Canal at Wollaton


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From the late fifties when I used to go with friends to the canal (in complete disobedience to my mum), I watched it deteriorate from being a complete canal to an eyesore. Not without plenty of help from the local vandals. The canal, woods and train bridge were the haunt of many different groups of youngsters, bordering on gang warfare. Certain older youths we wouldn't go near. In fact my knowledge of swear words was given to me by some of the older lads.

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A composite of images from Britain from Above which shows the canal near Wollaton and many of the places mentioned in the thread. The light-coloured road at an angle on the right is Russell Drive; the

Here are my memories of the Wollaton section of the Nottingham Canal set to verse. WOLLATON CANAL From Woodyard Lane it was seen both ways To the east was Radford, where Lime trees sway. And to

Try and get hold of Nottingham Canal A History and Guide by Bernard Chell. ISBN 0-7524-3759-3. There is at least one copy in Nottinghamshire libraries. I vaguely remember the bit on Radford Bridg

So that's where your flamboyant use of Anglo-Saxon came from!!

Did you know that when the M42 was going to be run along the side of Trowell Road leaving my old man's house teetering on the edge of a vast cutting full of motorway, after plungeing under the Trowell Road railway bridge and across the site of the colliery sports ground it was to follow the route of the canal to The Crown roundabout. At the public enquiry I challenged the council on this, they had known for years about the scheme and kept it quiet, that's why the canal locks were allowed to fall apart and be vandalised, typical devious local authorities. Were any of you involved in the fight against the M42, I was part of it at the time in the early 70's, thank God we won.

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firbeck

Thanks for your post. I remember the abandoned boats on the canal. This just brought back great memories. When I was little my grandfather took me out for long walks along the canal and we looked at those boats. I also remember walking with him over the lock gates. I remember being a bit scared but followed him over the gates. Those were very special times.

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Now now Pete! Surely I wasn't that bad (or was I?) Back to the M42. I did hear about this and it might have been earlier than you mentioned. I'm sure Mr Heath mentioned it to me in the 60s. I may be wrong.

Oh by the way Pete. Our local authority is still as devious.

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It was definately in the early 70's, no-one knew much about it until all the plans were revealed one evening up at Firbeck School. The presentation was given by a bunch of arrogant, patronising scum from the 'Midland Road Construction Unit' or some such nom de plume. The reaction from the residents was somewhat angry to say the least, my old man had to be restrained from smacking the barstewards happily presenting the plan to screw up peoples lives. I joined the anti motorway action group on the spot and worked my backside off till we got the ridiculous scheme chucked out, it was my first encounter with corrupt, evil, pocket lining local authority a***holes and the political ladder climbers willing to step on anyone to get to the top.

The map above is fine up to Balloon Wood crossroads, the really nasty bit came afterwards, that was the part they were hiding from everyone. I found the letter of victory sent to me by the action group chairman the other day, I'll go and look in the drawer for it when I've taken the dogs out and gone up the allotment.

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I can't find the letter, I think I must have found it in the loft last week when I was looking for my Hornby clockwork key ( a long story ), this would give the date of when the inquiry was running. Anyway, while Googling about I can't find much of the story as everything is now ensconced in the National Archives. I did however find this, it looks hand drawn to me and isn't quite accurate:-

a609.jpg

All the houses on the south side of Trowell Road were to be demolished, apart from ours and most of Firbeck Estate was to remain. The M42 was not going to run along the route of Trowell Road as shown, but in a deep 4 lane cutting south of it, how it was suddenly going to plunge into such a deep cutting going downhill from the proposed Coventry Lane roundabout defied the laws of physics. The best bit was the Trowell Road bridge over the Radford-Trowell railway line, the motorway was going to go underneath the lot, as I pointed out to the so called civil engineer around to answer questions " Have you done a gradient profile to see how ridiculous this all is", no, of course they hadn't, to them it was just lines on a map destroying a community which they cared nothing for.

You'll see that after going under the railway, the route cuts across what is now the Co-op site, not sure whether it was there then, I don't think so, then it joined the path of the canal around about where Wollaton Colliery was and on to the Crown Roundabout. Imagine, a motorway discharging onto Western Boulevard at one of it's busiest junctions and this was in the period when Nottingham City Council was introducing bus lanes, the possibility of all this may well have been one of the reasons why I cleared off down to rural Essex!!

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Yeh I can remember the mass of No M42 signs along the road neartowards the entrance to the Trowell Garden Centre. I am sure it was the early 1970s.

Still it has left room for the countryside here to have more houses (i.e. Fields Farm) and concrete over more of our open land. You watch, Bramcote Moor will be next!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Still exploring this topic as my wife lived on Elvaston Road in the 1950s.

Its good to walk through the area now

From Martins Pond take the track round the pond and take the footpath through Harrison's Plantation to the Raleigh Pond. Cross over the Woodyard Lane to see the old site (now a housing estate and note in the corner of the state an entrance to the canal allotments which are built on the site of the old canal.

Come back and walk along Woodyard Lane to the railway bridge and look east for a great view of Nottingham.

Retrace steps going back through Harrison's Plantation until you reach Old Coach Road walk up the road to its end and return. Retrace steps back to follow the Old Coach Road until it reaches the Torvill and Dean Estate.

Turn left and trace some old remnants of the canal eventually reaching Bridge Road and note the old cottages (built about 1874)

Here, where the old canal reached the Wollaton Road was the site of the EWollaton VCanal Bridge demolished in the 1960s. (the land here was once a petrol station which was on the old canal).

Turn left and walk along Russell Drive and back to Martin's Pond.

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Yes that was its name.

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Those remnants were the pound between locks 15 and 16. Old Coach Road humped back bridge looked down on it and it was where, in the 50s, many angling competitions were held. I remember the water bailiff keeping an eye on things. Teenagers used to dive in off the bridge.

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  • 6 months later...

A composite of images from Britain from Above which shows the canal near Wollaton and many of the places mentioned in the thread. The light-coloured road at an angle on the right is Russell Drive; the small semi-circular road is Russell Crescent; and Martin's Pond is centre-right. Wollaton Colliery is at the bottom right.

6A2127u.jpg

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Was it Wollaton canal that was filmed in Sat Night Sunday morning' when Albert Finney and Norman Rossington were fishing ?.....you can see new houses being constructed in the background.

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Fantastic picture thanks for posting it Cliff Ton. I've studied it for ages.

In the mid 1950s my dad used to take me from our home in Elstree Drive up along Woodyard Lane, over the "tin" railway bridge, past Brown's Woodyard and either directly into the Raleigh Sports Ground or along the canal tow path to the Old Coach Road and then into the Sports Ground past the tennis courts. He enjoyed watching the football games but his real love was watching the cricket. If I was lucky in summer I'd get a lemonade from the wooden pavilion.

On a few of occasions in summer we'd walk along the towpath to opposite Wollaton pit then cut through the allotments to Wollaton cricket ground.

The derelict canal and railway line was my playground until we left the area in 1961.

Looking at the top left hand corner it looks like some of the canal has already started to be filled in behind Charlbury Road.

I can just about remember when they demolished the canal bridge on Woodyard Lane and filled in the remaining bit behind Charlbury Rd. Guessing that was about 1957/8.

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