Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Roaches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roaches. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Monday 14 October 2013 - The Roaches Revisited

1401HenCloud-copy

The thin mizzle that had accompanied me on the slow journey from Timperley gently subsided as Don’s headlamps blinked at me from the direction of Upper Hulme. I’d been waiting for the weather to ease, and Don and Neil’s confusion with the intricate road system of Upper Hulme had given it the chance to do just that.

This was the long postponed re-run of a Plodders’ walk I’d organised on 31 October 2012, when Don was out of action with a broken ankle. I’m always happy to repeat it, but I won’t today be reiterating the copious information provided in that earlier report.

The wind was light, so despite a few showers we could enjoy a sociable stroll around the 17 km circuit, starting on this occasion from the lay-by below the Don Whillans Memorial Hut, which nestles into the south eastern corner of the jagged rocky ridge.

It can be a busy spot, but today we had the whole area very much to ourselves, meeting just one couple twice, the second time at Hanging Stone, where we discussed the chances of encountering wild wallabies. The wartime zoo escapees have probably now died out, but if they are to be seen, it could be on this sort of day.

The sky cleared briefly as we descended into Lud’s Church, enhancing that slightly muddy experience, and we enjoyed our lunches in dry weather on some flat rocks just beyond the rare breeds sheep farm that enjoys a fine position by the River Dane in the distant shadow of Shutlingsloe.

All in all, a very pleasant five hour ‘plod’, in good company with beautiful scenery, despite the autumnal weather.

The images and text from the following links may provide a contrast with today’s visit, some of the images from which are shown below the links.

4 March 2011             9 December 2007              5 December 2007

1410Roachessummit1415Lud11437onHS1439Shutlingsloe2

There’s a slideshow (24 images) here.

Enjoy!…

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Wednesday 31 October 2012 – The Plodders visit Lud’s Church

Lud's Church - top entrance

Lud’s Church is one of my favourite places, and I enjoy the 11 mile walk that also visits Danebridge, The Roaches and Hanging Stone, so it was a pleasure to be asked to lead this little amble with the LDWA’s East Lancashire Plodders.

The walk starts near the Ship Inn.

There are numerous stories associated with the pub, mainly concerning its name. It is thought that Sir Philip Brocklehurst, a relative of Sir John Brocklehurst who owned nearby Swythamley Hall, sailed with the explorer Shackleton on one of his many expeditions to the Antarctic, as an Assistant Geologist, although history states that he may well have been a paying guest. It was often thought that the sign on the Ship Inn related to the famous Endeavour, from a 1914 expedition, but it depicted the Nimrod in Antarctic Ice. Others say that the Ship is named after another vessel, known as the Swythamley, which was owned by a close friend of the Squire, and that the pub was named in his honour.

The current sign seems to have more to do with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight than with the Endeavour!

The Ship Inn

Despite forecast rain, a good turnout of twelve Plodders - myself, Sue, Reg, Jim, Neil, Nancy, Bernard, Andrew, Paul, Roger, Phil and Allan, assembled at Danebridge for this escape from East Lancashire to the distant land of North Staffordshire.

Plodders setting off from Danebridge

Danebridge

A crossing of the River Dane at Danebridge was first recorded in 1190, where it was known as Scliderford, meaning a slippery ford. In 1357, Sliderford Bridge was constructed.  This was rebuilt in the seventeenth century, using stone. Unfortunately, the new stone bridge was washed away by floods in 1631 and replaced a year later by another, more sturdy, bridge. The present bridge dates from around 1869, and was funded by the two Counties of Cheshire and Staffordshire, with each paying £1,000 for its construction and upkeep.  Materials were supplied by the Brocklehurst family, of Swythamley Hall.

Today’s weather was in fact 'fine', albeit a bit cloudy, and we managed the whole walk without the need for waterproofs.  Meanwhile it rained in Lancashire.  Perhaps we should head south more often!  After a few steps we passed Wincle Brewery - set up in 2008 from a redundant milking parlour - where some of us thought we spotted the shadowy figure of erstwhile Plodder 'R Norman', nursing a pail of beer.  We left him to it and headed up through autumnal woods to gain a view of Hanging Stone, our first objective.

