Old Ilson Quiz Part 6

Leaving behind Part 5

Letter 20, another one from John Cartwright, dated January 19th 1892, promoted the details of ‘the suggested social gathering of Old Ilkeston scholars’ but added little to the history of Ilkeston ’50 years ago’. There followed a short hiatus which prompted another letter from the previous writer, dated February 2nd.


Letter 21

I fancy I knew ‘Bath Street‘ well when he was a pupil teacher. I may again be in error, but I have the impression that early in the fifties he removed Stapleford way, and that for some years his name figured in the matches played by the Stapleford St. Helen’s Cricket Club.

(I) recollect all about Rice’s -lane, the Ranters’ Chapel, Twells’ and Moses Mason’s green closes, and the latter’s equally green dips, of which I retailed perhaps thousands ranging in size from short sixes and long eights, to the better-known sixteens and twenty-fours. I believe it is a fact that the verdigris, or whatever the colouring material was, hardened and improved the candles, but it rendered them unfit for the very useful purpose of tallowing one’s nose when suffering from a cold in the head !

The name of Mr. Thos. Hives is one of the best known to those who lived in Ilkeston in the forties and fifties, and they will call to mind his opening of the ‘Vauxhall Gardens,’ and visit again, in fancy, the enchanted scene. Mr. Hives was and active, shrewd man of business, but it is told of him that he once made a slight mistake, and in this wise: — He counted up his money into packets of twenty, and on a very busy night, in giving a man change for a sovereign, he handed over a packet of gold, on opening which at home, the man hastened back to the hotel, informing the landlord he had made a mistake. ‘Don’t bother me, I’m busy: you should have counted your change before going away !’ was the reply, and we can picture Mr. Hives’ face when he gazed on the golden pieces laid before him.

I remember … Chas. Chadwick and James, the last-named keeping a grocer’s and an ironmongery shop. At one period Jas. was my teacher at the Sunday school, and he was much-liked; full of anecdote and dry humour, he combined amusement with instruction. Henry Eminson and his brother Fred (who went to Manchester, from Carrier’s warehouse) were fellow scholars at that time. At this period Messrs. S. Carrier and E. Trueman were the joint superintendents of the Wesleyan School, at which was then taught the Church Catechism, but not hand-writing, which latter, at that time, was taught at the old Baptist School in South-street, as well, no doubt, as in many other Sunday schools, for in those days there were no ‘standards’ to be passed ere the boys and girls left the day school for work, and it was only on one day in the week that many poor children had the opportunity afforded them of studying the difference between pot-hooks and figures.

Question 101. What and where was the Ranters’ Chapel in the 1840’s ?

Question 102. What was Moses Mason‘s trade ?

Question 103. Where did John Cartwright retail the goods made by Moses ?

Question 104. What was the name of Thomas Hives’ hostelry ?

Question 105. Name three regular attractions staged at the Vauxhall Gardens in Ilkeston.

Question 106. What did James Chadwick have in common with Elton John ?!

Question 107. Charles Chadwick was the brother of James … but what relation was he to Thomas Hives ?


John Cartwright had strong views on the education system of the day, while he could recall detail of how it was when he was a lad.

Amongst the teachers at the Wesleyan nursery, were Mr. Jos. Carrier, Richard Daykin (afterwards superintendent), John Childs, James Butt, Wheatley Straw, Samuel Cope and Isaac Gregory. Tutor Cope had been in the army, and had passed some time in America (which was much further away than it is now !!), and being a strict disciplinarian, was not much in favour with the pupils….
Once, at a prayer meeting, brothers Cope and Wheatley Straw being present, the former offered up a lengthy prayer; so long was it, that brother Straw, who was of most ardent temperament, called out, “Be short, brother; be short.” …. Such men command our respect, even if we do not altogether approve of their modes of attack.

(‘Bath-street’ ) must also recollect old Bramley and his wife, and their faithful donkey, who resided on the Heanor-road, the donkey spending his nights in the lower-room, whilst his master and mistress, having mounted the old step-ladder, rested in peacefulness in the room above. What would our great sanitary and scientific men say to this now-a-days ?

Questions 108/109/110.   Of the Wesleyan nursery teachers, which one was ..

a) the carpenter ?

b) the china dealer ?

c) the pensioner ?

Question 111. What was note-worthy about old Bramley ?


Letter 22

This was written by Enquirer

Speaking of Moses Mason’s chandler’s shop, I remember going there one Saturday in the summer with Joe Bates, to take some fat from his father’s shop, and of the smell of tallow I got a surfeit, and could smell nothing else for a week. I should like to know where Joe Bates is. He went away from the town, and I never knew what became of him.

Question 112. Joe Bates was born in Mapperley, the son of farmer Hugh Bates and Anne (nee Harrison). His father died in 1839. So how could he take fat from his ‘father’s shop’ to Moses Mason ?


Letter 23

A quick, short(ish) reply from John Cartwright ….

I was exceedingly sorry to gather from your columns of last week that the venerable and highly esteemed Rev. G.S.Ebsworth, formerly Vicar of St. Mary’s, Ilkeston, was lying seriously ill, and the feeling will, I think, be shared by all old Ilkestonians, of whatever creed or school or politics, for he was a kind and genial gentleman, beloved by many of, and respected by all, his parishioners. During my apprenticeship, I remember him coming into the shop one winter’s night (we kept open until 9 o’clock in those times), when I was writing near the naked gas light, and he then gave me some advice as to avoiding such strong light, with the object of saving my sight from injury.

(There followed much musing by John but the majority not on the characters of ‘Ilkeston 50 years ago’).

Question 113. This letter was dated February 19th, 1892. Despite the fact that John writes as though the Rev. Ebsworth has little time left, how many further years did he ‘linger’ ?


Letter 24

A week later came another letter from Pilgrim

Friend Cartwright, in his pleasant letters, has not touched on several families who at one time had great influence in Ilkeston — I mean the Potters — Mr. Samuel at the Park and Mr. Thomas at the Poplars. The families of both these worthies have about disappeared.

Then there was Mr. Barker, who married a Miss Potter, whose sons, John and Alexander, both lived to a good age and it may or may not be known to many, they are very nearly related to Dr. Barker, the late Bishop of Melbourne.

All will remember Mr. J. Bailey, who I think, built the first factory in the town. I do not remember all his family but I know he had a son Joseph who migrated to London town, and one day, while house  hunting in a southern suburb, I was quite taken aback by getting lost in streets with Derbyshire names and amongst villas, each pair bearing the name of a village in Derbyshire. On further inquiry, I found that Mr. Bailey had secured a large plot of land on which he had erected over one hundred pairs of villas, hence the names of streets and houses. It was intensely amusing to read such names as Heanor, Codnor, Smalley, Ilkeston, &c., &c., and Derwent-street, Ashbourne Grove, etc. etc

Question 114. Samuel and Thomas Potter were brothers, the sons of James and Mary (nee Richards). They had a younger brother George.
All three brothers married … but what did their wives have in common, before they became ‘Potters’ ?

Question 115. Who was ‘Mr. Barker‘ who married ‘Miss Potter’ ?

Question 116. And who was ‘Miss Potter‘ whose sons were ‘John and Alexander’ ? (Be careful !)

Question 117. And what relation was this Miss Potter to the Potter brothers ?

Question 118. Where was Joseph Bailey’s factory built ?

Question 119. It was not the first large factory built in Ilkeston. So who built the first one ?

Question 120. What was the family connection between ‘son Joseph Bailey‘ and the builders of the first large factory ?

Who do you think they are ?

Not a lot of clues here.

on to Part 7