Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Thursday 21 March 2024

A Flashback to Timperley's Railway History

 When Reg visited us last Sunday to go through the pictures for his autobiography, he reminisced about living in Timperley many years ago, and more recently, in 2014, leading a walk for the Railway Ramblers.

He recalls the bridge pictured above (photo taken on my way to BT Photographic to get his pictures scanned) because the walks leader on that occasion was taken ill and at very short notice Reg had to lead the walk. He has sent me the walk description he had to follow to what is described as the 'Black Bridge'.
That's very interesting. We live near a multitude of sites of old railway lines. Here's the current 1:25,000 scale map of the area. I've marked (if you can spot it) our house as 'Home', and the Black Bridge is just next to a long footway tunnel where the disused railways mentioned above diverged.

All very interesting... (to residents of Timperley, probably none of whom read this blog!)

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Saturday 16 March 2024 - TGO Challengers Reunion at Monyash

Twenty or so 'Challengers', many being 'former' TGO Challengers, turned up for this reunion. About 14 of them joined Graham Brookes on a 20 km Lathkill Dale > Youlgreave > Limestone Way circuit - a classic day out from Monyash.

There was lots of water emerging from the cave near Ricklow.

A sunny spot was found for elevenses, where due to supply issues, Sue had to ration the shortbread distribution to a surreptitious few!

One of the first flowering plants of the year beside the Bridgewater Canal in Manchester, Butterbur is rampant at the moment in Lathkill Dale.

Elf Cups were also found beside the path.

Lesser Celandine

Beyond Youlgreave

The Limestone Way footpath was muddy and boggy in places. Those not wearing boots will have got wet feet.

One Ash Grange Farm was a particularly muddy zone, but not without the attraction of a handsome peacock.

There's not a lot more to say. After the enjoyable walk during which a 'pub contingent' got separated from the 'butty contingent' and needed to take a short cut along the road from Youlgreave to catch up / overtake the rest of us, Sue and I enjoyed afternoon tea with Ali, Adrian, Gayle and Mick in their hired cottage, before adjourning to the Bull's Head for beers and a good meal.

It was good to see those who turned up, in particular Alistair P and John Woolston and his little dog that migrated to his rucksack after lunch.

Here's the route of the 'butty' brigade - 20 km, 350 metres ascent, taking around 6 hours.

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Friday 15 March 2024 - A Visit to Castlefield Viaduct

Sue and I found time for a short tram ride to Castlefield Viaduct, where the National Trust and some of its partners have created a green space where a railway used to run until 1969. I arrived a few metres away at Central Station on my first visit to Manchester in 1967 when I had to visit UMIST for an interview to study biochemistry.

I have no recollection of the Manchester Bee from those days, but beer was less than one and six a pint (7.5p).

There's quite a bit flowering in the garden - the staff have lost count of the species, "which must be a good thing", suggested Sacha as she guided a dozen or so visitors around the site.

The viaduct opened in 1892/3, very close to where in 79AD a Roman fort, Mamucium, was constructed at the meeting point of two rivers, the Medlock and the Irwell. The nearby Bridgewater Canal was built in C18, and that remains in use nearby, despite the railways becoming dominant for the transport of goods in the late 1800s, when this would have been a very busy place.

These days it's a busy spot for trams heading in and out of Manchester in a variety of directions, including Altrincham, on which tram we returned home.

The visit to the viaduct doesn't take long, so it could be combined with one or more of the walks suggested in the National Trust's flier, replicated below (click on the images for more readable versions).