Bert's Town - Part 07 - Moving On
w/e 23 August 2009
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
D H Lawrence's Eastwood

In the late 1800s and early 1900s the settlement at The Breach was separated from Eastwood by fields and allotment gardens but footpaths between the two connected the communities.

The Blue Line Trail

It is along roughly the same route as those paths that we now follow the blue painted line that runs through gitties, twitchels and the post war development of the area to reach The Breach.

Garden Road

Since the days of D. H. Lawrence, The Breach has been renamed Garden Road but the properties on the left although modernised are still reminiscent of his time. In this view looking towards Lynncroft, newer properties have been constructed on the right in the latter half of the twentieth century but this image at the Picture The Past site dating from 1958 shows how the area appeared before the new development and is more in keeping with Bert's time here.
The Breach House

The Breach House signAbout two thirds of the way along Garden Road a link road runs through to the parallel Greenhills Road and it was in this corner house that the seven members of the Lawrence family moved from Victoria Street in 1887 when Bert was two years old. It is now 28 Garden Road but back then it was 57 The Breach and today a sign DHL Lived Here(left) reading "The Breach House" points to the property.

Two plaques at the corner of the house (right) also verify the future author's residency and an information board in the garden gives some interesting details. Being a corner house, it had extra space and this meant the rent was sixpence a week higher than adjacent properties. The Lawrences remained here until 1891 when they moved on again to a house in Walker Street.

The information board also reveals that Bert used the house in The Breach as the basis for "The Bottoms" in his novel "Sons and Lovers" setting many scenes in the kitchen but also that he said "It was a little less common to live in The Breach". There's another 1958 image at Picture The Past.

Lynncroft from the bottomWalker StreetLike the Lawrences we'll now move on and follow the Blue Line Trail again to the end of Garden Road turning right into Lynncroft (left) and crossing the end of Walker Street (right). We will shortly have to backtrack to Walker Street but for now the route continues up the hill to terminate at the fourth house in which the family resided. From near the top of the hill this is the view back down Lynncroft.
Fact & Fiction

They were here at 98 Lynncroft between 1905 and 1911 and lived in the house with the bay window. Another of Bert's lesser known works is called "Aaron's Rod" and Aaron's home in the book is based on the the neighbouring property down the hill. Another information board, the seventh on the Trail, a little further down Lynncroft states that the move here "represented success for the family in their constant struggle for social and material improvement." It goes on to add that the house had a garden and a field at the back and that Lydia, Bert's mother, had a girl Minnie to help with the housework. It was whilst living here that Bert, now a young man, worked at the British School in Albert Street and trained at Ilkeston but also lost his "love of loves" when Lydia died in 1910.
Walker Street

Returning now back down the hill we enter Walker Street where the undulating land on the right hand side was once the source of clay for the Lynncroft Pottery.
The Canyons

The area became known locally as The Canyons and the nearby information board is headed "the best playground one could have." This quotation comes from his sister's biography and describes the fields that stretched to The Breach. The Lawrences lived on Walker Street after The Breach and before Lynncroft in a house built by the Mellor family, the owners of the pottery. Bert again drew on his knowledge of the family and the area as a basis for his short story "You Touched Me" first published in 1922. Since 1987 The Canyons has been developed as a conservation area enabling local schoolchildren to visit as part of their environmental studies.
Back to Part 06
 Bert's Town Index
Forward to Part 08

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