I finally found I could spare a bit of time which co-incided with sunny weather (because Derby does look much more attractive in the sunshine) and nipped into town for the sole purpose of capturing a flavour of the place where I live.
Actually, I say 'town', but more accurately I should be calling Derby the 'city', as it was awarded city status in 1977, the year of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. 'Going into town' is an expression which I grew up with and, like many such, it has stuck; even when I lived in Manchester, which is a fusion of cities!
Usually, when I drive into Derby, I enter down London Road. This photograph is actually taken looking away from town, towards Alvaston, just over 2 miles distant. It's a busy road lined with shops, restaurants and businesses and the double yellow lines along the road edge discourage parking. Once, this would have been the main road to London. Hence the name! Although it retains its road number, the A6 is not the vital long-distance route it once was, having been superseded by motorways; in this instance, the M1.
The mature trees which line this stretch of the road were appropriately chosen, being of the species London Plane. When in leaf, they are not dissimilar to the more familiar sycamore, but the distinctive bark is a big giveaway; it is layered and sheds throughout the year, showing the fresh pale grey of its underskin. It's this feature which makes the London Plane a great tree for a roadside location because the shedding of the bark makes it very tolerant of atmospheric pollution. Personally, I love the way these trees soften what would otherwise be quite a harsh environment.
A splash of colour is added by the bright red pillar box. Those who read my G post for alphabe-Thursday, will remember the wall post box which was marked GR and dated from the reign of King George V (George Rex 1910 - 1936). This box is also GR, but you will notice the style of the lettering is far more ornate and includes a small VI, indicating that this box dates from the reign of our present Queen's father, King George VI (1936 - 1952).