Park Road

We leave behind neighbours Hithersay, Brand and Raynes in White Lion Square and walk into Park Road.

In the 1860s Park Road had begun to be developed but only at its ‘top end’ — that is the part that led out onto White Lion Square. This ‘top end’ had a string of houses on each side, though most of them lay on the south side. The road itself continued past these houses, as an unoccupied lane, leading to the Park House, estate and farm, the property occupied by the Potter family.

1866: Traffic warning 1 !!
Two-year-old Harry Meer, son of coalminer William and Mary (nee Harrison), was playing outside his Park Road home, where he was born, when he was run over by a horseman, riding up the road. Initially the accident appeared to be leading to the infant’s death but, attended by Dr. Date, he progressed well and made a complete recovery.
No blame was attached to the horseman as there was a slight turn in the road at the scene of the accident. However the view was expressed that the parents should have known better than to allow the child to wander out.
Harry Meer died at 10 Dale Street in January 1911.

At this time, some inhabitants didn’t think much of the area, like this the letter-writer …

Ilkeston Pioneer December 9th 1869

And just over a year later, Pioneer correspondent ‘Aesculapius’ (January 1871) asked …
When is Park-road to be improved? The cricketers and the Floral Society having deprived the public of the most delightful walk in the town, that around the Cricket Ground*, it is now more than ever necessary that Park-road, and the footpath to the Park and Cossall, by Mr. Norman’s**, should be clean and accessible. If members of the Board had often to walk in these directions, I think they would see that Park-road was improved, and that the filthy alley leading out of High-street was regularly attended to by old George, when sweeping the gutters in that quarter’.

*The Cricket Ground was at the other end of Market Street, at the southern side of St. Mary’s Church and we shall be there shortly. Previously open to the public, in 1871 it had been enclosed and shut off by a high wooden fence.

**‘Mr. Norman’s’ was Dalby House — now home of Erewash Museum — and the ‘filthy alley’ leading out of High Street went past Severn’s Yard, over Hilly Holies and what is now Park Cemetery, to Larklands and the Erewash Canal.

Samuel Rice … again

Adeline  points out that “White Lion Square had three shops in it. The first was under a tree at the top of Park Road.  Mr. Samuel Rice took this, leaving the one in the Market Place”. …. we have already met him there.
“He was a grocer, and when he retired from business, went to live on a farm at Kirk Hallam.”

Born in 1836 Samuel Rice was one of the nine children of tailor Richard and Hannah (nee Meer), all born in Ilkeston, before the majority of the family moved to Basford in the 1850’s.

The oldest surviving child, Samuel, a stone miner, remained at Club Row in Ilkeston and in March 1860 married Mary Shaw, youngest child of labourer William and Mary (nee Mather).

By 1871 the couple and their five children – one had died and several more were to follow — had moved to number 48 Park Road and Samuel was now a grocer while Mary was listed in the census as a baker.

There were further moves into Market Street where the family retained a grocery shop and to Little Hallam, before eventually Samuel and Mary moved to live at Ladywood Farm in Kirk Hallam, where Samuel died in October 1905.


“One of the two first houses on the north side of Park Road was tenanted by Mr. and Mrs. Amos Tatham and their family, They came from Crich about 1853 or 4.
“They had three sons, Herbert, William and Edmund. The latter died before reaching manhood.  The daughters were Eliza and Sarah.
“The other property was very old, some of the cottages faced south, the backs being to the road.

We have already met this Tatham family in Nottingham Road.

The ‘Edmund’ mentioned by Adeline was probably Arthur Amos who died in Stanley Street in April 1893, aged 30.

January 23rd, 1888: Traffic warning 2 !!

Just after 1 pm … in his pony cart, Alderman Henry Clay was travelling to Park Farm, the home of his daughter, Annie Belfield Potter (widow of farmer John Cecil Potter). With him he had two grandchildren, Bertie (Gilbert Marcus) and Willie (William Cullen) Wilkinson, aged 6 and 3 respectively — sons of Gilbert and Mary Belfield Wilkinson. They were turning into Park Road from Market Street, too quickly, such that the cart overturned and pitched the occupants out into the street. The horse, which had a reputation for being troublesome, then shot off, down Park Road and only stopped a mile or so later, when it reached the farm.

Meanwhile Henry and the two lads, now with numerous cuts, bruises and grazes, had been rescued from the road. The youngsters, though shaken, quickly recovered, but there was more concern for Henry, now almost 70. Dr. Albert Roland, Henry’s son-in-law, was sent for and administered the bandages etc. before the three injured were transported home.

The Goddards of Park Road

Despite the road’s shortcomings, many families felt attachment to the area. Let us take, as an example the Goddards.

George Goddard, son of Thomas and Ann (nee Tunnicliffe) was born on January 22nd 1861 in Park Road, and if he wished, he could trace his Ilkeston Goddard ancestors back to the seventeenth century. He probably had other things to occupy his mind however !!
As a young man, he worked as a coalminer and did so for the rest of his life. However in the summer of 1891 he became the subject of great interest for the local newspapers, and not for his coalmining exploits. By that time he had fathered one, possibly two, daughters with Caroline Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Seagrave — Harriet Ann, born on September 1st, 1887, and Florence Beatrice, born on May 2nd, 1889 (and who died in December 1889).
Late in the evening of August 16th, 1891, George was at his Park Road home which he shared with his father, when Lizzie arrived at his gate. “Give me money for my child and I will go about my business” she shouted. Until this time George had paid regularly for his daughter’s upkeep, though on this occasion he came out and refused any money. This refusal met with several smacks in the face, and then a chase into the garden. Suddenly Lizzie cried out that George had cut her, pointing to blood on her dress sleeve — “I need to go to the doctor !!” she shouted. Which she eventually did … to get her arm bandaged, before visiting the police to give a statement.
George was then visited again .. this time by Sergeant Hallam. The coalminer pleaded self-defence and an accidental stabbing, caused by Lizzie’s assault on him; he never meant to cause her harm, though this didn’t stop him from being charged with ‘wilful wounding‘.
On September 4th, at George’s appearance at the Petty Sessions,  Lizzie gave a slightly different account of her confrontation, agreeing with George, and confirming that it had all been an accident.. she had been the attacker, had forced George back, and he had then slipped over a bag of slack, accidentally cutting her with a knife — a knife he had been using to eat his supper of bread and meat before he was rudely interrupted. The fact that she had married George on August 21st might have explained her defence of her ‘assailant’. The case was forwarded to the County Assizes in October but was thrown out; George had no case to answer.
The Goddard family continued to live at Park Road almost until the end of the century when Lizzie appears to have left George. He died on June 17th 1917, in the same road he had been born in and lived all his life in. At number 41.
Caroline Elizabeth had died on May 10th 1914, at 17 Evans Row.
They were united in death, both being buried in the same Park Cemetery grave.


Another family greatly ‘attached’ to Park Road were the Walkers.