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.
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have been replaced by the Ilkeston Furniture Company, Taylor's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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.