Ilkeston Town Walk - Stage 24 - Ilkeston School & Victoria Park
w/e 18 July 2004

Ilkeston School

As we turn our backs on the Rutland Recreation Ground (Stage 23) and head off along King George Avenue we pass Ilkeston School. People of my vintage will remember this as the Grammar School but prior to that it was the Ilkeston County Secondary School when opened on 25 June 1914. The opening ceremony was conducted by King George V when he visited the town with Queen Mary. He pressed a button whilst standing in the Market Place which opened the school gates, an explosive charge relaying the success of the operation back to the assembled crowds in the town centre. The school replaced a Pupil Teacher's Centre whose claim to fame is that author D. H. Lawrence, who was born in Eastwood, studied there.
Bristol Road

Ilkeston School was built on a patch of land purchased from the Duke of Rutland. Some years earlier in 1897, the Duke had gifted to the people of Ilkeston another area of land, triangular in shape and bounded by Manners Road, Drummond Road and, as seen here from the end of King George Avenue, Bristol Road. The gift was to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria and was duly named Victoria Park when The Duke formally opened the park on 28 August 1902.
Rose Arbour

Just inside the park these imposing pillars stand at the end of a rose arbour. The pillars were taken around 1900 from the old Nottingham jail or 'House of Correction' as it was known and moved initially to Rutland House on Heanor Road, later being transferred to the park.
 The Bandstand

I have featured the park on this site several times previously (see here and here in Spring) and the Bandstand was voted a favourite (see here) in June 2002 when pictured during Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee. Brass Band concerts on a Sunday afternoon or evening are a regular feature here during the summer months with bands from near and far performing selections of popular and classical music. The town's own Ilkeston Brass normally open the season and always attract a good following.
Formal Gardens

The park is only small but, to coin a phrase, beautifully formed. Mature trees, many of them labelled to identify the species, sit side by side with formal gardens and open spaces where children can play in safety. Hidden behind the hedge on the right in this picture is the bowling green where a quiet game can be enjoyed in relative seclusion and very pleasant surroundings.
Exit To Manners Road

Our way out of the park is via this broad path that leads to Manners Road where we will have a choice of routes as we continue our Town Walk but before leaving the park, there is still time to see the children's playground that is situated on an open space to the left (inset).

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