“Go to Walker Street and stand in front of the third house. Look across at Crich on the left, Underwood in front, High Park Woods and Annesley on the right. I know that view better than any in the world. That is the country of my heart.”
These words were written in 1926 by Eastwood-born author DH Lawrence.
If you stand on the same spot today your eyes are drawn to a different view — a derelict wasteland and dumping ground where Walker Street School once proudly stood.
Tomorrow (Saturday July 19 2014) will mark the tenth anniversary since the school gates closed for the last time and Nottinghamshire County Council went on to inflict a ghastly scar on the Eastwood landscape, in my view.
After being completely neglected for a decade, Mother Nature has been valiantly fighting back and gradually reclaiming the land for herself. But the trees and shrubbery were abruptly hacked back a few months ago when the potential of development came about.
The developer’s plans for retirement accommodation that were put forward towards the end of 2013 now seem to be stuck in Broxtowe Council’s planning process. I’m not sure whether this is a good or bad thing.
Whilst I have no problems with using the site for yet more retirement homes, I don’t want to see Eastwood’s skyline dominated by three and four-storey blocks. The recent sale of the Victory Club to a property developer only adds to my concerns.
I commend Eastwood Town Council on its recent initiative to give local people more of a say on what happens in Eastwood. But I fear it is too late for the old school site and its fate will be decided not in Eastwood, but in Beeston and West Bridgford. Let’s hope that it doesn’t take another ten years (unless, of course, we are able to leave Mother Nature to her own devices). If he was still around today, I wonder what DH Lawrence would have to say!