Ilkeston Town Walk - Stage 32 - Up Bath Street To Chapel Street
w/e 20 March 2005
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

In this stage of the Town Walk we will progress a little further up Bath Street as far as the start of the pedestrianised section near the junction with Chapel Street. This general view above is looking back down the hill and below we will look at some of the buildings in a little more detail.

Cromwell Buildings

The lower end of Bath Street is still struggling to regain its former glory with almost as many empty or derelict shops as there are going concerns. Most of the shop fronts have been modernised over the years since the small photo on the right was taken (c1900). Names like Home & Colonial, Rowell, Hudson, Hedges Boot & Shoe Co. and Singer's have been replaced by the Ilkeston Furniture Company, Taylor's Corn Shop, Spellbound (Tattoo and Body Piercing) and Falcon Bags (now closed). The shop fronts and the businesses have changed but the upper storeys remain virtually the same, many with ornate brick and terracotta decorations such as those seen on the Cromwell Buildings to the right of the image above.
Poplar Inn

On the opposite side of the road tucked away between the insurance brokers and fast food outlets and next to another establishments offering tattoos is The Poplar Inn one of two public houses on Bath Street that were altered about 1904 into fine arts and crafts style buildings by local architect Harry Tatham Sudbury.

It's not so very long ago that Ilkeston was renowned as an excellent shopping centre and Bath Street was graced with the presence of national chain stores such as British Home Stores, Marks and Spencer's and Woolworth's. Of those three only Woolworth's still remains and it can still be found in this same building that screams art deco and the 1930s at you. An old photograph appeared a few weeks ago in the local newspaper showing the staff who worked there in the 1940s. There were upwards of twenty employees but I doubt whether there are half that number there now.
Signs On The Wall
The name of "Rose" still adorns the former shoe shop the corner of Station Road but this is another retailer that has recently closed after many years of trading in the town. On the side of the building between the old sash windows is a painted sign that belongs to a bygone age showing a former use of the shop.
Family Butcher
DarrenBath Street these days is dominated by financial institutions (banks, building societies, mortgage advisors, insurance brokers), fast food outlets, charity shops and mobile phone companies but it is still possible to find one-man businesses carrying out their trades. A butcher has operated from the shop directly opposite Station Road for about 100 years and the names of Huckerby, Woolard, Bradley, Goodall, Steve's Meat and Rollinson have all been familiar to local shoppers at one time or another during that period. Today it is Darren (left) who is on hand to offer that personal one to one service but on display in the shop is a photograph dating from about 1935 when Mr Woolard was the meat retailer. Notice the upper storey bay windows that have not changed in the intervening years. (Sadly, not long after these images were captured, Darren succumbed to the economic climate and there is no longer a butcher's shop here.)
New Inn

Bath Street has a large variety of architectural styles from nineteenth century cottages to modern day concrete and glass with everything in between but just above Station Road is the second of the two public houses altered by Harry Tatham Sudbury. This, although it is an old structure and has stood there for many years, is still called The New Inn and is seen here from the mouth of Chapel Street. From here to the Market Place, Bath Street has been pedestrianised and we will resume our walk here in Stage 33.

 Back to Stage 31
 Town Walk Index
Forward to Stage 33

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