Ilkeston - A Walk With Jewl - Part 01
w/e 11 April 2010
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
Jewl is our son's dog and we often take her out for
walks but usually these are along the streets of the town on
shopping expeditions. The fine weather this week though prompted
us to take her where she could enjoy a good run and get a little
more exercise so we loaded her in the car and headed to the edge
of town at Straw's Bridge Nature Reserve (Swan Lake).
From Swan Lake we accessed the Nutbrook Trail and headed off
southwards towards Kirk Hallam, Hallam Fields, Sandicare and
Long Eaton - not that we intended to go all that way although
given her head Jewl would have made short work of it!
There's another access point to the Nutbrook Trail where the
Derby Road bridge crosses the line of the dismantled rail route
along which the Trail runs on this section. As there was no one
else about we decided to let Jewl off the lead after passing
under the bridge so she could enjoy a run.
And here's the young lady herself, sniffing the flowers. Jewl
is still only a young dog but full of energy and she enjoyed
running back and forward as we walked along but somehow managed
to keep out of shot for the rest of the images. Kirk Hallam is
now regarded as part of Ilkeston but is separated from the rest
of the town by a narrow green corridor where the railway used
to run. Despite this open outlook, Kirk Hallam Secondary School
(or Community Technology and Sports College to give it its full
title) is just over the hedge on the right.
Further along the Trail a wooded area on the left is separated
from the path by a ditch where the amount of water that it contains
at the moment is perhaps a result of the prolonged winter conditions
we have experienced.
The area on the left soon opens out to give views over a stretch
of water that is known as the Beauty Spot and although it has
lost some of its former glory, it is still a quiet and tranquil
place. In the not too distant past this was a recreational area
where rowing boats and canoes could be hired and where carnival
events, funfairs, firework displays and band concerts as well
as sporting activities were staged.
The Beauty Spot was also the location of an activity called "monkey
parading" which involved young working class men and women,
when they hadn't the money to go anywhere else, dressing in their
best outfits and walking by the waterside in the hope of meeting
someone of the opposite sex. I'm given to believe this was with
a view to striking up a relationship and at that time around
the middle of the last century, this was considered rather risqué.
Prior to that, the Beauty Spot had its origins in a reservoir
that supplied Ilkeston with drinking water until the early part
of the twentieth century.
The southern end of the Beauty Spot is defined by Little Hallam
Hill and the Nutbrook Trail is again crossed by an old railway
bridge. This also marks the halfway point of our walk and we
left the Trail by climbing the steps on the right.
At the top of the steps we turned right towards Kirk Hallam and
it is only a few steps before another path leads off back towards
Swan Lake. This is the route we would take and the start of it
is seen here from the elevated position of Little Hallam Hill
through the branches, twigs and buds on one of the many trees
in the area. Images from the return leg are in Part