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

Part 3 - Mainly About The Railway

Harmer's BridgeNutbrook Trail over Harmer's BridgeThis third part deals mainly with the railways that once served the collieries in what is now Shipley Country Park and we resume our walk at Harmer's Bridge to continue along the Nutbrook Trail towards the area of Shipley known as The Field. The site of the former Newcastle Colliery is disguised by the wooded area on the left of the Trail which at this point is still following the route of the old railway line.

The Nutbrook Trail

Footpath Through The WoodsAbout half way between Harmer's Bridge and The Field the path is marked by a couple of posts and it is here that we temporarily leave the Nutbrook Trail and pass through the gate on the left to continue on an almost parallel path in the same direction. This path too follows the route of another old railway line. The Nutbrook Canal which opened in 1796 transported coal and other goods for a time but by 1840 the railway companies had started to expand and when the lines were extended into the Shipley Estate, they took over the transportation of the coal and eventually led to the decline of the canals all over the country. The path we are now following soon leads to a former railway station location.
Railway Station Site

There is little of the station left to be seen but this composite attempts to show what relics there are. Top left shows some brickwork that marks the site of the signal box whilst almost opposite this and seen bottom left is the raised area of land that was the central platform of the station. A little further on and high on the bank the remains of an old footbridge are visible and are shown on the right above. Originally a private line from Heanor Gate Station to Shipley Station it was later extended to link with the GNR Station at Ilkeston near Pewit Carr. (Images of the area near Pewit Carr can be seen in a three part walk I completed in 2002 here, here and here.)
Road Bridge

From the station we have a choice of routes. The longer one continues along the former railway track and passes under this road bridge at The Field. February/March though is probably not the best time of year to follow this route as I found out to my cost. As can be seen from the image above either side of the path was cloying mud and the centre of it was submerged in two to three inches of running water. Wellington boots would have been the order of the day but by the time I had reached this point it was too late to do anything about it!
Woodside Colliery

Persevering to the end of the path we must turn right and head back towards the Nutbrook Trail but a look in the opposite direction reveals the site of Woodside Colliery. The roof that can be seen is on one of the original colliery buildings but the headstocks have been erected as a memorial and although they are the original winding wheels the structure itself is only one third of the height of the original headstocks which were operational between 1847 and 1961 and were eventually demolished in 2000.
Station House

Railway FenceThe alternative shorter (and drier) route from the station is to cross the platform and follow a narrow path through the woods. This passes the other side of the footbridge seen in the composite earlier and allows a view (left) of an old railway gate post and some fencing that although now in a dilapidated state has survived from those early railway days. If you know where to look, there are also some old gas lamp fittings but unfortunately I didn't know where to look and could not locate them. The path leads out onto this lane at The Field and descending the slope to this point we pass the original Station House seen here on the left of the image above.
Meeting Of The Ways

Both routes come together again here where the road from The Field meets the Nutbrook Trail. Station House is to the immediate left; Michael House School and some old colliery buildings are ahead and to the left; directly in front is the track to Woodside Colliery but here our route is to once again follow the Nutbrook Trail to the right. Before we do so however it is worth noting the railway lines in the road, a lasting reminder of the mineral railway that served the mines and the pit manager's house.

Back to Part 2 - To Harmer's Bridge ------ Forward to Part 4 - From Coal To Cricket
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