Derby - Alvaston Park
w/e 24 March 2013
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
Just when we were beginning to think winter was over
for this year, it made an unwelcome return and with blizzard
conditions in the forecast for the weekend here in the East Midlands
we decided to take a ride to Alvaston Park for these images on
Thursday afternoon. Snow did in fact return on Friday but Thursday
afternoon was bitterly cold under a featureless sky.
A few weeks ago we completed the Derby Heritage Walk at the Pride
Park Stadium which we had reached via the riverside path from
the city centre. If we had continued along that path we would
have reached this point and the entrance to Alvaston Park in
just over another half mile.
Following the path into the park leads to the five acre lake
that was added to the northwest corner of the park in 1923, ten
years after William Curzon of Breedon Hall had made some of his
land available which was duly opened to the pubic.
Since its opening, there have been many developments at the park
and following the path from the River Derwent by the lake leads
to a Science Garden, Play Area with zip-wire, Tennis Court and
also a Ball Court plus many wide open areas.
On this occasion though we hadn't entered the park from the river
but by driving into the car park via Meadow Lane off the main
A6 London Road, part of which is along the tree lined road flanked
by football pitches. In my time as an amateur football referee
in the 1970s and 80s I passed along this way many times to officiate
at matches but since then a new pavilion has been built adjacent
to the car park.
The new pavilion also serves as a community building and cafe
where we purchased a couple of bags of "Duck Food"
that found favour with all sorts of other birds as well as the
From the pavilion we followed the path around the perimeter of
the lake in an anti-clockwise direction and found some crocuses
adding a splash of colour to one of the mounds despite the cold
There were more crocuses on a small bank between the lake and
some of the football pitches and although there have been many
changes in the park, the pitches look pretty much as they did
over thirty years ago. I remember one match in particular here
when nearly half the home side kept the opposition and myself
standing in torrential rain as they refused to leave the changing
rooms. As soon as they had the minimum number of players on the
pitch I started the game ten minutes late although I shouldn't
have done so as they hadn't a goalkeeper on the pitch. A resultant
penalty kick when one of the defenders handled created uproar
but the rest of the players soon appeared and went on to win
the game. Sometimes you just have to apply a bit of common sense
even if it means bending the rules a little!
Along the northern edge of the lake the path continues between
the shrubbery and a reed bed at the water's edge.
After passing the reeds the island in the middle of the lake
became visible again but our attention was drawn to the Canada
Geese making a splash in the water. Shortly after this, we left
the lakeside to head for the riverside path which we followed
to the entrance to the park seen in the first image in this selection.
Having completed the circuit of the lake we returned to the relative
warmth of the car but paused on our way out of the park to view
another attraction, the BMX track but found there was considerably
less action here than on the lake!
For more information about the park see the Alvaston Park Friends site.