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 Fountain

PlaqueThe 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".
Town Hall

Behind and to the left of the fountain is the Town Hall by R. C. Sutton of Nottingham with its Italianate frontage built in 1867-68.
Sir John Warren

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.
The Scala

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.
Three Pubs

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 fraternity.
Lower Market Place

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!
St Mary's Church

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.
Memorial Garden

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.
To The South

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.

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