Ilkeston Town Walk - Stage 25 - Manners Link
w/e 15 August 2004
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Manners Road

For the majority of the Town Walk, I have been following the route as detailed in one of a series of leaflets produced by the Erewash Groundwork Trust in conjunction with a number of other organisations. I have made a number of detours and diversions of my own to include various points of interest but here the leaflet offers a choice of routes. Leaving Victoria Park (on the right), the shorter route would take us straight down Manners Road past the Victoria Leisure Centre (left) to the bottom of Bath Street and then back to the Museum. I am choosing to turn left here into Manners Avenue to follow the route described as the Cotmanhay Loop which will extend the walk by about a mile and a half to approximately four miles in total.
Mines Rescue Station

But before we continue, a glance to the left reveals a nursing home that in a previous life served as the Mines Rescue Station. I'm not sure exactly when the building was erected but it has a distinct feel of the early part of the last century and is in stark contrast to the nearby futuristic looking Victoria Leisure Centre. The site of Manners Colliery was behind this building and is now the location of an industrial site. We shall head towards this as we continue our walk but quickly turn off before we reach it.
Ambulance Station

We are now on Manners Avenue heading towards the industrial estate - the road just beyond the Ambulance Station on the right is Manor Road. Ambulances now operate out of the same building as the Fire Service on Oakwell Drive but the building shown here is still used by the ambulance service as the Facilities Division. On the far left of this picture is a signpost that bears the words "Manners Link". This is a footpath that leads behind Ilkeston School and provides an alternative route back to the Rutland Recreation Ground.
 Manners Link

Diagonally across is another similar signpost pointing along a footpath in the opposite direction towards Heanor Road. Both paths follow the route of a disused railway line. Ilkeston Co-Op has a travel agency that is well-known around the East Midlands and although there is a branch within the Co-Op store in the centre of town, this building at the side of the Manners Link footpath houses the headquarters of the Travel Division.
Great Northern Railway

It is difficult to imagine as we follow the footpath that we are walking along the course of the former Great Northern Railway. Until Dr. Beeching wielded his axe in the 1960s, steam engines hauled their carriages and wagons along here between Nottingham Victoria and Derby Friargate. The route has now returned to nature and although it is in close proximity to both industrial and residential areas it is a quiet oasis for wildlife. I met only one person as I walked along the path and that was a traffic warden - don't suppose he issued many parking tickets along here! The leaflet, now over ten years old, mentions a pond on the left hand side but there is no obvious sign of this. However I walked along the path after almost thirty six hours of constant August rain and when I stepped off the path to take the image of the right of the composite above, found myself ankle deep in water. BE WARNED - stay on the path!
Old Station Surgery

Near the end of the path is another signpost and we are advised to turn left here (top left above) along a "new" path (right) through a passage in the hedgerow and along a dirt track between allotments to Boweswell Road. I have twice attempted this route and would not advise it unless you are suitably clad in waterproof and nettle and thorn proof clothing. Instead I would recommend following the main path to Heanor Road by the side of the Old Station Surgery (bottom left) and reaching Boweswell Road by my alternative route which we'll follow in the next stage of the Town Walk.

 Back to Stage 24
 Town Walk Index
Forward to Stage 26

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