Tuesday 22 January 2013

Building Bridges

Last Wednesday, yes, one of those days after we'd already had a considerable snow fall, myself and Gavin went on a walk with the support and guidance of a couple of the Walking for Health leaders, and some of the group members.

Starting at Armstrongs Mill which is near to one of the former train station sites (Ilkeston Junction), we meandered along the canal path, down to Bennerley Viaduct - this is a historically important structure is Grade II Listed and is on the Buildings at Risk Register. Unusual for it's time, it is a wrought iron lattice work structure, when most viaducts were brick built - because of former coal mining in the area, it was subject to a lot of subsidence and it meant the structure was lighter. If you want to read more about the Viaduct, click here - it will take you to the Wikipedia page about it, which is as good a start as any.  Happy history hunting.

Despite the cold air, and crunchy snow underfoot, it was a lovely day for the walk, and the light was simply beautiful.  I opted to take my little camera with me for ease; I do wish I had taken my dSLR as my pocket camera tended to mess up on light settings, but hopefully you can get the idea of how lovely it looked:

Bennerley Viaduct

Well, I didn't actually use the black and white setting here!  The light was not quite as dramatic and stormy as it looks, but if I lighten the image any more, it loses all definition.

It was fascinating for me; despite having lived in the area for most of my life, I don't know that side of Ilkeston all that well, and lost my bearings a couple of times - it was good when I saw recognisable landmarks (to me) such as the Awsworth by-pass.

The walk ended with a cuppa and tea-cake in Armstrongs Mill and a good chat with the walking group.  Hopefully we'll pick up some interesting memories about Stanton, and Cotmanhay, the railways, and so on, but mostly it was a pleasure to make contact with new people; certainly the walk inspired me to want to start sketching again (something I don't do nearly enough of these days); now I actually know how to get down to the viaduct, I will return to with the bigger camera and the sketchbook - this might inspire a whole new body of work!

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