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If we take a sideways look on the history of Long Eaton through its street names, not only is this seen in the directional names such as: Derby Road, Nottingham Road, Tamworth Road, and Barton Road etc., but in other aspects too.
When Main Street was officially so named in 1876, it was actually the main street of the town. It stretched from Claye's Wagon Works to Clifford Street. The first gas works were built in Gas Street in 1853 they later moved to another position in 1864. A chapel was then built in Gas Street in 1854, the street was later named to Chapel Street. The first side streets to be adopted by the local board at the time were: Chapel Street, Clifford Street, New Street, Cross Street, Union Street and Regent Street, all this happened in around 1880.
Among the noted people in Long Eaton who owned land at the time of the Parish Award in 1765, and went on to have streets named after them are: John Bonsall, John Howitt, Robert Clifford, John Huss, John Trowell and Thomas Abbott. With the building of the Long Eaton railway station in 1863, Tythe Barn Lane began to change to Station Street and Station Road. This was accomplished in stages as the lane developed into a street in conjunction with the growth of the town. The first change was to Hunt Street (now East Street) through to the "Hollows" and on to Nottingham Road. The last stretch was first called Hollow Street, but in May 1894, it was changed to Station Road. At the request of the owners, Hunt Street became East Street in 1884 and in 1878 New Street was renamed New Tythe Street. Huss's Lane became a street in 1884, it was previously known as "Crooked Lane".
Derby Road is an excellent illustration of the growth of the town. There were no houses over the canal bridge in 1865, only one farm. Up to about 1880 it was known as Wilsthorpe Lane, this stretched from The Green to the then Parish Boundary. Toton Lane commenced at The Green. Sawley Lane commenced at the Market Place.
In 1876 there is a reference to the sewage plans for Lower, Higher and Middle Brook Streets. The mention of Middle Brook Street is a reminder that until 1890, the only means of crossing the brook between Sawley Lane and White's Lane was by a series of narrow footbridges at South Street (once known as Maltby Street), Orchard Street, Stanley Street and Upper Brook Street. The name Middle Brook Street disappeared after the full width road bridges were built. Orchard Street was made by cutting through an orchard, hence its name.
The names of King Street, Prince Street, Princess Street and Victoria Road were adopted in 1883, but the name Victoria Road was not favoured because it was the approach to the cemetery. It was therefore changed to Cemetery Road, but this was also met with opposition and the present name of Lime Grove was a solution to the problem.
A major town development scheme took place during the years 1911-12. It was an expensive undertaking, but very necessary. The demolition scheme included "Temperance Place" and "Vicars Row". These properties were around "The Twitchell" area and it was felt it had become the slum area of the town.
Among other older street names perpetuating the names of local people are: Brown's Road, Claye Street, Fletcher Street, Hey Street, Shepherd's Cottages, and later Craig Street and Mitchell Street. Others indicate the nearness of some obvious feature such as Bridge Street, Station Road, Dockholme Road, Lock Lane, Meadow Lane and Toton Fields. Bank Street was so called because the old Nottingham Joint Stock Bank was situated on the Main Street-Bank Street corner.
Other names have a less obvious reference, an example being Carrfield Avenue, which could take its name from the land on which it was built. Originally known as "Carr Fields" the land was purchased in 1904 by four men from Long Eaton, who divided the land into three streets: Carrfield Avenue, Charlton Avenue and Cleveland Avenue. These streets had a total of 97 building plots. This information was kindly provided by Helen Smith from her house deeds which date back to 1886. It is interesting to note that a Little Carr Field is mentioned in the Parish Award, there was also a Great Carr Field. Netherfield Road may also have got its name from the Parish Award, while Reedman Road was named after the family of Long Eaton's local historian, Mr Keith Reedman. Holme Street took its name from "The Holmes" a timbered house of some repute which stood nearby. Gibb Street, is named after Gib Croft, the ancient name of the croft on which it was built. There are still a number of street names where their origins fail to offer any satisfactory explanation. Union Street, Park Street and Dove Lane are some examples.
The modern housing schemes that have sprung up over the years have brought their quota of new street names to the town.
Information taken from the book "Sketches Of Long Eaton & District" by Arthur Hooper (librarian 1905-1938)