"Lock to Lock"
Ilkeston - Potter's to Station Road
w/e 12 July 2009
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
As we follow the route between the "Locks on the Erewash Canal" we found
that the previous section from Green's Lock to Potter's Lock
was one of the shortest as the canal passes to the east of Ilkeston.
This next section between Potter's Lock and Barker's Lock on
the other hand is the longest so I have decided to split this
section into two with Station Road acting as the natural break
at about the midway point.
We also found in the previous section that it is possible, albeit
with some difficulty, to walk the whole of that section on either
side of the canal. The footpath to the west of the canal now
continues and it is possible to reach Station Road so just for
a change of perspective, as we make our way towards Barker's
Lock we will follow that path rather than the original towpath
to the east.The residential area of the Park Farm Estate can
be seen in the distance and there are several access ways to
the footpath from the estate.
For much of the length of the canal to Station
Road, there were copious amounts of waterlilies (left) and this
moorhen (above) made sure we knew of its presence by calling
out loudly as it forged a way through the plants. Further along
another of the same species had a brood of young chicks and they
were hopping from leaf to leaf as they progressed along the canal
Unlike the towpath on the opposite side, this path does not run
along the very edge of the canal and is separated from the water
by areas of wildflowers and grasses. There are also brambles
and given a few days of sunshine there should soon be a bumper
crop of blackberries. Where the canal can be seen, the waterlilies
are showing a lot of yellow flowers and an occasional white one
Although the canal is heading in a generally northern direction
it does turn towards the west for a short period during this
section but a break in the lush vegetation allowed not only a
view of the canal but also the bend where the canal turns back
to the north and the houses that creep ever closer to its bank.
This side of the canal also has a number of trees and at times
it might even be described as "semi-wooded". A few
like this one stand majestically with branches stretching over
the water but several more points are worth noting here. The
first is the proximity of the housing and the second is the straightening
of the canal from this point as it heads directly towards Station
Road. For a brief period the outlook from the canal to the east
has been over open countryside but from this point on industrial
premises, this time at Ilkeston Junction, come into play.
It is also worth noting at this point man's influence on nature
with the hollowing out of the path, the discarded supermarket
trolley in the canal and the mound of woodchips left after the
felling of a tree that is being colonised by fungi.
With the canal
still running in a straight line the path peters out on meeting
the Gordon Street Playing Fields or to give it its name that
it is more popularly known by, The Ashes. I cannot fail to walk
across The Ashes without remembering a soccer game played here
when I but a young schoolboy. In those days the green sward of
today was a muddy quagmire in the depths of winter and it fell
to me to take a corner kick up the gentle slope. It took all
my strength to get the sodden leather ball into the goal mouth
but it squirmed through all the players and found its way directly
between the goal posts. Happy memories indeed!
to the present our route now is to leave The Ashes and proceed
along Rupert Street (left) to Station Road. The canal now runs
behind the new houses on the right in the small image that have
been built in recent years on the site of a former builders'
merchant. Turning right at Station Road we can regain the original
canal towpath by a flight of steps and it is from there that
we will resume our walk to continue to Barker's Lock in the next
part. As we cross the bridge though to reach the steps (see small
image at the top of this page) there is an opportunity to look
back along the canal towards Potter's Lock.