Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Wednesday 27 August 2014 – An Evening Walk from Marton

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After a visit to Alan R (thanks for the Scotch) and a leisurely dinner with Sue and a pleasant bottle of Chablis, I joined Sue and Andrew in the Davenport Arms, Marton, for a welcome beer before this easy stroll through a few of Deepest Cheshire’s electrically fenced fields.

We soon passed St James' and St Paul's Parish Church, part of the Church of England in the Diocese of Chester. The Church building is thought to be the oldest of its kind still in use in Europe. It was founded in 1343, and much of what was built then is still there, including Andrew.

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After a few fields we found a suitable post for a self-timed picture. Thanks to Photoshop I’ve been able to straighten the image.

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Sue found a friend who wouldn’t insult her, as is her habit, before reaching Sandpit Farm, from where a permissive footpath led pleasantly past Messuage Farm and onwards to arrive at the Black Swan in the Gleadsmoss district of Lower Withington.

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We downed a couple of pints before deciding to try to catch up with Andrew, who had deserted us beyond Sandpit Farm and taken a shortcut, claiming “my leg is still broken”, though we suspect the fleshpots of Marton (namely the Davenport Arms) may have been the distraction.

It was dark as we returned on the northern leg of this 8 km circuit to reconvene in the bar of the Davenport Arms.

A pleasant route, blighted only by a few inconsiderately lively electric fences that may have triggered a few faux pas in this report….

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Don’t ask me how we managed to drive home!

Wednesday 27 August 2014 – Plodders Visit The Hidden Valley

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The motley crew of fourteen East Lancs LDWA Plodders left the cool and breezy layby opposite Owd Betts pub bang on time at 10.30. Hard luck, anyone who may have been a few minutes late!

We were soon in a more sheltered spot down by Lumb Bridge, in a valley where there used to be many water powered mills, none of which is currently operational.

We paused for Paul (out of picture – above) to take a self-timed photo that will appear elsewhere.

There are many remnants of these various mills.

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We noted that the entire valley has a 'man-made' appearance, as we made our way to this chimney near Deep Moss.

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After elevenses and cake here, our group of fourteen dashed off up the heathery slopes of Deep Moss. The ling was in full bloom.

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Not everyone could keep up with Bernard's rapid pace. A series of ‘waits’ took place beside the foamy waters of Cheesden Brook.

Neil was valiantly trying to keep his disparate group together.

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We passed an interesting 'barn conversion in progress' near Cleggs Wood, after which the spires of Heywood beckoned as we loped down to the lowest point of the walk.

After that, beside Naden Brook, it was all uphill, which proved a bit much for Carol, but a breeze for most of us.

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A facsimile of Norman's skeleton had been pinned to the cliff face opposite.. "he upset the landowner", explained Neil. In deference to elderly sub-elite Plodders like Norman, I’ve excluded the photo.

Beside Naden Brook, the 'Hidden Valley' was a riot of foliage that concealed the brook, man made waterfalls, tunnels, mill buildings and groups of picnickers in this haven of industrial archaeology.

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We crossed a bridge near the Owl Sanctuary that led shortly to a café, which sadly was shut, so no respite there… so we meandered slowly back up to Owd Betts, from where a mercy mission to rescue Carol was launched.

Here's our route - 15km, 300 metres ascent, in 4.5 hours. A really excellent and interesting route. Thanks, Neil.

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There’s a slideshow here. I hope the link works; Google seems to have disabled the links to all my old slideshows as they bully me into using Google+ rather than the version I’ve been happy with for years. To view the slideshow you need to click on the first image then either manually use the arrows and note the captions to the right, or click on ‘slideshow’ to view the full screen images at your leisure.

Here’s Neil’s report:

Fourteen Plodders and a dog ventured into the Hidden Valleys of Rochdale on a dry but breezy Wednesday.

The circular walk took them through Cheesden Valley, Deeply Dale, Ashworth Valley and Naden Valley, passing long forgotten old industrial sites with stone remains, lodges, bridges, chimneys and mill streams.

