In 1939, Ellis Street ran from Station Street to Pond Street. Now, the configuration has changed and Ellis Street ends at a roundabout. Pond Street is to the left with a continuation of Pond Street ahead leading to Lowmoor Road. To the right is an exit from Morrison’s car park.
On both their walks, Mark Ashfield and Edith Searson take detours up Ellis Street to Dr Waller’s house and surgery. This surgery is listed on Jacques’ List of Station Street retailers circa 1920-1940. Mark Ashfield noted that Dr Waller’s surgery was on the corner of Ellis Street opposite the TSB. However, he imagines that he saw him out and about walking as, apparently, this was not an uncommon sight. He would go to the Summit end of Kirkby and way down Lindley’s Lane on the same morning. He was a heavy smoker and was known for drinking multiple cups of tea when making his house calls. Mark Ashfield summarised that “the three ‘T’s of tobacco, tannin and trudging formed an integral part of his daily round“.
1 Ellis Street
Dr Waller’s house and surgery occupied 1 Ellis Street which is now occupied by Posh Meze Bar and Grill. Heather Mulholland, on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, thought that Dr Waller’s extended to 3 Ellis Street and that this was later owned by Wilbourn’s. She noted that her parents rented 3 Ellis Street in 1959 when they opened their electrical business. Frank Ball recalled that the premises on Ellis Street were later used by an electrician, Mr Kalynycz.
I am grateful to Heather Mulholland, on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, for explaining that this electrical and lighting business belonged to her parents. She noted, “my parents’ electrical and lighting business was actually in my mother’s name C (Clarice) Kalynycz, the reason for this being when my father arrived in the UK in 1947 as a displaced person from the Ukraine the rules within the UK stated that as a foreign alien my father could not have a bank account or own a business, hence the business was in my mother’s name. My father became a naturalised British Citizen in 1961, but the business remained as C Kalynycz until they retired in 1997, the business was then at 42 Station Street.”
She further explained that her parents started the business at 3 Ellis Street and then, when Wilbourn’s wanted to extend into number 3, they moved across the road to number 2 Ellis Street which they rented from the TSB. Then, when the TSB wanted to modernise their premises which meant extending into number 2 Ellis Street, “my parents bought the old Co-operative Chemist at 42 Station Street“.
Also, on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, Jean Bradley commented that Mr and Mrs Kalynycz were “lovely, lovely people… you could get anything you wanted from their shop“.
There is a photograph in “Kirkby & District from Old Photographs” by Frank Ashley, Sylvia Sinfield and Gerald Lee (p68) which shows where Dr Waller used to live on Station Street. There is a similar photo in “A Carnival Crown and a Roasted Ox” by Mark Ashfield (p26). According to Mark Ashfield’s book “Christmas Pigs and a Summer Donkey” (p20), Dr Waller’s house was on the corner of Ellis Street.
Edith Searson’s Memories of Dr Waller
Edith Searson also recalled seeing Dr Waller walking places. She noted that what she particularly remembered “was he invariably walked in the road, to be precise, in the gutter. I suppose the reason for this would be, he could get along quicker, than keep passing people on the pavement.” She noted that the Wallers had two children Joan and Peter. Joan later married Dr Durance who became Dr Waller’s partner.
Other Memories of Dr Waller
In a discussion on the Kirkby-in-Ashfield People Facebook Group, Kath Williams noted that her father had been born on Ellis Street in 1923. He often spoke of Dr Waller, “sometimes when he made a home visit my grandma would have a pan of stew on the stove and he’d say my goodness Nelly that smells good and my grandma would invite him to sit down with the family and have dinner with them“.
In a discussion on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, Joan Ware recalled that “Dr Waller had a stack of Craven A cigarettes on the examination couch along the back wall. He always called me the little bleeder. I had frequent nose bleeds. Now a days your nose would be cauterized.” Susan Sparkes recalled that Dr Waller always had a cigarette in his mouth. Joan Ware remembered him as “very gentle. You walked into the dark waiting area, seating around the room edge you joined the queue, one in move up till you got to the door and your turn . No receptionist to say were full. And I remember him coming to the house when I had whooping cough so bad. He is one of my first memories.” Dorothy Shirley noted that he used to be her doctor.
In a comment on Kirkby-in-Ashfield Facebook Group, Pat Hallam noted that her grandmother, Priscilla Cooke of Marlborough Road used to do the laying out of bodies for Dr Waller. Pat remembered going to his surgery “as a little girl“.
Based on the 1921 census, the Wallers lived at Ellenslea on Ellis Street. His name was Arthur Beaumont Waller and his wife’s name was Annie Milner. They had married in Islington in 1906 and her maiden name was Carr. They had two children Frances Joan (b1909) and Robert Bevan (b1912). I don’t see a son called Peter but perhaps Robert Bevan went by that name. I did find details of a Marjorie M Waller but she was born and died the same year, 1915.
My Family’s Experiences of Dr Waller
The first mention of Dr Waller in grandad’s diaries is in February 1934 when he examined grandma when she was expecting mum.
Dr Waller continued to treat the family until 1955, when he must have been 78, so he had been one of the family’s doctors for more than 20 years. Mrs Waller was active in the community. For example, Mrs A B Waller won the fruit cake category of the cake-making competition at the Kirkby Carnival in 1935.
Dr Waller died, on 1 September 1959, aged 82. Both mum and grandad recorded this in their diaries. According to mum, he died at West Bridgford Nursing Home and, according to grandad, at Newstead Nursing Home.
