Long Eaton Town Walk

Part 03 - Union Street to Brown's Road
w/e 27 May 2018
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Information for this series has been sourced from various places including the"Long Eaton Centenary Town Trail" leaflet (CTT) and the"Long Eaton Townscape Heritage Initiative" booklet (THI).

Union Street

Blue PlaquePart 03 of the Town Walk begins in the Market Place at its junction with Union Street, the building on the left hand corner occupying the former site of a Methodist Chapel. The Tesco store across Waverley Street at the far end of Union Street is further evidence of redevelopment but the blue plaque on the British Heart Foundation shop marks the site of the house* where the twentieth century artist, Dame Laura Knight was born in 1877. The first female artist to be made a Dame of the British Empire (1929) she was the first woman to be elected as a full member of the Royal Academy (1935) and died in 1970.

*Note: Although the plaque marks the site of her birth, www.damelauraknight.com states that she was born on August 4th 1877 at Acton Road which a little distance from here.
Market Place

Our route now will take us into High Street but it is worth mentioning here before we leave the Market Place that it was remodelled, resurfaced and pedestrianised as part of the THI scheme. There was a flood in 1932 and apparently there is another plaque on the door of Yeoman's Army Stores showing the height of the water. Unfortunately Yeoman's are no longer trading and shutters blanketing the front of their former premises which were to the right of this picture obscure the door.
High Street

In this part of the walk we will continue along High Street as far as the turreted building on the right which stands on the corner of Brown's Road but the CTT leaflet states that there are "many interesting original buildings" in High Street. Some of those will become apparent in the next part but for now let's return to the Market Place end of the street.

It's here we must look above the modern shop fronts to see the splendid features of the Victorian architecture often sandwiched between the more bland twentieth century buildings.
Market Stalls

It's between some of those concrete and glass buildings that traders for many years used the fixed market stalls. Those were supposed to be dismantled a few years ago due to the cost of repairing and maintaining them and although traders now spill out onto High Street and the Market Place on market days leaving the stalls largely unused, the old fixed stalls still remain in situ.

On the other side on High Street as we leave the Market Place are two archways. These mark the entrances to early tenement lace factories, the earliest lace factories in the town.
Austin Family Home

To the right of the second arch is the house now with the addition of the shop frontage, of the Austin family who built that first tenement lace factory.
The Blue Bell

Back on the other side of the road and just a little further along High Street is The Blue Bell, an eighteenth century pub that advertises itself as being "modern and inviting" that is " big on Northern Soul, Motown and Live Music."
Brown's Road

Whilst the old Blue Bell adopts a modern approach, the Ryman's building on the corner of Brown's Road with its turreted design only dates from the 1980s. It is behind the shop though that we find High Street Mills.
High Street Mills

Date StoneHigh Street Mills is a lace factory that was built in 1857. A date stone set high in the gable end is difficult to see (and photograph) from the narrow alley that is Brown's Road and is easily missed by anyone unaware of its presence. It was during the period 1840 to 1870 that Long Eaton developed from a small settlement of some 850 inhabitants to a town of 3,200 following the arrival of the railways. The building of the wagon works and many lace factories like this one changed the landscape for ever with over 60% of the population being employed in the early days of those industries. High Street Mills is now a Grade II listed building.

Back to Part 02
 Long Eaton Town Walk Introduction & Index
Forward to Part 04

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