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Bailey’s Factory,’ as it was called was built in 1856 by Mr. Bailey and his son, in conjunction with Mr. John Taylor, a gentleman farmer who lived in the Manor House.
It was expected that a good trade would be done, many people employed, and that Ilkeston would reap a rich harvest from the speculation. But these great expectations were not realised.
There was a slump in the lace trade. The factory was closed. Baileys left the town and Mr. Joseph (sic) Taylor, who was the chief financier, lost a great deal of money causing him financial difficulties.
Joseph worked in this area as a lacemaker and in 1855 designed and later built his new Heanor Road factory — the second in a series of large factories to operate in the town and costing £4000 – with his eldest son, Ezekiel James.
White’s Directory of 1857 describes the factory as “a noble building 100 feet long, 34 feet wide, and four stories in height, with a steam engine of 12 horse power, and upwards of 40 machines, suitable offices, and every other convenience, arranged and fitted up in accordance with the most recent improvements. The number of hands employed is 350 to 400”.
In 1860 the local lace trade was suffering serious difficulties and in August of that year Messrs. Bailey, Son, & Co. suspended operations
And in early 1867 the Pioneer reported that “the factory which has been so long in the hands of the assignees of Bailey and others, doing nothing, is likely to be very soon started again by a Nottingham firm. The other factories in the town are at present doing very little, trade having been slack for several months”.
Sure enough, a month later, in April 1867, the same newspaper was reporting that the factory had now been taken over by Messrs Hill and Swanwick, lace manufacturers of Lenton, Nottingham.
The original engine boilers were too small for the new owners and larger ones were planned.
Samuel Smith, aged 51, bricklayer of Sherwood Street, Nottingham, was hired to build the new foundations for these boilers, within excavated earthworks which were supported by wooden props…but not well enough.
During the building work the earthworks gave way and Samuel was crushed — his thigh and both legs were broken, several ribs were fractured and one eye was injured. (He was taken to Nottingham General Hospital).
The building is Grade 2 listed & is described as
Hipped tile roof. Four storeys. South elevation of 5-3-5 bays, the centre three advanced, with quoins and a dentilled pediment.
Central rusticated round arched doorway with keyblock and doubledoors. To the right are two glazing bar sashes under stone lintels, a doorway and three more glazing bar sashes.
To the left are six glazing bar sashes. The first floor has twelve glazing bar sashes under stone lintels and a doorway in the fourth opening from the left. Continuous sill band.
Thirteen similar glazing bar sashes above and thirteen smaller casements and fixed lights above again. The rear elevations of thirteen bays, with glazing bar sashes under stone lintels and a
continuous first floor sill band.
The most recent tenants Norton Plastics vacated in 2008 when it was sold for development as apartments, although nothing appears to have happened.
The explore was a complete unplanned "Oh whats that" as we drove back from another place. Couldnt believe how open it was considering its a complete death trap, there is weak floors rotted stairs & open lift shafts to occupy the curious gooner!
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