Guest Page No. 9
Christmas Around The World 2010
The idea for this page stemmed from an email I received
in January 2010 from Jim Garner, a Canadian friend who suggested
that "we ex-pats could maybe contribute an 'Ilkeston
Christmas around the world' photo feature". So while
offering my thanks to Jim for the idea, I'd also like to thank
all the people who have contributed images for inclusion here.
Jack Wescott was quick off the mark by sending me this image
from his home in Western Australia of these Norfolk Island Pines
which are grown in the lower half of Australia. Jack says that
they are used in their juvenile form as indoor Christmas trees
and can also be planted in the garden as long as you have a suitably
This image has already been half way around the world before
reaching me being sent by Janet Sundquist from her Canadian home.
It was taken by her daughter Christine who lives only a few miles
away from Ilkeston in Derby on a visit to York one day in late
November 2010. Although it's a recent photo I feel it has a Dickensian
quality to it and could easily be a scene from his "A Christmas
Carol" with Scrooge or Tiny Tim about to appear any minute.
An image that wouldn't look amiss on a Christmas card.
Janet left the East Midlands some to ago to live in Canada and
Stephen Millership is another Ilkestonian who has put down roots
elsewhere. Stephen has lived in Stockport for the last 28 years
but admits to regularly checking into Ilkeston Cam to keep in
touch with the rapidly changing face of the town he grew up in.
His image that would also grace a Christmas card was captured
in January 2010 and shows a place called Lyme Park near Stockport,
Cheshire. Adding a little detail to the picture Stephen says
that there is a frozen reservoir behind the trees and the structure
on the hill is known as "the cage" from which there
is a panoramic view of Cheshire, Wales, Lancashire and the Peak
District. Lyme Cage was built in 1737 as a hunting lodge and
later used as a lockup for poachers. After years of disuse it
has been recently restored. Stephen likes the light from the
sun as it sets over the hill adding even more magic to the snow.
Ronald Booth Pickett sent me another snowy picture taken from
the balcony of his son's home after a Christmas snowstorm in
Evergreen Colorado adding that his grandparents moved to America
from Ilkeston early in the last century and that he now lives
in California. It's probably much warmer in California than either
Ilkeston or Colorado at Christmas!
Shirley Hall in Indiana is another American resident whose ancestors
lived in Ilkeston and although she didn't send a picture of her
own, she did send this link to a Flickr image showing the lighted
Santa that was part of her childhood. Each year meant a trip
to Wolf & Dessauer's department store in Fort Wayne to see
Santa on the side of the building. Shirley's brother Gene Cramer
however, did send me some images of which this is one showing
these orchids on the side of one of the Palm Trees in the front
yard. They had just started to bloom in mid December and opened
up nicely just in time for Christmas. Gene says the picture was
taken in bright and sunny Ave Maria, Southwest Florida.
On the same continent as Gene and Shirley but north of the 49th
parallel another ex-Ilkestonian, Margaret Smith sent me four
images from Vankleek Hill, Canada showing the Celebration of
Lights Parade. The one above with the three burners is the Candle
of Flight float on which highly trained hot air balloon pilots
flare up the burners shooting huge fireballs into the sky whilst
keeping a close eye on the overhead wires and trees.
All four photos of the various float were taken with Margaret's
Kodak Z1485 IS camera and show a tractor, a helicopter and the
Vankleek Hill firefighters, all highly trained paramedics, with
their tiny fire engine.
A tractor also features in this
photo together with a small Santa figure in the drivers's seat
on the lawn of Ann Waterman's neighbour in Connecticut, USA.
Deer feature in the lawn display and Ann says that by Christmas
the whole of the house is decorated with a lighted manger, Santa
on the chimney, larger than life wise men nearby and lights in
the driveway that form a tunnel. Ann also sent some pictures
of her Christmas tree and the nativity scene (left) that stands
at the foot of it sums up the reason for our festivities at this
joyous time of year.
The next four photos all came from ex-pat Joanne Apergi and show
the National Gardens in the centre of Athens, Greece. Like's
Ann's photo, Joanne included one of a nativity display (centre
above) together with the entrance to the National Gardens on
the left and the Christmas tree inside the gardens on the right.
The Zappeio Hall which is an exhibition hall in the National
Gardens is flanked during the Christmas period by more Christmas
But north, south east or west, whether here in the UK or on the
American continent, in Australia, Greece or anywhere else in
the world for that matter, the final picture on this page is
from the man who instigated it , Jim Garner. Jim's contribution
came with the following message: "I intended to take
some pictures of Ottawa but bad weather and a bad back kept me
indoors at the critical time. So I borrowed this picture from
official sources. It's in the public domain for copyright and
shows the Parliament buildings here. There is an imitation of
Big Ben in the background, over the actual legislative chambers.
The smaller tower, forward and to the left, is the office of
the Prime Minister, who formally presses a button to illuminate
the lights each year. You can see the floodlit national war memorial
by Vernon Ward, an English sculptor, and the trees around it
are all lit up for Christmas. The bridge on the right is over
a canal that was originally built to provide shipping access
from the ocean to Lake Ontario without going through US-controlled
There is little I can add to that except to thank everyone again
for their contributions, hope Jim's back problem improves soon
and echo his final greeting in the email he sent to me -
"Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
Shortly after completing and uploading this page I received another
image for inclusion from the webmaster of Rome Cam, Paolo Borgognone.
Paolo wrote that the picture was taken in the Piazza Venezia,
in front of the monument to King Vittorio Emanuele I with the
tall Christmas tree placed there by the Municipality.