Old Ilson Quiz … Part 10

After a successful Part 9 ? ………

A couple of weeks after letter 37 and John Cartwright was fed up with waiting for a reply. So he sent in another letter, dated May 16th 1893.

Letter 38
Since Enquirer's last Whit-Sunday's visit several well-known Ilkeston people have gone to their long home, some of whose names have been recently mentioned by me; and in addition to those, there passed away in October last, at the ripe age of 83, Mr. John Taylor, late of Ockbrook, but in our boyhood, and for many years afterwards, he lived at Cocker's Farm and also at Little Hallam; and only on April 28th, Amos Spencer, a son of the late Benjamin Spencer, joined the majority at the too early age of 61, and whom I remember about fifty years back. Question 191. What was the family connection between John Taylor and the Cockers ? Question 192. What was Cocker's Farm also known as ? Question 193. What did John Cartwright get wrong with John Taylor's age ? Question 194. Where in Ilkeston did Amos Spencer spend most of his married life ? John then spends much of the rest of his letter describing places he has recently visited and how he has enjoyed the sights of that spring .. he also notes that this is reportedly the hottest and driest weather since the summer of 1844.

About three weeks later Enquirer penned a short letter 39, lamenting that there were not more correspondents adding to the conversation, and simultaneously a new writer joined the conversation. He signed his letter, dated May 23rd 1893, as Bullock-edge Nook.

Letter 40
Having been much interested by the letters of an old Sunday School mate (Mr. J. Cartwright), I wish to add, along with two others I have been conversing with, my humble appreciation of the revival of old sayings and doings. I attended Sunday School close by the old cricket ground, and remember having for my teachers the late Richard Daykin, John Childs, John Clayworth, Joseph Carrier, and the quaint Jas. Chadwick, author of "100 Wants". The only survivors amongst the teachers of that day, I believe, are Solomon Robinson and Jas. Butt. (Most are teachers whom John Cartwright also mentions in Letter 21). My connection with the above school was severed in Feb. 1853, when the Ebenezer Town day school was opened at "Bullock-edge Nook". I remember to this day a statement made at the opening by the late Thomas Hurst, of Kimberley, viz., "that this Sunday School may have a tendency to drive all the 'bogards' away". I did not attend day school along with Mr. Cartwright, but a school kept by William Pitt, noted for his fondness for news and 'bacca. He claimed relationship with the great statesman of the same name. When I speak of my school-master being fond of news, I may add that he was acquainted with the affairs of many people, for he did the correspondence of lovers and business men. Many a time have I taken the various epistles to the post-office, paid the postage, and, by his special instructions, requested them to stamp them. The post office was the opposite corner to the Harrow Inn, and was kept by Mr. Paul Walker. Question 195. What was the Sunday School close by the old cricket ground ? Question 196. Where did Solomon Robinson build his house ? Question 197. Where did William Pitt have his Day School ? Question 198. What affliction did William suffer from ? Question 199. What house was next to Paul Walker's post office ?

Just over a week later came another lengthy letter from John Cartwright.

Letter 41
John writes initially about the Wesleyan Methodist Circuit of Ilkeston, recalling some of its prominent members. He is helped in his descriptions by having "a few numbers of the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, containing interesting reminiscences relating to his circuit life in Ilkeston over 50 years ago, by Dr. Benjamin Gregory, the editor of the magazine, and an ex-president of the great Wesleyan Church". John quotes extensively from the magazine. At this period (the 1840's) Daniel Hudson, then well known in connection with the Ilkeston Mechanics' Institute, was the circuit steward, and, "next to Dr. Lucas, was the great literary oracle of the busy little town". I well recollect bath Dr. Lucas and Mr. Hudosn, as also Mr. Smith, of Langley Mill. Another well-known individual was (John) Tilson, the composer of the most popular anthem "I will arise". I have but a faint remembrance of this musician, but I knew his two sons, Jim and Joe, who took an active part in all local concerts, also playing regularly, first at the Old Chapel, and afterwards at the South-street Chapel, which opened 48 years ago, and in which I first heard the Rev. Dr. Rattenbury preach .... Tilson, the composer "died early in the forties of throat disease, brought on partly by the excessive use of his voice both as a preacher and choir master". John Tilson, ex-county cricketer (whom I saw play at Manchester v. Lancashire, in Derbyshire's first county match in May, 1871, and which contest we won in the innings), W(illiam) Tilson, and others of that name in your borough, are grandsons, I believe, of the composer named. Question 200. What was the 'day job' of Daniel Hudson ? Question 201. What was his role in 'saving' the Old Wesleyans in Ilkeston ? Question 202. Name another of John Tilson's 'popular' compositions. Question 203. What was Joe Tilson's alias ? Question 204. And name one of the two instruments he could play. Question 205. Cricketer John Tilson was the son of Joe Tilson .. what was John's alias ? Question 206. Where was John found dead, in 1895 ?

A week later John felt compelled to send in another follow-up letter …

Letter 42
It was not my intention a week ago to send you another letter so soon, but one or two references to old times in 'Bullock-edge-Nook's' letter, reminded me of little matters I had not before written about .... I was very pleased to learn that good old friend Mr. Solomon Robinson is still amongst you. His name reminded me of others who taught the young in Ilkeston fifty (and more and less) years ago, amongst them kindly, old John Shaw and genial John Neal. In the afternoon (of January 24th, 1853) old Mr. Hickton, of Cossall, was buried here. He was a relative of old Mrs. Brentnall of this town. In skimming through the pages of the diary, I meet with many names that call back the days of long ago -- amongst them, of the Revs. Hargreaves and Caleb Springtorpe ... Question 207. 'Genial John Neal' was a resident of Club Row and his son John junior had the well-known alias of ... what ? Question 208. Who was 'old Mrs. Brentnall? (The clue lies in her Cossall relative) Question 209. In which Ilkeston chapel did the Rev Hargreaves preach ? Question 210. And what about Caleb Springthorpe ?

Can you identify the three buildings shown on the left and mentioned in the letters above ?


Who do you think they are ?

Bullock-edge Nook is approximately the same age as John Cartwright and seems to have an acquaintance with the area around the old Ebenezer Chapel.


Now for Part 11 ….