Ilkeston - March Madness
w/e 13 March 2016
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
Tuesday was a lovely day but I didn't go anywhere to take photos
- madness! Wednesday was a wet day and to go anywhere would have
been madness. Thursday didn't start too well but it did brighten
up in the afternoon. A circular walk around Cossall Common produced
a selection of images (examples above) which to describe as underwhelming
would be exceedingly generous and to use them for this page would
have been another example of madness. So by Friday I was still
wondering what to do and where to go. A misty morning gave way
to a spring like afternoon and I wandered down to the Erewash
Canal for inspiration.
I also wanted to see how work was progressing with the £500,000
project to improve the towpaths between Potter's Lock and Awsworth
Road. The centre of operations appears to be at Potter's Lock
where there is a compound full of machinery but on Friday afternoon
there was very little activity.
Sounds from the work had been heard all week but at this end
of the project no improvement to the condition of the towpath
could be seen, the only difference being the "Towpath Closed"
and "Keep Out" signs.
Unable to walk in that direction I turned the opposite way to
follow the canal, seen here from under the bridge at Potter's
Lock, towards Green's Lock.
The towpath in this direction is not included in the project
but the puddles and mud suggest that a little maintenance and
TLC would not come amiss here too. "Madness to suggest it"
you may say but maybe if there is any of the £500,000 pot
left at the end of the project, then some of it could be used
A sweep in the canal takes the towpath close to the railway lines
that run through the Erewash Valley. It is the siting of the
proposed railway station at Ilkeston Junction that is responsible
for the towpath improvement project. Many people think opening
the station there is madness too as it would have been better
located at the former Trowell Station site but it's too late
now as construction has already started.
Several birds jumped into the water as I walked along the towpath
but this one hardly moved as I walked past. Perhaps another sign
of madness as it really was a sitting duck for predators.
At Green's Lock I crossed over the bridge pausing only to look
back along the canal before walking up the left hand side and
beyond the lock gates.
I couldn't go any further though as this is where the overflow
channel diverts excess water around the lock.
I was joined on the side of the canal by a very vocal Canada
Goose. Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote in his poem Locksley Hall:
"In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin's
In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;
In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish'd dove;
In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of
On this lovely Spring day I suspect the goose was issuing either
a mating call to other birds swimming nearby or warning me off
and I strongly think the former.
It was not only a young man's fancy turning to thoughts of love
as the mallards were getting quite frisky too on the other side
of the canal where two males were forcing their attention on
a female. She was having none of it however and scuttled off
down the path leading them a merry dance. It must be that March
madness again. All that was missing from this little stroll along
the Erewash Canal towpath was a mad March hare - but on the previous
day's walk at Cossall we had seen a rabbit on the Nottingham
Canal towpath - does that count?