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Fabulous early 20th century photos showcase one of Derby’s main roads
London Road, Derby, in about 1908 showing St Andrew's Church, which was demolished in December 1969, and the entrance to the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary on the right (Image Credit: Derbyshire Live)

Fabulous early 20th century photos showcase one of Derby’s main roads

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Railwaymen’s church no longer graces skyline

These two fabulous vintage views of one of Derby’s main roads were taken in the first decade of the 20th century.

Both feature a church which no longer graces the city’s skyline. This is London Road in 1904, below, and 1908, top, taken looking away from the then town centre in the direction of Alvaston.

Both images also show Derby’s then new-fangled tram system in operation. The church is St Andrew’s, which also had a school attached, and was known locally as the railwaymen’s church due to its proximity to the town’s railway workshops. It was knocked down in 1969-70 after more than 100 years of serving its parish.

The 1908 photo also shows the main entrance gates to Derbyshire Royal Infirmary on the right.

St Andrew's Church, London Road, Derby in about 1904. The tram is heading to Alvaston (Image credit: Derbyshire Live)

The church was the brainchild of the remarkable clergyman John Erskine Clarke, who raised funds for its construction and oversaw its building.

He had identified the need for a church to care for the pastoral wants of the thousands of railway workers who had moved into newly-built terraced streets in the ancient township of Litchurch.

He had arrived in the town in 1856 to take up an appointment as vicar of St Michael’s in Queen Street.

The cornerstone for the new church and school was laid by the Duke of Devonshire on March 29, 1864 and, after several delays, the completed church was consecrated by Bishop Lonsdale on May 10, 1866.

St Andrew’s had been designed by the prolific Victorian architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Clarke continued to minister at both St Michael’s and St Andrew’s until Whitsuntide 1867, when he felt obliged to take over full-time at St Andrew’s, where he remained until leaving for London in 1872.

Want to read the full article? You can do so by visiting Derbyshire Live’s article, by clicking here.

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