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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Ivanhoe trail at Glenfield near Leicester

A desire to see some of the places where I lived as a child, up to going into
the armed forces at seventeen and a half, led me back to Glenfield and Ratby in Leicestershire.
The SKYLINK bus from Derby to Leicester was the most convenient and cheapest, using my bus pass!
Initially, I was going to start at Glenfield, and finish at Ratby, but sitting in the St Margarets bus station
in Leicester, I discovered that the SKYLINK bus stand  was next door to a bus stand for Ratby. From
the notice board I noted that I had about a quarter of an hour to wait for the Ratby bus. So that is what I did. The bus route actually had stops at least at two stops adjacent to access points on the rail route, which has been nomiated NCN63 and given the name of "Ivanhoe Trail". I chose the stop near the start of the Ratby end. Conveniently handy for the "Railway Inn" at what was a level crossing site, illustrated in the first photo.
SK517 053

Commencement of trail from Ratby 

Taverners Drive crossing SK519 054

M1 underbridge SK523 055

A46 underpass SK526 057

Underpass junction of M1 and A46

Pipeline by trail

Approach to Mill Lane (Used to be Barrows Lane)SK531 059

Overview of fields to outskirts of Glenfield. SK532 060

Glenfield old mill house SK538 061
This mill used to have a mill wheel and a footpath crossing the brook by means of
two giant slate slabs. The farmer levered these two slabs into the brook to stop people using
the footpath which started at the old sand pit on Barrows Lane, and came out on Kirby Lane adjacent
to the Church school. In the days when rights of way were subject to all sorts of abuse. The mill building itself was used by the Glenfield Home Guard as a strong? point, with sand bags around the doorway end.
Abandoned when the roof fell in. I note on my walk, that the roof has been replaced!
A concrete pill box also stood in the middle of the field between Kirby Land and the mill.

Crossing Mill Lane SK535 062

Mill Lane looking towards the village

Glenfield brook from SK535 061

"Jimmy squeaker" as we used to call this tiny tunnel from the brook to the other side of the railway crossing on Mill Lane. As children (nutters) we used to crawl through this tunnel to the other end or reverse! Gives me col shudders now to think of it. Slate slabs were used for the roof, and I remember that in one place, a slab was partially dislodged, narrowing the crawl through space to about half! The total length must have been at least one hundred feet!

Crossing Glenfield Brook again SK538 063

My mother's sister used to live in this bungalow, now much extended. SK539 064

This is the site of the bungalow where I lived when I was about 3 or four years old. The bungalow has been demolished It had a toilet at the bottom of the garden. No running water. Fetched from a pump in a neighbouring property. Gas light and cooking. No electricity. Liable to be flooded.

View from the railway bridge down to the lane where our bungalow was.

The bridge adjacent to our bungalow. The area was always referred to as "The Gardens"

The trail after West Street bridge.

This used to be a dead end when the railway was running. The Cooperative "Progress" shoe factory
where my mother worked for many years is on the right.

Seating area at the site of Glenfield level crossing and station site across Station Road

Work taking place at Glenfield Station Road level crossing site SK542 065

Glenfield Railway Hotel adjacent to Glenfield station.

A mock up rail stop adjacent to Glenfield level crossing

Start point of footpath to tunnel entrance on Loxley Road 

"52 steps" now only 50 and made of concrete instead of original wooden ones.SK544 065

Tunnel entrance. No access. Photo from SK544 064

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