Ilkeston - The River Erewash
w/e 21 January 2007
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Footbridge Over The ErewashHigh winds and heavy rain caused damage and disruption across the country last week including here in the East Midlands. Overhead power lines were brought down, properties were damaged and several people lost their lives as a direct consequence of the weather but Ilkeston seems to escaped quite lightly. The rain did have an effect on the River Erewash so I decided to repeat last August's trip up the eastern side of the town when we saw the six locks on the Erewash Canal. The river, canal and the railway for that matter, follow roughly parallel routes through the valley so we'll start once again at Hallam Fields on the footpath to Trowell (left).

Hallam Fields

Apart from where the footbridge crosses (small image above), it is difficult to ascertain the exact position of the river's course as it meanders through the fields due to the flooding but the raised pipeline is a good pointer. The railway line is to the left of the this view and the Erewash Canal and Hallam Fields Lock just beyond that.
Gallows Inn Playing Fields

The next lock along the canal is at Gallows Inn and here the river and the canal are separated by the Gallows Inn Playing Fields, the railway tracks having crossed the river. At some time in the past, the river course was rerouted from its meandering way to run straight along the length of the recreational area. Also in the past, whippet racing was held between the river and the rugby pitch but I have not heard of any recently. If any were to be held in these conditions the going would be described as "heavy" as the ground, although not flooded, was thoroughly waterlogged.
Rail and River

River ErewashAt Green's Lock the canal and the river are separated by an industrial estate but near the next lock, Potter's, they are only a few steps apart where the river swings under another railway bridge to continue its journey southwards. We are in fact following the route northwards and the small image left shows the view in that direction from the bridge over the river adjacent to Potter's Lock on Mill Lane. This is near to the location in times past of a flour mill powered by water from the river. What amazes me about the main picture above is why anyone would risk life and limb to deface the bridge with speeding trains above and deep water below!
Newton's Lane

As we move up the valley to the east of the town towards Barker's Lock and Stenson's Lock on the canal, the river marks the boundary between the neighbouring counties of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Seen here from Newton's Lane on the Nottinghamshire side, the bends in the river can be made out in the Erewash Valley. On top of the raised bank running across the picture is the railway line and the river passes under this again just to the left of centre via a bridge that can be seen through the gap in the trees. Beyond that is the New Manor Ground, home of Ilkeston Town F.C. and just a little further on is the canal and Barker's Lock.
Flooded Fields

This is another view of the railway bridge but this time on the Derbyshire side of the river and from further along Newtons Lane where it rises to cross over the railway. This is also a good vantage point to see the flooded fields with the Ilkeston skyline behind.
Cattle With Muddy Feet

Back on the Nottinghamshire side (just) this is the view along the valley but this time to the north. Here there is extensive flooding in the fields and it is very soggy underfoot for the cattle. If someone were to substitute sand for the mud, this could almost be a shot of the seaside with even a "pier" stretching out into the ocean. Now there's a thought, Ilkeston-On-Sea in landlocked Derbyshire! Back to reality, the trees in the distance mark the route of the railway and also the position of Stenson's Lock on the Erewash Canal on the other side of the tracks.

Bennerley Viaduct

The "pier" is in fact the now defunct but listed structure, Bennerley Viaduct, which used to carry another railway line across the River Erewash. The Erewash could not of course by any stretch of the imagination be called a major river but it does feed into the Trent and lends its name to many organisations, a council area and even a parliamentary constituency. Perhaps we could get the Europeans to make this a wine lake .....

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