Some years ago when they were on about pedestrianising Bath Street and putting a new road through, my father said then that Ilkeston would become a ghost town.
They started the road in 1983. He was with me for exactly a year and died. He was 77 and had never had a day’s illness in his life.
His words have now come true. At one time we had shoe shops, furniture shop, electrical shops and fishmongers.
We now haven’t got anything like that. I think we had six or eight shoe shops and they have all gone.
I agree with Maggie Throup that if we had more traffic on Bath Street we would have more footfall.
I had an aunt and she could come out of her door and walk down to Northgate Street, walk through onto Bath Street, down Station Road and she could do all of her shopping in that little square. There was everything she needed.
We used to have a road train and the council at the time said that if it took off they would keep it going.
It did take off but they didn’t keep it going., They said they didn’t have the money.
Also, transport is an issue. We have transport where the hill starts but there is nothing up Bath Street itself. Some people can’t walk downhill.
That has affected the shops on Bath Street. This is another thing that has ruined Ilkeston in my view.
I suggested a few years ago that having one bus an hour going full length of Bath Street, people would work to that.