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.

Flower Beds

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.
MND Display

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.
In Shipley Park

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.
Mapperley Reservoir

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.
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.

BBC Interview

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.

Act of Remembrance

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.
High Sheriff of Nottingham

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.
Betsy at Elvaston

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.
Long Eaton Militaires

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 Militaires.
Long Eaton Carnival

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.

Ilkeston Carnival Queen

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.

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