The Sandiacre Index



I'd never really considered Sandiacre to be a "village" in the truest sense of the word and even when I looked it up on I found a couple of definitions that seemed to back my point of view. They were 1) a small group of dwellings in a rural area, usually ranking in size between a hamlet and a town and 2) a community of people smaller than a town. Even after reading that, I would still have classed Sandiacre as a small town - why even their local football team is called Sandiacre Town F.C. But that is where I would probably have been wrong. You see, the expansion of both Sandiacre and its near neighbours of Long Eaton to the south, Stapleford to the east and Risley to the west mean that its borders merge almost imperceptibly into the others and give the overall impression of a much larger place than it really is. Only the northern border to Sandiacre is to open countryside and even then there is precious little of it. But a village it is and has grown up around a sandy field that gave rise to its name from the Old English of sand meaning "sand" and aecer meaning"field". For the purpose of this series, I shall once again be basing the route on a "Village Trails" leaflet produced by a number of organisations including Groundwork Erewash Valley, Derbyshire County Council, the Erewash Museum, the Countryside Commission and the Sandiacre Parish Council. The leaflet was printed in 1994 and such has been the pace of redevelopment and change that I am not certain that I will find all the sites and sights mentioned but we'll begin at the market place which can be seen in the title image above from the junction of Longmoor Lane and Station Road. The lorry is emerging from Town Street and the cars waiting at the traffic lights are on Derby Road.

Update January 2009 - After publishing this series on the internet in 2005/6 I was contacted by David Roberts, a former resident of Sandiacre who now lives in South Wales. David was inspired by the series to produce a document of his own following the same route but recalling his childhood in the 1940/50 period. Towards the end of 2008 David sent me a copy of his "Memories of Sandiacre" and I have now incorporated the relevant parts in popup windows on each page. The following is David's introduction to the document.

"Memories Of Sandiacre" by D. W. Roberts © 2008

As I approach my seventieth birthday I was intrigued to see pictures of Sandiacre as it now is, on the Ilkeston Cam website. I lived there from 1942 (of which I remember little) until 1954 when my parents moved to College Street in Long Eaton. My father, Jim Roberts, was moved during World War II to be an electrician at Stanton (which meant the very extensive Ironworks in those dark days of the War) and my mother, whom some may remember, was Mrs. Clarice Roberts who taught first at the Top School (then situated between Lawrence Street and Church Street) under the headmastership of Mr. Parrott and later at Victoria Road infants under Miss Cole, the headmistress who rather disapproved of married teachers. I do wonder which particular teacher the authorities had in mind when they renamed the school "Ladycross"; perhaps it would be unkind to suggest that they had Miss Spenser in mind?

Enough of me; what I propose to do is follow the Village Trail of 2005 section by section, and describe, as best I remember them, the differences to be seen if the wanderer were carried back to about 1950. There will also be the odd anecdote of those days, which some may find tedious.
(Not at all David)

I suppose the first thing to say about the village is that in 1950 there were few people with cars. I heard it said, "You can have children or you can have a car, but only the rich can have both." Living, as we did, on the end of Ilkeston Road, the men coming home from Stanton Ironworks were mostly on bicycles, with a fair number walking and only a small number in cars. This means that many of the streets we see would have had much less clutter in terms of parked cars. Naturally there are many new buildings, and even new roads, yet much of Sandiacre is little changed from my time there. Among the new roads are the new motorway, and the "new" A52; in the time of which I speak motorways were only dreams in the minds of planners, and traffic from London to the north went up the A6 through Shardlow and Derby. All Derby to Nottingham traffic followed the A52 through Risley, Derby Road, Sandiacre Market Place and Station Road to Stapleford, so that was, even then, a busy road.

To read David's "Memories of Sandiacre" in conjunction with each part click the link beneath the title image on each page.
02 October 2005
06 November 2005
04 December 2005
08 January 2006
05 February 2006
05 March 2006
02 April 2006
07 May 2006
04 June 2006
02 July 2006
From The Market
The Golden Mile
Around Springfield Mills
Along The Canal
Town Street and Lenton Street
Church Drive to Stoney Clouds
The Old Village
Albert And Victoria
Derby Road
Final Steps
January 2009 - There is now what amounts to an 11th part following a route from Sandiacre Lock back to the village centre via Lock Lane and Longmoor Road - click here to view.

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