2011 - Another Year On
w/e 01 January 2012
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

As we embark on another year we can look forward to some special events that are scheduled to take place during the next twelve months. Not only is it the Diamond Jubilee year of Queen Elizabeth II but there is a summer of sporting events headed by the London Olympics and the European Football Championships to say nothing of golf's Ryder Cup, Grand Slam tennis matches, a series of cricket Test Matches plus a whole host of other competitions. And on top of all this 2012 is the tenth anniversary year of Ilkeston Cam but before we get ahead of ourselves, as has become my custom at the turn of the year, it's time to take a look back at some of the places we've visited and featured during the previous twelve months and to show a few images that missed the cut the first time around. The year was pretty much a mixture as before with a couple of new Country Walks, a Town Walk around Kimberley and Swingate, our regular monthly visit to take in the heritage of Derby, frequent visits to parks and gardens, the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival and annual events including the Carnival, Charter Fair, Remembrance Day parades and Well Dressings. So let's begin at the beginning and recall our first outing last January.

Shipley Country Park

That first outing in fact was to Shipley Country Park but we ventured little further than the car park as the cold and icy conditions made it unsafe to go much further. This view is along the Nutbrook Trail with the park on the left. The rest of the month (apart from the Derby Heritage Walk - a constant feature of the last week of each month) and all of February too was taken up with the Town Walk around Kimberley.
Air Cadets

Previous Town Walks and Village Trails had usually followed printed leaflets but the Kimberley walk was one of my own making and followed a convoluted route through the town looking at various points of interest on the way. At this time of year there are very few organised events whereas during the better summer weather I am sometimes spoilt for choice as to which events to cover. It was in February however the the local Air Cadets joined the congregation at St Mary's Church for a Sunday morning service after which they paraded for inspection by our local Member of Parliament.
River Derwent

I think we are all aware of the financial situation and the fact that many local government budgets have been slashed. One victim of the cuts was the Silk Mill Museum in Derby and a few days before it was due to close for an anticipated two years, we paid it a visit taking a number of photos for possible future inclusion in the Derby Heritage Walk series. At the current rate of progress though the museum is likely to be open again before we reach it on our proposed route! I still find it surprising and incomprehensible that the powers that be chose to close the Silk Mill, Derby's Industrial Museum featuring among other exhibits Rolls Royce engines and a whole section on railways. The educational benefits let alone the tourist potential were surely enough to warrant looking elsewhere for savings but when you consider what has transpired since with regard to Bombardier, Britain's last train makers based in the city, it is perhaps not surprising at all. The Silk Mill stands at the side of the River Derwent right in the centre of Derby and from the side of the museum this view of the river also shows the St Alkmund's bridge.
Stanton Road Cemetery CelebrationDuring March the weather had started to improve and spring was in the air which meant I was able to get out and about looking for spring flowers around the town, down by the Erewash Canal and even enjoy a Country Walk from Dunnshill to Dale Abbey. One place to see a carpet of colourful crocuses in March was Stanton Road Cemetery and there was a return visit there in April to rub shoulders with star of stage and screen, Ilkeston's own Robert Lindsay. Robert is the President of the Friends of the Cemetery which is no longer used as a burial ground and the event (left) was a celebration of the recent restorations carried out by them
Highfield's ParkIn March we were also able to revisit Shipley Park, take a walk along the Manners Link and through Chaddesden Wood and April turned out to one of those months where I was spoilt for choice. Easter fell late in the month, bluebells were in full bloom and of course everywhere was bedecked with St George's and Union flags for the Patron Saint's day and the little matter of a Royal wedding. Fine weather in May induced us to visit local beauty spots at Martin's Pond and the University campus at Nottingham. The latter also entailed a walk through Highfield's Park where the rhododendrons added colour to the lakeside walk (right).
Annual Carnival

