2015 - Here We Go Again
w/e 03 January 2016
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

It really doesn't seem like a year since I sat down to review the previous twelve months but having looked back at the places we've been to in 2015, it certainly helps jog the memory and more than once I've thought "That seems a long time ago." Such are the vagaries of the conscious mind and as we look forward to the new year with fresh hopes, plans and aspirations, we do so with a backward glance with this selection of images from 2015. So whether looking back over 2015 or forward to 2016, here we go again.


On the Latest Images page of the site, we began the year with the customary look back to 2014 and followed this with a visit to Morley for the final part of the Village Trail that we had been following since August 2014 at monthly intervals. The above image of the Breadsall Priory Golf Course didn't make it into the Village Trail series as it fell within the next parish but was one of several taken on that same visit on a lovely cold and frosty January day. Also in January we repeated a walk in similar conditions under the title "This Looks Familiar" that we had first done in 2010 when the ground was covered in snow. There was no snow about though at the end of the month when we began the first of three short walks at Milford near Belper for another Village Trail which continued at regular intervals until the end of March.

We haven't been to Milford since March and those three walks fall into the "That seems a long time ago" category. February trips to Shipley Country Park and Sawley Marina (above) don't fall into that category though possibly because they have merged in the memory banks with other visits to the same locations later in the year. The February to Sawley was on a cold misty day; the later visit in September was a scorcher!
Erewash Canal

As winter came to an end in March, trees slowly began to blossom although there wasn't much evidence of this on a walk along the Erewash Canal (above). A week later daffodils were blooming at various places and it was crocus time in the town's parks.
April Pictures

The flowers continued to bloom in April with daffodils planted by Erewash Council staff aided and abetted by children from Chaucer Junior School putting on a splendid show on 'Illy 'Oleys (above far left) and the trees that came into leaf on Victoria Park (far right) looked lovely in the spring sunshine. The Easter Walk of Witness though was not so fortunate and took place on Good Friday (second from left) in pouring rain. We concluded our April walks by following a Walking For Health route around Elvaston Country Park (second from right), somewhere else we were to return to in June.


May was a colourful month with spring flowers everywhere and of course it was bluebell time. The weather was rather changeable throughout the month but we found time to visit two adjacent Local Nature Reserves at Straw's Bridge and Manor Floods on consecutive weeks and began an occasional irregular series at Shardlow, the latest in the Village Trail series. The Erewash Museum hosted a number of events in 2015 and in May it was Motorbike Day.

The changeable weather continued through June where it could be fine one day and raining the next. Early in the month the sun shone on us as we explored the Conservation Area at Nuthall but Ilkeston's carnival was actually rained off which meant we had to find an alternative for the update. This turned out to be another event at the museum, the Big Knit. It was also unfortunate for our American visitor Betsy who had arranged her trip to the UK from America to include a week in the East Midlands when she hoped to see the carnival. It was during her week here that we returned to some of those locations we had been to earlier in the year in somewhat better conditions. These included the country parks at Shipley and Elvaston, Victoria Park in Ilkeston and Shardlow. A highlight of Betsy's week with us was the Battle of Waterloo commemoration at Cossall where I had my 15 seconds of fame being interviewed for BBC's local news programme. We also managed to pull in an alternative carnival for Betsy but even there at Long Eaton the event was marred by rainfall. Despite the weather the month was full of events and after Betsy had left to continue her vacation in Wales, there was the "Swing Back To The Forties" event at the museum, a Summer Fayre with the Ilson Giant in Stanton Road Cemetery and there was still time to enjoy the Lakeside Walk (above) in Highfields Park at Nottingham before the month drew to a close.
July Pictures

Events continued apace in July with from left to right above, Kirk Hallam's Lakeside Festival, an Open Day at the Fire Station and of course West Hallam's Well Dressing Festival and Scarecrow Trail. Add to that visits to Gallows Inn for a Saturday afternoon cricket match plus frequent walks through Victoria Park to view the brazen colour scheme of the redesigned flower beds (above right) and you can see there was plenty to keep us entertained during the summer.

Car Festival

In August we had a day out at Tapton Lock in Chesterfield, walked along the Trent and Mersey Canal for two parts in the Shardlow series, took a walk from Mapperley through Shipley Country Park and climbed the tower of St Mary's Church with Peter, one of the churchwardens for an overview of the Classic Car Show in the Market Place.
September Pictures

And so to September which was a bumper month for photos.We began the month with the concluding part of the Mapperley to Shipley walk and followed this with a selection from the Tour of Britain Cycle Race (above left) which passed through Ilkeston. There was a supermoon (second left) which created a lot of interest but the majority of photos came from the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival. This year's Festival saw more wet days in the two weeks than in the previous seven or eight Festivals put together. I got drenched at Attenborough Nature Reserve (Second from right) and also at Ripley. It was quite pleasant at Risley (far right) and the walk from Trent Lock to Shardlow was a scorcher of an afternoon.

Newspaper Launch

I walked getting on for eighty miles during the Autumn Footprints Festival and could have chosen any one from hundreds of photos to illustrate the month but instead chose this one from the launch of the brand new Ilkeston Life newspaper which has proved to be very popular with the local community.
Mrs Wittering

As the nights began to draw in we observed the transition from summer to autumn and eagerly awaited the arrival of the Fair which was celebrating the 763rd anniversary of Royal Charter that authorises holding the event in the town centre. Someone else celebrating a significant anniversary in October was Mrs Wittering and we were invited to a party to celebrate her 100th birthday. We also paid another visit to Shardlow and investigated the Cavendish family's connection with the village. Another walk at Shipley was cut short because of impending rain that ultimately failed to materialise significantly.

We returned to Shipley to extend that walk towards the end of November and enjoyed a drink at the Nutbrook Coffee Shop but prior to that there were some dark clouds at the Remembrance Day services like the one seen above on the Market Place. We'd also captured some autumn colours in Ilkeston's parks and more pictures under typical grey November skies. With Advent approaching we were back on the Market Place for the switching on of the Christmas lights as November drew to a close.

The majority of December's images had a Christmas theme to them with pictures of shop window displays in Ilkeston, of Derby markets and of St Mary's Church decorations. A final collection of images based on a C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S acrostic saw the old year out and the new one in. Unseasonably mild weather means that winter hasn't really taken a grip on us yet but here in Ilkeston we have much to be thankful for. In the north of the country record rainfall has caused floods and devastation to large areas and brought misery to many families. I'm sure many of those affected would much prefer the sharp frosty morning (above) we woke up to on New Year's Eve than the conditions they have experienced but even here the clouds rolled in after lunch and the temperature rose again. I'm certain many people will be glad to see the back of 2015 but looking back over the year there have been plenty of good times too.

But the only way is forward and as for my plans and hopes for 2016, well they are pretty much the same as before. There will be the usual mix of walks, events, carnivals et al and I hope to complete the Shardlow Village Trail. It's perhaps time too to resurrect the First Impressions series, "Nine Roads Into Ilkeston" which hasn't seen the light of day since May 2013. In addition I'm toying with the idea of an Ilkeston A-Z series taking at least one photo of every street in the town. That should keep me busy for much more than the next twelve months so here we go again!

To revisit the places we have been to in 2015 the easiest way is to follow the links from the
"Favourites 2015" page which shows all the winners of the weekly "Pick A Picture" vote.

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