Ilkeston - Golden Days
w/e 06 November 2011
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

About three weeks ago I went in search of some "Shades of Autumn" and at that time I was a little disappointed that there was not more colour on the trees. This last week however, the leaves have taken on some lovely shades and provided us with what could easily be called , some "Golden Days".

The 'Stanton' Island

It was the island at the northern end of Chalons Way that first brought the phrase to mind and I recalled the Sigmund Romberg and Dorothy Donnelly song as sung by Mario Lanza for the 1954 film The Student Prince. The lyrics of the song include the line "We will know life has nothing sweeter than its springtime" but in the seasons of the year surely it is in autumn that we experience the golden days of nature.
Chalons Way Footbridge

These images were captured on several days during the week and the golden colour became more and more apparent as the days passed. As well as the island at the end of Chalons Way, part of the road itself near the footbridge at Hallcroft Road, is lined with trees where the leaves were in various stages of the transformation. The top of St Mary's tower in the town centre is just visible on the left of the image.
Market Place

And here too in the churchyard at St Mary's at the side of the Market Place, the trees were shedding golden leaves in the Garden of Remembrance.

On the same afternoon I walked down Pimlico and looking back, again with a view of the church in the distance, it was a surprising but encouraging thought to realise just how many trees there are around the town centre. If you'll allow me to paraphrase a saying from the California Gold Rush days "Thar's gold in them thar trees."
Oakwell Crescent

Still within minutes of the town centre, there are even more trees on the triangular piece of land between Oakwell Crescent and St Andrew's Drive but here the trees that are a riot of pink cherry blossom in spring were more of a brown colour than the golden colour of many of those in neighbouring streets.
Queen's Drive

It was whilst walking up the tree lined Queen's Drive just as schoolchildren were making their way home that another line from the song - "Golden days in the sunshine of our happy youth" - came to mind. Looking back to my own youth, I recalled friendships made then that have lasted a lifetime and wondered if the same will be said by today's children when they look back to 2011. Judging by some of the language I overheard I don't think their golden days from this period will be as "full of innocence and full of truth" as ours were at that age.
Toll Bar House

Outside Toll Bar House as it is now called, another tree with golden leaves stands beneath the top floor window of the office where I worked in the 1970s and 80s. They too were some golden days but back then the building was simply 1, Derby Road and the tree wasn't even there then. It's growing now where Stanton Road once met White Lion Square and even though the Square no longer exists, having succumbed to the new island at the southern end of Chalons Way, my generation still refer to this area by its old name.
Cantelupe Road

As the week wore on, more and more trees took on a golden appearance and whereas three weeks ago I had to search for colour, this week it was abundant both in Park Cemetery and on 'Illy 'Oleys, either side of Cantelupe Road.
A Golden Day

And even more so along the well-used footpaths in the area that link 'Illy 'Oleys (to the right) with the Erewash Museum (to the left after passing under Chalons Way) and the old St Mary's churchyard (behind) with Chaucer School (ahead).
Near The Museum

Near the museum it was not just the trees that were golden as the fallen leaves were creating a golden carpet too. By the end of the week many of the trees had lost even more leaves and were taking on a much starker winter appearance. But it won't be all that long before we'll be welcoming the golden daffodils again and the final lines of the song will ring true once again: "We will know life has nothing sweeter than its springtime. Golden days, when we're young, Golden days." The truth of the matter is, golden days can happen at any season and at any time of life. The trick is to recognise them and treasure them.

Mario Lanza - Golden Days

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