A Sentimental Journey - No. 06
Cossall To Ilkeston - Part 5

w/e 02 March 2008
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.

We began Joanne Apergi's sentimental journey at the end of January on Ilkeston's Market Place (click here to revisit) and concluded part 4 of the walk near the small car park off Cossall Road between the villages of Trowell and Cossall in rather misty conditions.

Cossall Road Car Park

Horse's HeadThree EquestriansWe resume our walk at that same car park but under much brighter skies and in this final part which will see our return to Ilkeston, we will follow the route of the old Nottingham Canal. The car park was actually constructed on a filled in section of the canal and now two paths continue from it towards Trowell. On the right the original towpath runs along side the hedgerow whilst to the left is a bridlepath well used as can be seen here by local equestrians.
Former Swing Bridge

Although most of the canal has now been filled in there are still several pockets where water, often stagnant, remains. This one pictured above is not far from the car park and is actually the site of another former swing bridge across the canal. With the original towpath being only on the western (right hand) side of the canal, the bridge and a footpath across the field to the east allowed access presumably for pedestrians and horses used for towing the narrow boats when the waterway was a major means of transportation along the Erewash Valley.
Daffodils - Ilkeston - Canal Trail

This section of the canal on a spring like day is just a joy with daffodils growing wild, intermittent views through the hedgerow of Ilkeston and strategically placed seats to while away the time and enjoy nature.

Town And Country

Derby about ten miles away is of course the county "town" although it is now designated as a city and Chesterfield to the north is the largest town in the county. Next in the pecking order is Ilkeston but this zoomed shot across the Erewash Valley reveals just how close we are to the countryside. In the foreground are the fields and buildings of Meadow Farm which obscure the River Erewash (the county boundary) but the railway lines running along the valley can clearly be seen. Beyond them is the Furnace Road (a reference to the former furnaces at the nearby Stanton Ironworks) Industrial Site and then a residential part of the town rises up the hill to the green spire of the United Reformed Church and the tower of St Mary's Church on the Market Place.
Nottingham Canal Trail - Pond - Grange Wood

But to return to the Nottingham Canal, the two paths have now merged into one running down the centre of the old canal route and any water is confined to a ditch on the left except where it expands into more small pond-like areas. There are now more trees too on the left which form Grange Wood.

Down The Hillside

This part of the canal is now included in an 8.7 mile route known as the Nottingham Canal Trail that comes under the jurisdiction of Broxtowe Borough Council. More information about the Trail can be found on their website and a map in pdf format shows the whole length of the Trail but we need to look out for some steps (left) that will lead us away from the canal and down the hillside. The boatman's shed that Joanne spoke of in her email stood somewhere between the swing bridge and the steps but apparently it burnt down some years ago and I have to admit I saw no sign of it.
Railway Bridge

The path down the hill leads as Joanne also wrote " to another train bridge to Gallows Inn and Nottingham Road." Don't you think that this bridge is a much more attractive sight than its counterpart that we crossed on our outward journey? I certainly do.
Formerly Bampton's

As the conclusion to Joanne's sentimental journey she wrote, " ... we would walk home all the way back up Nottingham Road and up South Street" and "if it was nice weather we would have an ice cream from Bampton’s on the corner of Queen Street." Well from the railway bridge, I've jumped directly to South Street and although Bampton's sweet shop is no longer there, the same premises on the Sir John Warrencorner of Queen Street are now occupied by "Lunch Bites".

Joanne first completed this walk with her dad but now intends, when she returns to the town for a visit, to repeat it with her children. As Bampton's no longer exists, I wouldn't be surprised if she treated them to a lemonade instead in the Sir John Warren (right). Well it is on the Market Place at the top of Burns Street which is where she used to live, isn't it? And it's also from where we started our walk so is a good place to end it too.

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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