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burtkt

River Leen - stories and info

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When we were boys in the late 40s we had lots of great adventures. We could go anywhere without fear.

One of our best adventures was to walk (yes we walked in those days) from the Wollaton Park Estate along the Derby Road and then up Triumph Road, which had open land opposite the tea warehouse, across the rough land until we reached the River Leen. Just about there the river ran under the main line railway. There was a concrete pontoon in the middle of the stream which we would stand on and reach forward to place pennies or half pennies on the railway line and wait for the trains to go over them to make them bigger. Don't tell me that nobody else ever did this. Of course we never told our parents of this. 

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When my Dad worked at Raleigh,he reckons that he was standing on a duckboard on the river Leen whatever that meant.

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The River Leen flows through and under the area where the Raleigh factories were, so it could've been literally under his feet.

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Don't know how true it is, but the coal cellars of the houses on Summers Street in the Medders used to flood with some regularity. The comment back then 1940's/50's was that the River Leen flowed under the houses, and when it was in flood so were our cellars.

 

Alison

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Further to previous mentions of diversions, the river was also rerouted when the Springfield Retail Park and Morrisons complex was built, and again when Tesco's was constructed several years later.

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When I was a lad.. i.e. in the 1950s... my main experience of the Leen were in Boowul.

 

Back in the 1950s the river was still a little bit 'wild'.  The bit from the Highbury Road overbridge as far as the foot bridge over to the old paddling pool was my main bit. There were stepped embankments, but there were also a couple of 'islands' in the stream and a couple of low 'weirs'. On the other side of the Highbury Rd bridge there was an abandoned watermill still visible. I haven't been close for years but I do know it has changed a lot.

 

My other main contact with the Leen was around Moorbridge.  What always fascinated me was that the river seemed to 'disappear' between there and the little overbridge at Carey Rd. The bit close to Moorbridge was always mostly either reedy ponds. (Which Ben remembers as 'Jelly Lake') or on the other side of the bridge it was a sort of impenetrable swamp with tall trees all filled with Rookeries. That's what I saw from my grandad Jack's front window at the bottom of Grindon Crescent. Totally different now and filled with assorted business premises. From there in the Boowul direction the river presumably ran around the back of Springfield Hosiery, before I next saw it running almost unnoticed under Carey Rd. I do know that for a while, behind 'Bulwell Finsihing Co. and the old Adelphi Cinema.. there was another large pond, also now gone.

The only other place I saw the Leen really was where it ran under the bottom end of Southwark Street near Basford Crossings.

 

I know that the Leen used to run close under the Castle Rock in the past, but otherwise I'm pretty clueless.

 

Can others add to a history of changes in the Leen over time?  Not just the route.. but riverside businesses, access points, etc.

 

Fair bit of info here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Leen

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I’ve often found that I’ve known the Leen - or seen it - usually without realising it. And only now - writing this - I've realised that it follows a path passing near where both sets of grandparents lived.

 

My earliest memory is on Queens Drive where it joins the Trent near Wilford. I passed there dozens of times on a bus from Clifton to Nottingham. I saw the place without  knowing what it was or why it was there.

 

The family connection continues where the Leen goes through Lenton in the Derby Road/Triumph Road area, not far from where my grandparents lived. Then it goes further along towards Radford - and the other grandparents - near St Peter’s Street and Churchfield Lane.

 

One reason I never paid much attention to it is that it doesn’t look much like what you expect a river should be - it’s more of a big stream,  and it’s often culverted and hidden from view.

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Weir & sluice gate near Moor Bridge, could watch that all day.

 

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Interesting that it is such a small river, yet considered suitable to power a number of mills in olden days. Other industries too like dye works etc. From Papplewick to Nottingham it was a real artery of industry.

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