Old Ilson Quiz … Part 13

The next letter came from John Cartwright, dated August 9th 1893 … written post “the Old Boys’ Reunion”…. and was full of complimentary remarks about the Mayor, the organisers, and those old Ilkestonians who attended.  But there was also some useful historical references.

Letter 51
John had obviously been corresponding with his "old school-fellow" William Strangeway and quoted from one of the latter's letters .. "I know (the Tilsons) all well. Old John Tilson, the father of the family, was a local preacher, and an excellent musician; he composed 40 'common' tunes, besides several anthems, one of which, 'The Prodigal Son', you mentioned. His four sons, John, Thomas, James, and Joseph, could all sing and play. I have heard some of the best violincello players in Britain, but not three better than Thomas. Joseph, both on the violin and double bass, was excellent. When he was seven years old, his father preached the school sermons at Stanley Common, and Joseph played the single bass on the occasion." John then returned to his own reminiscences ... Before the (reunion), I met a younger branch of the Green family --- Mr. Green, who represents the Shipley Collieries, and whom I frequently see on our London journeys. I went to school with his elder brothers, whom I well recollect. I also met with a Mr. Simpson, of whose family I appear to have said but little, if anything. I remember speaking of Mr. Simpson who was father to Mrs. Woodroffe, Mrs. Derbyshire, and Mrs. Lowe. Question 251. Can you name another tune composed by old John Tilson ? Question 252. Which of the four lace-making Tilson sons eventually became a coal miner ? Question 253. Mr. Green of Shipley Collieries was Moses Green (1849-1897), one of at least eight children of John and Ann (nee Bostock), who spent all of their almost 50 years of married life at Sough Closes, down Park Road towards the canal. John was the youngest child of George and Sarah (nee Simpson) .... the eldest child was William born in 1801. What other connection did this William Green have with the Simpson family ? Question 254. Who was Mrs. Woodroffe (nee Simpson) ? Question 255. Who was Mrs. Derbyshire (nee Simpson) ? Question 256. Who was Mrs Lowe (nee Simpson) ? Question 257. So who was the Mr. Simpson, their father ? [message_box title="Help !!!" color="yellow"] Some of my oldest mates appeared to have worn remarkably well; foremost amongst the lot, Mr. Samuel Aldred, whom I knew intimately .... 52 years ago. N.B. Help needed here !! I believe that Mr. Samuel Aldred, who lived all his life in Ilkeston, much of that time in Spring Garden Terrace, was the eldest child of Joseph and Ann. His birth and baptism in 1828 were recorded at Ilkeston Independent Chapel when his mother was listed quite clearly as "Ann Traynor". At this time the only marriage of Joseph Aldred seems to be to Ann Jackson at St. Mary's Church in 1828. Joseph Aldred died in 1846 and then his widow appears to have married widower Thomas Straw in 1849 (she gave no father's name) Thomas Straw died in 1863 and then I think Ann married widower James Johnson later in 1863. On her marriage certificate she names herself as Ann Aldred and her father as 'tinman Robert Trueman' !! Question 258. Can anyone make sense out of this ??

I was sorry Alderman Wade was not well enough to join the charming circle, but glad to see his twin brother (Mr. Joseph) looking hale and hearty, and as jovial as of yore. He was not the only old cricketer there, for besides Mr. Wade and jolly Calladine (the clog dancer), there were the three brothers, Isaac, William and Thos. Attenborough; old friend Tom Meakin, the brothers Harrison, Tom and John; and the brothers Ross, John and Charles; all of whom have done excellent service in connection with the Rutland and other noted clubs; …I could have spoken a lot about one of the gentlemen whose portraits graced the Town Hall — of the late much-esteemed Mr. William Sudbury, whose public and private life and works are well known to you all … I was particularly pleased to see the partner of his joys and sorrows.

I was pleased to see many other old families so well-represented — the Balls, of whom I think I saw six brothers; the Beardsleys, of whom there were three or four brothers

Question 259. Who was Alderman Wade ?

Question 260. In what years was he Mayor of Ilkeston ?

Question 261. Who managed his South Street shop after 1880 ?

Question 262. Two of the Attenborough brothers died less than a year after the Reunion. Which brother out-lived the two ?

Question 263. Where, in Ilkeston, did Tom Meakin settle to live after his marriage to Charlotte Straw in 1851  ?

Question 264. Who was the partner of William Sudbury ?

Questionn 265. ‘The Balls’ were probably those of Ball’s Yard …. where was that ?

Question 266. Who would be the oldest Ball brother seen by John Cartwright ?

Question 267. And who would be the youngest brother ?

Questions 268-270. Name three of the four other brothers. (An a bonus mark if you can name all four !!)


Letters 52, written by Inquirer, Letter 53, by An Old Boy, and Letter 54 from William Stangeway, all reflected in general terms, upon the occasion of the Reunion evening, and for some, what the future held.

The final letter, dated August 1893, was appropriately written by John Cartwright, and was headed “Old Age — A Study”.

…… The “Old Boys” gathering at the Town Hall, Ilkeston, on Bank Holiday, at which I was present, was an exciting and impressive scene; a scene which will live in the memory for days to come.

John reflected upon Old Age, what leads to it and what is offered afterwards … Associations and companionships are very suggestive and important factors in all our lives. Our nature is averse to isolation. … There are two words I now think of which mean a great deal to everybody, and in old age they seem very significant indeed. They are the words — furure and prospect. Old age, as far as this mortal life is concerned, has but a very limited future.  … And then what about the prospect ! Let us hope we are prepared for the future, and the prospect is bright.