A Week With Betsy
w/e 21 June 2015
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
American friend Betsy Brewer is touring England and
Wales and arranged her itinerary to be in Ilkeston for last week's
carnival. Sadly the poor weather resulted in the cancellation
of the carnival but we spent time with her during the week and
visited some of the local places she wanted to see.
One of the first ports of call was Victoria Park where we viewed
the newly planted beds. Looking good already the recreation of
the original layout in the Victorian/Edwardian style will be
a riot of colour when all the plants flower. Betsy had been here
a couple of years ago and was well impressed with the new layout.
We also admired the motor neurone disease (MND) display on the
bank below the bandstand which again will add colour to the park
during the summer.
On Tuesday we met up with the Heanor Walking for Health group
for a pleasant afternoon walk in Shipley Country Park on what
turned out to be the warmest day of the week. Betsy had been
to the park on a previous visit to the UK but this walk explored
a different part to the one seen before.
The route took us from the Visitor Centre to Derby Lodge, around
Mapperley Reservoir (above) and back through John's Wood to the
Visitor Centre via Flat Meadow Farm. On Wednesday Betsy made
her way to Matlock and Bakewell to meet up with more friends
for a day in Derbyshire but returned the next day to join in
the Battle of Waterloo commemoration.
We joined another group of walkers at the end of Newton's Lane
on Thursday morning and proceeded along the Nottingham Canal
and up Mill Lane into Cossall village. There in the churchyard
of St Catherine's Quentin Rayner of BBC's East Midlands Today
was busy conducting interviews before a service was held in the
church to commemorate 200 years since the Battle of Waterloo.
Afterwards an Act of Remembrance took place outside at the Waterloo
Memorial (thought to be the largest memorial to the Battle in
the country) and wreathes were laid to honour the Cossall Giants,
three soldiers from the village. Two of the soldiers John Shaw
and Richard Waplington had lost their lives at the battle but
the third, Thomas Wheatley survived, returned to Cossall and
was buried in the churchyard some years later. It is believed
the Waterloo Monument was erected over his grave.
One of those interviewed by the BBC was yours truly when I realised
there was a possibility that I could be a distant relative of
Thomas Wheatley. According to Andy Warhol everyone is famous
for 15 minutes but my "15 seconds of fame" was broadcast
on the evening news by which time I had confirmed that a Great
x 4 Grandfather of mine was in fact, the same person as a Grandfather
of the Thomas Wheatley named on the monument.
The church service and Act of Remembrance was conducted by the
Revd Dr Andy Lord in the presence of local civic dignitaries,
representatives of the Life Guards and other invited guests.
The High Sheriff of Nottingham Dr. Jas Bilkhu unveiled a plaque
to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and
at the conclusion of the ceremony, light refreshments were served
in the church hall.
Friday was a dry day but with a cool wind and it saw us taking
a ride to Shardlow via Ambaston and Elvaston where we first of
all enjoyed a walk around Elvaston Castle Country Park. Betsy
had seen images of the park on the internet but was now able
to see the Golden Gates, the topiary gardens and St Bartholomew's
Church as well as the mansion at the centre of the park in person.
Out of the wind and sheltered by the trees it felt quite warm
as we walked by the lakeside but when we made our way to the
Walled Garden we found it was not open to the public. That will
have to wait for her next visit.
And so to Saturday and even though the rain had returned for
the weekend we did get to see a carnival parade. This one was
in Long Eaton and was led by the home town band, the Long Eaton
The Carnival Princess was also at the head of the parade and
local sports group, theatre groups and dance troupes featured
among the participants walking and riding through the town on
their way to West Park.
By special invitation of the Long Eaton Carnival organisers,
because Ilkeston's carnival had been cancelled the previous week,
the Ilkeston Carnival Queen also took part in the parade. So
Betsy did get to see part of the Ilkeston Carnival after all
even if it was in Long Eaton.
Betsy is now making her way back to Wales for a few days before
boarding her flight back to the States but her week in the East
Midlands will join the other memories of her vacation here.