Saturday, 14 September 2019
Tuesday, 2 April 2019
|Click on this or any other image for better resolution and slideshow|
Having said that, this posting will only be of interest to immediate family members, so don’t feel obliged to continue reading…
Jacob soon got the hang of hanging on to the polar bear, though the bear got away from him more than he would have liked, resulting in a fair number of ‘splats’.
Jessica was more cautious.
Jess eventually traded in her penguin for a faster polar bear, before joining grandad on the balcony. (Grandad was craftily avoiding doing anything that would risk further damage to his knees.)
Here, Grandma Whoosh is about to save Jess from crashing into Grandma Sue, whilst Jacob has made a bid for freedom.
Freedom comes before a fall. Splat! One of many.
After every ‘splat’ was a short period of recuperation, then he was up and running again, with Grandma Sue splatting from time to time as well, sadly missed by the camera.
Despite going round with her eyes shut, Grandma Whoosh managed to stay mainly upright!
Soon the other skaters learnt that there were certain people who warranted a wide berth.
The polar bear was finally discarded and Jacob whizzed around for a while, unaided apart from the effects of gravity.
“Poor mite” soothed the Grandmas, back at base, “wrap some frozen peas around those knees, or your mum will think you’re going to lay eggs through your kneecaps!”
Then Mike and Sarah came and everyone except Grandad, who was confined to the kitchen, went to play ‘tree frisbee’ (involving some tree climbing by Uncle Mike) in the park.
What a lovely day. Come again soon, everyone.
PS There's a Flickr slideshow .
Wednesday, 6 June 2018
What a contrast to my walk over the same ground on 21 December 2017!
Instead of December’s deep mud we were hampered only by stinging nettles and hard, lumpy ground.
A call to JJ suggesting a walk tomorrow drew a blank. It had to be today. So again at very short notice we set off on another lovely day, but not too hot for an enjoyable short walk. We may even have found a path that JJ hadn’t walked before. Just a small one.
Here he is examining a gatepost from where the header picture was taken. It must once upon a time have supported a substantial gate. I find it hard to picture that scene, given the current view of a buttercup meadow.
The lumpy ground was due to cattle and horses tramping in the mud that has now magically vanished. The horses look a little happier in their temporarily mud free environment.
After quite a long time in the open, we returned to the ginnels of Altrincham, before heading past JJ’s children’s old school and across the busy golf course.
King George V Pool is situated in a secluded spot by Timperley Brook. A haven for wildlife.
Here’s our route - 13.3 km, with minimal ascent, taking us 2 hours 40 minutes. And that includes a stop for cake.
A very satisfying little jaunt. Thanks for the company, JJ.
Thursday, 28 December 2017
It was a dull day, and perhaps a dull route, for this week’s morning stroll, which I decided to start from Timperley Bridge to avoid having to drive anywhere.
My plan was to follow the ‘Altrincham Circular’ – a 27 km walk devised in the late 1980s – from Timperley Bridge to Roaring Gate Lane, then head across the fields to Altrincham.
From the Metro station at Timperley a gate leads to a canal side path on the opposite side to the well surfaced towpath. A little slithery here, but nothing to worry about.
The path soon reaches a footbridge over the railway.
From here, a stroll across some playing fields leads to a footbridge over Baguley Brook. Turning left into Woodhouse Lane East, then right beyond the ‘Sylvan’ public house, you enter Milton Drive, then Sylvan Avenue. There used to be a ginnel to Burton Avenue between house numbers166 and 168, but that has now been blocked and you need to turn right then left to reach Burton Avenue, at the end of which a ginnel leads straight on to Rossett Avenue.
Continuing down Rossett Avenue to number 75, take an unmade road to the left, into Crofton Avenue. Cross over and in a few metres you reach Heyes Lane. There used to be a walkable path into Oakdene Road here. That in turn led to a nice ginnel called the ‘Boggart’, but sadly a locked gate now bars the way to the Boggart despite efforts over the years to keep this footpath open against the wishes of the residents whose back gardens were passed. The obvious route nowadays is to cross over Heyes Lane and take Beech Avenue, which leads to the recreation ground. Keeping to the right of the playing fields, a cinder track leading to Stelfox Avenue is eventually reached.
A left turn down Stockport Road brings you to the Brooklands roundabout. Cross over Brooklands Road then Altrincham Road to reach the relative calm of Hale Road, the start of Brooks Drive. You know you’re in the right place when, after just a few metres, you reach the bridge shown below. The railway line linking Altrincham with Stockport lies below. Baguley Station is nearby, but that closed in 1964 and plans to reopen it elsewhere in Baguley to provide a tram/train link appear to have come to nothing.
This marks the start of Brooks Drive, which the Altrincham Circular walk follows all the way to Hale Road, over 4 km away. It’s mainly a recently renovated walking/cycling path, but it’s one of the oldest thoroughfares in the area, dating from the 1860’s and built by Samuel Brooks, a mill owner and banker, and his son. An existing network of roads was used to link the new thoroughfare, which over time became known as Brooks’s road, now Brooks Drive.
