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
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.
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".
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 Gregory 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."
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.
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.
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.