Ilkeston Town Walk - Stage 10 - Top of Derby Road
w/e 15 June 2003
We rejoin the Town Walk at Cluny Lace on Belper Street and a
short walk of less than a couple of hundred yards brings us to
Derby Road. The name of the pub on the corner "The Miners
Arms" is a reminder of another of the industries that were
prominent in the area for many a year - coal mining. Many a miner
as well as workers in the lace factories must have crossed its
threshold over the years.
On the other corner of Belper Street is another pub, "The
Three Horseshoes". This too has been a popular venue for
workers in the area including, between the late 1960s and early
1980s at any rate, those from the office block at 1, Derby Road
next door. It was the custom in those days for the Manager or
Chief Engineer to invite their employees into their office during
the morning of Christmas Eve for a small glass of sherry and
a mince pie to thank the staff for their efforts over the preceding
year. At lunch time the staff enjoyed a buffet lunch and then
adjourned to the Horseshoes for a little liquid refreshment.
Since then the company that occupied the offices, East Midlands
Electricity, introduced a "no alcohol" policy so the
aforesaid festivities had to cease.
As you have probably guessed I was one of those employees and
I had a desk in this building - next to the first window to the
left of the central section on the third floor - for about fifteen
years. The building was designed by a local architect, Harry
Tatham-Sudbury, and was built for the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
Electric Power Company about 1927-30 although the top storey
was not added until 1937. East Midlands Electricity moved out
in 1986 and the premises were taken over by Erewash Borough Council
who renamed the building Toll Bar House.
Outside Toll Bar House is one of a number of information plaques
spread through the town. This one is titled White Lion Square
but this is now something of a misnomer. White Lion Square was
a short section of road with a traffic island at each end linking
Derby Road, Stanton Road and South Street at the western end
with Nottingham Road, Park Road and Market Street at the eastern.
It was named after a pub that stood on the corner of Nottingham
Road. Halfway along White Lion Square on the southern side stood
the Traveller's Rest - you've guessed, another pub - alongside
businesses like Taylor's Chemist, Bramley's Hardware, Aldred's
Bakers, Greenaway's Grocers and the Premier Garage. All of these
have now gone with many of the buildings being demolished to
make way for the town's inner relief road.
The picture below is used with
permission from Nick Tomlinson and The Project Team of the Picture
The Past web site. Digital Image copyright
© North East Midland Photographic Record. All rights reserved.
Years ago this is the view that would have been seen from White
Lion Square with Stanton Road to the left, Derby Road ahead and
South Street to the right. The thatched building to the right
of centre is believed to have been an yet another pub. In the
18th century pub it was called the "Rising Sun". I
kid you not - you'd never go thirsty in this town! Although the
picture is titled "Ye Olde Toll Bar" this is not strictly
true as the toll bar that Toll Bar House is now named after was
situated around South Street to the right.
Without taking my life in my hands and standing in the middle
of the road at what is one of Ilkeston's busiest road junctions,
this is the closest I could get to see the same view as it appears
This picture on the right too, is used
with permission from Nick Tomlinson and The Project Team of the
The Past web site.
Digital Image copyright © North East Midland Photographic
Record. All rights reserved.
The picture shows the former toll bar cottage of the Nottingham
and Ilkeston Turnpike Trust which was situated at the junction
of South St (to the left) and White Lion Square. It was demolished
by Ilkeston Corporation in June 1914. Contrary to popular belief,
that's before my time and even I am not old enough to remember
I have however, seen the original Toll Board of 1825. It now
hangs on a wall in the Erewash Museum.