To enhance the experience of a visit to the Baths, the latter were adjoined by Vauxhall Gardens — park grounds which included a bowling green, archery ground and attractive walks, and where the public could, at times, enjoy “firework displays, monster Montgolfier balloon ascents, grand revolving wheels, dancing on the green and excellent bands”.
These gardens lay between the Baths and the Rutland Arms Hotel.
The last inn on the west side was the Rutland Arms. To about 1844 this was a small countrified public house.
The Rutland Arms Hotel, as it was now called, had for its landlord Mr. Thomas Hives.
Following this, on October 23rd 1873, Thomas Hives received a telegram at the Rutland Arms telling him of news that he had been eagerly anticipating for a week or more…
“Liverpool. Thursday. October 23rd 1873. Red Star Line Office. Arrived all safe. Will be home tomorrow night. HARRY McDONALD”.
Apparently this news caused quite a stir in the town and a steady stream of visitors arrived at the Rutland Hotel anxious to confirm the arrival.
The next day, Friday, preparations were made to greet the returning MacDonalds. A flag was unfurled on St. Mary’s tower where the church bells issued ‘merry peals’.
In one of his own carriages Thomas and his youngest daughter Mary Ann went to Trent station to meet the returning MacDonald family and all then travelled to Ilkeston via Long Eaton, Stapleford and Trowell.
Along the route and as night fell, old friends and acquaintances with torches and lamps were arranged to greet them.
And as they came into town the church bells once more burst into life as more spectators lined the crowded streets to catch a glimpse.
Also crowded was the Rutland Arms, with friends waiting to welcome Harry and Ellen and their daughters.
On the following evening the main ‘welcome-home’ gathering was held at the same venue when the Ilkeston Brass Band, led by Samuel Aldred, honoured the occasion.
“The evening was very comfortably spent by all present”. (IP)
Shortly after his return — by June 1874 — Henry had become one of the four trustees of the newly-established Erewash Valley Working Men’s Land and Building Society and was voted in as Chairman at the shareholder’s meeting held in that month at the Rutland Arms.
Shares in the Society were limited to 600, members paid 1s 3d per week in subscriptions, and its aim was to help them build or purchase their own home.
And four months later Henry was marching from that hotel, accompanied by the other members of the Society and headed by the Ilkeston Band, to Crichley Street where he formally laid the foundation stone of the first house to be erected by the Society. It was to be the home of coalminer William Rollinson and his family — according to the Pioneer — although the Telegraph thought collier William Wheatley was to be the occupant.
- The younger daughter who was at home, was a good pianist.
Born in November 1846 Mary Ann was the youngest child and for many years she was ‘at home’.
At the Christmas concert of 1874, held at the United Methodist Chapel in South Street, the choir was ably accompanied by Mary Ann, ‘for whose services the choir must be greatly indebted’.
Similarly, she very ably presided at the pianoforte for the Ilkeston Brass Band Annual Concert in March 1879.
And in the same month she was fulfilling the same role at a concert given by the Trinity School scholars.
Ten years after the death of her father, in November 1886 and aged 40, she married civil engineer John Hardman.
Mr. Hives second wife was Miss Gelsthorpe, of Nottingham.
Thomas married his second wife, Mary Gelstharp or Gelsthorpe, in June 1852.
After her husband’s death in 1876 Mary took over the hotel’s licence for a short time before it was transferred to Henry MacDonald in May 1877.
However Mary continued to live there as proprietor.
In 1884 she retired from the Rutland Hotel.
The Marquis of Granby Lodge No 1 of the Ilkeston and Erewash Valley Order of Oddfellows presented her with a leaving gift at the Shipley Boat Inn.
For over 50 years the Lodge had held its meetings at the Rutland Hotel and Mary had served as its treasurer.
Shortly after this — in April 1884 — she married Draycott market gardener William Baker who was Mary’s brother-in-law before he became her husband.
He had married Elizabeth Gelsthorpe, Mary’s sister, in 1847 and she had died in 1882.
Mary died at Nottingham in January 1895, by then a widow for the second time and aged 75.