Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 4 December 2021

Friday 3 December 2021 - Around Marple Bridge

Graeme and Graham joined Sue and me on this overcast but dry morning, for a short walk from Marple Bridge. Commuting seems to have returned to normal, with the free car park next to the Midland Hotel just about full - commuters having taken the train into Manchester.

The canal is closed at present. Men were at work on it, and large explanatory notices informed us as to the project generally. (Click on the image for a better version.)

A little further on, the canal was full of water, but obviously not navigable until the end of February.

We followed the towpath over the impressive aqueduct that was opened in 1800. The rails on the far side are a very recent addition, and the whole structure shows signs of having recently been 'serviced'.

In the above pictures, you can see that the aqueduct, impressive though it is, is somewhat dwarfed by the more recent railway viaduct.

With no flowers of note to photograph, this fungi is all I can manage by way of 'Natural History' in this posting.

The path under the aqueduct and the viaduct leads muddily up a slope then down to a farm, then through more mud to a lovely footpath beside the River Goyt - quite full after recent rain.

A diversion into Etherow Country Park had us sitting on a bench with our flasks and goodies, trying to decide whether we were being courted by a Pink-footed Goose. We weren't. Despite its pink feet, this is a Greylag Goose.

There's no doubt about the identity of this Mandarin Duck, despite the inability of my camera to cope with his contrasty plumage.

We walked in a figure of eight loop, before returning to the entrance. The bird taking off below is a Coot.

Memories of The George - a vibrant pub with a busy bowling green in its heyday - now consigned to being the home of a pet food supplier.

I've written about this early cast iron bridge before. If you click on the second image below you should be able to read all about it.

Brabyn's Park is the home of Marple parkrun - there's plenty of space for runners on the often muddy two lap, 5km, course - sections of which follow the River Goyt around the park's boundary.

We finished the walk by going past a wall that used to have entrance back in 1905, when 'MAH' was involved.

That was it, a gentle 8km stroll to brush off the cobwebs. It took us a couple of hours plus breaks. Here's the route.

Next Friday - Around Burtonwood - here's the flier from
Around Burtonwood
Meet at 10am at the Mucky Mountains Nature Reserve CP at SJ575944. Access via M62 jnc9, Winwick and Vulcan Village. Walk about 10km.

Thursday 2 December 2021

Porthmadog Flowers - 2021

Here's a list that's been sitting on my desk for some time. We noted these flowers, and perhaps many more, during our five visits to Porthmadog this year. We'll try to do better next year, and take more photos, though this year's postings do have a few pictures.

Bell Heather
Birdsfoot Trefoil
Bog Asphodel
Bog Pimpernel
Common Cow Wheat
Common Eyebright
Common Mallow
Common Spotted Orchid
Dog Rose
Enchanters Nightshade
Heath Bedstraw
Heath Spotted Orchid
Hedge Bindweed
Herb Bennet
Herb Robert (pictured above)
Himalayan Balsam
Hop Trefoil
Lady's Mantle
Lesser Stitchwort
Orange Hawkweed
Pink Perslane
Red Campion
Ribwort Plantain
Rosebay Willowherb
St John's Wort
Sea Campion
Self Heal
Tufted Vetch
Water Lily
White Clover
White Stonecrop
Wood Anemone
Wood Sage

Wednesday 1 December 2021

August to October 1980 - More Scans from the Past

What was this little lad doing at a wedding in my old wool shirt? [He's now 47!]

2 August. Very happy at the time.

Later in August: Sir Nigel Gresley, and some traction engines at the exhibition in Manchester to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the railway linking Manchester with Liverpool.

23 to 31 August - A trip to Minard Bay, near Inverary.

Nell and Mark in Minard Bay

Mark in front of the cottage that we rented on several occasions.

Duntrune Castle

Lunchtime at Gallanach

Inverary pier

Crinan harbour

Mark on a Crinan walkabout

We've been to Crinan a few times, more recently in 2017 (report here), and Alison, the bride pictured above, has acted as chef on VIC 32, a 'puffer' steam boat built in 1943, as has Heather, one of our TGO Challenge friends.

