2016 - The Annual Review
w/e 01 January 2017
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

It's amazing how quickly this seems to come round but here we are again on the threshold of another year and it's time for a look back at the previous twelve months.

January Images

January is usually a slow month for photographic events so following the review of 2015 we filled in with another instalment of the First Impressions series and set off up Nottingham Road. The following week I sat in a corner of the Market Place and did a series of panoramic shots. It would not have happened a few days later when snow covered the town and my seat for the panorama was covered with the white stuff! It didn't last long though but there was still a little about when we made our customary visit to Wollaton Park which always seems to happen in January. It was bitterly cold though the following week for our walk around Shardlow for another part in the Village Trail series that we followed there.


But in the middle of the month on the 14th of January I was privileged enough to be present in the Mayor's Parlour in the Town Hall when Ilkeston war veteran Ernest Turner was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur. The presentation by French consul Jean-Claude Lafontaine was made in the presence of the Mayor of Erewash and the High Sheriff of Derbyshire as well as members of the Royal British Legion, Ernest's family and friends and assorted press and TV personnel.

Candlemas is a Christian holiday celebrated annually on February 2 and we began the month in Shipley Country Park looking for Candlemas Bells - Snowdrops. We also spotted a couple of early but lonely daffodils and a couple of weeks later saw more daffodils at Cossall midway through a pleasant winter's afternoon walk from Ilkeston to Kimberley. The next part in the Nottingham Road series took up another week and towards the end of the month we returned to Shardlow for the penultimate section there. We were not to return to the village again until August to complete that particular Village Trail.
Palm Sunday

Easter fell early in 2016 all be it at the end of the month but by then daffodils were blooming all over the place and are seen here prior to the Palm Sunday service at St Mary's Church. Earlier in the month we had indulged in a bit of March Madness on the Erewash Canal and photographed a Job and Community Fair on the Market Place.
Victorian Extravaganza

Heritage Lottery funding had enabled the Erewash Museum to refurbish the Hayloft and Stable Block and it was opened to the general public early in April in conjunction with a Victorian Extravaganza, the first event of the season which was followed by several more that we also enjoyed during the year. In the middle part of the month we had two week's worth of images from a Walking For Health route through Shipley View Estate and finished the month with what turned out to be a rather nostalgic look at the area on Nottingham Road near where I grew up. There's still one more part to go in this series to reach to top of the road but it didn't feature again on 2016. If January 2017 is true to form it might well be featured then! (Not forgetting Wollaton of course).

One of those Erewash Museum events took place in May and that was the annual Motorbike Day. On the sane day a group raising money for MacMillan Cancer hauled a steam engine all the way from Sandiacre to Ilkeston. Weatherwise the start of May is what can best be described as "changeable" with sunny mornings and dull showery afternoons- We even had snow! But the spring flowers weren't badly affected by it and the weather didn't spoil our walk around the Attenborough Nature Reserve or our trip to Cromford (above) at the end of the month.
Flying Scotsman

June was party time with the Annual Carnival, Party In The Park to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday and a Summer Fayre in Stanton Road Cemetery but this unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the wet weather. It didn't stop me taking a few photos there though. June was also the month I took some photos in Beeston which haven't really seen the light of day and nor are they likely to! They are not that good so it was images from Trent Lock that completed the month's offerings. One Saturday morning in June I stood by the railway line where it passes close to the Erewash Canal with about a dozen other people as we waited for the Flying Scotsman to pass. The whole route had been lined by train spotters and this had caused a delay and by the time it passed us it was about an hour late. I did manage several shots as it sped past at about 60mph of which this is probably the best.
Well Dressing

The party season continued into July so after a look at West Park in Long Eaton where we began another series following the Tree Trail, it was the Lakeside Festival at Kirk Hallam followed by the Well Dressings and Scarecrow Trail at West Hallam.

