Ilkeston - Views From A Bridge
w/e 24 November 2013
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Many images on this site can be replicated on Google's Street View and they have even now started a project on the towpaths of canals. Others though are difficult to reproduce on Street View such as this selection of "Views From A Bridge" in Ilkeston.

Spiralling Up

The bridge in question is the pedestrian footbridge that crosses Chalons Way near its southern end. Whichever way you approach it, it spirals up on one side and circles down on the other. Whilst we regularly cross the bridge in the course of a week in both directions, on this occasion we approached from the eastern side on our way towards the town centre.
Autumn Tree
Shrubs and trees grow profusely at both sides of Chalons Way and at times enshroud the path making it almost tunnel-like but at this time of year as the leaves begin to change colour and drop the the ground the rise of the path takes us up to the higher branches of the trees and open up more extensive views.
Grave Yard

One of those views is over the old grave yard where with the falling of the leaves some of the trees are showing signs of some quite severe pruning. When Chalons Way was built, it clipped the corner of the grave yard and although some of the headstones are still in their original positions, there are some wide open spaces and other headstones have been moved to the perimeter wall.
Path To Vincent Ave

A path runs down the edge of the grave yard but the wall that stood here which was familiar to many former pupils of Hallcroft School (later Cantelupe) has been demolished. The schools too have gone to be replaced by a housing estate. The path leads to Vincent Avenue and when I was a pupil at Hallcroft, there were two entrances from the path, one for boys and one for girls.
Housing Estate

There were two main blocks at Hallcroft School separated by a high wall. This view from the bridge is towards where the girls' block stood but all signs of it have disappeared from all but the memory.
The Footbridge

As the bridge straightens out it continues to rise to the high point over the centre of the Chalons Way dual carriageway.
Erewash Valley

From close to that high point the view north along the Erewash Valley shows the Bennerley Viaduct crossing the valley and beyond that is first Newthorpe and then Eastwood, birthplace of D. H. Lawrence. Notice the street lamps denoting the line of Chalons Way.

St Mary's Tower

Before Hallcroft Schools were built, there was a similar block which stood roughly where the bridge descends on the western side of Chalons Way. This block was the St Mary's Schoolrooms and by the time I attended Hallcroft, our gym was in one of those rooms. The site of the sand pit where we practised long and high jumps and the land where we put the shot and threw javelins has all disappeared under the bridge and the new road but the footpath through the churchyard that we followed when attending special events in St Mary's church is still there but no longer accessible from this side. The church tower however is visible and more of the church will appear as more leaves fall from the trees.
Hallcroft Road

The entrance to the schoolrooms was off Hallcroft Road right where Chalons Way cuts through. Hallcroft Road originally led to the footpath we saw earlier to Vincent Avenue and the footbridge now maintains the link. The terrace of cottages on the left of Hallcroft Road is a fairly new construction but the building at the end also on the left and on the corner of Market Street used to be the Anchor Inn but it has now been converted into flats. The houses on the extreme left are on Derby Street which provided another access to the girls' school. Construction of Chalons Way necessitated the demolition of some properties on Derby Street. The large building fronting on to Market Street on the right of the picture was the Rutland Garments factory.
Rutland Mills

Large letters on the front of the building spell out "Rutland Mills" but the building now contains office space although part of it that was used as a snooker hall has recently closed. From the bridge the view of the rear of the building is across the private car park.
Market Place

To reach the Market Place from the bridge means walking along Hallcroft Road and in front of the Rutland Mills but we can actually see the Cenotaph on the Market from the bridge between the Mills and the properties at the end of Market Street.

Green GatesWind TurbineLeaving the bridge and turning into Hallcroft Road, green gates (left) now bar the track that ran between the Mills and St Mary's Schoolrooms. It is almost unrecognisable now from my schooldays as is the view to the east over Chalons Way towards Cossall and Swingate where a wind turbine (right) spinning on the ridge is another recent addition to the landscape. Of such things is progress.

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