Beeston Rylands Circular - Part 01
w/e 23 June 2013
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
Some time ago Broxtowe Borough Council published
a booklet "6 of the Best Walks in Broxtowe Borough"
and then followed it with a second volume "Another 6 of
...." which actually contained six circular walks and a
linear one too. The first six are available as downloads from
the Council's site (linked from the Country Walks index on this
site) but unfortunately the remainder are not. This walk at Beeston
Rylands comes in at number nine in the second volume but you
can view an aerial view of the circuit by clicking here.
The walk begins at Beeston Lock but we picked up the route part
way along Canal Side and continued with the Beeston Canal on
the right and the Canal Side houses on the left.
We followed Canal Side until it turned to the left at its junction
with Meadow Road and where the Turnover Bridge crosses the canal.
An information board at the bridge explains how in the past horses
pulling narrow boats were able to cross from the towpath on one
side of the canal to the other whilst still pulling the boats.
The board also advised looking at the cast iron bollards which
still bear the grooves created by the ropes used to tow the boats.
After crossing the bridge the route of this walk continues on
the other side of the canal along the wide foot and cycle path
between the high wall and the canal.
This is a pleasant part of the walk past the houses opposite
some with boats such as the Whirligig seen here moored at the
bottom of their gardens and others where colourful plants came
down to the water's edge.
Further along a metal footbridge labelled "Boots New Bridge"
crosses the canal and the booklet describing the route says that
Boots' works are on the left hand side although the vegetation
opposite means that none of the works are visible at this point.
The booklet also says that Boots plc started here in Beeston
and the site houses the company's head office. In 2006 the Boots
Group merged with Alliance UniChem plc to form Alliance Boots
plc and there have been several acquisitions and alterations
since. The Beeston site is now the Nottingham Service Centre
providing internal deliveries to local service centres.
On the far side of the metal bridge an artwork embedded in the
wall includes a few lines from "Beeston Canal" a poem
by Jeremy Duffield. They read: "Cold water steams, mist
envelops the towpath, a fog of wood-smoke curls from stove-pipe
chimneys. Two mallards skim the water, skate to a halt. Hawsers
trail from coal barges, narrow-boat breakfast smells hold the
air, a horse crosses the Turnover Bridge" and were written
as part of the Beeston Flood Defence Wall Project 2006.
This panel is one of several created for the project and it also
includes an illustration of the Jolly Angler pub with a little
local history. The wording is: "Beeston Canal opened
in 1796 to ship coal, pottery, ale, hardware and farm produce
to the Trent and onto the coast. It was built to by-pass the
shallows on the Beeston stretch of the River Trent. The Jolly
Angler was built on the canalside in 1832. Fred Reavill was the
genial landlord there for 39 years. He took the licence in 1907,
transferring to the new building on Meadow Road in 1937. He was
a renowned life-saver rescuing at least 29 people from drowning."
The route description says to continue a little way past the
bridge and then to "leave the path at the next steps over
the wall". Well a signpost points the way to the "Circular
Route" but the only sign of the steps is the imprint on
the wall. A gentleman we met later on the walk told us that the
steps had fallen into a state of disrepair and had been removed
for safety reasons only a couple of weeks ago.
The absence of the steps meant a return to the footbridge to
get to the other side of the wall but the bonus was that we caught
sight of a heron standing in the shallows in the canal.
We returned to the ramp and climbed up to the bridge and as we
started down the other side noticed a small boat approaching
along the canal. Immediately to the right of the boat in this
image it is just possible to see the signpost where the former
steps had been so we continued to that point this time on the
right side of the wall. And that is where we'll continue the
walk in Part 02 to return to the start via the River Trent and