The Hanging Stone

Hanging Stone

The Hanging Stone perches on the hillside like a giant fist, a sentinel overlooking Swythamley, on the Staffordshire side of the River Dane. Swythamley Hall stands in a fine park and was originally a mediaeval hunting lodge belonging to the Abbey of Dieulacres near Leek. The hall was granted to the Traffords by Henry VIII in 1540 and became their home and that of their successors, the Brocklehursts. Unfortunately the original house burned down in 1813, so the modern building is a rebuild dating from then. The Brocklehursts had an adventurous history. As mentioned above, one of them accompanied Shackleton to the Antarctic. The Hanging Stone bears a plaque to Colonel Brocklehurst, who was killed in Burma in 1942. A game warden in the Sudan, he started a private zoo at Swythamley when he returned to Britain, and during the Second World War the animals were released into the countryside because there was no food for them. The wallabies from the zoo survived and bred around the Roaches until recently. In fact there continue to be rare sightings, which have surprised many walkers and climbers over the years.

The plaque reads:
“Lt. Col. Henry Courtney Brocklehurst. 10th Royal Hussars and Pilot in the Royal Flying Corps, 1916 - 1918. Game Warden of the Sudan. Born at Swythamley, May 27th, 1888. Killed Whilst On Active Service, in Burma, on Commando. June 1942.
Horses he loved and laughter, the sun. Wide spaces and the open air.
The trust of all dumb living things he won, and never knew the luck too good to share.
His were the simple heart and open hand, and honest faults he never strove to hide.
Problems of life he could not understand, but as a man would wish to die he died.
Now, though he will not ride with us again, his merry spirit seems our comrade yet.
Freed from the power of loneliness and pain, forbidding us to mourn or to forget.
Erected by his devoted brother – 1949”

There’s a second, earlier stone plaque at the foot of the stone:
“Beneath This Rock
August 1, 1874 was buried
BURKE
A Noble Mastiff
Black and Tan
Faithful as Woman
Braver than Man
A Gun and a Ramble
His Heart’s Desire
With the Friend of his Life
The Swythamley Squire”

Swythamley has been convincingly identified as the castle of the Green Knight of the classic mediaeval poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and nearby Lud's Church as the knight's 'Green Chapel'. This probably means that the unknown author was connected with Dieulacres in some way.

There is no record of Hanging Stone being used for hanging - the name describes its look rather than its function!  However, it did claim one of our number, as Reg decided a low level stroll would be more to his taste today.  I think he could smell the beer at the Ship Inn, as it later transpired that he had gate-crashed a Rucksack Club party with some luminaries who were known to him, so whilst we were hauling ourselves over The Roaches he was taking a rare break from leading a Plod in order to get sozzled in the pub.

From the top of Hanging Stone, there's a fine view of Shutlingsloe, the 'Matterhorn of the Peak District', and dramatic photos can be gained of those brave enough to stand on the edge of the stone, which overlooks the Cheshire (or should that be Staffordshire?) plain.  We didn't go close to the edge today, for fear of being blown off.  Nor did we spot any wallabies.

Martin, Allan and Roger brave the gale on top of Hanging Stone

Phil led the wind blasted group of Plodders along the ridge that is called Back Forest, high above Roach End Farm, beyond which we employed tarmac for a while to take us below The Roaches to Roaches Gate, where we edged out of Phil's slipstream and headed past a hovering kestrel and a group of climbers, below the BMC's Don Whillans Memorial Hut.

The Don Whillans Memorial Hut, tucked in under The Roaches

We then rose gently up a rocky path to a good spot for lunch with views towards nearby Tittesworth Reservoir, and distant hump of The Wrekin - over 40 miles away.  In the far distance the outline of Snowdonia was also just about visible.

The Roaches

The name Roaches has evolved recently from 'Roches' as the area used to be known only 100 years (or less) ago. 'Roches' is the French word for rocks.

