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Memories and pictures by older residents

A painting by the late Don Bednall of Bullbridge of the Cromford Canal near the Canal Inn, in the 1950s - by kind permission of his widow, Amy Bednall.

Here are a few pictures of Bullbridge and Sawmills as it used to be, before the Bullbridge Aqueduct of the Cromford canal was demolished (1968) for instance. We have quite a few photographs, and copies of a very few paintings, already - but please email or speak to Gill, David or Freda if you have old photographs or an old painting or drawing. We also want your memories of what it has been like to live in the Bullbridge and Sawmills area. We want to collect all sorts of memories and pictures. In time, we will be able to put some booklets together which we hope will be of interest to everyone.

Click on the pictures to read the captions.

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The Bullbridge lime kilns from Bullbridge hill

The Bullbridge lime kilns from Smith's Rough on Bullbridge hill

This photo must have been taken before 1939 because the brick houses opposite the Stevenson's site have yet to be built. The Canal Inn is in the foreground on the left hand side. The canal bridge on Bullbridge Hill is in the centre foreground. The Cromford canal itself is full of water and stretches around to the right, towards Bullbridge aqueduct, just out of sight.

You can also see one of the two gas holders on Gas Lane (now Drovers Way) on the right of the photo. There are several cottages clustering around the canal bridge, many of which are now demolished, sadly. The lower part of the gable wall of one of them can still be found in the towpath wall beside what is now the duck pond, on the edge of Stevenson's old car park.

Sawmills and Bullbridge from Bullbridge hill

Sawmills and Bullbridge from Smith's Rough

This view is looking more to the right (SE) of the above view. Both views are from the same photograph. The canal bridge on Bullbridge Hill is in the left foreground; the Lord Nelson is the white building with the double-pitched roof in the right foreground. The second gas holder can just be seen behind the gas manager's house (now called Hamilton House). The Bullbridge aqueduct is clearly seen striding high over the River Amber as well as the main railway line. Sawmills hamlet is in the middle distance, clustered round the bend in the Ripley road.

Note long-gone farming practices - the horse grazing in the field, now part of the Stevenson's site, and the haystacks. Bullbridge was very much a farming hamlet before the arrival of the Cromford canal in 1792.


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