CalendarOn the last day of July there was the Summer Sounds Concert in Victoria Park which was very well attended. Also towards the end of July we had visited Kelham Hall near Newark on a fund raising trip for the Cantelupe Centre Roof Appeal. I shared images from this trip both in July and August. The Cantelupe Centre needs to raise about £60,000 for the roof refurbishment and other events in aid of the appeal during the summer included a Garden Party and a "Send Your Teddy Down a Zip Wire" from the top of St Mary's tower. Further events took place through the year and I produced a calendar for 2017 which should raise in the region of £120 towards the appeal. Not a lot I know but as the saying goes "Every little helps".

Aside from the appeal we enjoyed walks in the University grounds at Nottingham and along the GNR Path at Awsworth and Kimberley in August. On Bank Holiday Monday we were back at the Erewash Museum for the annual Brass Band Concert and as already mentioned concluded the Village Trail at Shardlow. Quite a lot going on in August then and there was still the Vintage Car event to pull in on the Market Place.

Autumn Footprints

And so to September where the main feature providing images for three weeks (two in September and another in October) was the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival. The Festival which ran for sixteen days had nearly 40 guided walks and I participated in ten of them. One such walk from Breaston to Stanton By Dale and back through Risley took place on one of the hottest days of the year and even the most experienced of Ramblers found it hard going towards the end. The most difficult task I had in assembling this page was to sort out a single image to illustrate each month and September's was perhaps the most difficult. I could have picked any number of images showing walkers traipsing across fields or views of the differing and beautiful Derbyshire landscapes but eventually settled on this one. I should also mention here our visit to the National Plant Collection in Darley Park at Derby and a tour of various sites in Ilkeston where work was in progress on several schemes which also took place in September. As we begin a new year some of those projects are still ongoing.

October Images

As well as those Autumn Footprints images in October we also had another visit to West Park in Long Eaton and a walk in Shipley Park looking for autumn colours. The annual Charter Fair took place and brought crowds of people to the town centre as usual and we also noted how quickly the town centre had returned to normal when the travelling showmen had moved on.
Ilkeston North

Cantelupe Centre RoofNovember saw us again looking at the autumn colours in the town and we took a short walk along the Beeston Canal near Nottingham's Castle Marina. The Christmas lights were switched on at the end of the month and around the eleventh we had a week of remembrance. On Remembrance Sunday morning I climbed St Mary's tower to capture some images of the service in the Market Place below and took the opportunity whilst up there to survey the landscape. Here Bath Street can be seen on the left with the wind turbine and Bennerley Viaduct towards the right. I also observed the state of the Cantelupe Centre roof that is causing concern.

To begin the final month of the year we made two trips into Nottingham to follow a new tourist trail called quite unimaginatively "The Nottingham Trail". It started and ended near the Old Market Square which was full of Christmas attractions in a "Winter Wonderland" although for the time of year it has been quite mild and we haven't really had any significant winter weather yet. Having said that as we approached the year end it did turn decidedly colder with freezing fog. Our remaining images in December though focused on the preparations for Christmas with some seasonal scenes from around the town and at home as we brought the year to a close. Soon it will be time to put the foil trees, other decorations and the "antique" cards away but before you know it. we'll be fetching them out again as we approach Christmas 2017.

I usually end the annual review with a look forward to the year ahead and presume that photographically next year will be no different to the one just ended. There will be the usual Carnivals, Fayres and Fairs, Museum events, walks of all shapes and sizes and anything else that takes my fancy. I'm still toying with the idea of an Ilkeston A-Z that I first mentioned this time last year - but that's all I'm doing at the moment, toying with the idea. I still have the West Park Tree Trail to complete but that might have to wait until the leaves start to appear on the trees again and then there's the final part of the Nottingham Road in the First Impressions series to do followed by six more roads into the town. That should keep me busy for a while.

So far in this review I've managed not to mention the results of the General Election, the European Referendum or the American Presidential Election all of which produced unexpected and surprising results. Each week I ask visitors to the site to vote for their favourite image and some weeks those results are surprising too but those results are not going to change the world. That vote is just for fun so for 2017 I'll just keep on doing the same old, same old .... . Hope you'll join me each week.

To revisit the places we have been to in 2016 the easiest way is to follow the links from the
"Favourites 2016" page which shows all the winners of the weekly "Pick A Picture" vote.

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