Cromford Road

Walking down Cromford Road from the Market Place, on the right is Henry Street, a private road made by Mr Edwin Henry, a grocer and councilor, as access to the Grange which he built there. It is he who is believed to have demolished the old Abbey Farm mentioned in medieval records, the barn of which was probably the Tithe Barn for Darley Abbey.

Cromford Road in about 1910

On the bend in the road is the Council Staff Car Park. In 1808 Mr. W. H. Fletcher of Greenwich House expanded his brewery business by moving it there, and a large abode, Scarsdale House, was built at the town centre side of it for the Chief Brewer. A tunnel from the malt store, now number 12 at the rear of the premises just below the bend of Cromford Road, led under the road and into the brewery so that the malt did not get wet before it was used. When the road was widened the tunnel was filled in and the malt store was made into a dwelling. The brewery closed in 1888, and the following year Smedleys, soft drinks manufacturers moved in.

When they moved their factory to the rear of Greenwich House on Nottingham Road in 1897, G.C. Ogle and Company took over the premises and moved their engineering and agricultural equipment business from the old chapel on Nottingham Road. Later they expanded up Victoria Road, and in 1921 introduced a retail agency as well. With the influx of mechanisation into a decreasing agricultural industry, the farming implements factory closed in 1960, but the firm began making pumps etc. instead. This continued until around 1984 when the company turned purely to hydraulics.

Kennings remould tyre factory from Riddings took over the main buildings from about 1960 to 1979, whilst the other premises became the start of a small industrial estate. In 1992 the Amber Valley Council decided that they needed that land for its present purpose. The previous occupants of the site had led to the names Brewery Corner, and later Ogles’ Corner being locally used for this bend in the road.

Scarsdale House was occupied  by Messrs. E.C and M.R. Smith after the brewer left, and they sold to Mr. Horace Crossley in 1899. Mr. William B. Bembridge the businessman who became a member of the Ripley Board, a JP and later a member of the Urban District Council, lived there at one time. Dr. N.C. Boyle followed him, and then Dr. R.A. Ryan senior, both of them holding their surgeries there as well. Dr. R.A. Ryan junior had a house built in the grounds of Scarsdale, and held his surgeries in his father’s house. When Dr. Ryan senr. retired, his son engaged partners and they continued to practice in his house, but it too was within the boundaries of the demolition area, and in 1995 it was demolished.

Continue down Cromford Road, passing the top of Pasteur Avenue and the aged persons’ bungalows. The Avenue is on the site of the Horse and Jockey Row, a terrace of houses that commanded one of the best views in town, built around 1867 and demolished  in  1967.The top part of the estate was built by the Urban District Council after Dr. Rene Feit, Mayor and “M.P” of Ripley’s first twin-town Lons-le­ Saunier, cut the first sod on his second visit to Ripley in 1970. Lons is in the Jura District of France, as is the town of Dole, birthplace of Louis Pasteur. Thus the avenues are named Pasteur and Jura as well as Ledo, which is from Lons’s Roman name Ledo Salinarius. The lower part of the estate was developed privately. 11

Almost opposite Pasteur Avenue there used to be a small piece of land on which was one of our last horse troughs.