Ilkeston - Back To School
w/e 10 September 2017
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

This set of images certainly is not the most picturesque you'll ever see but as children returned to school this week after their summer break, it set me thinking about some of the streets we walked to get to our places of education. Back in 2003 I added a page to this site titled "Education, Education, Education" and I toyed with calling this one "Education, Education, What Education?" That's because the trend in recent years seems to have been to demolish educational establishments and replace them with housing developments. Ex-pats or people who have moved away from Ilkeston to live in other parts of the country may no longer recognise these streets any more but at one time of day it's where we walked or rode our bikes to get to school. Nowadays of course, the "school run" involves parents driving their children to drop them at the school gates but when I was at school - we had moved on from quill pens and chalk and slates by the way - the school run had an entirely different meaning and usually involved a four or five mile trek to Cossall and back on a cross country run. That's unless you hid under the canal bridge to avoid the teacher or made a detour for a cup of coffee but that's another story for another day!

Care Homes

When I was at Kensington Junior School in the 1950s it was the time of the baby boom after the war with classes of 40 to 50 pupils not unusual. There was an annex on the other side of St John's Road. Peering over the wall you would see a playground, classrooms and the school canteen. Now part of that wall has been removed to create an entrance to Church View and Larklands Care Homes and looking over the same wall now presents a very different view.
Chaucer Street

Another Junior School from those days that I remember was Chaucer School. That was demolished and replaced with a new school just around the corner, the vacated site on Chaucer Street being used for housing.
Gladstone Street

There were several Infant Schools in the town and before going to Junior School the one I went to was called Gladstone. This stood at the far end of Gladstone Street from South Street which is where this photo was taken from. The wall at the far end is where Market Street bisected Gladstone Street and the entrance to the Infants' School was about as far again. The other half of Gladstone Street was lost when Chalons Way was constructed.
Chalons Way

Gladstone Infants' School stood in the middle of a complex of schools with the Hallcroft Schools being to the left and Gladstone Boys' School (for seniors) to the right. Seen here from the aforementioned wall on Market Street and looking across Chalons Way is the location of Extension Street which was a short street off Market Street leading to Gladstone Boys' School.
Derby Street

The bottom end of Market Street also disappeared when Chalons Way was built but still exists in the opposite direction towards the market. Above is the view today from Market Street along Derby Street which again lost some of its length due to Chalons Way. A school friend lived in a house on the right that was demolished because of the road construction but although Derby Street led directly into Hallcroft Girls' School he had to go the long way round to the Hallcroft Boys' School entrance.
Hallcroft Road

To reach the entrance he had to walk round via Market Street and Hallcroft Road to this footpath leading through to Vincent Avenue passing another gate into the Girls' School. The whole site of all four schools, Hallcroft Boys', Girls', Gladstone Infants' and Senior are now occupied by a housing estate. The Hallcroft Schools amalgamated in the 1960s and later after another reorganisation became Cantelupe School.
Cavendish Road

The equivalent school for girls to Gladstone Boys' was called Cavendish and stood on Cavendish Road. Later it became part of Cantelupe School and later still it was incorporated into the campus of Derby College which itself had taken over the South East Derbyshire College of Further Education on Field Road. The site of the Cavendish building is now, yes you've guessed it, another housing development.

That fate could also await this site at Cotmanhay where Bennerley School has been demolished. Many pupils from there had to transfer to the Ormiston Ilkeston Academy the latest incarnation of what was originally Ilkeston Grammar School.
Scholar Close.

Another site that has been developed recently into a small housing estate is off Stanton Road and this is where the Stanton Vale School stood. The school is now located in Long Eaton and caters for children with Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) or Complex Learning Difficulties (CLD/PMLD). To remember the former school the new cul-de-sac is called Scholar Close.
Former SEDC Site

After leaving senior school many students go on to further education and universities and colleges. One such college in Ilkeston was the aforementioned SEDC which became part of Derby College. The Ilkeston campus was moved to the centre of the town and is a new build on the former Magistrates' Court site while the SEDC site has been occupied by Morrisons supermarket. Construction work is now underway on the former playing fields associated with the college to create more housing.

Now we know there is a housing shortage nationally and we have a growing population which must surely mean that eventually there will be more children to educate. That just makes me wonder when they go "Back to School" in the future, where will these schools be and how far will the students have to travel? That puts a whole new angle on the "School Run" which could well become a "School Marathon".

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