Old Ilson Quiz … Part 4

After Part 3, we kick off this part of the quiz with Letter 15, another one from John Cartwright.

Letter 15
Halfway into this letter John included a lengthy list of his old Ilkeston friends (helpfully in alphabetical order .. almost !!) .... ......... Amongst the Attenboroughs and the Aldreds, the Bates (Joshua, and his brothers Wm. and Joseph), the Blounts, Bennetts, Beightons, Butts (friend, James whose father was a well-known old soldier of over 50 years past), Barkers, Beardsleys, and Balls; the Chadwicks, Carriers, Evans, Gambles, Goddards (joiners, &c.), and Greens, the Hooleys, Horridges, and Harrisons; the Johnsons, the Masons, the Potters, Revells, Rileys, the Severns, (Ezekiel amongst them), the Straws (old friend Henry, and those of 'the Bridge'), the Shaws (old friend Sam, who lives at Nottingham), the Sudburys (one of whom, says Mr. Charles, would do for the chairman*), the Turtons ... the Tomlinsons, the Wigleys, (Arthur I knew best), the Whiteheads, John and William, worthy sons of a worthy sire, who was a chemist in Bath-street and for very many years the much-esteemed clerk at St. Mary's Church. *At this time the writers of these letters were suggesting a reunion meeting which would need a 'chairman'.
Question 61. In 1839 Hugh Bates, the father of the three Bates brothers, died and their mother remarried a year later; who then became their step-father ? Question 62. What raw material did this step-father supply for candle-maker Moses Mason ? Question 63. Who was the 'old soldier', father of James Butt ? Question 64. What 'interest' did son James Butt have in common with his father ? Question 65. Which 'Bridge' housed the Straws ? Question 66. Who was the 'worthy sire' Whitehead ? Question 67. What did his sons John and William, have in common with each other, and with their wives ? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Later in the letter John added a few historical details. Ilkeston Baths were erected in 1830, the mineral spring then discovered bidding fair to render Ilkeston famous as a watering place, the water being said to resemble the German Seltzer water. Anyway it was used internally as well as for bathing. In 1834 the 'Artizans' and Mechanics' Library' was established; in 1842 the Choral Society ... was started; in 1845 the British Schools were opened, and in 1848 the Gas Works saw the light, whilst the Floral and Horticultural Society began its operations in 1851. In connection with this latter, well do I remember the pleasant half-day holidays we had when the annual shows were held in the beautiful grounds of Shipley Hall. In those days a half-day holiday was a boon much appreciated, and one never forgotten. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Question 68. Which Ilkeston family initially owned the Baths ? Question 69. What 'inconvenience' had led to the discovery of the mineral spring ? Question 70. Where were the British Schools built ? Question 71. Who was the first Master of the Boys' school there ? Question 72. What is the connection between this school and the Artizans' and Mechanics' Library ? Question 73. In which street were the first Gas Works built ?
Letter 16
John Cartwright was now well into his stride and without waiting for a reply to his last letter, he penned another one .. ... (Mr. Paul Hodgkinson) was apprenticed to Mr. Matthew Hobson, afterwards his manager, and finally became the principal of both the grocery and millering businesses. It was he who first caused me to learn how to tell the time by the clock. When a very little fellow I was sent to Hobson's shop pretty frequently, and one day previous handing me the required goods, he said, 'What o'clock is it, Johnnie ?' at the same time requesting me to look at the church clock. Not caring to acknowledge my ignorance, I guessed the time, and got over my difficulty. Feeling ashamed of myself, I resolved to go straight home and take lessons on 'grandfather's clock' at once, and did not stay on the way back either to watch the cricket practice on the Rutland Ground, or even to play marbles with my old school-fellow, Henry McDonald, nephew of the Messrs. Carrier; neither did I resume play until I had mastered the art of telling the seconds and minutes and hours by the clock. The mention of McDonald's name calls up many pleasant memories ... (we) were once playing at 'ring taw' in Bath-street on the footpath when one of England's great men came along and jumped over me as I was stooping to play. I gazed on that fine muscular form and on the scarred features, and the picture has never been erased from my memory. I had often heard of the 'Champion  of England', but had never seen Ben Caunt before that time, and I never saw him again. Question 74. What is the connection between the village where Paul Hodgkinson was born on August 25th,  1823 and where he died on February 25th, 1889 ? Question 75. Who was 'Henry Mac's' mother ? Question 76. Ben Caunt was 'Champion of England' at what ? Question 77. ... and what was he in Ilkeston for ?

At this point another writer joined the conversation. He was William Strangeway.

Letter 17
My brother John was a scholar with William Pitt, whose school he left 55 years ago. I was with Mr. Milner, first at the old school-room belonging to the Independent Chapel, and afterwards when the new British School-room in Bath-street was built we removed there ; and many a happy day have I spent in that place in company with many of those boys whose names Mr. Cartwright mentions ... We two brothers have been left the old place, one 45 and the other 43 years ... but (we) have never lost our love and admiration for the Hill Town, in whose church father and mother were wedded by the Rev. M.  Moxon, the vicar of that period. The Miss Padman to whom Mr. Cartwright refers I well knew. She was the daughter of a Wesleyan minister; a lady of very quiet manners, but considerable culture and refinement ... Question 78. Where was Mr. Milner's old school-room ? Questions 79 and 80. What two 'errors' did William Strangeway make in his description of the Rev, Moxon ?

Who do you think they are ?

Both the authors of these letters revealed their identities — so there are no further clues to those of the anonymous writers.

Let’s move on to Part 5.