when he is temporarily absent, He describes it as a General Book and Jobbing Office where a small weekly newspaper is printed. That paper would of course be the Pioneer.

March 7th

Yesterday saw the final edition of the Ilkeston News … it has now ceased publication.

March 16th

George Chadwick, who assists his father James in their ironmongery at the bottom of Bath Street, was in court at Derby Assizes yesterday — not as ‘an accused’ but as a witness. He was giving evidence against a young chap, 19 years old, called George Heaps who had brought a brass brick mould casing into the shop, trying to sell it. This was about January 20th. James smelled a rat and informed Sergeant Hudson. It turns out that the brass was stolen from the brickyard of John Whitehead in Bath Street.

Yesterday, despite his plea of innocent, George Heaps was found guilty of being in possession of stolen goods and was sentenced to four months with hard labour.

March 19th

It appears that the police don’t always ‘get their man‘.
At the same Spring Assizes, John ‘Jack’ Harrison was charged by PC John Dawes with violently assaulting him. It happened just about a week ago, Saturday night in Ilkeston, when PC Dawes approached a group of men who, he said, were creating a disturbance in the street. He tried to break them up and claimed that he knew ‘Jack’ very well. The latter was wearing a muffler, covering part of his face and the PC tried to pull it down to look at his face when Jack wacked him a couple of times in the face with his stick. This seemed a bit strange to the judge at the court — the policeman claimed to know Jack well, so why did he need to remove the muffler ?!
Another, nearby PC — John Hardy — heard the whistle of his mate and ran to assist. He saw Jack running away, and the latter also hit him as he passed.
Things were looking pretty bleak for Jack, but two character witnesses were then called to swear what a fine chap he really was !!
In summing up, the judge said that PC Dawes was perfectly correct to try to break up the disturbance, but it was no part of his duty to attempt to pull the muffler from Jack’s face. The constable was interfering with him and had no right to do so. There was a distinct mystery about why he had chosen to do that, and about his account of the events leading up to the ‘assault’.
The jury, too, was mystified, and immediately acquitted Jack.

March 20th

I see that Messrs Bailey, Son & Co. is extending its factory in Heanor Road. All it now needs is a builder !!


April 1st

The White Cow beer house at Hungerhill in Nottingham Road is available once more to let. The present tenant is James Gold — or is it Gould ? — or even Gouldingay ? — whatever !!  James is retiring through ill-health, and perhaps even old age; I am told he is about 82 years old.

April 2nd

And Thomas Machin is back in town !!

For those of you who are unaware, Thomas is the “Mute Photographic Artist” who irregularly visits Ilkeston. This time he will be appearing at John Mellor‘s garden in the Market Place where he will be taking portraits daily, from 9am until dusk. Prices vary from 1s to 10/6d, according to size and finish.

April 8th

We shan’t be seeing John Hofton and his wife Charlotte around town, at least for the next six months. Yesterday, at Derbyshire Assizes, the couple were found guilty of “keeping a disorderly house for immoral purposes” in East Street, and were each sentenced to six months in prison with hard labour. After their release they have been ordered to each provide a £20 security to be of good behaviour for twelve months. The lead magistrate at the trial commented that he had never come across such disgusting immorality before.

Interestingly, at their trial, the court couldn’t make up its mind about the accused’s surname. Let me help .. as far as I can. I believe that collier John Hofton is the illegitimate son of Ellen Hofton who then married John Stirland, four years after the son’s birth. The son then adopted the name of Stirland. The surname of Hooley derives from Charlotte’s maiden name before her marriage, in April 1839, to John Stirland alias Hofton.

I hope that has cleared up the confusion !!

April 9th

At the recent vestry meeting William Riley, butcher of Bath Street, was reappointed as the vicar’s churchwarden, while Samuel Potter, gentleman of Ilkeston Park, was chosen as the parish churchwarden.