2014 - Another One Bites The Dust
w/e 04 January 2015
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Whether you count the days, weeks, months or any other unit of time it's a year since I last scanned through all the images I had captured during the previous twelve months for this selection but 2014 is well and truly over and in the words of the Queen song we can say "Another One Bites The Dust". Before we finally put the year to bed, there's plenty to look back on and remember some of the places we have visited and some of the sights and sites that we have seen. Of course there were all the usual annual events like the Carnival and the Charter Fair but 2014 was punctuated by many special events commemorating the start of the First World War a hundred years earlier and also the 70th anniversary of some significant dates in the Second World War. Here then is our retrospective and purely personal view of 2014.


With very few organised events in the early part of the year, we followed our review of 2013 with a visit to Wollaton on a dull and overcast day for our first offering of the year. We always seem drawn to Wollaton in January but instead of walking through the Deer Park, we went instead to Harrison's Plantation. This was followed the week after with a return to Darley Abbey for the third part of the monthly Village Trail which led to a complaint from a resident re photographing private roads. A selection of images under a cloudy sky and a complaint - the year hadn't started particularly well but things improved with a walk through the three parishes of West Hallam, Mapperley (above) and Shipley which took us nicely into February.

February Selection

February saw a mixed bag of images as we first of all went in search of some early spring flowers locally after another visit to Darley Abbey for Part 04 of the series. Images from a trip into Derby and the Christening of our great grandson in Leicester didn't even make it onto the website but another walk in Bramcote Hills Park produced a set of images which appeared in the first week of March.
Osborne's Pond

Following the earlier difference of opinion with a resident of Darley Abbey, my faith in humanity was restored when I was contacted by the vicar of St Matthew's Church who arranged for the church to be opened specifically for me to get some photos of the interior of the church. This led to a double dose from Darley Abbey and brought the series to a fitting close. A search for more spring flowers was quite productive image-wise around the local area but at Osborne's Pond in Shipley Park (above) there was still a distinct feeling of winter. By the end of the month the better weather resulted in events starting to be organised and we attended two on the same day with a Spring Fayre at the Erewash Museum and a Daffodil Tea organised by the Friends of Park Cemetery.
April Selection

We were out and about again in April with trips to Forbes Hole Nature Reserve in Long Eaton, along the Erewash Canal at Langley Mill and to Nottingham for a look at some of the unusual architecture on the University's Jubilee Campus.

Beating Retreat

Back in Ilkeston, we took part in the annual Christian Walk of Witness on Good Friday, saw the local Scouting groups on their St George's Day parade and joined hundreds of other people to see the Beating Retreat Ceremony with the Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers on the Market Place one evening as darkness began to fall.
Dale Abbey VillageBennerley ViaductMay was bluebell time which meant a run out to Ockbrook Wood at Dale Abbey (left). It was also the month we began a four part walk along the Erewash and Nottingham Canals passing the viaduct (right) in the process. At two-weekly intervals this took us into June.

June Selection

And in June summer events were well under way despite some wet weather. A hail storm early in the month created something I had never seen before - a pond in our garden! The events included a Summer Fayre in the company of the Ilson Giant in Stanton Road Cemetery; the annual Ilkeston Lions Carnival and a "Swing Back to the Forties Day" with more than a passing nod to the remembrance of World War 2 at the Erewash Museum.

Classic Vehicle Show

At the carnival and at the museum there were several old cars on display but these were topped on a Sunday at the end of June with a Heritage and Classic Vehicle Show in the Market Place which featured a large selection of cars, vans, lorries, buses and motor bikes.
Lakeside Festival

The events continued in July with the Lakeside Festival at Kirk Hallam. We did a two part Family Walk from West Hallam where we also saw the Well Dressing Festival but for a selection of Well Dressings pictures this year we went to Belper. The centenary of the start of the Great War was featured on many of the dressings. I also found time during the month for a boys' day out in Loughborough with the son and grandsons.

Gnome Island

Back home the first half of the year had seen much disruption to traffic on Nottingham Road whilst a traffic island was being constructed at the entrance to a new supermarket. Congestion became the norm but as the island neared completion in July some garden ornaments took up residence and prompted calls for it to be named Gnome Island. The supermarket is due to open early in 2015 but the Ilson Gnome is on Twitter and even has his own Facebook page where you can keep up with his exploits. He's been seen around the town many times but still regards Gnome Island as his spiritual home.
Tree Planting

I said this was a purely personal view of 2014 and here more than halfway through the year, I haven't even mentioned the Ryder Cup, the Commonwealth Games, the Invictus Games or the FIFA World Cup and as far as England are concerned that's probably for the best. But high summer in Ilkeston meant the Summer Sounds concert in Victoria Park, Ilkeston In Bloom, another day out at Middleton-By-Wirksworth in the lovely Derbyshire countryside and after putting it off for a long time because of its spread-out location, I bit the bullet or grasped the nettle or whatever to begin another Village Trail, this time looking at Morley. Monthly visits to Morley took us through to the end of the year and the series should conclude early in 2015. But it wasn't all sunshine in August as after the morning service one Sunday morning a yew tree was planted in St Mary's churchyard in the pouring rain to commemorate the start of World War One.
Autumn Footprints

We were blessed in September though with, for the most part, some fine dry weather which was particularly appreciated by the many people who took part in the 12th annual Autumn Footprints Walking Festival. I used photos taken from the opening walk and others in the Festival for three weeks in September and even had a selection of animal photos left over for the first week of October. I could have chosen any of a number of images I didn't use at the time to illustrate this month but opted for this one of the Erewash Canal near Langley Mill.
Charter Fair

Victoria ParkVictoria ParkThe calm of peaceful walks by still waters in September was replaced by the noise and excitement of the annual Charter Fair a few weeks later but there were quieter moments too among the autumn colours in Victoria Park. We were to walk through the park again the following month as we retraced a Walking For Health route from the Victoria Park Leisure Centre to Gallows Inn.
Remembrance Sunday

War GraveErewash MuseumNovember was the month when remembrance of the two World Wars came to a head with a rededication of War Graves ceremony in Stanton Road Cemetery (left) and services on the Market Place on Remembrance Sunday (above) and Armistice Day. We also started to look forward to Christmas with another event at the Erewash Museum (right) and the switching on of the town's Christmas lights.
Town Centre

Some of the events from earlier in 2014 required a little bit of memory jogging but as we reach December the memories are accessed much more easily. Apart from the regular monthly visit to Morley, it was mainly about Advent and Christmas with a visit to the Nottingham Wonderland, the Salvation Army's Nativity Festival in Ilkeston and of course "Our Christmas" in town and at home. I could have picked any of a number of images from the pre-Christmas period but on Boxing Day snow started to fall in the afternoon and lay on the ground until the New Year. It's all gone now but I expect we will see more of it before the winter is over and scenes like the one above from 27th December will be repeated several times before 2015 is over.

So as we stand on the threshold of a new year, I've noticed how easily the term "Happy New Year" slips off the tongues of people we pass whilst out walking, many of them total strangers. This rhyme though from Rita F Snowdon's book "The Wind Blows" which I came across recently expresses it in a slightly different way and seems particularly suited to photographers who are always on the lookout for that memorable shot.

May every day of this New Year
From January to December
Bring you, as you journey on,
Something lovely to remember.

To see the pages where I attempted to capture "something lovely" in 2014 follow the links from the
"Favourites 2014" page which shows all the winners of the weekly "Pick A Picture" vote.
And a Happy New Year to you all.

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