Tuesday, 29 May 2018

The 35’s wild side - more than a walk in a park

A long time since I've posted. The good news is the 35 bus continues to run as frequently as ever. I've been going through a poorly patch (you can read about other parts of my life on my beestonweek blog (see link in right-hand column).

I have a sponsor for a revised 35 History Bus Map and will be updating the map as soon as I have finished some existing commitments (bus boxes for a friend's wedding and a new Beeston Town Centre map for Beeston Civic Society, and a birthday commission for a friend).

The new map will highlight the 35's 'wild side', making more of the nature reserves it goes close to and and other 'overgrown places' within a few minutes of a 35 bus stop.

I hope to find the time to bring together the 35 bus walks you can find littered across this blog and my old parkviews blog and the beestonweek blog too.

I have it mind to create a series of themed walks around history, housing, people and the wild side. To start with the latter, a selection of pics from older blogs, complete with links:

River Leen by Bulwell Bog in view of 35 teminus.

Oldmoor Wood, Strelley, a tree creeper. 10 minutes walk from Wigman Road Top.

Oldmoor Wood at bluebell time.

View from Trowell Moor, a 5 minute walk from the top of Wollaton Vale.

A stream through Harrison Plantation Nature Reserve, 15 minutes from Bracebridge Drive enroute to the Derby Road, both served by the 35.

Old Nottingham Canal Nature Reserve path 10 minutes from Wollaton Vale.

Dunkirk Pond Nature Reserve, a pleasant 15 minute walk across Nottingham University's main campus from the 35 North Entrance bus stop.

The Tottlebrook footpath linking Nottingham University's main campus with Dunkirk.

Nottingham City Council cut-backs have resulted in Tottlebrook and its corridor of green not getting the attention it used to. There have always been blackberries to pick, but now they overhang the footpath in bunches like grapes. 

This footpath follows the old course of the River Leen from Grove Road in New Lenton to Gregory Street in Old Lenton before it's diversion c.100 years ago. A short half-hour walk from the Derby Road Savoy Cinema 35 bus stop to the route's DErby Road Hillside bus stop within sight of where the present-day course of the Leen goes beneath the Derby Road. The walk passes the sparse ruins of the medieval Lenton Priory, then along beside the Leen to Hillside.

The Leen between Abbey Street and the Derby Road follows the course of the old Nottingham Canal and runs beside Nottingham's QMC Hospital and Treatment Centre. It can fairly be described as a green watery corridor.

Not as overgrown as it was, but the Priory (pocket) Park at the junction of Gregory Street and Abbey Street, still seems a little wild to me. Perhaps that's because it's one my favourite Lenton Places.

Lenton's Holy Trinity (parish) Church is on Church Street, across Lenton's historic recreation ground, and within view of the 35 bus stop beside the park. Much of the year the churchyard is overgrown which allows snowdrops and the Lenton Crocus to form carpets of white and mauve across the ground. The crocuses are said to have come from France with the Cluniac monks who founded Lenton Priory in c.1109 (it lasted until 1538 when Henry VIII's Dissolution brought about its closure and subsequent destruction).

And what makes all these links possible is a large fleet of orange coloured Nottingham City Transport buses on routes 34, 35 and 36.

Which nicely brings me to what has prompted this post, a BBC news story yesterday about a scenic bus route in North Yorkshire called 'The Coastliner'which makes just 4 journeys a day, and one of my favourite Radio 4 programmes, 'Open Country'. Whenever buses make the news I am delighted. They get scant attention, so the Coastliner story prompted me to email Open Country and suggest they come and spend a day exploring Nottingham's wild places on a 35 bus:

I've been a long time Open Country listener and, living in the Beeston part of the Nottingham conurbation, I particularly enjoy the urban episodes. The ‘Most Scenic’ Bus Route Vote news story (BBC News website today, 28 May) prompts me to contact you about my historybybus blogspot which promotes Nottingham City Transport’s 35 bus route between the city centre and Bulwell on the city’s north-west edge. During the course of its journey it passes by or near many ‘wild locations’, a good few of which are nature reserves. The 35 runs every 10 minutes during the day Monday-Saturday (3 per hour evenings and Sunday).

Nottingham City Transport have given several local groups buses for the day over recent years so that I could introduce folk to the joys of the 35 bus route. 

The idea just struck me that perhaps Open Country could get a 35 bus for a day and fill it with Nottingham folk who Open Country could talk to about the city’s  open country you can easily explore by 35 bus? 

The idea is, I hope, novel, and will, of course, help publicise one of England.’s great urban bus routes, that is very wild in places.

Visit my historybybus blogspot to get an idea of just how of Nottingham can be fairly described as ‘open country’! 


Robert Howard.

We shall see...

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

New edition of 35 History Bus Leaflet coming soon

I will be launching a new edition of my 35 History Bus leaflet at the Lenton Priory Martinmass Fair on 14 October 2017. Here is a preview. Just click on the image to enlarge.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Seeing Nottingham City Centre a little differently

Here is the updated version of my Nottingham City Centre map which is different to other city centre maps because it extends from Hyson Green in the north to Trent Bridge in the south.

The map will be at the centre of a new Nottingham History by Bus spider map I am creating, so watch this blog.

There is a blank template showing just the streets which others can use free provide it is not used for profit.

Usual rule applies. Simply click on the map to enlarge.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Box Boxes update

Now that I'm back on my feet (it's six months since I had open heart surgery) I am reworking the 35 map for the Lenton Martinmass Fair in October and working on a new box following several requests over recent weeks (more when it happens). Lucy in the @ Little Magpies crafty shop on Beeston High Road is selling my boxes and friends ask me for one-offs and I have had an event in Beeston in mind for next summer (capturing a moment in time in Beeston Town Centre and recreating it outside Lucy's 2 Little Magpies using cardboard buses, cars etc.

