Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Friday, 17 August 2018

Thursday 16 August 2018 – A Bimble from the Bells of Peover

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The last of Andrew’s ‘Deepest Cheshire’ evening walks of this season (doesn’t the time fly past!) took place, starting from the Bells of Peover pub, from the outside of which the seating that we’ve found convenient in the past has been removed. No matter, we congregated in the beer garden after finding somewhere to park in an overflow area. The place was heaving with diners, having become more a restaurant than the pub as we new it back in the 1970s.

The famous five – Andrew, Richard, Jenny, Sue and Martin, were joined on this occasion by Sue’s old work associate, Manu, for whom a walk involving stiles and tree trunks took her slightly out of her comfort zone.

We set off in bright sunshine despite some ominous moisture on the garden furniture following a recent shower.

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The weather had cleared, leaving us to enjoy a bright evening in pleasant countryside – not too hot and not too cold.

Here’s the view in an area named Foxcovert.

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After a while, the sun dipped below the horizon and we found ourselves on recently adjusted paths to protect the privacy of the owners of some new homes. The path did however pass through the garden of a large property between Sandy Lane and Heath Lane. It goes to the rear of the house, past an ornamental pond with plastic swans in residence.

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At the front of the house a fleet of sheep have been deployed to mow the lawn (or are they just pretending?).

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An old willow tree observes the goings on in lofty silence.

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At the end of Heath Lane, we turned left onto Townfield Lane before walking carefully along the wide verge of the boy racing venue known as the A50 road, where the intelligentsia seem to think that all the ‘50’ signs refer to the number of the road and not to the speed limit. 

The Drovers Arms in Allostock started life as a farmhouse and spent many years as a hostelry, before closing in 2010 and subsequently being acquired by Equiport as a venue for the manufacture of horse rugs and riding jackets. At least it’s not a derelict shell like some former pubs featured on these pages.

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Here’s what it looked like in 2009.

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From the Drovers Arms it’s a pleasant stroll back through fields beside a busy stream to our starting point, where the ancient St Oswald’s Church, dating from 1269, stands next to the Bells of Peover (so named after a former owner, not by virtue of its proximity to the church).

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An excellent little outing, concluded as darkness was falling. Thanks go to Andrew for organising this series of walks, and hopefully there will be some more to enjoy next year. I’ll also be arranging some winter evening walks in the environs of Timperley and Altrincham.

Here’s our route – 6 km with minimal ascent, in a very leisurely hour and a half.

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Comment notification in Blogger

Back in May, Google’s Blogger product stopped sending emails to bloggers notifying them of comments received. This meant that we had to go into the Blogger dashboard to view comments, and for new postings we could receive comments by email after sending a dummy comment and ticking the notification box.

Today I found the following advice on how to fix the issue, and it does seem to work for me.


“For anyone using Blogger: if you haven't been receiving email notification of blog comments this is how to fix the issue.
  1. Go into Blogger - Settings - Email
  2. Delete your email address in the box for comment notification
  3. Click SAVE SETTINGS
  4. Add your email back and click SAVE SETTINGS

You should receive an email where you confirm that you want to subscribe to receive email  notifications of comments.
If you use any comment moderation, you need to repeat the same steps under Settings - Posts, Comments, Sharing
AND, if you have been using the Email Post To (under Settings - Email), you need to copy the addresses, delete, SAVE SETTINGS, paste them back and SAVE SETTINGS. The recipients will receive an email where they can authorize receiving the posts.”

______________________________________________________________

Other News
We have a spare 40” Samsung LCD TV if anyone wants one. Six or seven years old but it should work fine. Let us know (
martin@topwalks.com).

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Wednesday 15 August 2018 – Pomona Metrolink Construction

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A repeat of last Tuesday’s bike ride. Just a bit of exercise, but I stopped to take a couple of pictures by the Ship Canal where the Metrolink extension from Pomona to the Trafford Centre is being constructed.

Hopefully they’ll tidy up the site when they’ve finished.

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This is a dry route with a good surface at all times of the year, which is very handy for an off road ride. There’s less than a couple of km on roads, though the section from the BBC studios to Eccles is on a cycle track next to the road.

Here’s the route again – 26km, 40 metres ascent, in an hour and a quarter or so today. Easy (and quicker) on a road bike if you have one.

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Monday 13 August 2018 – Another Bike Ride to Phoenix Park (Runcorn)

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Andy Wright recommended this route a couple of years ago, and I enjoyed the ride on 18 September 2016. A detailed record of that ride is here, so I’ll make this one brief.

I met Richard and Paul at 8.30 am at Seamons Moss Bridge, where the repair work is continuing at a pedestrian pace. At least the necessary diversion is very short, and pedestrians and cyclists are allowed over the bridge.

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This bridge, next to the now defunct Bay Malton pub, marks the end of industrial Altrincham and the start of the Cheshire countryside through which the Bridgewater Canal now passes. Here’s the view in the other direction, towards Cheshire.

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As before, the towpath was followed all the way through Lymm to Stockton Heath. There are occasional signs indicating ‘no bikes’, but today the towpath was firm and I can’t see that we were doing any harm by using it with courtesy on our bikes. Apart from one woman, everyone was friendly and no objections were raised. Later on our ride, some narrower and muddier paths were encountered on the Trans Pennine Trail that is a recognised cycling route.