In June we began a circular Country Walk through Strelley, Swingate, Awsworth and Cossall, the various sections of which, interspersed with other updates to the website, would take us through until August but the main event of June of course was the annual carnival. Another fine Saturday ensured bumper crowds both in the town centre for the parade and on the recreation ground which played host to many events in the main arena and numerous charity stalls and other displays and entertainments around the ground.
Victoria Park

As well as the circular walk in July we were also invited to "Swing Back To The Forties" at the Erewash Museum, enjoyed a day out at Conkers in the Heart of the National Forest and saw the Well Dressings and Scarecrow Trail at West Hallam. In a month were the diary was full of events we joined the Friends of Victoria Park and some council employees one afternoon to meet with the judges of the Britain in Bloom competition to promote the park. Our combined efforts and presentations combined with the unstinting work of the gardeners resulted in not only an award for the town in the competition but also with a Green Flag Award for the park.
August Bank Holiday MondayWe were back at Victoria Park in August and several more locations as we photographed many of the flower beds and hanging baskets that had contributed towards the competition and had enhanced the town through the summer. As well as our regular Derby visit, we concluded the Cossall circular and also found time to visit several locations noting how they had changed in recent years. By the end of the month (left) on Bank Holiday Monday the annual concert at the Erewash Museum took place on a cool showery afternoon. Later in the year the museum also won an award and became the "Derbyshire Museum of the Year".

Autumn FootprintsThree of the four weeks in September were devoted to another Country Walk, this time around Bramcote Hills and the Nottingham Canal, the fourth week of course being in Derby. Although the images didn't appear on the site until October, we spent a number of days in September on organised walks participating in the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival (right) in Amber Valley and Erewash. From the level fields south of Ilkeston to the hillier landscape in the north, the Festival shows how lucky we are to live in this area of contrasting scenery and only goes to prove once again that the other man's grass is not always greener.

Osbourne's Pond

October brought autumn to the fore and we visited several parks both in Ilkeston and other nearby places such as Shipley and Wollaton as well as other footpaths and open spaces to see some of the "Shades of Autumn". The main event of every autumn in Ilkeston of course is the annual Charter Fair but to illustrate this month I've chosen this tranquil scene just as the trees are starting to turn overlooking Osbourne's Pond in Shipley Country Park.
Remembrance Day

As we entered November there were even more autumnal colours to be seen as we reflected on some "Golden Days" and also began another Country Walk, still to be completed in the New Year, which leads from Victoria Park to Mapperley Village and back. The was the Whittlestone Walk and the two sections completed so far have both been under grey skies. It was also a grey day on Remembrance Day but the crowds still turned out for the service and parade on the Market Place.
Christingle Service

And so we come to December and if I'm honest once Advent had started, Christmas came on me like an express train and is receding just as quickly. Two of the four weeks relied on the Ilkeston Christmas Festival for the Latest Images on this site and as well as the Whittlestone Walk the twenty fourth part of the Derby Heritage Walk featuring the Arboretum brought 2011 to a close. Much of December was hustle and bustle for many people, myself included as I had undertaken a task which although enjoyable and rewarding, took up a lot of time. There were moments of peace and quiet though and I've chosen one of them at the Christingle service in St Mary's Church to represent the month and to act as a reminder of the real meaning of Christmas.

In contrast to last year this winter has been comparatively mild and the snow which blighted us in 2010 did not reappear in 2011's December. What the rest of winter holds as we begin 2012 no-one knows but we can only take each day as it comes. At the end of 2010 I looked forward to 2011 and pondered plans for the future on the site. I anticipated that there would be more from Derby, more Country Walks and maybe another Village Trail as well as covering the usual annual events. Now as 2011 ends I can reflect that most of those plans were fulfilled and expect 2012 to continue in the same vein. So I'll repeat the hope from last year that you'll join us each week and that at the year's end I'll be able to reflect and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013 just as I'm wishing you now for 2012.

The series mentioned on this page can be found in the Special Features, Archives or Favourites page for 2011 which can all be accessed from the links below.

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