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.

Canal Side

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.
Turnover Bridge

We followed Canal Side until it turned to the left at its junction with Meadow Road and where the Turnover Bridge crosses the canal.
Cast Iron Bollard

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.
Beeston Canal

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.
Whirligig & Flowers

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.
Boots New Bridge

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."
Missing Steps

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.
On The Right Side

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 Beeston Lock.
Forward to Part 02

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