Ilkeston and District Local History Society

Welcome to the Ilkeston and District Local History Society (IDLHS) website. If you are a new visitor, please find time to browse through the pages. The site features information on the history of Ilkeston and district and you can find details on the About the IDLHS page.

Coming soon . . .

Ilkeston as it was — Its history in 50 chapters

by Ann Featherstone and Beverley Kilby

A look at some of the events, people and things that have shaped the Ilkeston we know today and celebrating 50 years of the Ilkeston and District Local History Society.

The book is an unusual format and a new departure for the Society. There are 50 chapters, each taking a different topic in Ilkeston’s history, from British Restaurants to Windmills to the Beauty Spot and the Mines Rescue. It delves back into the 16th century and the Weaver Pool, the 18th century for St Mary’s clock and comes up to date with the Spitfire Fund of the 1940s and the building of Kirk Hallam Infant School in the 1950s. Little known regions and buildings are uncovered: the soot factory on Rutland Street, the Empress Theatre and The Nook, a house on Wilmot Street which has become part of the HSBC bank. Local people’s recollections of the sounds and smells of Ilkeston have been gathered using the Il’son Bygones group on Facebook, and they have also contributed to the chapter about pre-fab housing, recalling their homes on Erewash Square.

Launch is on Saturday 8th October, 10am-1pm at the Smoothie Bar at the top of Bath Street. Come and meet the authors.

Copies of the new book will be available at just £10.

Years of Change

Out now . . .

Years of Change

Available from Blinks on South Street, Ilkeston Library, Erewash Museum, U-Choose on Bath Street and the Coffee Bean lower Bath Street, priced £6. Also available by post at £7.50, including carriage — please see the Publications page, which has details of all books and maps published by the Society.

Ilkeston’s latest commemorative plaque

On 31st January 1916 a Zeppelin flew over the East Midlands passing over Ilkeston and the Stanton Iron Works and dropping bombs on the way. This plaque, placed on the north wall of St Bartholemew’s Church in Hallam Fields, records the event and the names of the only two local men who lost their lives that night, Walter Wilson of Station Road Ilkeston and James Hall of Stapleford.

Zeppelin plaqueZeppelin plaque

The plaque was unveiled by Fred Wilson, the great nephew of Walter Wilson.

Who’s that with Danny Corns?

Robert Lindsay pops in to the Smoothie Bar

Robert Lindsay at the Smoothie Bar

Ilkeston-born actor Robert Lindsay met with the Society’s President Danny and Chairman Stephen Flinders at Paul’s Smoothie Bar on Bath Street, Ilkeston recently to discuss events for the Society’s Golden Jubilee Year, of which he has very kindly agreed to be Patron.

He’s seen in this photograph talking with two good friends of the Society, Robert Attewell of Ilkeston Life newspaper (left) and Paul Opiah, Smoothie Bar Proprietor.

Plaque to Brian Shaw

Seasoned spokesperson for the Society, Danny Corns was very pleased to conclude a project to commemorate the birthplace of an internationally-known son of Ilkeston, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Duncan Shaw. His story will appear in the next Herald.

Brian Shaw Plaque

Danny Corns with Margaret Boam and Terry Holbrook, descendents of Brian Shaw's sister

Danny Corns interview Brian Shaw plaque

Danny being interviewd by James Roberson for East Midlands Today, and the plaque

What's new . . .

A hundred years ago mourners who could afford it followed the hearse in a special carriage supplied by the undertaker. Barry Dibb has discovered the remains of such a conveyance and his report is here.

We're always seeing interesting things at our monthly informal meetings at the U-Choose Smoothie Bar. Recently, a century-old autograph album was brought in. The original owner had sewed and embroidered a linen envelope to keep it safe, but it's a chance survivor that we can all recognise.

The illustrations and texts create a brief window into the life of a young teacher between 1908 and 1917 and you can view each page here.

Off to War book signing

We are pleased to announce that as the original print run of ‘Off to War’ has now sold out, we have taken the opportunity to revise and expand the book for a new Second Edition. This now comprises 172 pages, with colour section and a new index and incorporates more than a dozen new stories of Great War servicemen and many new images, most of which have not been published before. The new Second edition should be available to buy from mid-January at £10 but if you would like to reserve a copy in advance (or order any of our other publications) then please Contact us for details.