After 2 km of pleasant walking, during which I met an old friend with whom to natter for a while, Roaring Gate Lane is reached. This taxi route to Manchester Airport isn’t pleasant to walk along, so after a couple of hundred metres both the Altrincham Circular and my route for the day take a footpath to the right, beyond Chapel House Farm. After a few metres, this is the scene that greets you at this time of year.
A muddy splodge takes you to the hedge at the end of the field, where a left turn, and soon a stile that puts the hedge on your right, takes you to a footbridge, a short while after which you emerge onto Buttery House Lane.
From here, the Altrincham Circular route turns left and soon rejoins Brooks Drive for an easy walk to Hale Road. Whereas I turned right along the lane and soon found myself in the deceptively grassy field pictured at the head of this posting. The grassy appearance belies a few inches of waterlogged earth. I was glad I’d worn waterproof socks with the old trail shoes. This muddy gateway near Well Green was particularly noxious.
After a couple more fields, the comfort of Altrincham’s suburbia, in the form of Ash Lane, was reached. A right turn took me up the road to this typically tight ginnel, through to Wellfield Lane.
A short way up Wellfield Lane, a signed footpath left leads through more soft ground to reach Thorley Lane. Crossing over the busy lane, another path leads around a secondary school, eventually reaching Altrincham Golf Course. A marked (just about) path leads across the course towards Timperley Brook, which is then followed to King George V Pool, where a colony of coots mingles with the swans and mallards and moorhens, etc.
You can finish the walk in a number of ways. I continued beside the brook to cross Woodlands Road at (another) Timperley Bridge and head down Woodlands Parkway and Navigation Road to the tram station that enabled me to scoot down to Sale for an emergency purchase from Daz, the fishmonger.
Here’s the 12 km route. It took me a couple of hours, but you may prefer a more leisurely pace.
I challenge my readers from Timperley to follow this route and have fun in the mud. I’m up for it again, but only after a hard frost!
Friday, 1 December 2017
For what was billed as a repeat of the walk I did on , I was pleased to be joined by Rick, Paul and Jeanette on this occasion.
We enjoyed bright sunshine on the frosty morning – a perfect day for a stroll such as this, though if we’d had more time a visit to the Lakes or North Wales would have been brilliant today.
These first two pictures were taken near Dunham Town.
Dunham Massey house looked serene under the cobalt sky. There were very few folk around today.
The driveway has changed since I passed through on 20 October. The leaves have now dropped.
After coffee and cake at Lavender Barn Tea Room (note that the tea room will be closed from 11 to 27 December), we headed on along Rick’s preferred route back to Altrincham. It’s better than mine and took us past Devisdale Sunken Garden, a gem of a place that has recently been recovered from dereliction by volunteers.
The garden is right next to Denzell House, a building housing offices. There’s more information on the gardens, etc, .
Apparently agricultural fairs were once held in Devisdale, which is now an area of grassland on the edge of Altrincham.
Jeanette directed us to a folly situated in dense woodland that has recently been cleared sufficiently for people to be able to approach the tall brick column.
Nearby lurks a crocodile that once looked immaculate but which is now slowly dissolving.
Paul and Jeanette were keen to inspect the wear and tear on the poor beast caused by the elements.
Brief pauses for shopping in Altrincham didn’t prevent us all from getting home by lunch time after this most enjoyable 14.5 km perambulation with around 100 metres ascent, taking about 3 hours including stops.
Monday, 23 October 2017
Another Friday, another short walk, this time from Timperley Bridge to Altrincham, via the Swan with Two Nicks and Dunham Massey, on a drizzly morning.
I was on my own after receiving such excuses as:
- going to a wedding in Bristol
- have a folk singer staying overnight
- have a famous conductor staying overnight
- still doing DIY
- gone to work
- gone to Norfolk (it’s amazing the lengths people go to to avoid my walks!)
- granddaughter in hospital (that was JB, and we are pleased to hear that the op was a success and she’s doing well)
So after waiting until the designated hour spotting vintage cars on Timperley Bridge, I stumbled off into the gloom.
Well, it wasn’t too gloomy, just a dullish autumn day – here’s the view south west from the bridge; some good sunrises can be seen from here. But not today.
On the way past Altrincham, I paused at Broadheath to take a couple of ‘update’ pictures of the remains of the Linotype buildings. The roofs of new houses can be seen to the right of the scaffolding.
Further on, the Bridgewater Canal exuded an aura of serenity, with the resident mallards taking life very easy in the warm weather.
This well trodden route leaves the canal at Little Bollington to pass the Swan with Two Nicks, after which the River Bollin is crossed and the Dunham Massey estate is entered. After a stile, a Grade II listed building constructed around 1616 is passed. It’s a sawmill, and it still operates from time to time.
Before crossing the golf course, the path from which leads to the centre of Altrincham via a variety of routes (I commend exploring them for yourself – many are mentioned in these pages under the ‘Altrincham’ or ‘Dunham Massey’ tabs) it’s a 20 metre diversion to visit the excellent Lavender Barn Tea Room. Today their ‘Red Velvet’ cake – involving beetroot - was absolutely yummy.
Afternoon tea for two looks fantastic. It’s a shame that it was morning, and I was on my own!