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 But there was also some useful historical references.
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.