Guest Page No. 11
Ilkeston - Graphic Art
w/e 17 March 2013
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Stephen Millership moved to live near Manchester about thirty years ago but he still visits family here in Ilkeston on a regular basis and regards it as his home town. He, like me, has been saddened by the demise and decline of the town in recent years which, in the same way as many other similar towns, has been hit by the recession and the economic climate in general. We both feel the town and its environs still have a lot to offer and Stephen cites "the industrial and architectural heritage and surrounding countryside". Stephen works as a Graphic Designer and Freelance Illustrator and emailed me recently to let me know about a series of twelve illustrations he has produced which are currently on a semi-permanent display in the Erewash Museum. He also wrote "If you fancy putting your feet up one week and putting away the camera I don't mind if you use my images on your site" but rather than putting my feet up, I decided to accept the self imposed challenge of going out with the camera and attempting to reproduce similar shots to some of Stephen's illustrations.

Erewash Museum

There is obviously no better place to start than at the Erewash Museum where Stephen's illustrations are on display. The blue banner currently adorning the facade shows that the museum has won the prestigious Derbyshire Museum of the Year award for 2011 and 2012 and no doubt Stephen's contribution will aid the museum's bid to complete the hat trick of three years in a row.
Bennerley Viaduct

Some of the illustrations were easier to reproduce with the camera than others but this one of Bennerley Viaduct proved quite challenging. Not only did it involve a half-mile walk along the Erewash Canal towpath, I then had to scramble through the undergrowth to reach the fence bounding the railway lines and still could not replicate the exact angle of Stephen's illustration.
Scala Cinema

The Scala Cinema was another where it proved difficult to get the full straight on angle due to the proximity of the Sir John Warren pub on the opposite side of the road.
Ritz Cinema

When I was young there was the choice of four cinemas in the town, the New Theatre on Lord Haddon Road, the King's on Bath Street, the Scala just off the Market Place on Pimlico and the Ritz on South Street. The New Theatre and the King's have both been demolished and only the Scala remains as a cinema as the Ritz has been converted into a Bingo Hall but its typical 1930s architecture is still a feature of the town centre.
Victoria Park

Stephen's illustration of the bandstand in Victoria Park with a concert in full swing shows the lush foliage of summer. Although concerts are still held here in the summer months, at this time of year the bandstand remains empty and the trees are not yet in leaf. The good news is that crocuses are coming into flower in the park so warmer weather is not too far away.
Rutland Recreation Ground

It's a little early in the year too for cricketers to be playing on the Rutland Recreation Ground although groundsmen have been seen at work on the pitches. You will notice too that the seating that was a feature of the pavilion for many years, was removed when it became the Rutland Sports Park but it's good to see that people of my and Stephen's generations still refer to the ground as the Rec.
Ilkeston Market

In his email to me Stephen also said that he was "shocked by the state of the Saturday market" which for a variety of reasons has declined in recent years. The Thursday market however is well attended by traders and customers alike and now rivals the Saturday market as the biggest market of the week. The photo to accompany Stephen's illustration was taken through the winter-grimed window of the upper storey of the Co-Op, an establishment itself that has announced it is to close several of its departments due to the economic situation.
Potter's Lock

I said that some of Stephen's illustrations were difficult to replicate and this one of Potter's Lock on the Erewash Canal was in fact impossible. The best I could do was to try and reproduce a similar effect with two images, one whilst balancing on a fence to show the lock and the other from the towpath showing the said fence and the bridge. I was lucky enough to find a boat on the canal though which was an obvious bonus.
Ilkeston Fair

Another one that was impossible to reproduce at this time of year was the Annual Charter Fair which is held in October so I dug back in the archives to find one I captured from the balcony of the Town Hall in 2002. It looks as though the viewpoint for Stephen's illustration is either from higher up in the Co-Op or perhaps from the Big Wheel which always stands at the side of the Town Hall.
Dale Abbey

My picture here of the ruins of the east window of St Mary's Abbey at Dale captured in the spring of 2002 is also taken from the archives and contrasts with Stephen's snowy illustration.

The other two images created by Stephen are of the blast furnaces at Stanton which no longer exist and a viewpoint of Dale Windmill which is on private property. You can see them and more of Stephen's work on his website but if you are able, I would recommend a visit to the Erewash Museum to see the full size versions.

Link to Stephen's website

Stephen wrote to me "I wanted to produce a sort of propaganda poster" and an "appealing image" showing what the town has to offer. The images have taken him over a year to execute after much research and he says "it was really a labour of love" which was a celebration of Ilkeston past and present. I am sure Stephen has succeeded on all counts.

Digital images and text is copyright but licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
The illustrations on this page are Stephen Millership's copyright and are reproduced with permission.