Ilkeston’s historic fair is back!

Roll up, roll up . . . it’s all the fun of the 764th Ilkeston Charter Fair, which is back in town from Wednesday 19 October to Saturday 22 October.
 
One of the oldest and largest street fairs in Europe, the Charter Fair attracts thousands of people and transforms the town centre into a colourful spectacle with some of the biggest and best travelling rides and sideshows in the country.
 
This year’s event will be given its usual ceremonial opening at 12noon on Thursday 20 October when the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Abey Stevenson, will ‘ring the bell’ to get the 2016 Charter Fair officially underway.
 
The ceremony, which includes the reading of the 1252 Charter, takes place in front of the Town Hall and sees local families and visitors gather round to join the showmen for the traditional opening.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Generations of families from across the borough have enjoyed the colour and excitement that the Charter Fair brings to town. It is a spectacular sight as it stretches out across the town centre, bringing fun for everyone – from the traditional side stalls and family rides to the white knuckle rides for all the daredevils!”
 
The fair transforms the Market Place and the surrounding streets – Bath Street, East Street, South Street, Queen Street, Wharncliffe Road and Pimlico. Attractions are open from 6pm-11pm on Wednesday 19 October and from 12noon-11pm on Thursday 20, Friday 21 and Saturday 22 October.
 

New remembrance tribute

A new and moving artwork created as a tribute for remembrance will open in Erewash Museum’s War Gallery on Saturday 1 October.
 
Artist Anna Roebuck was commissioned by Erewash Borough Council to create ‘Flowers of Remembrance’ and her finished work will be showcased in the War Gallery until Remembrance Day in November.
 
Anna has used recycled materials to depict the different flowers that mark remembrance in countries around the work  - including the red poppy and the white poppy of peace; cornflowers for France, the forget me nots of Newfoundland/Labrador, a daisy for Holland and rosemary for Australia.
 
Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to add a personal touch by making and adding their own flowers to the piece.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“The Flowers of Remembrance will be a fascinating addition to our War Gallery and give visitors a chance to take a moment to remember all those who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world as we lead up to Remembrance Day services.”
 
Erewash Museum is situated in Ilkeston Town centre, a short walk from the Market Place. Opening hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm, and Monday to Saturday during school holidays.  Admission is free. Contact 0115 907 1141, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit the Facebook page /erewashmuseum 
 

It’s party time!

Ilkeston’s Victoria Park will host a Party in the Park event on Sunday 2 October to give residents a chance to see the progress as the major restoration project nears completion.
 
Lots of family fun has been lined up for the party-style event that will run from 11am to 3pm – including circus workshops in a Big Top, live music from Dinnington Colliery Brass Band and bowls taster sessions.
 
Erewash Borough Council secured £740,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund for the restoration of key features within the Green Flag park – including the bandstand, the bowls pavilion, a new pergola and the installation of impressive new entrance gates based on the original Victorian design.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“While not all the work will be complete, visitors will be able to see how this lovely park is being transformed by the restoration of its key features.
 
“It has been a major project and we want the whole community to join us for a party in the park to celebrate the work before winter sets in!  We look forward to seeing everyone there.”
 
The park’s Community Ranger Helen Mitchem is keen to hear from anyone interested in being a regular volunteer to work with her on the conservation of the historic park and on creating new groups and activities.
 
Helen can be contacted by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her on 0115 907 2244.

Presentation of Freedom of the Borough

Residents have a chance to give a big Erewash welcome to acclaimed home-grown actor Robert Lindsay when he is presented with the Freedom of the Borough on Saturday 1 October.
 
Erewash Borough Council has organised a public ceremony in Ilkeston Market Place beginning at 5.30pm to ensure as many people as possible can attend to show their support for the star.
 
Robert will be joined by his family as the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Abey Stevenson, presents him with the ribboned Badge of Office and framed scroll.
 
Freedom of the Borough is a rare civic honour that is only granted by a local authority to people who have achieved at the highest level.
 
Robert, who lived and went to school in Ilkeston, has had a glittering TV, stage and film career and remains one of the country’s best loved performers. He became a household name in the 70s playing the title role in popular TV comedy Citizen Smith and has continued to be a force in shows like My Family.
 
His stage career has seen him headline in the West End and on Broadway – while he won multiple awards for stage musical Me and My Girl.
 
Councillor Chris Corbett, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, says:
 
“The presentation of this award is made on behalf of all the residents of Erewash and will be a very proud moment for both this borough and for Robert.
 
“He is one of Ilkeston’s most famous sons and we salute his incredible achievements. It is with great pleasure that we honour a man who continues to be such an inspiration to so many.
 
“A Freedom of the Borough award is very rarely bestowed on anyone and must only be awarded to someone who has achieved at the highest level . . . so what better recipient in Erewash than Robert Lindsay?”
 
Robert attended Kensington Junior School and the former Gladstone Boys’ School in Ilkeston where his love of acting developed. He has written of his memories of growing up in the town and credits his childhood in Ilkeston as the ‘real source of inspiration’ for his acting career and is known to visit his birthplace regularly.
 
Borough Councillors voted unanimously to bestow the award in honour of Robert’s outstanding achievements in his TV, stage and film career.
 

Bloom success for Erewash

Erewash has again achieved medal-winning success in the prestigious East Midlands in Bloom competition – with Long Eaton taking a top spot Gold Medal and Ilkeston winning the prestigious Silver Gilt Award.
 
News of the outstanding success of both towns in the Large Town category was announced on Wednesday 15 September during the awards ceremony at The John Fretwell Complex in Mansfield.
 
Impressed Bloom judges were bowled over by Erewash Borough Council’s colourful town centre floral displays, which have won widespread praise from local residents. They also enjoyed the appearance and facilities of both towns during busy tours of the area in the summer.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, said:
 
“My congratulations go to the council’s ‘Bloom’ team who have worked tirelessly throughout the year planning, developing and maintaining our 

wonderful displays and ensuring Erewash is clean and welcoming.  This is the eighth successive year that both towns have been successful, an outstanding achievement.
 
“We are also very grateful to the many volunteers, residents and schoolchildren who have worked with us, and shown great community spirit in helping us care for our local environment.”
 
As well as the council’s floral displays, local businesses, schools and residents helped provide the bloom success through their commitment to providing colourful flowers and baskets.
 
To recognise this support, the East Midlands in Bloom initiative also presented special Judges Awards to the Friends of Straw’s Bridge, West Hallam for their dedication to the continued development of the nature reserve as a centre for wildlife conservation and a visitor destination and to Councillor Mike Wallis for his continued commitment to the “Bloom Initiative”.
 
This year’s Bloom competition also brought awards for two community entries, with Draycott winning Gold and Little Eaton taking Silver Gilt in the Small Town category.