Being a passionate golfer, Greg has organised two golf days: a competition game at Sherwood Forest Club and a game with me at The Belfry in Warwickshire. Today it’s Sherwood Forest and tee time is 9.20am. The weather has decided to turn wet and cold. I fish out my corduroy trousers and shower proof jacket and Greg looks for anything warm, in his summer wardrobe.
We arrive with time to spare despite Tommy’s best efforts to get lost – I’m certain I have set the machine for the most convoluted way. I even get to hold a putter and pretend I know what to do whilst Greg warms up in the driving nets then on the putting pitch and even tries a few chips (with the pitching iron not hot chips). I must have looked professional enough to draw a comment from a course official. This chap wandered up to me and commented that I did not comply with the course dress code and did I intend to play in that coat. After correcting his misapprehension and informing him that I was there to photograph that famous Australian golfer Greg Young, he apologized exchanged some pleasantries and then slunk away.
Shortly we were in the hands of the starter and met the other two players David and Martin. David was a member and quite well to do – his Bentley sports car said so. Martin was from the north – Huddersfield I think he said but I could rarely understand his accent.
The Club was formed in 1895 and has a wonderful clubhouse with the first tee sitting directly in front. Now follows a series of photos of Greg in every predicament that golf can throw at you. They gave him a 10 handicap when his club handicap is 12 – an extra incentive to play with dedication. At the end of the day Greg had carded with his handicap 83 – not bad on an unknown course in difficult conditions of rain and wind. As Oscar Wilde said of golf – a good walk spoiled. So with the golf finished and our cards handed in we tucked into the smorgasbord – well Greg and I shared particularly as I had not paid anything for the privilege.
We left Sherwood Forest golf Club with happy memories of some holes and forgot about those we did not like. Friday we would challenge the Belfry.
The next day, Tuesday, was again bright and sunny with a touch of coldness in the air. A good time to go to Attenborough Reserve and Attenborough church. I drove over to the Reserve and we took the path to the church where I showed Greg where we laboured of a Wednesday (sometimes when not travelling) and made our way back to the Wildlife Centre for a cup of coffee followed by a walk through the reserve spotting different birds as we walked.
Refreshed from our walk we travelled into Nottingham city centre and visited the Galleries of Justice. I had been here before also but again the tour had been changed. Into the Courtroom and the court orderly passed on the evidence concerning the recent violent death of a local member of the aristocracy. Greg was called upon to give evidence in the matter and took the stand. After this we all reassembled in the cells below where we met one of the suspects being held for questioning and she showed us around the place – not much had changed it was still dark damp and horrible. We then made our way to the infirmary and heard from the doctor the results of the autopsy and then into the Sherriff’s dungeon where we met an explorer who was also being held in relation to the investigation and she showed us the rest of the cells including the gallows where the convicted person might swing.
We received the remaining witness statements in the streets below the jail concluding the visit to the cells and allowing us to solve the mystery. As we made our way to the street we passed through the prison museum learning about the reformers and the reforms to the prison system throughout England. Solving crime gives you an appetite, so a bite to eat and then across to the castle. We past Robin Hood on our way to the Castle. It is not really a castle and has not been so since the Civil War in 1642 to 1646, when Parliament ordered the demolition of the castle following the beheading of Charles I. The Palace constructed by the Duke of Newcastle was built on the old castle site only to be set alight by rioters following a vote against greater voting rights for all men (women would have a further fight to win). The Palace has been restored and is now a Museum of both art and some folk history and stuff. Still interesting to visit and complete with a stroll through the gardens. Statutes to the great writers of Nottingham – Lord Byron and D H Lawrence greet you at the front door.
We have golf tomorrow so we head home for dinner and a restful night.
My brother Greg arrived in Nottingham yesterday for a stay of about 8 days. The allure of free accommodation and golf in the Midlands could not be resisted.
We met him at the bus station on Sunday and allowed him to settle and recuperate as we had a busy itinerary planned. So rested and fed, Monday morning we went on the walking tour of Long Eaton (just so he knew where Tesco is located in case he needed to go to the shop) finishing at Anderson’s for a cup of coffee, followed by a visit to Nottingham city centre.
