Ilkeston - Friday Was A Special Day
w/e 24 January 2010
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
It rained nearly all day on Friday when these images were captured
but it didn't spoil the fact that it was something of a special
day for me. You see I can now officially be called a senior citizen,
old age pensioner, grumpy old man or any combination thereof.
It was in January 1945 that my mother trudged in deep snow down
Park Drive to the Parkhyrst Maternity Home to have her little
bundle of joy delivered. The building still exists but it is
now known as Brooklands and is still part of the NHS although
it is no longer a maternity home.
She returned home to 81 Nottingham Road, a two up, two down cottage
in the middle of a row of three that were eventually demolished
to be replaced by this single property. It was there though that
I spent the first twenty two years of my life before marriage
took me away to pastures new.
Just down the road from home was the Kensington Mission (Picture The Past link)
and it was there that I attended Sunday School first meeting
my future wife at the age of two. In our teens we founded and
ran a youth club there but in due course, the building became
too costly to keep in good repair and it eventually had to be
closed and demolished.
I was educated at Gladstone Infants School and from the age of
eleven at Hallcroft. Both schools along with Gladstone Boys School,
since made famous by being where award winning actor Robert Lindsay
received his education, have now been demolished and replaced
by an infamous housing estate.
In between the infants and the senior level, my schooling took
place at Kensington Junior School and lo and behold, the majority
of the buildings here are still in situ although some of the
classrooms that once stood off St John's Road opposite today's
site were removed along with a playground and canteen.
My first paid employment was a butcher's round on Saturday mornings
that often stretched into the afternoon as well, from Glover's
shop at the bottom of South Street. That business has gone although
the building still remains. There were two more shops belonging
to the Glover's on Bath Street (Picture The Past link) and Granby
When I first started a "proper" job, I worked for two
or three years in Nottingham but moved back to Ilkeston to work
out of a former omnibus depot (Picture The Past link)
on Park Road for the East Midlands Electricity Board. That building
too was flattened and is now part of the same housing estate
as the Hallcroft/Gladstone School site. I stayed with EME under
various guises, names and locations for thirty four years before
joining a sub-contractor for another three and a half years -
one of the most stressful periods of my life.
The first place I moved to after leaving Park Road was into a
temporary building on the car park of the Board's Derby Road
offices and then onto the top floor of the main building. The
temporary building has gone and the main offices were sold on
meaning another move to Nottingham in 1986.
Although I've now been retired for a number of years - I didn't
realise how stressed I had become until I finished work - Friday
was the day of my sixty fifth birthday. Birthdays come, birthdays
go and some are more significant than others but Friday, despite
the weather, was one of those special days. I was able to spend
time with my family and also received lots of messages from friends
and family including one that I must mention from an old school
friend that I had not seen for more than forty years. It's little
things like that that make ordinary days special - the buildings
can be demolished and changed but the memories linger on. Friday
will be another of those days that linger long in the memory.