Retirees Go Abroad – Ordinary Lives living in the UK – Svein’s Day Tour

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Our day started completely differently to yesterday. Yesterday was very wintery but today the sun is shining and although the air is cool it is comfortable. I was determined to show Svein the grand tour of Long Eaton. So scarves on and beanies pulled over our ears, we strolled off to the High St.

Long Eaton has been invaded by a Tesco Extra, and an equally big ASDA store. Beside Tesco is a large Aldi Store. All of these stores have been constructed on the fringe of the central business district so it should come as no surprise to learn that the Long Eaton High St has been decimated. The High St, once the centre of commercial activity in the town, is now a ghostly mall with mostly charities and vacant shops. But there is one unlikely survivor, Rowells, a 19th century haberdashery shop. On entering the shop I am reminded of the haberdashery shops my mother visited in Stones Corner and Bay St Wynnum in the early 60’s. Perhaps because of Tesco and ASDA, Rowells continues to survive offering old time service and selections.

At the end of the High St where it joins Main St. we turn right and proceed to an abandoned building which must have once been the tallest in town with its clock tower above. Pasted on the grime and dirt covering the building is a hopeful notice of a planned renovation. I have no idea whether this is current or past history. We walk along Main St passed Bank St where once Glitter and Dance had its warehouse. The street is largely unpaved and derelict. Access to the warehouse was from the car park of another merchandise shop. It looks sad without the colourful posters inviting customers to drop in. We walk around past the Duchess Theatre which always looks closed but the advertising assures that a local theatre group will be putting on a show soon. Then past the “antiques shop” which apart from its contents is advertised for sale or lease. We walked on to the library and into Tamworth Rd. We followed the road around through Market Place back into Regent St and home. I have included photos of two icons of Long Eaton – Rowells, and the “antiques” shop.

Our next stop was the Attenborough wildlife centre. There are some new visitors, a flock of black and white tufted ducks (these are here all year round apparently but I don’t recall seeing them) and a porchard duck – all on his own. Some Canada Geese goslings were there in their teenage plumage. I showed Svein the bird hide but with everything else we wanted to achieve we could not go walking through the wetlands.

We drive into Nottingham stopping at the DH Lawrence centre in the grounds of the University of Nottingham where we have morning tea and check out the ice on the lake and how the birds are handling the cold weather. I had hoped to show Svein the George Green display but it has finished so we must go to the windmill.

On to Nottingham which sits on top of a sandstone shelf which has given the people of Nottingham the resource for caverns and tunnels under the city. We find a park below the place where Nottingham Castle once stood and park the car. Some of the tunnels and caverns are immediately apparent but the best thing we could do to show Svein how this rock shelf has been used was to visit the UK’s oldest pub – Ye Olde Trip to Jeruselum said to have been founded in 1187. We could not pass the Olde Trip and its rooms in the base of the Castle rock. A glass of mulled wine and an inspection of the pubs interior gives you a clear idea of how the locals used the sandstone shelf.  Pictures of the excavated sandstone and some of the caverns follow.

We head off to Sneiton and the windmill. This is the windmill where George Green Nottingham’s famous but almost forgotten mathematician started life and raised his family. Uneducated beyond primary school Green developed theories on physics and magnetism that are still in use today.

 

Then onto Southwell Minster and Arch Bishops Palace. A magnificent cathedral it has seen some of England’s more tumultuous events. From the tiles for the former Roman villa to the Saxon foundations the Norman nave and transepts with its gothic extensions it really is extraordinary. Some different photos of the Minster are set out below.

To end the day we went to Thoresby Abbey where Warner Hotels has brought the old Abbey back to life as part of one of its leisure hotels. Some different photos of the Abbey are below. The sun has now set as we warm ourselves in front of the fire with a beer in hand. It will take us an hour to drive back home but we have had a pleasant day.

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