West Hallam had traditionally been a rural community which relied on farming and allied trades for its employment, but from the 19th to the late 20th century also had its fair share of coal mining. Most of the land between West Hallam Village and Ilkeston together with much of what is now the Hallam Way estate was opencast mined in the middle of the 20th century. There were several deep seam mines also,
and an ironworks on the Nutbrook Canal towards Mapperley from about 1850. The last working pit was Stanley Colliery, by the side of the railway station and which closed in 1961. Some of the buildings still survive, now used for industry. In the closing years of the century, most of the eyesores and spoil tips were removed, returning the environment to something like what it had been. The Newdigates had run a brickyard near Mapperley Crossroads, using local clay from a pit in what is now Kiln Close. In the 1920’s West Hallam Pottery made decorative earthenware and examples can still be found locally. For many years the pottery site was abandoned and slowly deteriorated until it was bought in the 1980’s by Mr Charles Stone and family and developed as the much admired Bottle Kiln buttery, craft and art gallery, saving the remaining (listed) kiln for posterity in a sympathetic environment, as well as attracting people from much further afield into West Hallam.
The 1960’s to 1990’s saw a great deal of new housing built in West Hallam together with a new shopping development on the site of White House Farm in the village. The fields between The Village and High Lane West were gradually filled in, although some of the old field boundaries are mirrored by the new road layout. West Hallam’s population increased dramatically, the influx of new residents adding to the village’s diversity and opening another chapter in its history. By Grant Shaw
Grant Shaw was a Parish Councillor for eight years and was the Council’s youngest ever Chairman in 1989-90.
This item draws extensively from A-Z, a 100 Year History of West Hallam 1894-1994 published by the Parish Council in 1994, and upon The West Hallam Heritage which is the definitive History of West Hallam, by Brenda Parker BA and which is published by Moorley’s of Ilkeston.