Derby - Darley Playing Fields
w/e 16 August 2020
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Changing RoomsTennis CourtsIt must be getting on for forty years since I was a regular visitor here (left) during the winter months where, with about a dozen or more others, I would squeeze into a changing room to prepare to officiate in local amateur football matches. There have been a number of changes since then but you still have to walk along the path by the tennis courts (right) to reach the football pitches.

Football Pitches

It was about half a mile walk to the furthest pitch and as a referee you always hoped for one of the nearer ones. If your decisions during the match didn't meet with the approval of the players and their supporters, it could be a long half mile back! Fortunately I never had a problem.

Tree Avenue

This time though we walked that half mile along the path between the avenue of trees.
Open Space

To the left there is more open space - not really enough for any more football pitches - but the tree line marks the edge of the River Derwent.
Folly Road Footbridge

At the far end of the avenue Folly Road Footbridge crosses a brook feeding into the Derwent and on the other side of the bridge is a large boulder with an information plaque. This describes the origin of the name "Folly" which came about when it was discovered that there was insufficient water to drive a mill built here in the seventeenth century. The mill was converted into three houses, two of which still remain.
Main Path

A timber bridge was replaced in 1948 but erosion made it unsafe and it was closed in 2002. We returned from Folly Road over the now fully restored bridge to the main path to start our return.
Red Ditch

Leaving the main footpath for a little while we reached the point where the brook reaches the river, a popular spot for paddling and swinging from a rope attached to one of the trees - not that we did either! The brook was known locally as "Red Ditch" due to the soil on the banks having a reddish tinge.

As we walked along the river we spotted three paddleboarders going the opposite way upstream.


We hadn't gone very far when the sound of a splash alerted us to the fact that one of the boarders have fallen in and was scrambling to get back on his board.
(Those of a certain age will already be thinking of The Goon Show.)

We rejoined the main path but soon reached a colourful signpost we had passed earlier and it was here that we moved out of the shelter provided by the trees to follow another path in the full glare of the sun.
Riverside Path

The signpost indicated that the city centre along this riverside path was only a mile away whilst Burton was fifteen miles distant.
Cricket Ground

Across the river we could see Mill House (the white building) and the pavilion and the cricket ground in Darley Abbey Park. The park occupies the whole of that side of the river opposite Darley Playing Fields but we soon left the riverside path to get out of the blazing sun to return to the start of our walk.

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