The walkers were warned at the off that gaiters were recommended as some of the paths where prone to mud at the best of times, but some managed to keep reasonably clean even without them.

The Cheesden Brook provided power for over fourteen mills during the nineteenth century and work for over two thousand people. Walking through the valleys now it is difficult to imagine them all fitting into such a confined space.

The Haweswater water system that feeds Manchester passes through the valley and between 1976-79 Deeply Vale was the site of a free music festival. The festival managed to overcome bad publicity and its soggy debut to become the major event in the free festival scene in the late seventies.

It's amazing how nature can reclaim the land after such interference by man but the old mills and lodges now add to the character of the valleys.

Passing a scout campsite on the opposite side of Ashworth Valley, the walkers crossed Ashworth Road and walked through a residential caravan site, the party entered the Naden Valley passing the old Carr Wood Tea rooms and more old mill sites. The route passed Millcroft Gardens Tearooms, which, unfortunately doesn't open midweek. It was steadily up hill from then on to reach Edenfield Road and the Owd Betts public house beside which the cars where parked.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Jacob at Malham Cove

On a lovely camping trip with Kate and Grandad. (Jacob's first camping experience.)

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wednesday 20 August 2014 – Historic Marple

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Last Wednesday’s walk with SWOG has been sitting in my ‘in tray’ for too long. I’d hoped to find time to convey some of the historic detail provided so eloquently by Jack during the course of the walk, but the enemy (time) has intervened.

Congregating outside the Navigation pub, about 35 of us embarked on this 6.5km wander, with frequent interruptions from Jack to explain a little of Marple’s rich history.

We went up to the junction where the Peak Forest Canal is joined by the Macclesfield Canal at the top of Marple’s long flight of locks.

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It’s a nice view down to what used to be a large boatyard on the edge of the Peak District.

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Retracing our steps, a narrow path led us over the railway line, but not before we had admired the arches under some houses. Here in the past an arm of the canal ran along to some lime kilns that have now been mostly demolished for ‘safety reasons’.

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The path brought us out on a familiar track to Roman Lakes. We crossed the River Goyt and admired the remnants of the once magnificent Mellor Mill.

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A short diversion led us the the Wellington Wheelpit. This recently excavated gem of industrial history housed a giant wheel 22 feet in diameter and 17 feet wide.

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Jack was in his element.

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Continuing along Low Lea Road into Marple Bridge, we re-joined the Goyt. The waterfall is probably one of many weirs hereabouts, dating from the days of the Industrial Revolution. One of the weirs near here is a folly, as the builder of the weir ran out of money before he could built the accompanying mill.

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The Midland seems recently to have been refurbished. Our evening walk on 9 September starts from here.

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We crossed into Brabyns Park and passed this pond, which was no doubt part of the mill system.

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Dusk fell as 35 people bumbled along beside the River Goyt until we reached a rather overly engineered refurbished bridge next to a talking post. You may have heard about the talking statues in Manchester. This talking post (too dark to photograph) wouldn’t shut up, rather weirdly chatting to passing strangers in the dark.

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And it was properly dark by the time we got back to The Navigation and its helpful and friendly landlord, after a short walk along the canal and through a park, where Jack gave further explanations on all that is Marple.

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6.5 km, with not much ascent, in less than 2 hours.

Thanks go to Jack for making this walk interesting and informative. I wish I could remember more of the detail!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Bake Off – Swiss Roll Challenge

Last weekend was spent with a number of ‘Bake-Off’ fans. Whilst I try to avoid the TV programme, I am up for a challenge. So Andrew and I both tried to make Swiss Rolls in a private bake-off challenge.

Unfortunately we both ate them before we could compare tastes, so judging has to be by comparing the photos. Andrew had the advantage of a skilled photographer, whilst all I could manage was an over-exposed self-timed effort.

Andrew:

“It was a Mary Berry recipe and I filled it with buttercream xiong and myrtille jam.”

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Martin:

“It was my own recipe and I filled it with whipping cream and blueberry jam.” (The jam may have been a bad choice due to large lumps of blueberry that make the filling look uneven – that’s my excuse!)

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Sue says she wants a re-match. I wonder why.