Ilkeston - In The Bleak Midwinter
02 January 2006
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
I'm not a great fan of Whitney Houston but if I were
to select a modern piece of music to accompany these images it
would probably be "One Moment In Time". They were actually
taken on 28th December with just over half an hour between the
first and the last but as the first snow did not arrive until
the 27th and had all but disappeared by New Year's Eve this might
truly be called one moment in time.
This is the sight that greeted us at the top of Market Street
just after 10 o'clock in the morning. A most unusual occurrence
as the left hand side of the road is more often than not lined
with a row of a nine or ten taxis! Imagine instead a coach and
horses and picture the scene in a sepia tone without the telephone
wires and it could easily transport you back to Victorian times.
Only a couple of hundred yards away on Bath Street and about
30 minutes later this was the last image I captured. Here much
of the snow had already gone thanks to the gritting lorry and
the footsteps of the few shoppers that had braved the weather.
The children's roundabout (centre) that stood outside the Albion
Precinct over the Christmas period was not doing much business
and it would take a vivid imagination to transform this picture
into a Victorian scene. The rest of the pictures (below) were
taken between the two extremes seen above.
In 1872 Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) wrote "In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made
moan, Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; Snow had
fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, In the bleak midwinter, long
ago." With music added by Gustav Holst (1874-1934) in 1906
her poem has become a favourite carol. There was little wind
when I captured this image - see the limp flag on top of St Mary's
- but it was certainly a bleak view of the Lower Market Place.
This was also taken from the Lower Market Place but is not quite
so bleak as the colour of the Town Hall brickwork and the Christmas
lights on the building warms the scene somewhat. The Italian
style of the Town Hall though does look a little out of place
in the snow and would be more suited to warmer climes.
The Market Place itself was still snow covered and a heavy sky
held a promise of more to come. Evidence here too in the flag
on the Co-Op of the wind picking up slightly and a cold one at
that coming from the north.
At the far end of the Market Place the Carnegie Library (centre
right) stood closed next to the Church Institute building. The
library has been closed since the end of November and will not
reopen until early February due to extensive refurbishment work.
Ilkeston however will continue as normal. Markets will be held
here two or three times a week. Throughout the year there will
be a number of parades passing by - the Carnival, St George's
Day, Remembrance Sunday. There will be the Annual Fair in October
and the Christmas Lights switch on in November when the area
will be thronged with people. But for one brief moment in time
at the end of 2005 this was the appearance of the town centre
that we shall perhaps not witness again for quite a while.