from Ted Marriott
View from Abbey Bridge
We were all about the same age and we used to play on the sandy bank of the Abbey Bridge, hence known as 'sandybanks'. Climbing up to the top and sliding down on cardboard boxes flattened to make a sledge, we could see no danger even though the railings at the bottom had deadly sharp points. The photo right taken in 1999, shows the end of the 'Pad' and the railway bridge where we used to sit on the wooden fence train spotting.
Petersham Street before demolition (1970s)
New homes are built where the old terrace houses of Petersham Street once stood and are now grandly renamed Petersham Mews complete with newly planted trees.
Grove Road still runs from the bridge to Castle Boulevard. At the far right of the railway line is the bridge over the canal where we used to swim and further back can be seen the marina.
Our 'Swimming Pool'
Nottingham Canal 1900
The old terraced houses of Petersham Street. on the right (top), now given way to the new Petersham Mews (below)
Nottingham Canal 2003
On the left is the remaining greenery of our 'jungle'.
Our Jungle of the 1950s
Across the canal at the bottom of Petersham St and Alderney St, was an overgrown area of land and marsh with a stream meandering through it. It stretched from the railway bridge at the bottom of Petersham St to an area opposite the Nottingham Castle and covered an area from the canal, back to The Gun Factory, Camel Lairds and the railway yards and sidings of an area known as The Meadows. We used to call it the 'Jungle' and spent many an adventurous day trying to hit rats with our home made 'galleys', better known as catapults, or swinging across the stream and canal on a rope we'd rig up.
Jungle ... What jungle?
We also made our own bow and arrows and really went native in the jungle. I was always getting told off whenever I came back from these expeditions, either because I would be filthy and/or my trousers torn from climbing trees. My trousers had patches on patches and even Pete Bradley suggested giving me the nickname 'Patches'. I’m glad to say it never caught on.
Castle Marina - 2003
The area that was our 'Jungle' is now built upon. It is now the Castle Marina and Retail Park. There is also an American style hotel, a restaurant, and a bridge to the boulevard. Our green natural jungle is now just a distant memory.
Of course it is only missed in the memory of the people who played there as youngsters. The improvement to the derelict land has provided jobs for hundreds of people at the retail park, homes on the 'Quayside' and a leisure amenity with the marina. And of course it has tidied the canal side, making it more attractive.
And would you believe it…..we are part of the tourist route.