Thursday, 22 February 2018

A lovely winter's day Stapleford to Beeston walk and I feel on top of the world!

Life at the moment is full of contradictions. I was recently reminded by my hospital doctor that I am terminally ill (with ideopathic lung disease) and could find myself falling off a cliff without much warning, yet right now I continue to walk without any sign of breathlessness or tiredness and feel on top of the world. What one lucky bunny I am!

This morning I went to my dentist at Stapleford Health Centre and after a cup coffee I set out to walk home along public footpaths, and dead end lanes and roads. My friend Richard who lives in Beeston works in Stapleford and walks between the two towns weather permitting. You can follow my route on the three maps below, which have been created using Open Street Map thanks to all the work done by their Nottingham volunteers, who have created the base map.

This is more like a picture essay with (unusually for me!) not much text. It took me just over an hour to walk. I did not see another person from the moment I climbed the steps outside Stapleford Health Centre (pic no.2) to getting home, except for a family of four on Common Lane near Southfields Farm and two cyclists who passed me.

1. Stapleford Library

2. Turn 180º and climb the ramp. About 200 yards and you reach Nottingham Road. 

3. Cross Nottingham Road and turn right up Cliff Hill Road, which is quite narrow. 

4. About 100 yards along is this footpath to the left between a blank wall and a house. 

5. At the end of building in pic.4 are these allotments. I will come back in the high summer when the view will be very different I'm sure.

6. Stapleford Cemetery is on both sides of the footpath running towards the A52, Bramcote and Beeston. I am assuming these 'bushes' are yew. Some encase gravestones. I have not seen anything quite them before.  The building to the left is the cemetery's listed chapel and mortuary and dates from 1880. Here is a link to the Historic England listing.

7. The muddy path across a ploughed field from the cemetery towards the bridge across the A52. The farmer does not plant the footpath strip, nor is it anything but tufts of grass and earth. I had stout urban walking shoes on, but walking boots would have been better!

8. Looking back towards Stapleford Cemetery. The hedge stops about half way across and this is the state of the unsigned public footpath. It is the only section of the walk not suitable for urban walking shoes after it has been raining. Ideally, this strip needs a gravel path. It doesn't have to be wide, but if there was such a path this would make an excellent all-year walking route between Stapleford, Bramcote and Beeston. 

9. These steps (and the gates of course) are what make this a walk not suitable for wheelchair users (and buggies which cannot be folded).

!0. From the steps in pic.9 you can see the bridges across the A52. At this point the road is no more than a low rumble.

11. The A52 from the bridge.

12. Across the A52 and to the left is this sign marking 'The Erewash Trail'. The only one I saw. At this point across the bridge the lane/track  goes to the right.

12 still. Then it turns left and across the fields you catch a distant glimpse of Chilwell and Inham Nook.

13. The lane/track may actually be Common Lane at this point. Maps are unclear, but the dog-leg takes you around Southfield Farm and you just keep on walking. It was on the stretch that a cyclist and and family opf four passed me.

14. This signage is a marker of sorts and is on the right-hand side of Common Lane.

14 still. Beneath the signposts this 'pothole' has been marked up I assume for filling. There are another half-dozen like this, but many more unmarked. What makes the marked ones different I have no idea. Perhaps its the size?

15. This is just one section of what once was a serious wall, now close to collapse in parts.

16. On the other side of Common Lane, a little further down, other small buildings are being reclaimed by nature.

17. The closer Common Lane is to Chilwell Lane the more large houses there are, so the lane is clear of mud. Not a single vehicle came along Chilwell Lane as I approached it...

18. ...and once across it remained deserted. This is its junction with Peache Way opposite Common Lane.

19. A fallen tree caught my attention. I liked the detail.

20. I love signs like this — an oxymoron of sorts — is a Christian heaven as exclusive as this? Is heaven littered with signage saying 'This is God's and it's private'?

21. Between here and Bramcote Drive it is pretty much a straight walk through rich modern suburbia on the southern edge of Bramcote village and then across Beeston Fields Golf Course...

22. ...All you have to do is hold your nerve and not doubt that you are on the right footpath. There are lots of high fences and walls. You are in a world where property owners/tenants value their privacy and (in fairness) security.

23. Keep on walking...

24. This a public footpath equivalent of a dog-leg junction. Go to the right and you get close to Cator Lane on the Chilwell side of Beeston...

25. ...At the other end follow the sign to Bramcote. I wonder why one public footpath junction has signage and the other one doesn't? In truth, the signage marking public footpaths is often absent and when it is there, at times, confusing!

26. Turn 180º at pic.25 and you are walking across Beeston Fields Golf Course.

27. The whole route to Bramcote Drive has a high wire mesh fence on either side. I like this no more than the footpath across the farmer's filed in Stapleford. I got the clear view by poking my camera through a gate lock opening. 

28. The same with this view of an up-to-date Tardis which is used to teleport golfers between greens and the Club House.

29. Bramcote Drive and Beeston comes into view. At this point I'm 10 minutes from home. Those of you walking onto Beeston have another 20 minutes ahead of you, and another map to look at.

30. The footpath's end (or beginning if you're going the other way) and Bramcote Road will take you into Beeston (see map below).

31. For me, it's a left turn and straight on. No more corners to turn, my home is dead ahead (as good as literally). I know the road well. I deliver 160+ newsletters and leaflets along it and off it for Beeston West Branch Labour Party.

32. Beeston Town Hall and bell tower close-up, the latter my favourite part of the building. It is difficult to appreciate with all the electronic gob-ons which surround it. The Conservatives who control Broxtowe Borough Council want to sell the Town Hall with little or no idea what might happen to it, beyond wild, optimistic, speculation. Beeston Civic Society is leading a campaign to keep the building as part of the council or transfer ownership to a Beeston based social enterprise, although as yet there appears to be no agreed vision as to its future. The Conservatives claim that it costs c.£500,000 in management and maintenance costs. Perhaps I will write a separate blog on the issue before too long.

 33. Beeston Library entrance, opposite Beeston Town Hall. The Library was refurbished in 2017.

34. Next to the Town Hall is a fine looking Roman Catholic church (The Church of the Assumption) with its square tower (above) and  this side door onto Foster Avenue which you cannot miss. If the church is open then it's worth a few minutes of your time. Modern Roman Catholic churches always seem appealing than their older counterparts (eg. the RC cathedral on Derby Road in Nottingham City City, although it does have a fine garden).

35. Beeston Square on a market day. There is no regular fixed market day, but most Saturdays there is something going on and, increasingly, on other days of the week too.

36. For the next few days this is a holding pic of a Trent Barton 18 bus, waiting to leave Beastmarket Hill in Nottingham City Centre on a short working to Beeston. There are 2 per hour to Beeston, one of which continues onto Stapleford during Monday–Saturday daytime. For this walk this is the perfect link service (click here to see timetable).

I willreplace with a pic of an 18 at the Interchange going to Stapleford.

1 comment:

  1. What a splendid post, Robert. A terrific demonstration of the pleasure and interest to be derived from our surroundings, and a great example of the lesser-known routes that are out there for us to explore. It's remarkable how little people seem to walk these days. Whenever I reveal that I often walk from Beeston to Stapleford, or from Beeston to Nottingham, the reaction is usually one of incredulity. I see that you were bold enough to take the route from the cemetery - I was saving that one for for a drier period of weather!