Shipley Park - Miller-Mundy Memories
w/e 04 February 2007
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Miller-Mundy Memories Title Panel

Part 2 - To Harmer's Bridge

Following our introductory look at the four collieries owned by the Miller-Mundy family in Part 1 we can now set off on our walk around Shipley Country Park and in this part, we will head off along the Nutbrook Trail Path to Country Park Tavernas far as Cinderhill CoppiceHarmer's Bridge noting some of the points of interest and history along the way. A glance to the right as we leave the car park (left) shows Cinderhill Coppice which was planted up in 1976 on the former tip of Coppice Colliery. We shall see this at closer quarters towards the conclusion of the series but for now we must follow the downhill path (right) towards the Country Park Tavern that can be seen on the Marlpool housing estate.

The Nutbrook Trail

This path leads through to the housing estate but we must turn right along the rear boundary of the Country Park Tavern at the intersection with the Nutbrook Trail. The Trail here follows the former route of the Great Northern Railway that opened in 1891. The passenger service closed in 1928 but the line was used for the transportation of coal before finally closing in 1947. Dr Beeching cannot be blamed for that one although the 1947 nationalisation of the coal mining industry may have played a part.
Level Crossing

Level CrossingProceeding along the Nutbrook Trail, we come to a number of concrete posts either side of the track. The three in the image above and the two in the small image left are fairly conspicuous but a sixth is partially hidden in the trees and vegetation. All six were erected to carry gates for this was the location of a level crossing. The track off the the left in the picture above was the access road from the Miller-Mundy's estate at Shipley to one of their pits and it was here that it crossed the railway line. It now provides a useful alternative access to both the Nutbrook Trail and the Country Park for local residents.

Level CrossingEmbankment WallAt this same location near the level crossing (left) a ditch runs alongside the Nutbrook Trail and both wooden and concrete sleepers from the railway can be found in it. They are not immediately obvious to the unwary and fallen leaves and creeping ground cover are doing their best to hide them altogether (above). The same can also be said about the remains of the embankment wall (right) nearby.
Osborne's Pond

The Nutbrook Trail now runs along an embankment alongside the expanse of water called Osborne's Pond and there are some very pleasant views across the water. Osborne's Pond was built as a feeder for the Nutbrook Canal construction of which started in 1791. The four and a half mile long canal with thirteen locks was opened in 1796 and Derbyshire's own Benjamin Outram was appointed as the Consulting Engineer. Partially funded by Sir Henry Hunloke, Bart. and E. M. Mundy, Esq. who owned the collieries at that time, the canal costing £22,800 was built to transport pottery, bricks and of course coal, to the Erewash Canal and on to the Trent Valley routes.
Fishing Platforms

A secondary footpath between the Nutbrook Trail and Osborne's Pond runs by the water's edge and allows closer inspection of some of the fishing platforms that have been constructed from both the concrete and wooden sleepers from the old railway line. By 1895 the railways had put paid to a lot of the canal transport and the Nutbrook was mostly derelict but the Stanton to Erewash section was still in use up until 1949. Even today water still flows from Shipley Park to the Erewash Canal and part of the original canal which was profitable for nearly a hundred years, is still in water although it is no longer navigable.
Harmer's Bridge

At the south-eastern extremity of Osborne's Pond, the Nutbrook Trail crosses Harmer's Bridge. The Osborne's Pond from Harmer's BridgeNutbrook Trail over Harmer's Bridgebridge is named after a Mr Harmer who was a gamekeeper and came from a Norfolk family in Cromer to live in a cottage here. Our route from here is to continue along the Nutbrook Trail over the bridge (left) but as we started this part with a glance to the right to see the Cinderhill Coppice, so another look over our right shoulders as we cross the bridge gives us another good view of Osborne's Pond.

Back to Part 1 - Introduction & The Four Mines ------ Forward to Part 3 - Mainly About The Railway
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