Long Eaton, situated 8 miles east of Derby, has a history that goes back earlier than the 7th century. It lies close to the River Trent and straddles Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
The name came from the Anglo Saxon 'Aitone' meaning town by the water and time past the place by for centuries. It was not until the industrial revolution and the 19th century that Long Eaton awoke from its long slumbers to become a centre for quarrying, lace making and other industries, all boosted by the coming of railways and canals.
By 1870 Long Eaton had grown from a small agricultural village to a modest town with a population of about 3000. Its growth was mainly due to the development of a small machine-made lace industry during the first half of the 19th century, and the establishment of the railways in the 1850's meant the creation of Toton goods marshalling yard at one end of the town and a large wagon manufacturer at the other.
The first of the tenement lace factories was built just off the market place by John Austin in 1856 and by the 1870's alarge influx of manufacturers, especially from Nottingham, had flooded the town. Its popularity was mainly due to a lack of union organization which meant wages were kept low, and rates were cheaper than in Nottingham.
By the early 1900's the population of Long Eaton and neighbouring Sawley had risen to nearly 20,000 and the lace trade was at it's height with an estimated 1500 machines in the town.
At one time Long Eaton was so unimportant that the now stately parish church of St Lawrence was merely a chapel of ease for Sawley. Then in 1868, the Victorian architect Street rebuilt the existing church using the nave as its new south aisle. The church of St John the Evangelist in College Street was designed by Charles Nicholson in the 1920's.
Joseph Pickford of Derby, built the hall as a private residence. Its prominent position in the town has made it an integral part of the scene and for a long time it has served as the Town Hall. Long Eaton aslo has on its boundaries one of Derbyshire's public schools-Trent College, founded in 1868.
Trent Lock, an easy stroll from the town, is a centre for sailing and boating and there are plenty of other sporting facilities available.