Wednesday, 30 January 2008

New park views and an embrace

The parish church in Lenton Recreation Ground.

The Devonshire Promenade terrace of eight houses.

Lenton Recreation Ground from the Derby Road city bound bus stop.

After yesterday's ruminations on parks and their vunerability to land grabs by councils in search of money, it's back to the magic of a local park or, in my case, Lenton Recreation Ground. I have been looking at it, walking around it and playing in it since 1979, yet I still see things I have never noticed before.

Today, it was three things. I realised I had never taken a photograph of the park from across the Derby Road. It's the view I see when I am standing at the bus stop waiting for a bus into the city centre. If it wasn't for the hill I could probably see the Council House. If you don't know Lenton or the Derby Road you won't know that Lenton Recreation Ground is at the bottom of a hill. If you're city bound it's a stready climb for the next ¾ mile, then it's a ¼ mile drop into the city centre. At the top of the hill is Canning Circus, where three main roads into/out of Nottingham meet: the Derby road, the Ilkeston road and the Alfreton road. So the view of the park in the above picture is the one which thousands see every day as they travel in and out of Nottingham, most will never notice our lovely park. When I tell people where I live they either know where it is immediately (and tell me it is somewhere they would love to live) or they have never noticed it. I have to admit I'm feeling pretty smug right now at having found Devonshire Promenade all those years ago.

Nor have I ever taken a picture of the eight houses which make up the terrace at the end of Devonshire Promenade. In fact, they were originally known as 'Devonshire Terrace'. I don't know when they became part of the promenade. They overlook one corner of the park and the staked tree in the foreground is one of the new elms planted a couple of years ago. Who would guess without being told that this is a scene in inner-city Nottingham?

Finally I am amazed that this view has never caught my attention before. I must have seen it thousands of times over the years: the tower of Holy Trinity Parish Church casting a long mid-morning shadow across the park, with the top corners clearly visible. There I was caught by its shadow, embraced by the Church of England whether I liked it or not. It would be nice if the church took a more active interest in the community. Unfortunately it comes across in Lenton as a kind of exclusive club for believers whereas I think the Anglican church, as the established church, has a duty to get involved with the rest of us. In fairness, there have been times in the past when the church has been more involved with the community and I am sure it will happen again. In the meantime I will enjoy what I can of Holy Trinity Church from the outside, especially when it embraces me with its shadow. Thank you church for a new experience.

Altogether a fruitful fifteen minutes in the park. What more can one want from life than to enjoy and share new experiences, however trivial they may seem.

Derek Conway, the Tory MP who has been criticised for giving his son a parliamentary salary he did not deserve, will stand down at the next election, he announced today.


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