At mid-day Susan and I walked down Wollaton Road to have lunch at Table 8 and were there for a good two hours. I will let the food speak for itself. It was wonderful and, despite the temptation of grilled haddock with mussels, I went for black pudding on the basis that I cook fish and mussels at home, but never black pudding, despite the fact that I love it. I am not sure how I will get pass black pudding if it is on the lunch-time menu the next time we go to Table 8. Truly, truly delicious.
We both had the same pudding, despite my love of creme caramel and anything with custard. It took me thirty minutes to eat as I placed little spoonfuls in my mouth one at a time and let them desolve. A Tom Jones of a pud.
The coffee came with yet more chocolate. If you haven't been, don't delay. All this cost just £34 — great value and the service was friendly and welcoming. At the end we felt ready for our walk to Beeston Lock.
Down by Beeston Canal it was quiet and the air was still and warm. The water still like a pond.
By chance we came across a Canal & River Trust table inviting passers-by to join, so we did. Siobhan here took our money and now we are registered supporters — something we have meant to do since the Trust came into existence.
I took this view of Beeston Lock and the keeper's old cottage. It looks a picture and I suspect gets photographed thousands of times a year.
The reason for the lock and Beeston Canal is the weir just to the south of the canal. In the old days, there was an arm of the canal which linked to Trent not far to the left-hand side of this picture, but that closed a long time ago. On the day of our visit the water was flowing very fast and the roar was close to deafening.
Between the weir and the lock is a collection of boarded up cottages. I took this pic from the footbridge across the long abandoned arm I mentioned above. These cottages and this whole area will be transformed over the next few years into the Canalside Heritage Centre. The local volunteers behind the project have just been awarded a large grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to turn the site into a museum, exhibition space, education resource, café and a centre of canal related activity and events.
From now on I will go back every few months and picture what is happening from the footbridge.It should look very different a few years from now.
A little further along the Trent past the lock, as you walk towards Attenborough and Sawley, we came across this. Someone with a sense of humour.
We had intended to have tea and cake at Fusion and buy a replacement piece of glass from Created by Hand, but they had none made, so we have a good excuse to return soon. In the end we didn't have tea or cake. We were still feeling full after our lunch at Table 8.
Across the road from Chilwell's Creative Corner is the above fine looking parade of shops and the place we wanted to visit was Marvellous Furniture. Here is part of the above pic showing the right-hand side larger.
We were not sure what to expect and inside we found a shop selling good quality old furniture at reasonable prices in a stylish manner, arranging items in a way which ensured there was plenty of space to view every item. A real joy of a shop.
The Mish Mash Gallery, which is part of Chilwell's Creative Corner, is a great place to buy cards and small limited edition prints, as well as original works of art, and whilst there I fell for a photograph measuring 22" wide x 5" high, titled 'Whitby Panorama' by Tony Brodrick. You get some sense of its size in this photograph above, which shows my personal pinboard with the panorama resting along the bottom until I find it a permanent home.
What attracted me was the detail and the depth. The above close-up of part of the panorama shows clearly what I mean. It looks more like a model than a photograph. The reason I bought it was because it fitted in well with some ideas I have in my head for taking my Beeston map to its next stage by trying to include hand-drawn streetscapes of sections of Beeston High Road and other town centre shopping streets. I have some examples from hand-drawn streetscapes of London and other cities. Whatever I do will be completely new to me, but I want to have a go anyway.
Those of you living in the area will know all these places, but I am writing as much for would-be visitors as locals. Beeston and Chilwell have a great deal to offer and I would argue that you could easily come to Beeston for a week's holiday and never go near Nottingham or ride on a bus , except for a few stops.
As I said right the start, yesterday was my kind of day.