A Good Deed Done

St John Amulance Certificate of 1949

Alan Edwards, Chairman of Ilkeston and District Local
History Society, Jane Hutchinson, Ilkeston SJA Youth Leader,
Craig Duff, Ilkeston SJA Unit Manager

A recently rediscovered certificate celebrating the Ilkeston Corps of St John Amulance’s fifty years of service was brought in to one of IDLHS’s Saturday morning open sessions recently. This was first presented to the Ilkeston Corps in 1949, so we contacted SJA so we could give it back.

“We’re delighted to return this to its rightful owner,” said Chairman Alan Edwards. “This is an important document for St John’s — it’s part of their history.”

The Ilkeston branch was one of the earliest to be set up, following representation to the St John Ambulance by the Duke of Rutland. “Miners were trained to be a quick medical response following accidents,” said Craig. “From these beginnings, the Ilkeston Branch was created in 1898 to cover public and private events, just as it does today.”

The current Unit has about 20 members, doing public duties in and around Ilkeston. The youth side starts at 10-years-old and the adults start at 17½-years-old. They meet at the Arena in Ilkeston on Monday nights at 6.30 for the youth side and adults at 7.45. New members of all ages are always welcomed.

Knitting for victory

Knitting for Victory

Ann Featherstone and Beverley Kilby busy on the home front knitting head warmers while they prepare their next book on how the general population survived the Great War.
(Mme Guillotine is set to join them later.)

Available now . . .

Railway Tales

The new book by Danny Corns and Steve FlindersStanton: Gone but not forgotten — is now on sale, priced at just £10. Two hundred pages of histories, memories and stories with more than 150 b/w and colour photographs.

Stanton book signing
Catherine Atkinson collects her copy
signed by authors Stephen Flinders
and Danny Corns

Two hundred copies were ordered before publication and more than 200 copies were signed and sold by the authors in the four-hour launch at the U-Choose Smoothie Bar.

Stanton: Gone but not forgotten (and many of our other books) can be bought at:

  • U-Choose Smoothie Bar, No.1 Bath Street, Ilkeston. 07983 990140
  • BlinkInks, 48 South Street, Ilkeston. 0115 944 1427
  • Ilkeston Library, The Market Place, Ilkeston. 0115 930 1104
  • Moorleys Print & Publishing, Park Road, Ilkeston. 0115 932 0643
  • Erewash Museum, High Street, Ilkeston. 0115 9071141
  • Old School Tearooms, Stanton by Dale 0115 930 5699
  • Bowleys Butchers, 4 Derby Road, Sandiacre (opposite the Coop). 0115 939 2204
  • Sandiacre Library, Doncaster Avenue, Sandiacre. 0115 939 6805
  • Sandiacre Post Office, 11 Derby Rd, Sandiacre. 0845 722 3344
  • Two For Tea Tea Rooms, 92 Derby Road, Stapleford. 07981 213660
  • Jas Heaps at 81 Main Street, Long Eaton. 0115 973 4922
  • Long Eaton Library, Tamworth Road, Long Eaton. 0115 973 5426

The book is also available by mail order, priced £13.50 including p&p for the UK. Drop us an email to reserve a copy or to request overseas mailing prices.

Have you read . . . ?

Railway Tales

Railway Tales — already on the third printing! Find ordering details for this book and others on the Publications page.

Railway Tales book signing

The authors and a happy customer
at the book signing

See Ilkeston’s railways in action on YouTube.

For other books and maps available from the Society, please see our Publications page.

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Acknowledgements: The Society would like to sincerely thank Erewash Museum and Ilkeston Library for the use of its photographic collection.
All the material found on this website is the copyright of the Ilkeston and District Local History Society and/or contributors © 2011.
The IDHLS has no objection to anyone wishing to use or to print out this material for private or academic use, however it would be appreciated if an acknowledgement as to the material’s origin is mentioned if used.