We caught the bus at Market Place into Nottingham to investigate the Caves beneath the city. Now I had been here before but the tour had been changed for the better with three guides giving different parts of the story. It starts with the geology of the city and explains that Nottingham (Snottingham in Saxon – fortunately the name developed over time) is built on a sandstone plinth and that from the times of early settlement people were digging cellars and caves into the rocky plinth. A number of the caves were joined together during WW2 to provide an air raid shelter. Our first guide showed us one of the wells used by inhabitants down through the ages and explained how they unknowingly poisoned themselves through sewerage passing into these wells. She also pointed out the chisel marks of ancient tools on the walls explaining how these caves were dug by hand.
Our second guide was looking for apprentices to work in the underground tannery and described the dirty filthy work undertaken to produce leather and how this industry also polluted the water of the river causing illness among the inhabitants. Not only did they pollute the ground water by storing the hides in sandstone tanks which leaked into the ground and wells but they also polluted the river by washing their hides in the river.
With the commencement of WW2 and particularly the Battle of Britain, many of the cellars and caves were joined together to create Anderson shelters. Our third guide took us through one such shelter constructed in the caves, fitted out in much the same way as it was during the war with gas masks and bunks.
Even after the war, the caves continued to be used until the development of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre when through public pressure the developers were forced to preserve the caves and build the centre over the top of them.
It was after 4.00pm when we finished at the Caves however we had purchased a two for one ticket which included the Galleries of Justice which we planned for the next day. Before heading home we visited the Castle and decided to return there tomorrow also. For now we had to meet Kerry at the Crowne Plaza for our Rotary meeting.
Sunday August 10
Attenborough Nature Reserve and the Canal
There are a lot of places of interest around Long Eaton and in the shires generally. Last Sunday we visited the Attenborough Nature Reserve (not named after Richard Attenborough but named after the community in which it is located between Long Eaton and Nottingham). This area now 250ha in size started as a gravel pit and dumping ground for the fly ash from the nearby power station. It is now Britain’s second largest and second most popular nature reserve with over 50 species of bird living / visiting the water ways created by the extraction of gravel and return of the surface clays to create the ponds. There are long walks through the reserve and a conservation centre with information on the site. We took a free guided tour through part of the reserve and here are some of our photos.
Photo of the centre and our walk.
Within 100m of our flat is the Erewash Canal. Built in 1776 by a consortium of local merchants (collieries brick works and engineering workshops) it was the transport for all of the produce of the area until the railway started in 1846. It is approx. 13 miles long and joins the River Trent which flows to the North Sea. The locals chipped in 100 pounds each to cover the cost of 23,000 pounds to build and the cost came in under budget. There are 9 locks along its course raising the height of the canal 109 feet.
After the railways were developed the canals gradually lost commercial value and fell into disrepair. In 1969 the community formed a preservation group to restore the canal for recreational purposes. Today there is a fabulous walk down to the River Trent and there is a variety of wildlife and hedgerows along the way (about one and one half hour round trip flat to the pub [not allowing drinking time] and back). The canal is full of swans with their goslings and many other water fowl. It is also home to a canal boat industry with many variety of boat and industry supporting the boats along the canal. Here is a collage of the scenes I have viewed on my walk.
Date August 5
Long Eaton Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire
Long Eaton is a town in Derbyshire but lies just north of the River Trent about 7 miles south-west of Nottingham and is part of the Nottingham urban area but not part of the city itself. Long Eaton is referred to in the Doomsday Book as Aitone and is located at the lowest bridging point of the River Erewash. In 1228 the town gained the “Long” prefix due to the length of the town. In 1694 “the Great Fire of Long Eaton” destroyed 14 houses and several other buildings. The town developed around lace making with many old lace factories abandoned or converted in the town. It also had a railway wagon industry. (Source Wikipedia)
These industries were probably the influence for the construction of the Erewash canal which runs immediately behind our flat building.
One of the notable buildings in town is the Parish Church of St Laurence which local tradition dates from the 11th century (built by King Cnut) but it is more likely 12th century Norman. It is now overlooked by the eyesore Tesco Extra behemoth. There is some surprising architecture in town including the old Glitter and Dance UK headquarters at Harrington Mill built in 1885 with one and a quarter million bricks and is 167 meters long. There is also some pretty ordinary architecture from the 60’s and 70’s.
Our flat is in an old mill converted to the use and has retained its original chimney.
Photo of the building, entrance gates and chimney along with
• St Laurence Parish Church,
• The monstrosity Tesco store,
• Its companion ASDA,
• The old cinema showing some of the more acceptable 60’s architecture,
• The beautiful flower beds in the Main St,
• the High St which has been decimated by Tescoe and ASDA