I found a news article concerning Dr Waller’s death from the Nottingham Evening News of 3 September 1959. This confirmed that he had been a doctor in Kirkby for 46 years. Dr Waller was born and trained in London. He met his wife at Ryde Hospital where she was a senior sister. Then, he worked in Ilkeston for three years before moving to Kirkby. He was associated with the British Red Cross Society and was a member of St Thomas’s Church. Also, he was a founder member of the Kirkby Lodge of Freemasons. He was buried in Kingsway New Cemetery.
Residents of 1-3 Ellis Street
From 1911 to 1939, there were 47 households living in Ellis Street. There were 46 in 1901.
Dr and Mrs Waller were living at 1 Ellis Street as was Ellen Rayson, presumably a servant. No-one was recorded as living at 3 Ellis Street in 1939. In 1921, the Wallers address was given as Ellenslea, Ellis Street. In addition to Dr and Mrs Waller, their two children, Francis Joan (b1909) and Robert Bevin (b1912). Also with them were three visitors, Jessie Mildred Carter, Audrey Webber and Katherine Annie Webber (all aged 8-11) and a servant, Hilda Bullimore. In 1911, the Wallers were living at 116 Victoria Road.
In 1921, there was no-one recorded as living at 1 Ellis Street. However, Alfred and Beatrice E Roome were living at 3 Ellis Street with their son Alfred (b1919). Alfred was working as a hewer at Bentinck Colliery. Staying with them were Jack E and Norah Smith. He was also working as a hewer at Bentinck Colliery.
In 1911, John W and Helen Mackenzie were living at 1 Ellis Street. With them was a visitor, John Edward McLaren, and two servants, Bella Munro and Alice Meads. Interestingly, Dr Mackenzie was listed as a physician and surgeon. There was no listing for 3 Ellis Street. John McKenzie was also there in 1901 although there is a variation in spelling of surname and his wife’s name is given as Ellen. Their niece Barbara McKenzie (b1893) was staying with them as was a domestic servant, Maggie Bird.
I thought I had not come across Dr Mackenzie before. However, he is mentioned in a news cutting my mum had related to a walk “Kirkby Lad” made to Larch Farm in the sixties. Mum kept it because it mentioned the Parkins. But, it also referred to Dr Mackenzie and noted that his recipe for good health was “to have a walk over the Forest Hill towards Larch Farm and inhale plenty of God’s fresh and free air”.
Also, in 1910, Dr Mackenzie was called as a medical witness in a legal case between my great grandfather Henry Parkin and a furniture dealer, Henry Goadby, see Chapter 47.
Dr Mackenzie’s Death
I am grateful to Christine Evans for sharing with me notice of Dr Mackenzie’s death which appeared in the Kirkby Free Press in January 1913. It noted that he had been taken ill about one year previously and was confined to his room for a long time. He improved a little and was transferred to Drumdevan, Inverness where it was hoped he would recover. But, he deteriorated and died. His body was returned to Kirkby and he was buried in St Wilfrid’s Churchyard. He was only 54 when he died.
The article noted that Dr John Monro Mackenzie was a native of Culkein, Assynt. He held medical qualifications from both Edinburgh (LRCP/LRCS) and Glasgow (LFPS). Previously, he had worked in Ventnor and had arrived in Kirkby some 20 years earlier, in around 1893. He was noted for his energy and cheery optimism which made him many friends and helped build up his practice. He was Medical Officer for Kirkby and was considered an authority on infant mortality. One of his last public engagements was attending the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Salvation Army Citadel.
Ellis Street in Carnival
In 2010, Leanne Allen posted a picture on the Kirkby-in-Ashfield People Facebook Group which was said to show the Station Street end of Ellis Street at the time of the 1951 Carnival.
In a review I conducted of Kirkby Carnivals, Ellis Street featured relatively prominently. In 1935, it tied with New Street for third place in the street decorations behind Unity Street in first and Alexandra Street, Prospect Street and Byron Street in joint second. Then, n 1937, Ellis Street won the best-decorated street competition. Also, in 1937, Ellis Street Junior Raggers won second prize in the best comedy group tableaux.In 1939, Ellis Street finished second in this competition behind Byron Street. In 1951, Ellis Street were third in money raised through their street decorations behind Pond Street and Byron Street. Ellis Street raised £7 7s 1d. In 1952, Ellis Street again finished second in the best-decorated street competition behind Sherwood Street.
Memories of Ellis Street
In a discussion on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, Chris Kidger noted that she had been born on Ellis Street but that all the houses on that street had been demolished in the sixties. Roberta Knight mentioned that her late mother-in-law lived there at one point noting, “she told me that you could go out all day and leave your house unlocked“.
In a comment on Kirkby-in-Ashfield People Facebook Group, Gail Allen-Turner noted that Ellis Street had terraced houses on it. Her mother, Yvonne, lived there with her parents, Annie and Levi Hambleton. She noted that Levi Hambleton was the local window cleaner. Frank Ball recalled two families of Rowarths at 31 and 33 Ellis Street. In 1939, Thomas A and Dora Rowarth were living at number 31. His occupation was given as coal haulage. One record is closed. William and Ellen Rowarth were at number 33 with their three children, Arthur (b1917), Leonard (b1920) and Jane Evelyn (b1927). Frank also recalled the Shirley family.
Christine Wright noted that she was born on Ellis Street in 1963 but that the family had to move around 1965 when the house they were living in was demolished. Her parents were Howard (Bob) and Sheila Fletcher. They had two other children, Robert (b1961) and Sandra (b1964).
Helen Jay noted that the back entrance to Newcombes was off Ellis Street. Her father, Tom Wright, who worked at Newcombes used to park his car there.