It appears that the "Blue Pig Mystery" has awakened
some fond memories. I had the following email forwarded to me
and I thought it deserved a wider audience as it really evokes
the flavour of a different age that in truth was not all that
I enjoyed very much the
article about the Blue Pig, it was indeed the focal point
of our world when we were children, every game of cricket or
football, a game of tin a lurky or duckstones on the tip was
preceded with the phrase " I'll see you on the Blue Pig".
For me it brought back vivid memories of a time when miners with
their coal blackened faces walked home along the cut bank after
their shift at Oakwood Grange or Cossall Pit.
The canal locks were our local swimming baths after we first
learned to swim a few strokes at Pye Bridge on the top cut, when
boozed up men would come out of the Bridge Inn throwing coins
into the canal for the more adventurous to dive off the bridge
to retrieve them.
The Blue Pig brings back memories of the games of Strappit, Rusty
Bomb Finger or Thumb, Stick and Geezer, of dark foggy nights,
and gas street lamps with blue tits nesting in them. The Blue
Pig doesn't belong now in the world of computer games and televisions,
it's time was of gas lights not megabytes. It's time was when
all neighbours knew each other, when no one needed to lock their
doors at night. It was a time when the local lads knew each other
to be Podgy, Nutty, Dinger, Toddy, Buller, and of course, Bod
Our world was of great iron clad monsters spewing out clouds
of steam, smoke and sparks thundered under the Black Bridge as
we tried to catch sight of their names, a world of pewits, finches,
sand-martins and a score of other birds, everyone knew where
they all nested. We caught newts in the rock pools of Bennerley
Hills, climbed the trellis supports of the viaduct hanging on
as it shook when trains passed overhead.
We walked for miles in complete safety along towpaths
and meadows when the most frightening time was to be chased off
of the meadows by Mr. Goddard "the Duke Of Wello's"
who lived in the decaying Victorian house which was the Rodgers
family house when they ran the famous Ilkeston Laundry at the
canal side just over the bridge
It was good to see Herbert Blount sitting there. I lived across
the road from him, he would indeed be an authority on the Blue
Pig, there can't be too many other older residents still living
on Awsworth Rd. It's good to know he's keeping our believed Blue
Pig warm, I can see him now riding his donkey.
If only that historical seat could talk, what a tale it would
Thanks for the memories
Thanks for writing, Brian.
(Image by Ilkcam)
The Bridge Inn seen from the canal bank. The Blue Pig is behind
the wall on the right of the picture.