A Sentimental Journey
- No. 01
Ilkeston - Bennerley Avenue to Shipley Wood, Cotmanhay
w/e 29 July 2007
this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Gonna take a Sentimental Journey, Gonna set my
heart at ease.
Gonna make a Sentimental Journey, to renew old memories.
Joanne Apergi (nee Millership), an ex-Ilkeston resident who
has been living in Greece for fifteen years, contacted me recently
and suggested a couple of "Sentimental Journeys". We'll
follow one of them at a later date but here we take a look at
the shorter of the two. Joanne wrote, "My grandparents lived
on Bennerley Avenue, Cotmanhay and we would walk from their house,
along Cotmanhay Road, up Church Street, past the church (which
was demolished) with all those daffodils and we would spend all
afternoon in Shipley Wood, climbing trees, playing hide and seek
and naming the birds and looking out for squirrels. My grandmother
always made a point of taking with her fig biscuits and Kia-Ora
orange juice and we would sit on tree stumps and have a picnic."
Well you'll have to provide your own biscuits and juice but we'll
retrace Joanne's footsteps starting here on Bennerley Avenue
near the entrance to the school. I suspect this view will have
changed little from Joanne's childhood except for the security
fencing that is now a requisite around all of our schools.
the top of Bennerley Avenue into Cotmanhay Road (left) the Wesley
Methodist Chapel (now converted into flats) is an instantly recognisable
building. Further along on the left the Hand and Heart pub was
another building full of character but it has now been replaced
by houses bringing to mind Pete Seeger's "Little Boxes"
- "And they're all made out of ticky tacky, And they
all look just the same."
Here we have three views of Church Street which are from the
left, 1) as seen across the roundabout from Bridge Street; 2)
looking back from about half way up across the Erewash Valley
to Awsworth beyond and 3) from a similar position on the opposite
side of the road looking towards Heanor Road. The trees in the
third view show the position of the churchyard.
As Joanne says in Spring the churchyard is full of daffodils
but at this time of year grass is the predominant feature. Christ
Church for the Parish of Cotmanhay and Shipley stood here from
1848 until 1983 when it was demolished due to structural damage
caused by mining subsidence. A new church has been built nearby
on Vicarage Street but a number of interesting tombstones remain
here including that of Alfred Miller-Mundy.
Between the churchyard and Heanor Road are several buildings
that have been there for a long time including the Rose and Crown
pub and the Woodside Club (left and right above) but they are
separated by the Marble Chinese Take-Away and the Jehovah's Witnesses'
Kingdom Hall that may not be familiar to people that have been
away from the area for a while.
I'm sure Joanne will remember though from her childhood, the
three shops that stood on the corner of Church Street and Heanor
Road including the fondly remembered Ebenezer's Garden. These
were built between 1878 and 1899 but stood empty for a number
of years and were finally demolished in 2003 to be replaced by
more of those "Little Boxes" although to be fair, these
don't "all look just the same." Directly opposite the
end of Church Street is the entrance to Shipley Wood.
And so we reach our destination - Shipley Wood. I didn't see
anyone playing hide and seek or any squirrels but there were
plenty of birds singing in the trees above. No-one having a picnic
either but hopefully these images will have brought back a few
more memories for Joanne who concluded her email to me like this:
"Memories that will stay with me always. Memories of a wonderful
childhood spent in a wonderful part of Britain."
Cue song:- Never thought my heart could be so yearny. Why
did I decide to roam?
Gotta take that Sentimental Journey, Sentimental Journey home.
If you have a sentimental journey of your own that you would
like featured, email
a few details to me.