Ilkeston - Around The Fountain
w/e 09 September 2012
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
Visitors to other Cam sites in the UK will be familiar
with recurring images of picturesque scenes such as the famous
peaks in the Lake District or the coastal scenery of Cornwall.
For example, Coniston Old Man regularly crops up on Tony Richards'
Lakeland Cam and St Michael's Mount is often seen on Charles
Winpenny's Cornwall Cam. Now whilst Ilkeston is not far from
the Peak District, it is too distant to be visiting on a daily
basis and views of the Market Place here hardly hold the same
attraction as the splendid scenery of the Lakes or the South
West. Having said that I have during the last ten years often
photographed the town centre from every conceivable angle, in
all weathers and in all seasons.
That too applies to the old fountain and horse trough in a corner
of the Market Place which I have captured at Easter with the
Christian Walk of Witness, at Christmas when surrounded by fairy
lights and in October during the Annual Charter Fair as well
as many other times of the year. So for this selection of ten
images I have taken the fountain as the centrepiece of each picture
but circling it in a clockwise direction have captured the views
of the other familiar features around the Market Place. For a
change and as an experiment in re-creating old style photos,
I actually selected the "Sepia" mode on the camera
but found the results to be disappointing so in post production,
transformed them into the black and white images below.
The ornamental Drinking
Fountain and Horse Trough was erected in 1889 to commemorate
the creation of Ilkeston Borough in 1887 at a cost of £49
for the ironwork and £35 for the granite base. Donated
by the borough's second Mayor, William Wade it was cast by Andrew
Handyside's foundry in Derby. A shield shaped plaque (right)
embedded in the paving around the fountain is embellished with
the Borough Coat of Arms and inscribed "This fountain was
refurbished by Erewash Borough Council with match funding from
English Heritage and opened by Councillor Barbara Harrison Mayor
of Erewash on the 6th June 2008".
Behind and to the left of the fountain is the Town Hall by R.
C. Sutton of Nottingham with its Italianate frontage built in
To the right of the Town Hall and pre-dating it by at least seventy
years is the Sir John Warren public house which was converted
into a pub from private houses in 1797.
Through the gap from the Market Place to Pimlico on the left
and Burns Street to the right is the Scala Cinema. The Scala
was built in 1913 on the Burns Street Baptist Chapel burial ground
and was Ilkeston's first purpose built cinema. Still showing
films today it has outlived the town's other cinemas that followed
including the Kings on Bath Street, the New Theatre on Lord Haddon
Road (both demolished) and the Ritz on South Street which is
now a Bingo Hall.
Continuing in a clockwork direction the pub on the corner of
Burns Street that has been trading for a number of years as The
Moon and Sixpence has recently been refurbished and reverted
to its original name of The King's Head. The King's Head has
been a feature of the Market Place since at least the mid 1800s
whilst its neighbours the Queen's Counsel (converted from a solicitor's
office) and Shakers are much more recent additions to the drinking
Next to Shakers is another old pub, The Market Inn again dating
from at least the middle of the nineteenth century and in the
distance beyond the Lower Market Place a Wetherspoon's pub, The
Observatory standing where the Liberal Club used to grace the
site many years ago. Nobody goes thirsty in this town!
Directly across the Market Place from the Town Hall is the Parish
Church of St Mary the Virgin. Known in the local vernacular as
"Top Choch" due to its prominent position in the town
centre and standing on top of the hill, St Mary's has occupied
this site since the middle of the twelfth century and despite
many alterations and extensions still contains three Norman pillars
and arches. Just over a hundred years ago the tower was dismantled
brick by brick and rebuilt about forty five feet closer to the
Market Place to allow the nave to be extended and enlarged.
The church also contains the tomb of the Lord of the Manor, Nicholas
de Cantelupe and the addition to the right of a twentieth century
building was named in honour of the family as the Cantelupe Centre.
As well as church activities the Centre serves as a meeting place
for a number of local community groups and clubs. To the right
of the Centre is the Memorial Garden where the Annual Christian
Witness at Easter usually reaches its climax.
Most of the southern end of the Market Place is taken up by the
Carnegie Library which was opened in 1904 by the Duke of Rutland
but to the left of the library is the Church Institute of 1883/4
and in front of it and just visible in the image above in the
shadows is the town's main War Memorial erected in 1922 to a
design by local architect of that period, Harry
Tatham-Sudbury. Looking to the right of the fountain, the view
is down South Street where the high structure that is typical
of the architecture of the 1930s indicates the position of the
Ritz Bingo Hall.
As we complete our circumnavigation of the fountain the Town
Hall makes another appearance on the right but there is more
architecture typical of the 1930s in the Co-Op building on the
other side of Wharncliffe Road. That completes the journey around
the fountain and although we have moved hardly at all physically
our look around the Market Place has taken us through the centuries
with over a thousand years of history.