The Roaches Estate, which includes Hen Cloud, was purchased by the Peak District National Park Authority in the 1980s to safeguard the area from adverse development. In clear conditions, it is possible to see much of Cheshire and views stretching as far as Snowdon in Wales and Winter Hill in Lancashire. The Roaches are the most prominent part of a curving ridge which extends for several miles from Hen Cloud in the south to Back Forest and Hanging Stone in the northwest. Nearby are the broad hills of Gun and Morridge.

 Looking out from The Roaches

Hen Cloud rose prettily to our south, but some members of this motley group were more concerned about the presence around us of Rock Climbers.  "Will I mange OK" asked Jim "I have no equipment."  "Oh dear" I replied "the rest of us have ropes and harnesses!"  Perhaps that's why Reg dropped out and went to the pub, but even without his fatherly guidance we did somehow manage to scrabble our way up the vertigo inducing cliffs that led eventually to a lump of white concrete at 472 metres, our highest point of the day.  As leader, I felt obliged to venture as high as I could, but nobody followed - it was windy on top.

The Roaches - 472 metre summit

We then started the long descent to Lud's Church and were soon back in the woods, where a well signed path led us inexorably to the back door of this fine geological artefact.  Only Andrew by-passed the top entrance, shown at the top of this posting, from where we slowly descended into the main auditorium. 

Allan and Roger admire the murals in Lud's Church

Autumn in Lud's Church

Lud’s Church

The natural cleft is over 100 metres in length and over 20 metres high in places. The light of day rarely reaches and damp mosses curl down from the walls. Even on the sunniest of days, it is possible to hear the drip, drip of water from the ferns which cling to the sides of the cleft, which has been identified as The Green Chapel – the very place where Sir Gawain met and battled with the Green Knight one New Year’s Day long ago.

Lud's Church is formed within the thick bed of coarse Carboniferous sandstone known as the Roaches Grit, which here dips northeastwards into the Goyt Syncline. The rocks of this area are traversed by numerous roughly northwest-to-southeast-oriented faults and fracture planes. In addition, weak layers of mudstone exist within the sequence. It is along such lines of weakness that a large mass of the Roaches Grit bounding the northeast side of the rift has slipped slightly downhill into the Dane Valley resulting in the open rift. The age of the movement is unknown but is likely to be post-glacial.

It is believed that the chasm was considered by early Pagans to be a sacred place, most likely due to the phenomenon that occurs on Midsummer Day, where only on this day does the sun's light penetrate deep into the chasm. Lud, known as Nud in Welsh, or Nodens by the ancient Britons, is a major Celtic deity associated with many parts of Britain and with the Arthurian Fisher King and, by way of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Man.

The area also has a place in Christian history: the Lollards, who were followers of John Wycliffe, an early church reformer, are supposed to have used this as a secret place of worship during the early 15th century, when they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs. Lud's Church may have been named after Walter de Ludank or Walter de Lud-Auk who was captured here at one of their meetings. A wooden ship's figurehead from the ship Swythamley formerly stood in a high niche above the chasm, placed there by Philip Brocklehurst, then the landowner, around 1862. It was called 'Lady Lud' and was supposed to commemorate the death of the daughter of a Lollard preacher.

A number of climbing routes up the sides of the chasm were pioneered during the 20th century but climbing is now discouraged so as to protect the lower plants that have colonised the damp rock-faces.

In legend, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck and Bonny Prince Charlie are all reputed to have hidden from the authorities within the chasm. Ralph Elliott, local Luddites (known to be active in the area during the Luddite protests), and others have identified Lud's Church as the Green Chapel of 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'.

Another legend has it that Lud's Church was named after a horse: supposedly, a huntsman was pursuing a deer and as he followed it on horseback he was led to the chasm. The hunter failed to see the danger but his horse, Lud, did: when the rider went too close, the horse bucked and threw him to his death in the chasm. There are also connected rumours that originate from a similar period in time, suggesting that the hunter that was killed still roams around the woods and the area. It is said that he is covered from head to toe in moss and leaves so the locals called this legendary being the Green Man.

It was a little muddy in places on this visit, but unlike a solo lady walker who appeared to be stalking our party (bizarre, I know, but true) we did find our way past the numerous mossy murals to the front entrance.  Here, tea was taken and the remnants of a cake were shared out (most of it having been eaten at previous halts).