By coincidence (Nottingham) City Arts have an event using cardboard boxes planned for December this year which I only found out about this week. 

I suddenly realised I have no photos of the current version of the bus box except one including me taking at the Lakeside local history fair last year.

The good news is that I have worked out how to fold a scored sheet ready to cut and glue in just one place so it can go into an envelope to be posted. It's taken a year but it's happened by chance.

I will start posting more as History By Buses gets more of my attention.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Kegworth with Sutton Bonington Spider Map

I have created this 'spider' map in the the style of a map familiar to bus users in London. You will find them at almost every bus stop. My map is for use by Nottingham University's Students' Union, who asked me to design a map for them. I admit to be being pleased with the outcome.

The test, of course, is the map's legibility and whether or not it holds the viewer's attention. I hope it will. Anyway have a look and make up your own mind.

The map can be used by anyone.

Remember, click on the map to enlarge.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Bilborough 35 History Bus Day less than a week away.

All aboard for a special Bilborough day. Ding ding!

This post is still a work in progress. It should be finished by 8 July 

Welcome to a unique post, based on Nottingham City Transport's 35 bus route between Bulwell and Nottingham City Centre, using maps copied from a Burrow's Pointer Guide Map of Nottingham c.1960, which you can find on the Notts History website created and managed by Andy Nicholson.

The blog has been created to accompany a one-off day organised by St Martin's Church, Bilborough, and generously supported by Nottingham City Transport.

The 35 bus route could fairly be designated Nottingham's 'Heritage Bus Route', for it takes you on a ride through history to a string of 'pre-conquest' communities, all with entries in the Domesday Book of 1086, which is a unique record of who owned what in William the Conquerer's England. Look through its pages and you will find place names at every twist and turn of a 35 bus, beginning with Bulwell, them Hempshill, Strelley, Bilborough, Wollaton, Lenton and finally, of course, Nottingham. To hear these place names in Old English is to hear our forebears speak: Bul(e)uuelle; Hamessal; Straelie/Straleia; Bileburch/burg; Waletone/Ol(l)avestone; Lentone/tune; Snoting(e)ham/quin.

If our 35 was able to go back a thousand years, it would also visit, or go very near, two 'lost' Lenton 'pre-Conquest' communities: Mortune and Sudtune/tone (now remembered as Sutton Passeys, the name having been revived in the 20th century). Nine of Nottingham's fifteen pre-Conquest communities are on its route. No other Nottingham bus route comes close to claiming the title 'Heritage Bus Route'.

The map below accompanies an entry on the Our Nottinghamshire website entitled 'A city greater than the sum of its parts'. The 

All the old photographs are from the Picture the Past website, the online image archive of Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, where there are thousands more photographs not only to look at, but buy as well.

The old adverts have been taken from a c.1936 Nottingham Official Handbook issued by Authority of Nottingham City Council. It is a treasure trove of information.

The orange line on the six maps below shows the route of the 35 from Bulwell to Nottingham City Centre. Many of the places which existed in 1960 have disappeared completely or have been replaced by parks, hotels, nature reserves, tram-tracks, housing and new roads.

The 35 bus route was created in about 1983. Its predecessors were the 55 between Bulwell and Bilborough and the 63 between Wollaton Vale and the City Centre.

If this Ride into History on a 35 has a theme of sorts, then it is housing. Nottingham has much to be proud off when it comes to housing, For all its black spots in the past and its failure to build more public housing in recent decades, the blame for this can be fairly laid at the door of successive central governments of all political persuasions.

Industry runs housing a close second, though in 2014 there is not much to see. In 1960 it would have been very different.

A trolleybus in Bulwell Market Place (enter years started and finished).

Babbington Colliery also known as Cinderhill Colliery (enter dates)

Holden Square, Cinderhill c1950. Also known as Brickyard Square (check).

 Broxtowe Boy by Derrick Buttress story and link to be entered.

Roman Broxtowe link to be entered.

Broxtowe Hall, demolished to make way for the Broxtowe estate. Location marked by the present-day street name, Broxtowe Hall Close.

Oxmoor Wood, Strelley, within ten minutes walk of the 35 bus (see walk page to be added).

At first glance this could be Tuscany, Italy. In fact its a view from Oxmoor Woods.

Balloon Houses, Bilborough, on the Trowell Road, demolished xxxx.

'Tottlebrook Bridge' on the Derby Road, located a few yards west of what is now the Priory Island roundabout.

Sherwood Foresters in September 1914 crossing the River Leen in Lenton, with the old Rose & Crown pub to the left of the photograph.

Spring Close, Lenton, showing the canal. The area was completely cleared to make way for the construction of the Queen's Medical Centre (add Lenton Times reference and link).

Lenton Lodge at Hillside by the Derby Road (add info)

Lenton Times link to be entered

South-west corner of Derby Road / Lenton Boulevard junction.

Lenton Savoy Cinema in 1949, surrounded by buildings (add info about makeover and when).

Nottingham Victoria Station forecourt, with Hotel to the right. Today, only the clock tower and Victoria Hotel remain.

Trolleybuses on Milton Street, outside the Victoria Hotel, in Nottingham City Centre, c1950. The 35 passes this spot every day as it makes its way to its own stop outside the Victoria Centre, by the entrance to John Lewis.

A view of the old Victoria Station clock tower from the 35 bus stop outside John Lewis.

A view down Angel Row, towards Old Market Square, from Mount Street
(add a 2014 photograph yet to be taken).


Each number refers to a location. See list beneath map for details (links to be added).