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.

This week’s special events

As part of the Society’s fiftieth birthday, there are four days of events and displays held at Ilkeston library. All events are free and all are welcome. For further details, call the library on 0115 930 1104.

Saturday 1st October

  • 10.00 — 3.00 Come and meet your local history societies. Members of the Ilkeston and Heanor History Societies will be available to answer your questions. Also on the scene will be the Friends of both Park and Stanton Road Cemeteries, Bennerley Viaduct and Ilkeston Life, the ‘all things Ilkeston’ newspaper.
  • 10.30 — 11.30 The Ripley Rattler. Join local historian Brian Key for this illustrated presentation on the famous rattling trams of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire tramway.
  • 2.00 — 3.00 Bennerley Viaduct — The Iron Giant of the Erewash Valley. oBill Tomson of Sustrans will be presenting the history and restoration of this amazing edifice.

Monday 3rd October

  • 10.00 — 1.30 What’s in the background? Bring and share your Ilkeston photographs with interesting backgrounds — back gardens, street views, the park . . . Help us find out from these what people did, what they wore and what things were like, both in the past and more recently.
  • 2.00 — 3.30 Whatever happened to Ilkeston’s railways? A presentation by Paul Miller and Grant Shaw.
  • 6.30 — 8.00 Ilkeston as it was — Its history in 50 chapters. Join local historians Ann Featherstone and Beverley Kilby talking about their exciting new book. Details of the book can be found below.

Tuesday 4th October

  • 10.00 — 11.00 and 2.00 — 3.00 Tell us what you think. COme and help us identify photos from three special private collections belonging to Andrew Knighton, Jim Beardsley and Danny Corns. Drop in to either presentation and share with us what you know.
  • 7.45 — 8.45 The Robin Hood Line — Then and Now. Dr. David Amos gives one of our regular monthly talks held in the Lower Meeting Hall of the United Reform Church, Ilkeston, entrance off Albert Street. All members welcome — guests will be charged £3 at the door.

Wednesday 5th October

  • 10.00 — 4.00 Not everything’s on the internet, you know. A day to share what is available to help you find out about local and family history through photographs, newspapers, documents and maps - much more than on the internet. Family history taster sessions available. Booking essential through the library.

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

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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.