Afternoon tea at the bottom entrance of Lud's Church

From the church, our route casually followed the course of the River Dane, back to Danebridge past a rare breed sheep farm where the farmer’s car registration plates are nearly as interesting as the sheep!

Before reaching the farm, we passed a landslip that in March 2011 looked like this:

River Dane landslip - March 2011

Now it looks like this:

River Dane landslip - October 2012

Interestingly the water was forced by the original landslip to flow on our side of the river, resulting in further erosion and a landslip (unseen in today’s photo) just below the path from which the photo was taken.

Nature at work!

After the sheep farm, we met Reg, stumbling along after his encounter with the alcoholically inclined members of the Rucksack Club.  He seemed pleased to see us, especially when Bernard offered to carry him back to Danebridge.  Then Bernard remembered that he had a bad ankle and changed his mind.  So Reg had to walk.

Danebridge

Adjourning to The Knott Inn for refreshments, we had our only real mishap of the day, ten minutes proving to be insufficient time for Roger to get his car into a position whereby it was pointing in the right direction.  Or did he just change his mind and go straight home?  We may never know.

Our route today was about 17 km (11 miles), with 600 metres ascent, and took about 5.5 hours.

Our route - 17km, 600 metres ascent, 5.5 hours

Click here for a 43 image slideshow.

Note: The text in blue has been taken from previous postings and from Wikipedia and other sources.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Friday 4 March 2011 – The Roaches and Lud’s Church

Lud's Church

With a chance to reciprocate Wolfgang’s hospitality to me last year in Austria, we enjoyed his company for this classic circuit over the Roaches to Lud’s Church, returning by the Dane Valley and The Hanging Stone.

Shortly after starting the walk, the climbing hut that is a memorial to Don Whillans is passed.  It’s surrounded by large boulders on which children can often be seen clambering before they tackle one of the many climbs up the rocky cliffs of the Roaches.

Bouldering rocks by the Don Whillans Memorial Hut

Our walk passed uneventfully over the Roaches on a cool, cloudy day, after which the shelter of the dark woodland of Back Forest was in stark contrast to the open moor.

The deep cleft of Lud’s Church (above) wasn’t as muddy as expected.  It’s a wonderful place; we were the only visitors.

A pleasant stroll beside the River Dane led to Danebridge.  On the way we spotted this huge (by Peak District standards) rock fall that had caused the river to back up a bit.  I wonder whether any attempt will be made to clear the debris. 

Landslip in the Dane valleySome 'very special' rare breed sheep 

A rare breeds farm along the route sports a variety of unusual sheep.

JJ and I lagged behind the other four, in the hope that they would accidentally turn off to the Ship Inn, which we’d decided to leave out of today’s itinerary, having already scoffed several rucksack loads of provisions.

JJ at Danebridge

The Snowdrops around here don’t see much sun, and are very late in flowering.

Late Snowdrops

Our ruse didn’t work – the others ignored the pub and skipped merrily on through pleasant woodland and up a long field towards the conspicuous prominence of The Hanging Stone.

Ascending to The Hanging Stone

There’s a plaque on the front of the stone in memory of a local landowner, Lt Col Henry Courtney Brocklehurst, who served in both World Wars and was killed in Burma in 1942, at the age of 54.

On The Hanging Stone

On the other side of the stone there’s an older (1874) memorial to Burke, a dog.

We stood near the top for a group photo in view of Shutlingsloe, but Viv and Sue decided to block out the summit…

Martin, Viv, Sue, JJ, Rick and Wolfie

The walk concluded with a stroll along a delightful ‘permissive path’ that led back to Roach End and a short stretch of tarmac back to the cars.

Our route - 17km, 690 metres ascent, 5 hours

We’d done 17 km, with 690 metres ascent, in a leisurely 5 hours, in excellent company.  There’s a slide show (30 images) here.  Thanks to Wolfie for a couple of the photos.

We’ve been here before – for other reports (which will include future ones) on Roaches walks, click here, and for Lud’s Church – mostly the same walks as those in the Roaches – click here.

