Friday, 1 May 2015

Exploring the Broxtowe Middlelands and the Erewash

A collection of images of what I call the 'Broxtowe Middlelands', all of which have appeared in my old parkviews blog. Further on in this post is a map showing where I have walked to date.

When Susan and I moved to Beeston last November we did not arrive as strangers. Susan lodged at the Chilwell vicarage in the late-1960s during her first two years at Nottingham University and we became regular visitors from the early-1990s to shop, see friends and attend the Caritas clinic opposite the now closed Beeston police station.

Some years ago I nursed the ambition to walk the entire length of the Erewash Canal, which for much of its length hugs Broxtowe's western boundary. I finally did it in 2012 and have walked it every year since. It is my favourite canal. I also want to finish walking what remains of the old Nottingham Canal, which was abandoned between Lenton and Langley Mill in the 1950s. I only have a small section near Cossall to walk, which I intend to do in the next couple of months. I also want to walk as much of the River Erewash as I can, in wellington boots if I have to!

I admit to being someone who supports the idea of a Greater Nottingham City Council based on the city, Broxtowe and Gedling councils, Hucknall and parts of Rushcliffe. Broxtowe Borough Council does not make geographical, social, economic or political sense and dates from the early-1970s (the first elections were held in 1973 and shadowed the old councils for a year before taking over in 1974).

Broxtowe is, at best, a collection of disparate communities bound only by a shared suspicion of Nottingham City Council, despite the fact that their eastern links all go into Nottingham. Their western links take shoppers and workers into the Derbyshire towns of Derby, Ilkeston and Long Eaton. There are no transport links between the north and south ends of Broxtowe, apart from one narrow lane and there is no linking bus route — and it can be argued that, in modern times, the city used the name Broxtowe first. All this makes any claims that Broxtowe Borough Council has a heritage worthy of protection dubious.

Having said all this, I am very fond of many of Broxtowe's communities for a multitude of reasons and one part of the borough has long fascinated me. I call it the 'Broxtowe Middlelands' — a waist of green which draws it two halves together — and I have been walking it for a few years now, thanks to my beloved 35 Nottingham City Transport bus route (see my 35 history blog), which made this part of Broxtowe a great place to walk if you live on the 35 bus route. Last year I led walks in the 'Middlelands' for Bulwell TravelRight and have, over the past few years, posted a number of my walks to my Parkviews blog (which I started in 2007 to look at life in and around Lenton Recreation Ground, beside the Derby Road, in Lenton).

Below the map are links to the Parkview posts about some of the walks I have done in the Broxtowe Middlelands. There will be more posts as I embark on more walks over the coming months. For now, I hope you enjoy some of the Parkview posts.

NOTE: For information and web-links about bus routes and timetables in the Broxtowe Middlelands visit my Beeston Connections page (see also image in right-hand column).

(click on the link below):

Erewash Canal: Sandiacre – Trowell

Erewash Canal: Sandiacre – Long Eaton

Erewash Canal: Sawley Marina – Long Eaton

Erewash Canal: Langley Mill – Cotmanhay

Bluebell Heaven: Oldmoor Wood walk with the help of a 35 bus

Bulwell TravelRight: Bilborough – Strelley walk

Bulwell TravelRight: Strelley – Wollaton Vale via Trowell and Nottingham Canal

Nottingham Canal: Wollaton Vale – Trowell


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