We took a short break from the towpath between Stockton Heath and Acton Grange Bridge, using bridleways and quiet lanes by way of variety.

Here’s the view from, and the team at, Acton Grange Bridge.

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Leaving the towpath at Red Brow Lane, we followed tarmac to muddle our way into Town Park then Phoenix Park, where the Urban Cafe that I used in 2016 was sadly closed down..

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Andy W had usefully commented that we might find a café at Norton Priory, so we found our way past a building side to the canal again, and a footbridge that led into the grounds of Norton Priory Museum & Gardens. The Brooke Café saw to our needs (coffee and cake), and the whole site looked worthy of a longer visit.

The cycle path through Moore Meadows was a big improvement over my previous route, and we soon found ourselves next to the Manchester Ship Canal, hidden from view for a few kilometres until we reached the well signposted Trans Pennine Trail and familiar ground closer to home.

By now the drizzle was thickening and when we looked back to the bridge seen below ahead of us, that same bridge was engulfed in a watery mist that was slowly gaining ground on us.

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The good news was that the wind was behind us. The bad news was that it was carrying with it ever heavier rain. By the time I got home I was still warm, but literally ‘soaked to the skin’, leaving a big puddle on the kitchen floor…

Here’s the route, by way of an overview, many alternative options being feasible. My route from home was 63 km with 150 metres ascent, taking 4 hours plus stops. An excellent ride, and thanks to Richard and Paul for joining me.

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Same time, same place, similar route next week – Monday 20 August.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Saturday 11 August 2018 – Wythenshawe parkrun number 351

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Saturday morning, 8.45: Oliver is omnipresent in Wythenshawe Park, and has had plenty of time to learn his ‘First Timer’s Briefing’ script.

Meanwhile, the hordes gather for this week’s bout of weekend exercise.

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Just before 9 am: Today’s Run Director, Tris, mounts his rostrum to address 311 assembled runners from all over the country.

“We aren’t sole users of the park, dogs on short leads, children to look after their accompanying adults, cake thanks to Catherine Lay, etc, etc.”

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Nearly half an hour later, elite volunteer Ken (his elite runner status is on hold until after his forthcoming knee operation) keeps the dogs at bay whilst some quicker runners are heading for the finish.

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Ron storms past Syd to finish in 28.49.

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Unlike this sub-30 pushchair, Syd still has a lap to go…

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The pushchair is ahead of Diana, Charlotte, Sue and Cary, who all fail the 30 minute hurdle. [Does that matter? No, it’s just an observation to pad out this text!]

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Sue and Cary were having a good chat, anyway.

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Afterwards the hordes strolled round the corner and crowded into the spacious quarters of the Courtyard Tea Room.

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As always, a splendid way to start the weekend.

Full results are here.

And congratulations to Gayle, who has been doing quite a bit of running recently and achieved a Personal Best in Stuttgart this morning.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Thursday 9 August 2018 – An Evening Walk from the Whipping Stocks

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Thursday evening saw us return to Deepest Cheshire for the latest in this year’s series of summer evening walks led by Andrew. Apparently one took place whilst Sue and I were sunning ourselves in Austria, and everyone got soaked. But not tonight. Richard and Jenny turned out with their friends, Paul and Helen, so it was a team of seven who set out on another fine evening on a good path across Ambrose Acre towards Peover Superior.

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Beyond Eelcage Covert (the mind boggles!) we reached the church that is attached by a gateway to Peover Hall.

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The house dates from before 1585 and was built for Sir Ralph Mainwaring. There have been frequent alterations, including the building of a stable block in 1654. In 1919 the Mainwaring family sold the house, and it was sold again to Harry Brooks in 1940. During the Second World War the house was requisitioned and used by General George Patton and his staff. The hall was also used as a prisoner of war camp, and as a resettlement home for allied prisoners of war and for English people repatriated after the partition of India. It was returned to the Brooks family in 1950. A wing built in the 1760’s was in poor condition and was demolished in 1964, taking the house from 21 to 11 bedrooms. Other modifications were made, including a new entrance. According to Wikipedia, Randle and Juliet Brooks currently reside in the Hall.

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There’s a plaque above the door of the stable block built in 1654.

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More information about this splendid old building can be found here.

Our walk continued past a chrysanthemum factory and along quiet Cheshire lanes to reach Sandy Lane – a pleasant track from which we could enjoy a pretty sunset.

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After this pleasant hour and a half’s meander, we were back at the start, wondering what the place would have been like in our ancestors’ times.

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Whilst whipping may still be allowed (there was no sign saying it wasn’t), Sue noted the sign below with envy. Apparently her NHS workplace could do with a similar notice…

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Here’s our route, a pleasant 7 km amble with minimal ascent, taking an hour and a half.

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Thanks go to Andrew for organising this outing. The next, and last of this season’s Deepest Cheshire summer evening walks, takes place next Thursday, 16 August, and starts at 7.30 pm from The Bells of Peover (next to the church in Lower Peover) - SJ 742 742. All are welcome.