Footnote – 14 March 2011
The Lud’s Church image seems to have gone down well, so here’s a reminder from 10 October 2007 of what it’s like when the sun shines…

This is one of the few photos I could ever have sold – it was used for the invitation to a naming ceremony for two children.

Lud's Church on 10 October 2007

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Sunday 9 December 2007 - A Sunday Stroll in the Best of Company

Twelve people turned up for the pre Christmas Walk, as planned, though for some reason most of them parked some way down the road. Andrew was blamed for leading them astray.
Waterproofs were donned as there was a fine mist on the Roaches, but once past Roach End we were below the cloud and getting hot, so a pause for tea was welcome. Despite being absent, due to a ‘better offer’ – a day in Lapland – The Dishy Pharmacist had left me with an ample supply of Caramel Shortbread in my bum bag. Tradition dictates that this goes down well.
So we strolled merrily on along the prescribed route to the dark damp declivity that is Lud’s Church.
This natural cleft is over 100 metres in length and over 20 metres high in places. The light of day rarely reaches and damp mosses curl down from the walls. Even on the sunniest of days, it is possible to hear the drip, drip of water from the ferns which cling to the sides of the cleft, which has been identified as The Green Chapel – the very place where Sir Gawain met and battled with the Green Knight one New Year’s Day long ago.
Graham seemed convinced that half the party was likely to be sucked into the glutinous pond near the entrance, and some guidance was given to enable the less agile amongst us to plot a delicate route across the half submerged rocks and log in order to effect our escape.
My photos on this dark day just didn’t turn out, so those fearing exposure to these pages by way of a group photo need not have worried, they were always to fast for the shutter!
A pleasant hour by the banks of the River Dane brought us to the sanctuary of The Ship Inn. Although the ‘Golden Jackal’ had now been drunk, the Landlord’s Bitter was excellent and we arrived to find the Hikers Bar full of people apart from our reserved table for 12, in front of a roaring fire. This proved to be a fine venue for lunch. My ‘hot beef sandwich on freshly cut granary bloomer bread with prime sautéed beef, caramelised onions, salad garnish and handcut chunky chips’ was tender and succulent, and the rectangular orientation of the table meant that everyone was within earshot of each other, so it was a most convivial hour and a half, discussing the triumphs of 2007 and our plans for 2008.
We were sorry to have to down that last chocolatey mouthful of fudge cake and discard the blue hospital bootees, before continuing our tramp. But the weather was warm and dry, if a little dull, and the planned route was followed up to Hanging Stone (see last Wednesday’s blog), where Keith kindly posed for today’s ‘Postcard’.
Then everyone headed on along the concessionary path to Roach End, ignoring my feeble murmurings that this was not actually the intended route. Never mind, it’s a nice path that I’d somehow never been on before, and certainly much drier than the lower route through fields, and 2 km shorter (just 16 km for the day). I gave in gracefully to Graham Illing’s ‘Don’t do Boggy Fields’ dictum on this occasion. By the time we got back to Roach End, everyone was more than happy to stroll down the quiet lane back to the cars, idly chatting in the gathering gloom of the December afternoon.
A lovely day out, in excellent company; thank you everyone for turning up on a day when the dire weather forecast turned out to be a tad misleading but would have discouraged less committed souls!

I wonder whether any other ‘Outdoors Bloggers’ will turn up on next year’s pre Christmas stroll...

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Wednesday 5 December 2007 - The Ship Inn and The Hanging Stone

A break in the weather gave me the chance to nip out to The Ship Inn at Danebridge for a little circuit to clarify this coming Sunday’s route. There was one short impassable section encountered on our 10 October recce, and I just needed to check the way around this.
So I parked outside The Ship and strolled across the bridge over the River Dane and on up to The Hanging Stone, a prominent landmark in these parts, and a splendid viewpoint to boot.
A crossing of the River Dane at Danebridge was first recorded in 1190, where it was known as Scliderford, meaning a slippery ford. In 1357, Sliderford Bridge was constructed, but was rebuilt in the seventeenth century, using stone. