Ilkeston - A Walk With Jewl - Part 01
w/e 11 April 2010
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Jewl is our son's dog and we often take her out for walks but usually these are along the streets of the town on shopping expeditions. The fine weather this week though prompted us to take her where she could enjoy a good run and get a little more exercise so we loaded her in the car and headed to the edge of town at Straw's Bridge Nature Reserve (Swan Lake).

Nutbrook Trail

From Swan Lake we accessed the Nutbrook Trail and headed off southwards towards Kirk Hallam, Hallam Fields, Sandicare and Long Eaton - not that we intended to go all that way although given her head Jewl would have made short work of it!
Derby Road Bridge

There's another access point to the Nutbrook Trail where the Derby Road bridge crosses the line of the dismantled rail route along which the Trail runs on this section. As there was no one else about we decided to let Jewl off the lead after passing under the bridge so she could enjoy a run.
Smelling The Flowers

And here's the young lady herself, sniffing the flowers. Jewl is still only a young dog but full of energy and she enjoyed running back and forward as we walked along but somehow managed to keep out of shot for the rest of the images. Kirk Hallam is now regarded as part of Ilkeston but is separated from the rest of the town by a narrow green corridor where the railway used to run. Despite this open outlook, Kirk Hallam Secondary School (or Community Technology and Sports College to give it its full title) is just over the hedge on the right.

Further along the Trail a wooded area on the left is separated from the path by a ditch where the amount of water that it contains at the moment is perhaps a result of the prolonged winter conditions we have experienced.
Beauty Spot

The area on the left soon opens out to give views over a stretch of water that is known as the Beauty Spot and although it has lost some of its former glory, it is still a quiet and tranquil place. In the not too distant past this was a recreational area where rowing boats and canoes could be hired and where carnival events, funfairs, firework displays and band concerts as well as sporting activities were staged.
Monkey Parading Venue

The Beauty Spot was also the location of an activity called "monkey parading" which involved young working class men and women, when they hadn't the money to go anywhere else, dressing in their best outfits and walking by the waterside in the hope of meeting someone of the opposite sex. I'm given to believe this was with a view to striking up a relationship and at that time around the middle of the last century, this was considered rather risqué. Prior to that, the Beauty Spot had its origins in a reservoir that supplied Ilkeston with drinking water until the early part of the twentieth century.
Little Hallam Hill Bridge

The southern end of the Beauty Spot is defined by Little Hallam Hill and the Nutbrook Trail is again crossed by an old railway bridge. This also marks the halfway point of our walk and we left the Trail by climbing the steps on the right.
The Way Back

At the top of the steps we turned right towards Kirk Hallam and it is only a few steps before another path leads off back towards Swan Lake. This is the route we would take and the start of it is seen here from the elevated position of Little Hallam Hill through the branches, twigs and buds on one of the many trees in the area. Images from the return leg are in Part 02.

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