First Impressions
No. 07 - Part 01 - Derby Road
w/e 30 October 2022

All of this week's pictures were taken with a Nikon D3300

Although this 7th of the nine roads into Ilkeston follows Derby Road. it actually starts in the Parish of West Hallam on High Lane East.

The Boundary

The "Welcome to Ilkeston" sign stands just after the entrance to the Straw's Bridge Nature Reserve but an older boundary marker dated 1879 (inset) can be found by the wall on the left of this picture.
The Nut Brook

That wall is part of the bridge (not Straw's Bridge) over the Nut Brook.
Straw's Bridge

Straw's Bridge itself was actually built and opened in 1794 over the adjacent Nutbrook Canal where the Derby Road now sweeps round the bend to start the rise up the hill into Ilkeston.
The Friends of Straw's Bridge website has a lot more information about the area and is well worth investigating further but it includes the following:

"It was originally known as Moor's Bridge. After the opening of the canal an overseer's house was built next to the canal on the right hand side of the road (heading for Ilkeston). In 1844 a man called Samuel Straw was employed as overseer and he moved into the house. He was paid 18 shillings per week and the house was rent-free. From that time the bridge came to be called Straw's Bridge."

The original bridge was demolished and replaced in the 1930s. The track on the right between the chevrons, in the picture above, leads along the line of the old canal to Kirk Hallam.
Ex Railway Bridge

Once around the bend the road rises over another bridge, this one over the former Nutbrook Branch of the Midland Railway line.
Nutbrook Trail Access

The route of the line now forms part of the Nutbrook Trail from Long Eaton to Heanor and steps down from the bridge give access to the Trail.

Once over the bridge we enter a residential part of the town. Properties on the right are visible here but the rear gardens of those on the left are shielded by the high hedge line.
Kniveton Park

Those properties on the left are on Kniveton Park, a small roughly oval shaped estate with just one vehicular access which is from Derby Road.
Steep Drives

After Kniveton Park there are more properties, many of which on the left are accessed by steep dives. I don't envy postal and delivery people especially in the winter months when icy conditions could make their employment quite dangerous when delivering to these properties.
Myrtle Cottage

At the brow of the hill where Derby Road turns slightly to the left is probably one of the oldest remaining houses on the road. (Older prpoerties at the top of Derby Road have now been demolished.) Old maps show a number of small buildings here and later ones as the area began to be developed, another building which could possibly be the one in the foreground here now named Myrtle Cottage, is also shown.

Manor Fields Dr Entrance

On the other side of the road (roughly opposite that row of smaller buildings) and standing a little way from it, those same old maps show a windmill that was used for producing flour. As time went on, more properties were built, the windmill became disused and was eventually demolished. The site behind the later properties has now been developed as the Manor Fields Drive housing estate which once again, like Kniveton Park, has just the one vehicular access from Derby Road.
 First Impressions Index
Forward to Part 2

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