The Hallam Fields Industrial Trail - Part 7 - Crompton Road
w/e 29 January 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Hallam Fields Industrial Trail

As we begin this last stage of the Industrial Trail, it is perhaps a good opportunity to stop and look back along our route as we shall also be looking back in time on Crompton Road. Many parts of the route we have followed so far have changed with the passage of time but perhaps none more so than here on Crompton Road.
Looking Back

Crompton Road/Merlin WayHaving passed along the narrow road that was once under a low railway bridge we have reached a road junction where Crompton Road (to the left above) meets the new Merlin Way that has been forged through to the Quarry Hill Industrial Estate. In recent years, many new industries have sprung up on Merlin Way and there is still room for further expansion. From the position of the railway bridge (small image left) the view is remarkably different from that of some years ago. Then it would have been dominated by the coke ovens that stood on the left of Crompton Street, ovens using coal from Stanton collieries to produce coke for use in the furnaces.
Crompton Road

The coke ovens which were built by Woodhall Duckham in 1938-39 also produced gas that was sold locally and for the national grid. Crude tar, sulphate of ammonia and benzole were among the by-products produced and as recently as 1953, the plant was extended to cope with an increased demand. Now in 2006 all signs of the ovens have completely disappeared but the 'constant bad egg smell' that I was reminded of in a recent email still lives in the nostalgic memories of all those who were around at the time. Another memory from those years is the overflowing of the nearby Nut Brook when filthy water often caused flooding in this part of Crompton Street. In 1960 the flooding was so severe that the coke ovens were also affected by the flooding.
Stanton Hotel Site

About a third of the way up Crompton Road (as it was renamed in 1979) on the right hand side this single storey building has now replaced the Stanton Hotel. The hotel was residential and often had many radio personalities under its roof when "Workers' Playtime" - a regular programme from the BBC - was broadcast from Stanton. Presumably because of the shift working during the First World War the hotel held a 24 hour licence - despite the recent changes to the law it seems that all day drinking is nothing new! The Stanton Hotel was also known as the New Pub as it replaced the Railway Hotel which later became Mitchell's grocery shop. Danny Corns whose memories are recorded in the leaflet on which this series has been based, recalls "It was not uncommon to see a furnace labourer carrying jugs of ale hanging from a yoke around his neck, back to his colleagues on the furnaces." That's yet another change from today when any form of alcohol is banned on the premises of many companies and businesses.
Frog Row

The side road north of the Stanton Hotel acquired the name Frog Row due to the presence of giant frogs that took up residence in the cellars of the terraced houses that stood here. About half way along on the right hand side was the Rifle Range, home of Stanton's Rifle Club that was formed in 1907.

Crompton Street SketchI am once again indebted to Danny Corns for permission to use his material for this series. One of his sketches (right) shows the top end of Crompton Street with smoking chimneys on terraced houses. With the aid of some digital manipulation and a degree of artistic licence I have combined Danny's sketch with my image. Roll your mouse over the image above to get an impression of what it was like half a century ago. When the houses were demolished in the 1960s many of the residents moved to new properties at Kirk Hallam.
Hallam Fields Road

At the top of Crompton Road we turn left to retrace our steps along Hallam Fields Road in front of the remaining twenty four cottages known as North View that were built in 1868 to house early Stanton workers to our starting point at The Stute. For all the new industry and small companies that have grown up in the area and the cleaner environment due to the elimination of the poisonous fumes, one thing that cannot be conveyed in these images is the loss of community spirit. Any last vestiges of it can only remain here on Hallam Fields Road but I'll close this series on the Hallam Fields Industrial Trail with a quote from Danny's leaflet which would make a fine epitaph.
"You have to imagine a thriving, busy, ironmaking community at work and play. It was a caring community, somewhat remote from Ilkeston, and in the early days speaking a strange dialect. Life revolved around the Church, Friendship Groups and Sports teams until the start of demolition in 1965."
Back to Part 6
 Hallam Fields Index
Town & City Walks Index

If you would like to see more images of the area in its heyday, I can recommend the Picture The Past site. A search there for "Crompton" and "Ilkeston" will show a number of images of the terraced houses and by using the "more search options" button and then choosing the Stanton Ironworks Company from the drop down menu under the "Search By Photographer" option there are several hundred images to be seen of the Stanton Works.

Site Navigation

"Pick A Picture"
Weekly Favourites
Latest Images
Holidays &
Days Out
Special Features
The Guest Page
Site search Web search

powered by FreeFind
Jigsaw Puzzles
Recommended Links

Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.