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Below are a few snippets of information which are Long Eaton related, that you may not know about.
- The famous musical performer and film star Gracie Fields appeared at the St James' Theatre (now the new cinema on Derby Road in Long Eaton). She appeared there in 1918 with Archie Pitt, who later became her husband, in two musical revues. Here is an extract from a letter shortly before Miss Field's death: "I certainly remember working in Long Eaton, finishing a show there the first week which had been on the road for just over two years, so we were familiar with every joke and song. The second week, we had all new jokes and songs to get used to playing. I remember the try-out was dreadful, but the Long Eaton audiences must have been extra kind and gave us all encouragement, because that second show played for four years across the British Isles, 'Mr Tower of London' was its name."
- Barry George - who has recently been found not guilty for the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando, was interested in stunts and was posing as Steve Majors. He was interviewed about his abilities as a stuntman. George took great pleasure in discussing his interest in stunts and in September 1981, using the name Steve Majors, Barry George arrived at the Long Eaton Stadium in an attempt to persuade the manager to allow him to carry out a daring stunt. The stunt involved skating down a 70 foot high ramp, leaping 40 feet into the air over four double decker buses and landing upon a 20 foot high structure. The event was arranged and held on the 19th September and thousands bought tickets to watch George's death defying leap. He successfully completed the jump but injured himself upon landing. He did not mind because he received attention and in doing so could share his interests with complete strangers. His performance was shown on television and was featured in local newspapers. He later performed this same stunt for a children's television program, but this time he injured his thigh and the program was never broadcast. This information came from a book called 'The Case Of Barry George' by S. C. Lomax which was published by Kempton Marks.
- 1880 - The market was established under the Public Health Act of 1875.
- 1895 - Urban District constituted.
- 1903 - Electricity supply commenced in Long Eaton.
- 1935 - The public baths opened on Grange Park.
- 1948 - The West Park Pavillion Cafe opened.
- 1956 - The construction of the Draycott Road housing estate began.
- 1956 - The 1,000th post war council house was built on the Petersham Estate.
- 1957 - The Chantry Close bungalows were built.
- 1957 - The Phyllis Grove bungalows were built.
- 1959 - The 2,000th council house was built in Long Eaton.
- 1962 - Long Eaton was twinned with the town of Romorantin in France.
- 1965 - The inauguration of the Romorantin Place development.
- 1966 - The West Park model railway opened.
- 1968 - The Petersham Hall on the Petersham Estate opened.
- 1971 - Long Eaton was twinned with Langen in Germany.
- The High Street in Long Eaton follows the course of an ancient stream, along which Long Eaton developed. The stream is now culverted, and its course has become the main thoroughfare of the town.
- The fountain which stands in front of Romorantin Place flats is the same one which was sited at the far end of the outdoor swimming baths on Grange Park. It was moved when the baths were superseded by the West Park Leisure Centre swimming baths in 1973.
- A Sergeant Harry Churchill Beet who lived at 135 Sawley Road (now Tamworth Road) in Long Eaton, won the Victoria Cross serving his country in the Boer War. There was a 'welcome home' banquet for him at the People's Hall on Tuesday October 14th 1902.
- The famous Long Eaton artist, Dame Laura Knight (formerly Laura Johnson) was the first woman artist to be made a Dame of the British Empire. The War Office commissioned her as an artist to cover the proceedings of the Nuremberg War Crime Trials in November 1945. She died in 1970 at the age of 93.
- At one time Toton Sidings was the largest marshalling yard in Europe, for railway wagons. It had 138 sidings with a total track length of 55 miles. At one time, some 70 horses were employed to pull the wagons, as well as shunting engines. At its widest point there were 100 pairs of railway lines. The stable accommodation for the horses included a hospital for the sick and injured ones. Before the introduction of signalling lights known as "Lunar White Lights", semaphore was used for signalling.
- St Laurence's Church became independent of Sawley Parish Church in 1864. On 7th March of that year a bible was presented to Joseph and Mary King in memory that theirs was the first marriage at the newly independent church.
- The Old Bell Inn in the Market Place once had a flight of outside steps leading to a second floor of the building. The Marquis of Hastings once stood on the top step and scattered small silver and copper coins to the crowd below when he stopped off at Long Eaton on his way to the Nottingham races.
- There once was an 'Inspector of Nuisances' for Long Eaton, the position was held by Mr John Sheldon in 1878.
- When the Long Eaton library first opened in 1906, there was a list of 42 rules and conditions for book borrowers. It wasn't until the 1920s that readers were allowed to select the books for themselves.
- A red and white cotton 'Friendship Quilt' was made at Christmas time in 1890 to raise money for the Derby Road Mission Room. 400 donors autographed the squares, and a Mrs Enoch Wallis then embroidered all the signatures. The quilt came to light again in the 1980s when it was spotted at a local flea market. It was in remarkably good condition and it had a price tag of £250. It was later presented to the Erewash Museum in Ilkeston.
- Ernest Terah Hooley, local entrepeneur and businessman, went on to mix with princes and the aristocracy. He was entertained by the the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) at Sandringham,and bought the Royal Yacht Britannia from him, before a disapproving Queen Victoria insisted he bought it back from such a low born financier. Hooley bought major companies such as Dunlop and the Bovril company as well as building the Conservative Club on Regent Street, but died almost blind and penniless at the age of 88, on College Street.
- A 5,000 year old stone axe was discovered close to the bowling green on West Park.
- Hamilton Road, off Derby Road in Long Eaton has a war memorial, which is a plaque on the front of one of the houses, dedicated to the seventeen men from that street who were killed in World War I.
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