Christmas In The Cities - Derby & Nottingham
w/e 9 December 2007
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
We visited both Derby and Nottingham last week in
search of some Christmas images and found in both places an attitude
towards photography not experienced, thankfully, for quite a
The temporary ice rink (above), erected for the Christmas and
New Year period in Nottingham's Old Market Square was launched
in a blaze of publicity and television coverage. There is also
a similar one in Derby (left) that has attracted much less publicity
but when I asked
if I could take some photos from the side of the rink, I was refused
permission. This, despite the fact that it is in the open air
outside the Assembly Rooms where live images were being shown
on the adjacent Big Screen (right) and simultaneously broadcast
on the internet. The reasons given were that they "had their
own photographer" and it had received a lot of publicity
on the local radio station. As far as I know pictures don't show
up too well on radio.
Nottingham's Westfield Broadmarsh Centre (left and right) I was
approached by two security personnel and informed that photography
was not permitted because of "company rules" and they
were concerned about "photos of children" being taken
and they did not want "structural" information being
seen but if I were to get permission from the Centre Manager
then there would be no problem. Surely "structural"
information is the same whether permission is granted or not
so why the big secrecy? There were no such problems in Westfield
Derby (above) where queues formed to see Santa and you will find
that both the shopping malls in Nottingham and Derby are operated
by the same company. One set of rules for Nottingham then and
another for Derby! Someone somewhere is being paranoid and I
don't think it is me!
As for photos of children, there were many cameras of all types
in use in Nottingham's Victoria Centre (above top half) including
digital, video, mobile phone cameras and maybe even a conventional
film camera or two as well as onlookers captured images of a
choir made up entirely of children. In Derby - Westfield Centre
again - (above bottom half), cameras were again evident as another
children's choir performed their repertoire and another stood
nearby waiting to take part in a Christmas Competition.
Music was also to be heard on the streets of both cities. Outside
St Peter's Church in the centre of Derby, a group of musicians
all the way from St Petersburg Russia were playing whilst in
Nottingham the sound of pan pipes played by what looked like
a Peruvian Indian echoed around the Bavarian Christmas Market
at the side of the Council House.
In Exchange Arcade under the Council House, the tree, lights,
greenery and decorations have transformed the normally austere
shopping area into a tunnel of Christmas festivity.
Back in Derby, the same could be said of the indoor market hall
where garlands link the stalls and delicate strings of tiny lights
hang from the ceiling.
The streets of Derby too are delightfully decorated where Christmas
decorations hung across the pedestrian areas are enhanced by
winter flowering plants in the hanging baskets. This is the view
along the Corn Market as seen from Iron Gate.
In a picture near the top of this page we saw in Derby's Westfield
Centre a recreation of Santa's home at the North Pole complete
with polar bears and Christmas trees. It has become a tradition
for shopping malls to install a display of models like this as
an additional attraction at this time of year. For Santa's temporary
abode in Nottingham's Victoria Centre the theme of the display
is Peter Pan. Lost boys, pirates, Indians, a crocodile plus Peter
and Tinkerbell suspended above are all there in a snowy setting
as youngsters wait to see the man in red.
That concludes our look at Christmas in the cities. We've only
seen Derby and Nottingham but the story will be much the same
in other places too - hustle and bustle - but hopefully the true
meaning of Christmas, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ
will also find its way into the lives of everyone. And maybe
that spirit of peace, harmony and good will will find its way
into the hearts of security personnel and ice rink workers as