Ilkeston - Autumn On Old Park
w/e 16 October 2022
All of this week's
pictures were taken with a Nikon D3300
Before Victoria Park was created
on old industrial land to the west of the town centre, there
was a large area of land on the eastern side of the town stretching
down to the River Erewash that was called The Park. Part of this
land was later developed but the remaining area became known
as Old Park. Park Cemetery now occupies part of the area as well
as housing and two schools, Chaucer Infants and Chaucer Junior.
Victoria Park is smaller than Old Park and contains a play area,
bowling green and formal flower beds among its attractions whereas
the latter has a more natural appearance as parkland but does
contain a small play area. The changing colours on the trees
at this time of year add to its appeal.
Now officially called Chaucer Old Park there is one area of the
park that is still known by local residents by another name derived
from the former mineral workings that once took place on the
site. Those workings created many hills and holes as the land
dropped towards the river giving rise to the name Hilly Holeys
- but the local dialect often dispensed with the aitches to become
As well as the small play area 'Illy 'Oleys is mainly an area
of grassland with a variety of trees criss-crossed by a series
of tarmac paths linking Cantelupe Road with Vincent Avenue and
another path up past the museum to the town centre. This is one
of the paths from Vincent Avenue to Cantelupe Road.
The path up to the museum passes through a wooded area that was
once the orchard of Dalby House, the property that now houses
the museum. It's not unusual in this area to see squirrels scampering
about, robins perching on branches and other birds twittering
in the trees above. There's often also many dogs being walked
by local residents to say nothing of the occasional feline. It's
become a veritable natural nature reserve.
The path continues through the trees with Chaucer Infant School
to the right and the former orchard to the left. In summer when
the trees are in full leaf it's almost like walking through a
tunnel. The underpass ahead is where Chalons Way crosses.
Just before the underpass another path crosses leading down to
Chaucer Junior School on the right which is shielded from view
by the line of trees in the distance.
Walking a little way down that path opens up the view over the
area of the park betwen the schools to the surrounding countryside
and it's often hard to believe that views like this are within
a couple of minute's walk from the town centre. The other man's
grass isn't always greener and we often don't realise how lucky
There are a lot of berries about this year. I was asked recently
if that was a sign of a bad winter to come. I replied that I
would rather view them as a sign of a good summer just gone.
On the other side of the underpass - I'm not sure whether this
is still classed as Old Park or not - there's a choice of climbing
the steps or following the path to the right but the trees are
just as attractive either way.
On this occasion I followed the path and
from beneath one of those trees where the leaves are acquiring
their autumn colours, more colour was visible in the grounds
of the museum.