Three photographs from a Spondon Carnival of the late 1940s. The first two images show the procession emerging from Cambridge Street onto Willowcroft Road. The third picture is the Celanese float, advertising the benefits of cellulose acetate in textile manufacturing. The sign on the lorry reads: Celanese fabrics made at Spondon are Comfortable, Artistic, Reliable, Novel, Inviting, Versatile, Alluring, Lovely. Marketing was simpler seventy years ago.
The Spondon Historical Society’s archive has more images demonstrating the importance of British Celanese to the event. In 1948 the gowns for the Carnival Queen and her Attendants were loaned to the organisers by the company.
One of the other astonishing¹ photographs found in my father’s collection yesterday is this view of Spondon Methodist Church. It’s scanned from a small print as the negative seems to be missing. I think it dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s based on the other photographs it was stored with – but obviously taken before the A52 bypass was built in the mid 1950s.
I’m unable to date this photograph of my father’s exactly, but my guess is that it will be from the late 1940s or early 1950s. I can’t imagine a hunt ever managing to make its way through the middle of Spondon now.
A brief view of the Hamilton Road / Gerard Close housing development just after it had been built. The roads are waiting to be surfaced with concrete, rather than asphalt. This surface remains in place today – unlike the concrete lamp posts.
A conversation I had earlier on today reminded me that I have a photograph of the Spondon Home Guard. It was taken during World War II, outside the gatehouse lodge at Locko Park. I don’t have a key to the people in the picture, although my assumption is that there must be at least one Holyoake present. I can see a couple of possible candidates.
If anyone does recognise any of the volunteers, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Since I started publishing my father’s photographs of bygone Spondon, I’ve been delighted by the interest that they’ve attracted. I was recently contacted by Kaff at Cherrytree Picture Framers in Spondon who asked if she could create display prints from four of them.
Yesterday I saw the results of her efforts – and they’re truly stunning.
The blemishes which scarred the original slides and negatives have been skillfully removed. High resolution scans (rather than scaled-down images from this blog) were used, producing great quality prints.
The photographs are currently on display at 3 Moor Street, Spondon. Prints can be purchased in different sizes and frames.
The best way to appreciate the pictures is to go in person. However, if you’re unable to visit and want to take a closer look, the colour photographs are blemish-free versions of the first two in this post. The black and white photographs are featured here.
Thirty six seconds of cine film from the British Celanese Gala Day, held at their social club in Spondon, 1969. I have rather less hair these days and haven’t troubled a barber in months. That’s probably “a good thing”, judging by my style in this clip.
Earlier on today I came across a number of photographs taken on the afternoon of Sunday June 26th 1960 at the British Celanese Motor Club Driving Tests event. Thanks to my late father’s meticulous record keeping I can also provide the context to the event, as well as the photographs.
And finally, the results.
The Austin Healey finished fourth. This was one place behind my future Godfather in third, with my future father finishing first.
Here’s a short cine film of the British Celanese Motor Club’s treasure hunt, held on 21st March 1965.
This was one of an annual programme of motoring events that also included paced drives (rallies).
As the club was affiliated to the RAC and the events had to be notified to the local police, it all seemed to be taken pretty seriously. There was an intricate scoring system that made allowances for participants being unable to take part in some events due to work commitments.
This treasure hunt started from the Manor Road Service Station on the A5111 ring road in Derby. I think the garage has long since vanished, but looking at the stills it would seem to have been somewhere near where the Argosy is today.
We next see the competitors in Kirk Langley turning right onto Flagshaw Lane. Except – the turning doesn’t look anything like that as far as I can work out. Unless I’m in the wrong place, of course … in which case I’m only going to score one point for a non-finish! The scenes get progressively snowier and more ‘interesting’ to drive, with the competitors finally reaching Tansley in the Peak District. Scotland Nurseries is still going strong today.
The treasure hunt finishes at the Celanese Sports & Social Club on Borrowash road, having first turned right across the A52 from Derby to get there. That’s not been legally possible (thankfully) for many, many years!
A sprint finish into the social club with the completed check sheets to end.
Unfortunately I can’t find a record of the winner of this particular event in my father’s BCMC files, which are in good order up until the end of 1964. I suspect that my recent arrival may have distracted him somewhat.
The first is the junction of Willowcroft Road with South Avenue.
Willowcroft Road sweeps round to the left. At the top of the hill is the junction with Sitwell Street. Two photographs were taken here, the first looking to the left. The spire of St Werburgh’s church is visible to the right of the large tree in the grounds of The Homestead.
The second is taken from approximately the same place, but looking to the right of the junction. The Co-op (which I remember as a supermarket from my childhood, but is now a funeral parlour) is visible in the background.
The next photograph is taken slightly further along Sitwell Street. The building immediately on the left is still there today. However, the buildings next to it have been replaced by houses and, I think, Spondon Village Hall.
Turning right here leads onto a lane that brings you to Moult Avenue. The houses shown in this photograph are there today, but the surrounding area on South Avenue was later developed for housing, so it all looks rather different now.
I assume that the next photograph is looking back towards Sitwell Street from this lane, but confirmation would be welcome!