Thursday, 23 January 2014

Coming towards an end

This morning I have posted another entry to History By Bus and, with time limited, because the one thing you have to do when you are trying to sell a house us to stay on top of the chores, so that you are ready for viewers at a moment's notice, Parkviews is going to get less attention for a while, but I am going to  try and post to the History By Bus blog once a week.

The latest posting is about a visit I made to Bestwood Country Park and the old Bestwood Colliery Winding House Engine.

I hope you take a look at the posting.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Beeston Bus Connections Map updated

I have updated my Beeston Bus Connections Map to include the new tramline and Derby Road bus services i4 and CityLink. I am also changing the way route information is displayed and this should be in place by Saturday. Feedback welcome. The challenge is compile a diagrammatic map which can be printed on A4 paper and in mono, although it looks better in colour.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

What will I miss, what will we do?

As my regular visitors will know, Susan and I have our home in Lenton up for sale and expect to move to Beeston/Chilwell sometime this year. Disbelief has been a common reaction from friends... whilst others have been telling us it is a good time to downsize.

For me seventy is weeks away and whilst I feel better in many ways than I have for many years, I do have a gammy knee, which is slowing me down. A good few people have asked me the same two-part question: 'What will you miss (after thirty-four years in Lenton) and what will you do when you move?'

The first question is easy to answer — the same thing which sold us the house all those years ago...

The front bedroom, with its view across Lenton Recreation Ground and seeing the trees change with the seasons, Until about six years ago we had a Copper Beech outside, but it had to come down and was replaced with a Copper Beech sapling, which is growing steadily. We stood in this room in late-August 1979, with wallpaper peeling off the walls, and looked at the park with the sun's light streaming in and knew we wanted the house.

The estate agent had just given us the keys and told us to go and have a look. There was nothing to steal. The house was completely empty and as we left an elderly gentleman came out from next door and asked who we were. Ten minutes later we had a history of the house and knew that it had been empty for a year and had not been sold because it was leasehold. Fortunately we had bought freehold before and in the seventies the law had been changed in favour of leaseholders.

We bought the house the next day for cash with the help of a kind bank manager and our parents and moved from Mansfield six months later, after spending a City Council grant on building a new kitchen. It was always intended as a house big enough for two children and an office, as I worked from home and we were already planning to start our own business.

We were quickly drawn into the local community because we were members of the Labour Party and our membership followed us. A wonderful woman, Mairi Yuill, sniffed us out and so began our love affair with Lenton. Mairi is now in her nineties and still volunteers at The Lenton Centre during the week.

The bedroom is where we have breakfast and read. On Saturdays rarely moving before mid-day. It's that kind of room. Over the years, we have only ever stayed in four hotel bedrooms and one rented holiday house with a bedroom nearly as good. None, though, were Nottingham. In my dreamworld, the River Trent is the coast and Nottingham is a seaside city, with Lenton nestling on its western edge, with Lenton Priory a ruin of note and much more besides.

I don't know how many more weeks or months we have in our bedroom or the house, but they are being savoured. We are looking forward to our move and are not the kind of people who, despite our love of history, dwell in the past.  We will continue to support The Lenton Centre wherever we go. As for Beeston/Chilwell, we have friends there already and we have been visiting Beeston town centre weekly since 1996, more often than Nottingham city centre for a good few years now, so it's already home-from-home in many ways.

I may have let my membership of the Labour Party lapse after fifty-three years, but Susan hasn't, and I hope to vote for Nick Palmer in Broxtowe at the next General Election, and put posters up in our front windows. Of course I want a more left-wing Labour Party, which will scrap Trident and once again champion progressive taxation and universal benefits. How I hate means testing. 

On 2 January we wandered down to Highfields Park and Lakeside to see the latest exhibitions and I found myself wondering when the entrance to the Djanology Art Centre on East Drive changed?  I noticed the change some time ago and looked out a photograph from 2010 to compare with one I took on our visit.  So much happens that we do not notice and that is how the past thirty-fours seem. A few memories compared with what I have forgotten.

2 January 2014.

4 April 2010.

Why did the tower go? Now there is a question not much in need of an answer.