Gallows Inn LockGreen's Lock
Lock to Lock
Ilkeston - Gallows Inn to Green's
w/e 19 April 2009
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

This series is following the Erewash Canal northwards from Hallam Fields towards Cotmanhay in five sections as it passes between the "Locks on the Erewash Canal", this being the second section.

Double Width

Immediately on leaving Gallows Inn Lock, the canal widens to about twice its normal width. If this were a road instead of a waterway I would describe this extra width as a lay by. I assume that when canal traffic was at its height carrying substantially more boats than the leisure craft that use it today, this extra width would provide a similar "parking space" as the narrow boats awaited their turn to pass through the lock. Gallows Inn Lock was also used as a disembarkation point for workers who arrived by canal from the Black Country on their way to the nearby Stanton Ironworks and to use another analogy this time from the railway world, this area could well have been their "station".
Loop To The East

As the canal narrows to continue its northward journey to Langley Mill it first makes a loop to the east bringing it much closer to the River Erewash and the railway line. In fact after crossing Nottingham Road the railway line passes over the river and forms a roughly triangular parcel of land with the canal.
Erewash Furnace Site

In the section of the canal between Hallam Fields and Gallows Inn we noted that much of the western side was filled with industrial premises but now the industry has swapped to the eastern side with buildings occupying the Furnace Road Industrial Estate that has grown up on the triangular piece of land already mentioned. Some time ago I had thought that Furnace Road had taken its name from the view of the furnaces at Stanton but I was reliably informed that a furnace had once stood adjacent to the canal on what has now become the industrial estate. Further investigation revealed this image (opens a new window) from the 1920s/30s at the Picture The Past website and "Erewash Furnace" is marked on old maps. The canal had opened before 1800 and Stanton Ironworks established about 1845. The furnace at Gallows Inn followed later together with others at Bennerley and West Hallam. The furnace stood at the furthest point east of the canal loop which obviously played a part in its siting as a convenient means of transportation and was approximately where the brick building right of centre in the above picture now stands.
Western Bank

In total contrast to the industrial landscape the western side of the canal now has residential properties and many householders tend the canal bank at the rear of their homes.
Urban Countryside

Sandwiched between the industry and the housing the canal now begins its sweep back to the west and despite the proximity of the urbanisation, there is often a feel of the countryside with waterfowl much in evidence both on the canal and also the towpath. I wasn't being warned off here by the way - it was simply wash and brush up time. They "Adagio""Otter Know Better"didn't even move for the cyclist although they probably did when the dog walker in the distance reached them. It is not unknown for kingfishers to be seen along this stretch of the canal and if you travel "Adagio" style, that is slowly and in a leisurely manner you may be lucky enough to see one. If you rush along though, you "Otter Know Better". Sorry but the jokes don't get any better than that!
Erewash Square

As the canal begins to straighten out in its northern journey, the industry is shielded by trees and hedges and is not at all intrusive. Much of the opposite bank was taken up by allotment gardens. Some of this as we have already seen has been built upon. There was an area of land though between the allotments that was used for a post war prefab development, Erewash Square, to help with the housing problem but these have all now been replaced by houses of a more permanent nature. The grassy area (centre) leads up from the canal to the Erewash Square Play Area.
Allotment Gardens

A little further north, as well as more wild life, there are still some allotment gardens stretching right down to the water.
Warning Signs

With the gates of Green's Lock coming into view, there's another of those posts that are periodically positioned at intervals along the canal but I wonder if they really serve any purpose. If I am reading the signs correctly no fishing is allowed between the post and the lock but there is someone clearly contravening this. Likewise cycling is prohibited in both directions and although the notice about dogs is at a convenient height for canines, I don't know many that can actually read. I told you the jokes didn't get any better but I'll continue the series with the next section to Potter's Lock in Part 3.

 Lock to Lock Index
Part 3 to Potter's Lock

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