Memory lane

While in the UK I took the family to see where I spent my last years before moving to London. I’m not sure exactly when we moved to Stanton Road but I was probably there from about age 3 to age 7, so this was the early 60’s.

I looked something like this at the time, I suppose this was about age 5-7? I have other photos of me much younger on a tricycle in the back yard of this house but not digitised yet. Not sure where this was taken but it would have been Scarborough or similar seaside town.

Me short trousers

And I went to school here – well, I guess I was too late with that one!

Birthplace of a genius! ;)

Birthplace of a genius! ;)

We lived here – but I have to say in our defence that we had better taste than to turn the front room into a garage! When we were there it looked like the one to the right that still has a bay window.

Ruined! It's ruined I tell you!

Ruined! It’s ruined I tell you!

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We also visited the Stanton Road Cemetery, which is just up the street and where I used to play with my friend Nicholas. In those days it was overgrown, forgotten and spooky but it has since found some friends. And who knew Ilkeston had a giant? Certainly not me.

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It was while wandering around the cemetery that we found the gravestone of Martha Scattergood, who died in 1893, aged 42.

Martha Scattergood

Martha Scattergood

It seems she is actually a relative of mine. A member of our extended family has done some proper research into the Scattergood and related families, the results of which he has put into a folder and given my parents a copy. We flicked through it while we were there and Martha is in it. Scattergood is not a common name (especially here in Poland!) but if you want to look for evidence of a few then this part of the UK is a great place to start. Spurred on by finding Martha I decided to take a look at the inscriptions on the war memorial in the town square. Sure enough, two Scattergood’s who died in the Great War, WWI.

RIP

RIP

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There are Scattergoods popping up all over the place. Just in the process of writing this I found this website with details of prominent members of the local community during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Naturally there is a Scattergood:

Joseph Scattergood

He was born at Stanton-by-Dale on February 25th 1834, the son of Richard Scattergood.
In 1887 he was elected to the newly formed Town Council and was made an Alderman in 1907.

A little more Googling found a connection between the Joseph above and our Martha in the graveyard:

In September 1856 Elizabeth married wheelwright Joseph Scattergood. Born in February 1834 he was the second son of Richard, cottager and landlord of the Stanhope Arms in Stanton by Dale, and his first wife Martha (nee Smedley), and came to Ilkeston just prior to his marriage, to trade in the Market Place as a wheelwright and joiner.

Also a possible clue to why Martha had died at the tender age of 42:

Buchanan’s report on the Sanitary Condition of Ilkeston caused the doctor to forward a complaint to the Secretary of State for the Home Department. He had discovered that ‘excremental pollution’ was widely diffused in the water of the town, leading to the prevalence of fever. Also cited were ‘ill-kept roads and unclean channels’, overflowing ashpits with filthy refuse, and pig-styes far too close to cottages.

Fascinating and if you walk around the town today, free of pig shit it may be but it is rapidly becoming nothing more than a collection of pubs, gambling establishments, places selling crap for peanuts and closed doors. The incredible twist to the story of Ilkeston’s decline might be that the people to breath life back into the place could be Polish. A few years ago the first Polish shop opened and now there are two. Mention Poland in Jackson’s Chippie and the owner tells you a relative of his has married a Pole (or is thinking about it) and is about to visit Krakow.

Jackson's Chippie - purveyor of fine fish, chips and mushy peas.

Jackson’s Chippie – purveyor of fine fish, chips and mushy peas.

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