Long Eaton Town Walk

Part 11 - Lawrence Street to The Green
w/e 10 March 2019
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).

This eleventh part of the walk through the town centre of Long Eaton passes through industrial, residential and commercial ares all within a very short space to complete the series.

Generating Station Site

We begin on Lawrence Street at the corner of Milner Road where the corner site was the location of Long Eaton Urban District Council's electricity generating station and which is still a major electricity substation today. Prior to 1903 the large lace manufacturing factories we have seen earlier in this series were all large multi-storeyed steam-powered buildings. With the coming of this new form of power single storey shed-type buildings containing DC powered motors driving the machinery soon appeared.
Alexandra Mill

A 1914 map of the area shows three adjacent blocks of these smaller factories on Milner Road, one of them being Alexandra Mill as seen above.
Victoria Mill

The middle block was Edward Mill and the third in the row Victoria Mill, all three factories originally for the production of lace but now catering for several different businesses.

Alexandra Rd, Edward Rd, Albert Rd & Lawrence St

The opposite side of Milner Road is devoted to residential buildings. Built in a grid style in the early 1900s - a map of 1900/1901 has none of the roads - the 1914 map shows Alexandra Road (above far left) almost opposite Alexandra Mills, and Edward Road (second left) opposite Victoria Mills. Both roads lead through to Albert Road (third from left) which runs parallel to Milner Road whilst Lawrence Street (right) which connects Milner Road and Albert Road was called Victoria Road in 1914. I'm not sure why or when the change took place but it had adopted its new name by the 1950s.

Returning to the end of Milner Road and the the electricity generating site, our route now takes us via this footpath through to Regent Street, the only street in the area shown on the 1901 map. Seeing all these "regency" names made me wonder about Lawrence and Milner. Unless they were named after local dignitaries or maybe builders/architects I suspect Milner could be in recognition of Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner who was a prominent statesman and colonial administrator between the mid-1890s and early 1920s. Lawrence too could be named to honour T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935) also known as Lawrence of Arabia but this is all supposition on my part and really needs further investigation.
Willatt's Factory

Regent Street pre-dates the other streets in the area and was adopted by the local board around 1880. The THI booklet states that "two thirds of Willatt's factory, a four storey tenement lace factory of 1877" survives. I remember in the late 1960s or possibly early 1970s a major fire ripped through the factory here and it seems the newer buildings on the left are a result of later reconstruction.
Tie Bar Plate

One of the partners of Willatt was Terah Hooley, born in Nottingham in 1859 and who died in Long Eaton in 1947. Hooley had what could be called an "interesting" life and is now remembered as a financial fraudster buying and selling companies, becoming bankrupt four times and serving two prison sentences. He developed the world's first industrial park, Manchester's Trafford Park, bought, lived in the nearby Risley Hall and is buried at All Saint's Church, Risley (link). He mixed in royal circles being an associate of the Prince of Wales who later became King Edward VII. The cast iron tie bar plates on the Regent Street factory stand as a lasting reminder of the man as they carry his initial "H & Co" cast into them.
Telephone Exchange

No. 12 Regent Street served from 1892 until well into the twentieth century as Long Eaton's telephone exchange and has benefited recently from THI funding which has enabled restoration of the front.

Hole In The Wall

Towards the end of Regent Street is some more interesting architecture including the Hole In The Wall pub which features a Dutch gable. The original building contained a serving hatch through which flagons of ale were sold to lace workers from the nearby Regent Mills. It was the serving hatch that gave rise to the name of the "Hole In The Wall".

Regent Inn

Originally the pub was called the ‘Regent Inn’ as can be seen in the well worn stonework in the Dutch gable.
Regent Street

From the pub it is but a few steps along Regent Street across the end of Lawrence Street to where the spire of St Laurence's Church rises high above the buildings in the Market Place .
To The Green

A left turn at the end of Regent Street into the Market Place leads past the impressive York Chambers that we first saw early in this Town Walk and on to The Green from where the Town Hall across Derby Road marks the start and conclusion of the walk.
Back to Part 10
 Long Eaton Town Walk Introduction & Index
Restart The Walk

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