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AfferGorritt

Colwick Woods

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In reply to Beekay in the Southwell Road thread, here’s the woods in all it’s glory, yesterday.

 

 

Colwick-Woods-13.jpg

 

Have got a few more to post later - of the path you probably used, BK.

 

 

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Cheers AG., correct me if I'm  wrong but, when you walked up and over the path from the gate, there was this sort of valley. If you did an almost u turn and walked, you came to the railway line, but I can't remember if there was a manual crossing there. Must have been, because you would reach the road.

Overlooking the railway was a sort of sandstone cliff and as kids, exploring we found a cave halfway up the bank. Naturally of course, we thought we'd discovered it and it was our den! Next time we went, we took some bread and jam etc., so we could watch the trains go by. Imagine our horror to find some bugger else had used the cave besides us.

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Thanks AfferGorritt, looks to be taken from the Greenwood Rd side? 

Extreme right corner there was  another path, a little down the hill and left into the woods was were the tree with the carvings was.

Things like 'AB was here'  "Wx + YZ' loveheats with dates, most probably from the 40"s or 50"s. Seemed ancient to me, the oldest I could have been was seven!

 

Beekay, think I remember where your talking about, the cave rings a bell there was a water feature, probably man made? You could cross the railway to the road. Can't recall if it was gap in the fence, but seem to recall something resembling a wooden bench that you stepped over.

 

 

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Yes, HSR. Taken from Greenwood Road. Actually, I think I probably passed the tree with the carvings as that is the path I took up from the railway.

The sandstone cliff is still there, Beekay. I stood near it yesterday! I’ll go back and have a look for your cave! I think the cliff has some sort if geological interest which I read about on the Friends of Colwick Woods website some time ago. The site also has some personal reminiscences of those nissan huts you mentioned and might be of interest to you. The railway crossing was just a sprung gate onto the tracks. It was easily accessible, and, in fact one of my schoolmates from Hogarth school was killed whilst playing on the line.

The gate and crossing don’t appear to be there anymore. The first photo below shows where I think it was - your sandstone cliff is behind me.

The second photo is the steep path that ran up to the left and followed the railings at the top of the cliff overlooking the railway (and Colwick race course). As this is probably the steepest path in the woods, it might be the one you took to the Nissen huts.

The third is the top of the path where it comes out of the woods onto Greenwood Road. I think this is where the huts were, and it’s also probably very near HSR’s tree!

 I took some more of our “spring” from which we drank and the icehouse which we thought was an anti aircraft gun emplacement. I’ll post them later if anyone’s interested. No, bugger it! I’ll post them anyway!

 

Colwick-Woods-5.jpg

Colwick-Woods-8.jpg

 

Colwick-Woods-10.jpg

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My mother’s parents used to live on Greenwood Rd. Those prewar council houses were nicely designed and had large gardens. Theirs used to back onto allotments and I remember there was an Anderson shelter right at the very top of the garden which was arranged in three levels being on the side of a steep hill. It was only a short walk up the road and you were in open countryside with Colwick Woods stretched out in front of you. I’ve not been up there since the 50’s. It would be interesting to have a drive up there just to see how things have changed.

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1 hour ago, AfferGorritt said:

The second photo is the steep path that ran up to the left and followed the railings at the top of the cliff overlooking the railway (and Colwick race course). As this is probably the steepest path in the woods, it might be the one you took to the Nissen huts.

 

 

AG, I've slightly lost my bearings on your travels here. Where is this set of steps ?

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If you came from the race course side, across the railway line, the path led up to your left. Actually, I'm sure the set of steps is a relatively recent addition and the original path hugged the railings overlooking the railway line. The path now starts a couple of yards away from them and then goes back to the railings a bit higher up. This is the only map I can find that shows the crossing where I remember it.

 

Colwick-Woods-1937.jpg

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AG., your map above post, where the path travels up towards Greenwood rd., on the right is where the nissen hits were. When visiting my aunt, sometimes used a Sneinton dale bus, but now no idea of the number.

Your map at least gives me some idea of the layout. Cheers.

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AG., I came across this whilst trawling...perhaps it helps. Helps me to understand  the terrain. B.Screenshot-20200518-190707-Samsung-Inter

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Thanks Cliffton, Think it was the Ginger Tom, then something else, one word, but not the Starting Gate that was roughly 7f from the winning line.

Beekay, you described the kissing gate (thanks Jill, never heard that before) perfectly as I remember it, looking at Google it's no longer there!

 

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CT., your google ref shows the steps at what look like a couple of trolleybus stops from the terminus, unless I'm  mistaken. If memory serves me, opposite on the other side of the road was a large set of advertising hoardings into which was a little cafe. It was run by the sister of my old butcher gaffer on Ilkeston road. I often had to go there to deliver bacon, sausage, mince etc. Always got a mug of tea and some toast. The bus stop was right outside for going back.(the cafe was more like a large wooden shed,built into the hoarding).

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Affergorrit,  this is the sort of path I  remember. Not this old mind.img-1589827281501.jpg

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AG, your map left me somewhat baffled, I'm I right in thinking the railway ran directly in front of the racecourse? Where would the railwaymans house be, in between the two arrows? Why was that area referred to as the icehouse?

Off for a couple of paracetamol! ;)

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1 hour ago, HSR said:

Thanks Cliffton, Think it was the Ginger Tom, then something else, one word, but not the Starting Gate that was roughly 7f from the winning line.

