I've been short of running adventures lately, and with yet another day of string wind and forecast downpours, my jaunt out to Muskham Lake was iced, and I decided to give up on things of beauty, and run through a rather different sort of landscape.
My initial run took me through Beacon Hill Park, and out through the entrance onto the industrial estate, wincing as my new running shoes had to encounter an unavoidable muddy puddle for the first time. I realised that the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have got their main sign down here, which seems rather odd as I can't believe many folk use this entrance to the site.
An uninspiring run and always rather dispiriting run along the southern edge of the modern industrial estate before heading across the Lincoln Road, and finding oneself, after a welcome of gyms, vets, and soft play centres, in a crumbling relic of Newark's riverside industry.
The first site you come across is Hoval Boilers, still in operation, but still with some old parts of the building intact dating back to its earliest 1887 incarnation as Farrar boilermakers. Olde worlde industrial boilers and heating systems have given way to biomass boilers and other new technologies.
My run then took me along a rough track towards the river, initially past what may have been part of the original Farrar site, but is now a tumbledown building forming part of a scrap yard.
Running along through the fascinating decay, you pass what looks like a small karting track made out of rubber tires, before you come to the end of the track at what I'm guessing is part of the original Quibell's glue factory, a company later taken over by Croda. Oliver Quibell was a major figure in the town's history, and once there was an infants school named after him in Newark. I should know, I went there.
Follow the path round, and you reach Newark's North Lock.
I didn't follow the path round; I doubled back on an overgrown path curiously dotted with some empty cans of Spam, to take me to Fiddler's Elbow Bridge, an evocatively named concrete structure rising steeply across the river, presumably to allow taller boats to access the factories beyond. It dates back to 1915.
More on Newark's bridges can be found here - The Ten Bridges of Newark
Once over the bridge, the route back to town leads you through rough farmland in which cows (and bulls!) were mercifully absent today. Across the river you can see remnants of wharves, long gone to make way for housing.
Developments such as this;
Carrying on along the river, a bridge marks your route. It's a very odd sort of bridge, with not much point to whatever sort of way it carries above, trapped as it is between the river and the bypass.
The final waypoint of the run is the new marina, upon which float barges used as homes, rather than to carry goods as they once did along this stretch of waterway.
At least the heritage section of the run was over, I still had another mile to go!