Our final steps in this series that has taken us
around Sandiacre return us to the market place which has featured
in the title image of all ten parts. Just off that title image
to the left is the White Lion pub where we concluded Part 9 but
although it is but a little way to return to our starting point,
we can extend those final steps of our walk with two optional
extensions and this we will do once we have taken a closer look
at a couple of buildings in the market place.
The first building to look at a little more closely
is today occupied by Ladbrokes and the Co-op although in the
not too distant past, the Ladbrokes section was a shop that sold
ex-catalogue items at bargain prices and went by the name of
Scoop. The facade of the building is interesting for its pseudo-Egyptian
motifs to the sides (left) and the clock surrounds (right), although
when I took this photo I think the clock was on Egyptian time.
Next to the Co-op is the Red Lion which, like its near neighbour
the White Lion in the days before motor traffic was the norm,
was once a point where horses were changed. The Red Lion was
rebuilt in 1888 and local folklore maintains that the new pub
was erected around the original timber framed cottage. The cottage
was then dismantled piece by piece and passed out through the
window, thus preventing the need to apply for a new liquor licence.
On what is now the pub's car park was a farrier's but this was
demolished in the early 1960s.
That concludes our circular tour of Sandiacre but now we shall
take a brief look at the optional extensions. First we head north
along Town Street and by the side of Padmore Moorings on the
Erewash Canal. Here we can see some of the original but relocated
cast iron lighting columns that where presented to the parish
by the local entrepreneur Terah Hooley. This is recorded on the
columns as can be seen in the image below which has been rotated
through ninety degrees.
"Presented to the Parish of Sandiacre by E. T. Hooley
Continuing along Town Street enables me to keep a promise I made
in Part 3 of the series as we can see the refurbished clock in
all its glory - this one was definitely on English time - now
that the scaffolding has been removed from the former Springfield
Mills building. The rather dilapidated and boarded up building
in the centre of the image with a sign over the window stating
'Fancy Dress Hire' was built as a chapel in 1827 and later became
Sandiacre's moving picture house.
Immediately adjacent to it on the left are the offices of Groundwork Erewash
Valley* where more leaflets describing various walks in the
district are readily available.
*NB. Groundwork are no longer at this site having moved to
premises in Langley Mill.
Groundwork marks the northern extent of the first optional extension
but the second goes in the opposite direction. It begins as the
original walk did by crossing over the canal bridge to Station
Road but turns immediately right to follow the canal towpath
which at this point is also part of the Nutbrook Trail. Leaving
behind the hustle bustle and hurly-burly of modern day Sandiacre,
walking along here is almost like a step back in time. Save for
the hum of nearby traffic, this is a different world where the
pace of life seems so much slower.
After passing under the main A52 road, even the traffic noise
diminishes and the step back in time is completed on reaching
Sandiacre Lock and the adjacent cottages. One of them was built
as a toll cottage when the Derby Canal joined the Erewash in
1794. and today the cottages are used by the Erewash Canal Preservation
and Development Association.
When I started this exploration of Sandiacre I knew it would
be a mix of various architectural styles from across the years
with a smattering of light industry thrown in. I had even visited
most of the places seen in the series over time but I didn't
expect to find an oasis of tranquillity like this. Now that I
have, I'm glad I followed that optional extension to the walk.
The final words on the 'Village Trails' leaflet that describes
the walk now make a lot more sense for I think this peaceful
spot gives an impression of what the village must have been like
in 1886 when John Ball penned his poem 'Sandiacre Townsfolk:
'And while the sun doth rise and set at the bidding of his
May peace and plenty be vouchsafed to dear old Sandiacre'.
And with that thought, we'll leave dear old Sandiacre to seek
out pastures new.
Update January 2009 - This was the final part of the original
series but click here
for what amounts to an eleventh part following an alternative
route back to the village centre via Lock Lane and Longmoor Road.