VIC 32, and the start of the Crinan Canal

By September, we were back in Manchester, and enjoying a visit to Tatton Park.

Then Gary and Isabel joined us for a stroll in Lyme Park.

I'm not sure how happy Mark was, carrying the heavy rucksac (a classic Karrimor 'Hot Earth' variety, a shame it wore out).

Later in September, an annual event for a few years was a picnic in Styal Country Park, in the field behind the mill. The following pictures, in which my dad features, may bring back memories to those present. Styal has changed a bit since then.

Below - Styal Mill, much as it appears today. Note that this batch of scanning wasn't particularly successful, partly due to the poor quality or deterioration of the original slides - now mostly binned.

September drifted into October. I recall being frantic at work around this time, having moved from 'audit' into 'insolvency' at Thornton Baker in Manchester. But we did manage to go to Blists Hill, where a visit to the Victorian Town still makes for a good day out.

The old pit head

Victorian village chapel

The old kiln

A visit to Alison and David in London brought a few more October snaps.

St James's Park

We then escaped the 'smoke' for a visit to Leith Hill.

On 10, 11 and 12 October I went with Ian (Carr), Nick and Dave for a backpacking trip to the Lake District. Here's Dave, striding up Fleetwith Pike, with Buttermere behind him, after a fraught journey following 12 hour days at work. It seems we had pitched up at the closed campsite at Buttermere at 12:15am, found a dryish bit amidst the mud, and got to bed around 1:30am.

There's a fuller diary entry for this trip, but it's similar in content and tone to others in previous entries for 1980, so I'm simply converting it into brief captions.

Ian, Nick and Dave on Fleetwith Pike at around 11:30am after a sleep deprived night (this is a rare entry from Ian) followed by loud voices of farmers and their hens outside the tents. Ian notes an encounter with a group of nattily dressed hikers on top of Fleetwith Pike - cotton dresses, sockless feet and 'nature trek' shoes

Lunchtime on Haystacks

We continued on and on and on along the ridge - to High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike

We eventually followed Dave on a 'suicidal' route from Red Pike to Bleaberry Tarn, where tents were erected and a mug of Dave's coffee provided Ian with the necessary fuel to conclude his diary entry. He notes that the weather was good, but with no awesome vistas, the party making up for this by wearing red stockings. [I remember these, I've only recently recycled mine.] Ian also notes that he was the only person present without a Rollei 35 camera - perhaps that's the reason for the indifferent quality of the images

Dave snored all night; we woke to fine views

After striking camp at 11:00am we descended to Buttermere, passing a lone hiker, then meeting lots of day walkers and spotting red squirrels and a dipper, before storming up Robinson, where Dave's lack of fitness saw him struggling to keep up. That was fine, as we had brewed up for him by the time he arrived at the summit - pictured above.

The walk continued over Dale Head, which was in cloud, then we descended to Honister and decided to go uphill around the back of Fleetwith Pike instead of walking down the road. This pleasant route, during which the picture above was taken, got us back to the car at 5:15. Baulked by Sunday drivers, we took a break on the way down the M6, to enjoy chicken and chips at the New Holly Hotel north of Garstang. Dave notes an excellent sunset, and Nick advises against buying Hawkins boots - "they smile at the heel!"

October 25 to November 1 - I managed to get a week off work - half term. Mark went to stay with his dad, and Nell and I had a week in Looe, where the next few pictures were achieved with the Rollei 35..

Ferryside at Fowey

Ships at Fowey, perhaps waiting to be dismantled

Near Charlestown

Unseaworthy vessel in St Austell Bay [I wonder what it looks like now]

There's no diary entry that I can find for this trip. Here we are, somewhere near Looe, sporting jacket/anoraks that are still in use. (My anorak dates from the mid 1960s; I'm not sure whether I should be proud of that.)

That's it for 1980, I think. This link should pull up all the entries for that year.