A Sentimental Journey - No. 01
Ilkeston -
Bennerley Avenue to Shipley Wood, Cotmanhay
w/e 29 July 2007
All 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."

Bennerley Avenue

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.
Cotmanhay Road

Hand & Heart site.Cotmanhay RoadTurning at 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 Further along on the left the Hand and Heart pub was another building full of character but it has now been replaced by houses bringing to mind Pete Seeger's "Little Boxes" - "And they're all made out of ticky tacky, And they all look just the same."
Church Street

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.
Church Street Buildings

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.

Church St/Heanor Road

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.
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.

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