Ilkeston Town Walk - Stage 35 - East Street and Home
w/e 19 June 2005
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

And so we come to the final steps of our Town Walk. Having reached the top of Bath Street, all that remains is to turn into East Street (above right) and then up High Street to return to our starting place at the Erewash Museum. The pub with the patriotic door on the corner of bath Street and East Street is "The Borough Arms".

Georgian House

Next to the pub at numbers 4 & 5 East Street is a restored Georgian House that is now home to a solicitor's practice. In the past, County Court Sessions were held here.
Steeply Pitched Roof

The next properties on the same side of the street are far less grand than their Georgian neighbour but the cottage with the steeply pitched roof would once have been thatched.
Both the Georgian house and the cottages have been modernised and preserved but unfortunately, not all the properties in Ilkeston have met with the same fate. This dilapidated structure standing opposite High Street is in a sorry state of repair that belies its history. It was formerly "The Gladstone Inn" and more recently home, as the painted words on the boarded-up window tell us, to the "Ilkeston Sauna".
The Vaults

Most of the other side of East Street to this point is taken up by another pub that is now called "Captain Gregory's Wine Vaults". This probably began life as a cottage pub but by the time of Charles Gregory in the 1870s had already been known as the "Spirit Vaults" and the "Wine Vaults". Gregory is believed to have made further alterations and for many years the pub went by the name of the "Old Wine Vaults". The addition of "Captain Gregory's" is a relatively recent addition. Whatever its official name, Ilkestonians still know it simply as the "Vaults". A plaque built into one of the windows at the junction with High Street has sadly been defaced but what can be read is as follows: "Born in Nottingham on February 25th, 1841, Charles Captain GregoryGregory went to sea as an apprentice at the age of 17 and for the next 16 years worked aboard merchant men trading to India, China and America. So rapidly was he promoted that at the age of 28 he was entrusted with the command of a large East India man the Naturalist. Captain Gregory had several narrow escapes of being shipwrecked and proved to a great leader of men on numerous occasions. On one occasion when his ship met with a heavy cyclone the vessel was virtually dismantled, so terrible was the situation that all those on board were up to the middle in water and Captain Gregory during the whole of one night was engaged in reading the Bible to the sailors expecting the ship would go down any moment. However to their joy and surprise the vessel kept afloat and eventually landed at Calcutta. He was married in New York in 1872 to Emma Jane and came to Ilkeston and took the Old Wine Vaults in November 1873 and served on the local board and was treasurer of the Freemasons Lodge for ** years having been connected with the Order for 12 (?) years. **** truly remarkable man."
Masonic Hall

Between the "Vaults" and the Museum is the Masonic Hall. Originally the Unitarian Chapel, it was built in 1865 to replace an earlier building of 1718 and was probably the earliest dissenting chapel in the town. I am reliably informed that more recently, this building was occupied by the G. W. Peacock printing company. Bob Martin, an ex-Ilkestonian who still visits the town from time to time, tells me that he started work as an apprentice compositor here in 1956 and he was paid £1 10s 0d (£1.50) per week for working 44 1/2 hours! Bob also says that there used to be a huge painting of a peacock on the roof which faced up Anchor Row towards the Market Place. Anchor Row, named after Anchor Carrier a former proprietor of the Anchor Inn on Market Street, is the narrow passageway seen here between the Masonic Hall and the Museum. To the left of the passageway is the Hayloft, part of the Museum that is available for private functions. The building on the right of the picture and the insert is where the Shopmobilty scheme operates from providing wheelchairs and power chairs for the disabled.
Erewash Museum

And so we come to our journey's end - back where we started in September 2002 at the Erewash Museum. Yes, it's taken the best part of three years to complete our four mile walk around Ilkeston - a walk that according to one of the leaflets upon which the Town Walk has been based should take two to three hours. I've certainly learned a thing or two about my home town, seen things that I had previously overlooked and met many wonderful people who have all helped on the way. I hope it has been of interest for you too. I have plans to start another series soon looking at a part of the town where industry played a major part but in the meantime, if you have two or three hours to spare (or perhaps three years) you could always retrace our footsteps.

Museum and Masonic Hall

So if you're ready, from the Museum it's down the steps, through the underpass under Chalons Way and .....
That's the way I'm going too but for now, I'm off home to think about the next update.

Back to Stage 34
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