I'm fairly lucky in that my ancestors came mostly from the East Midlands so I am able to visit the places where they used to live. We've driven along the A6007 between Ilkeston and Heanor many times but I hadn't realised that this road was also Hassock Lane and that is where some of my ancestors lived in the mid nineteenth century.
The sign above is just beyond the Shipley Garden centre and almost opposite Pit Lane which presumably led to the colliery where my great great grandfather worked when he lived on Hassock Lane - in later years this area was the site of a theme park called The American Adventure - now closed.
As you can see from the garden centre most of the buildings and houses along this road are fairly modern ones - the earliest dating from 1898 with just one house built in the 1860s which may have been familiar with my ancestors. There is nothing left to give any impression of what the houses in which they lived would have been like but I'm guessing they would have been little terraced cottages of some kind.
As you can see from the copy of the 1861 census for Shipley my great great grandfather Joseph Limb, born in Shipley, Derbyshire in 1837 is at the top of the page. Not long after the census was taken the Limbs moved to Staveley in Derbyshire because my great grandfather William Edward Limb was born there in 1863.
Of further interest on Hassock Lane, and living on her own, close to Joseph Limb is his mother Mary Limb.
Here is a report from the Derbyshire Times of Saturday 8th December 1860 about the use of Safety Lamps at Shipley Colliery. This incident would perhaps have taken place whilst Joseph Limb was working there.
'On Friday last, the 30th. of November, a very large outburst of gas took place in the floor of the Hard Coal seam at Shipley Colliery, which filled a large area of the working with explosive gas, for several hours, notwithstanding that a current of air of several thousand cubic feet was passing per minute. Safety lamps have been used to light this colliery upwards of four years. Had an exposed light been in use, or had there been one defective safety lamp in that part of the mine, a most appalling explosion must have occurred carrying death and destruction before it throughout the mine. When the workmen observed the indications of gas in the lamps, they cautiously withdrew from the mine. On the following day, Saturday, the gas had cleared away. It is gratifying for us to make known the above facts, which add another instance of the inestimable value of safety lamps; when Messrs. Woodhouse and Jeffcock, the mining engineers at the colliery, must feel highly satisfied with having introduced them. We have made the above remarks from having noticed that three explosions have occurred at collieries in South Wales, from an improper use of safety lamps. We repeat what we have often stated, that many valuable lives may be saved by a proper use of safety lamps.'
During the 1850s and 1860s the Shipley Colliery was owned by the Munday family who also owned the estate at Shipley Hall, now the site of Shipley Country Park.