 

The pub which was on the site of those flats changed its name at least once. It started life as the Ginger Tom in the 60s, but by the 90s it was called the Starting Gate. When the building was demolished in the early 2000s, the name Starting Gate was re-used on a new place nearer the racecourse.

 

 

53 minutes ago, Beekay said:

CT., your google ref shows the steps at what look like a couple of trolleybus stops from the terminus, unless I'm  mistaken. If memory serves me, opposite on the other side of the road was a large set of advertising hoardings into which was a little cafe. It was run by the sister of my old butcher gaffer on Ilkeston road. I often had to go there to deliver bacon, sausage, mince etc. Always got a mug of tea and some toast. The bus stop was right outside for going back.(the cafe was more like a large wooden shed,built into the hoarding).

 

If you click around on that link via Streetview you can turn round to see the other side of the road. That's where the pub was located (Ginger Tom and later Starting Gate). I didn't know the area but prior to the pub(s) it seems to have been unused land. So I don't think your cafe was exactly there.

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Regarding the unused space, was it formally occupied by the bridge that went over Colwick Rd, seems very feasible, no idea when it was demolished.

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Sorry for the confusion, HSR! The railway runs left to right (9 o’clock to 2 o’clock if that helps). The north/south dotted lines are the path through the woods up to Greenhills Road. The remains of the ice house are still there. This was literally where ice for the use of the residents of Colwick Hall was stored, though why it was such a long way from the Hall I have yet to discover. The brickwork of the ice house is up a short steep path through trees and shrubs, off the main path. It’s (probably) domed roof is long gone. Thanks to my superlative memory (!!!!) I was able to go straight to it and take the pic below. Opposite the ice house remains, on the other side of the main path there used to be an old rusty pipe which dribbled water. We used to call it “The Spring” and it was the main source of our refreshment on the long summer days when we virtually lived in the woods all day. God knows what we were actually drinking! The second picture shows the pipe (looks like a bit of brown wood) which now appears to be dry.

 I absolutely love these woods. They bring back so many happy memories. It’s sad that they are a bit neglected and overgrown now. I remember quite wide, sweeping grassy areas, particularly around the main path from Greenwood Road to the railway. Still love them, though!

 

Colwick-Woods-4.jpg

 

Colwick-Woods-2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No need to apologise AG, just me being thick! I have no living memory of how the railways once dominated the landscape, intresting how the racecourse had its own staton..love to see a picture!

Well chuffed with remembering the 'water feature' think this was where the wooden sleepers were that my memory has confused with the gate onto the railway.

Also regarding the 'spring', I also remember drinking the water!

Is it still possible to walk through the woods? top path down the bank to the the bottom path and what was the gate to Colwick Rd?

 

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You CAN still walk through the woods. There are still many paths, but it all seems very overgrown and neglected now. In my memory the spring was just on the edge of quite a wide, well-mown path where we used to sit on the grass to eat our sandwiches. It’s now hidden deep in the weeds a yard or two from the path. I’m sure it’s not just me mis-remembering.

The picture below was taken from the spring, looking back up the top path to Greenwood Road.

 

Colwick-Woods-3.jpg

 

The spring is in the weeds on the right of the picture, and the icehouse in the trees on the left.

 

 

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In 1958 I had a very nasty accident in Colwick Woods. I was a racing cyclist and in the winter months rode cyclo cross events. I was doing some rough terrain training in the woods after some heavy rain and hit a rock when descending the path - it was more like a stream. Over the top I went and damaged my right eyebrow and cheek requiring 23 stitches. Someone on Greenwood Rd saw me carrying my bent bike along the road, my face streaming with blood. they called an ambulance and said they would look after my bike for collection later. When I was discharged from hospital I had to make my own way home on the bus. I looked a sorry sight all bloody, bandaged, wet and muddy. Other passangers kept their distance and just stared. It was a surreal experience due to concussion. No parents with cars in those days. How on earth did we manage?

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Somewhat taken the wind out of what I am now posting Peveral Peril,..

Remember playing in the woods, having a robust time, got some wood which I made a bow an arrows from. Coloured in with felt tips to give it an authentic vibe! 

 

AG, you are correct about the well kept grass near the spring, that area seemed very Tranquil to me, compared to the hustle & Bustle of the forest, The trees overhang the grass and path, Tranquil until a train came along!

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Was the sledging one mile run in Colwick Woods?   (Winter of cause)

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Ayup! Are ya there Beekay. You’ll like this. Make sure you read to the end of the post.

Another walk in the woods today, and I’m falling in love with the place all over again. The grassy play areas were pretty busy, but the pathways were quite quiet and extremely beautiful. Wandered along the bottom of the clay cliffs, but couldn’t spot your cave - not for certain, anyway. The cliffs are extremely loose and “chossy” so the part containing the cave might have collapsed over time.

Took a couple of photos, which I’ve posted below, and then found an old information board almost overgrown. The front, which probably had information about the geology of the place, is now completely blank, but the back had a very interesting painted message - see last picture!

 

C28061-ED-0810-4211-BE09-6459-BAA85029.j

 

B8146326-59-FE-4-BEF-B816-944-EA9535889.

 

FD21-BA11-70-DB-4-E3-F-9689-82-F06-CDD7-

 

 

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