2013 - A Reflection
w/e 05 January 2014
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Well that's 2013 done and dusted although it doesn't seem that long since I was looking back at 2012 and forward to 2013 with all the usual hopes and aspirations that a new year brings. Certain events during the year easily spring to mind such as the usual array of carnivals, fairs and festivals and we also enjoyed the company of visitors from overseas and attended the wedding celebration of a young man we had known all of his life. Also on a personal level, there were additions to the family with the birth of a great grandson for us plus a granddaughter for a cousin but during the course of the year we lost some good friends and relatives and attended far too many funerals for our liking.

It was not until I looked back at the photos I had taken through the year that I realised how much had slipped into the darker recesses of my memory, some of which I had forgotten altogether. So this selection of images is a mixture of those resurrected memories and remembered events as we reflect on each of those twelve months that made up 2013. We can look forward with confidence that 2014 will bring us much more of the same; our fervent hope and prayer however is that there will be more highs than lows and by this time next year we will be reflecting on a better year for everyone.


We began 2013 with the customary look back at the previous year and the second week saw us in Wilne for the sixth part of the Draycott and Wilne Village Trail but by the middle of the month, the first snow of the year had arrived and we took a walk along a section of the Nutbrook Trail that had previously escaped our attention. The cold weather continued and the following week a second selection of snowy pictures mainly from the town centre graced the Latest Images page. The above picture of the Chalons Way/Station Road intersection was taken towards the end of the month when the snow was still lying on the ground.
Erewash Canal
It was back to Wilne for the final part of the series at the beginning of February and the melting snows gave rise to some watery images from this low lying area near the River Derwent. We were also near the same river the following week but a few miles further north as we began another monthly series following two Heritage Walks in Belper which took us right through to October. The rest of February and also the first week of March saw images from a Walking For Health route circumnavigating the centre of Ilkeston. In addition the improving weather allowed a couple of local walks (which didn't feature on the site) around Shipley Country Park to see the snowdrops and along the Erewash Canal (above).
March Photos

ScalaThe weather improved so much in fact that I was able to walk around the Riverside Gardens in Belper early in March without the need of a coat but the following week it was a bitterly cold day when we visited Derby's Alvaston Park and nearer the end of the month snow had returned. We needed top coats too for the annual Walk of Witness at Easter when we met our first overseas visitor, Margaret Smith from Canada. It was in March too that the aforementioned granddaughter for my cousin was born and a selection of images of Stephen Millership's illustrations of some of the town's landmarks were featured with photos of the same locations.


Victoria Parkbed OushApril saw us walking in Shipley Park again; another Belper visit beckoned as we continued our Heritage Walk and we also completed the first of a series of Family Walks that we continued as the months passed. Spring flowers appeared in Victoria Park; the annual Charity Bed Push up Bath Street in aid of the local hospital took place and we went to Paul and Tracey's wedding at Risley.

Yet again in May we were at Shipley and we also trod some familiar paths along the Erewash Canal and the Nutbrook Trail but this time we were in the company of our friend and regular contributor from America to our jigsaw page, Betsy Brewer. At a loose end at the beginning of May, we added another part to the First Impressions series (the only one of the year actually) with images from the Gallows Inn area on Nottingham Road and after Betsy's visit, we got to know some of our market traders a little better during the national "Love Your Local Market" event.

In June and July the regular summer events kicked in and we were spoilt for choice. As well as our regular visit to Belper, there was the Annual Carnival, the Well Dressings at West Hallam, the Summer Happening on Victoria Park plus the "Back To The Forties" day at the Erewash Museum and we even managed to pull in a Family Walk at Ockbrook, a Country Walk at Beeston Rylands and part of another one at Trowell which we continued in August.


Amongst these happy days however, this part of the year was one where we were saddened to attend several funeral services and I decided to use this image of flowers in our garden as a tribute to all of the good friends and relatives that we lost including three more before the year was out.

In BloomBrass BandJoy returned in August though as our great grandson Harley was born and is seen here on the day of his birth in the arms of his granddad. More mundane subjects included the rest of the Trowell walk, the start of the second Belper Heritage Walk and a look at the council's planting for the "In Bloom" competition, not forgetting of course the Brass Band Concert at the museum on Bank Holiday Monday.
Autumn FootprintsClassic Vehicle ShowWe started September at Nottingham University's Rock Garden and followed with another Family Walk at Little Eaton. The village usually features in the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival which took up the rest of the month but this year we chose walks at other locations, getting close - sometimes a little too close (left) - to nature! A one-off event on Ilkeston Market Place saw a variety of classic vehicles.


Another one-off event was the passing through the town of paralympian gold medalist Richard Whitehead on his way from John O'Groats to Lands End during his 40 Marathons in 40 Days charity run.

So into October and no review of any year would be complete without a mention of the Annual Charter Fair which has been held in the town centre since 1252. This picture shows the expectant crowd outside the Town Hall awaiting the opening at the 761st Fair. Apart from that we also took a look at some autumn fruits around the town, completed the Heritage Walks in Belper and enjoyed a short walk by the lake in Locko Park at Spondon, near Derby.

You can usually count on the Ilkeston people to support special events such as the Carnival and the Fair and in November they were out in force for the Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph. They were equally there again at the very end of the month on a cold night for the switching on of the Christmas lights but we encountered very few people for some of the walks we did during the month including one at Colliers Wood, Moorgreen. Other outings in November resulted in a overview of the charity shops in Ilkeston and a selection of views from the footbridge over Chalons Way. November was also the month that we started a series of five walks, three of them still to come in 2014, around Darley Abbey to the north of Derby.
Tree Festival

We ended the year with another short walk that took us through Cossall Village, the second Darley Abbey walk and a selection of Christmassy images for the final two weeks which included several from the Tree Festival in St Mary's Church. These I can remember! But looking back through the year, it took the images of the snowfall in January to bring that back to mind which had been overshadowed by the current storms and gales that have caused flooding for many in other parts of the country. They in particular will be looking for a change in fortune in 2014 and even though we in Ilkeston have not fared too badly with the weather, we can join in the same sentiment of wishing for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2014, Before you know it, we'll be looking back and conducting another review.

To see the walks and series referred to in this reflection on 2013 follow the links from the "Favourites 2013" page which shows all the winners of the weekly "Pick A Picture" vote. Ex-Ilkestonian Margaret's home in Canada can be seen via the Guest page and Betsy's pictures from the Jigsaw page.

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