Awsworth - A Step Back In Time
w/e 13 March 2022

All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

We're now into the 21st year of Ilkeston Cam and as time goes on it gets more and more difficult to find somewhere locally that we haven't been to before. It is though 19 years since we last walked through Awsworth even though it is only a couple of miles from Ilkeston so a return visit to the main street through the village is long overdue. It's also a step back into family history as my paternal grandparents lived here. More about that follows but to be honest, very little appears to have changed since our visit in 2003 - there's a link to those images near the bottom of this page.


The telephone kiosk has been removed, the flowers are different and the hedge has grown somewhat but little else has changed at the crossroads where Cossall ends and Awsworth begins at the signpost on the corner of Westby Lane and The Lane.
Middleton Street

The first road on the left from The Lane is Middleton Street and if you strip away the road markings and the modern vehicles, I imagine it looks pretty much the same as it did at the turn of the last century. And this is possibly where the family history comes in. The building on the left has a sign which says "The Old Off Licence" and on the right is a shop which now trades as a fast food take-away.

Back in the 1901 census my grandfather Joseph Newton at the age of 24, is shown as living at "The Shop" and his occupation is a baker. I remember there being talk in the family of him being a Master Baker and I have a strong suspicion that the shop in question was one of these on the corner of Middleton Street. I'm leaning towards the Off Licence being the shop in question but it needs further investigation.
Methodist Church

On the other side of The Lane is the United Methodist Free Church which opened in 1884. Apart from a lick of paint it looks very similar to our 2003 visit and I imagine it is little changed since its first construction. I can also imagine Joseph, his wife Hannah and some of their nine children worshipping there.
New School

Some of the children may also have attended school in Awsworth but it wouldn't have been this one which is of much later construction.
The Lane

A parking area is now set aside in front of the school but if any of my ancestor's did attend school in Awsworth, it would have entailed a walk along The Lane towards the northern end of the village.
Village Hall

That walk would have taken them past the site of what is now the Village Hall and the entrance to the Recreation Ground.

Infant School

The Infant School, now a Day Nursery, stands a little further on past the Village Hall.
Main Street

And just around the corner on Main Street as The Lane has now become, the former Awsworth Board School of 1878 still stands near the top of the hill.
At St Peter's

Across from the old school is St Peter's Church where a path from the road to the church passes the village's War Memorial, inscribed on three sides with the names of about 30 men who died during the Great War. More names of those lost in the Second World War were later added to the plinth.
Crown Inn

Further down the hill Croft Crescent leads off Main Street and The Crown Inn, which like the Methodist Church, has benefited from a coat of paint since 2003, still looks pretty much the same. I remember though back in the 1960s visiting one of my Dad's brothers (14 years his senior) and his family who lived in a cottage on Main Street. That cottage has now been demolished but The Crown would have been his local.

I never knew my paternal grandparents. They both died in their early forties over a quarter of a century before I was born. My Dad was orphaned at the age of 5 or 6 and was brought up in Cotmanhay, Ilkeston by an "aunt" but I still feel that strong family connection to Awsworth every time I pass through it. Of course these days, most people by pass the village along the A6096, Shilo Way and as we can see from these
images from 2003, the old road through the village has changed little since then. In fact parts of that route have hardly changed since Joseph baked his bread there over 120 years ago. I wonder if it will still be the same in another 100 odd years.

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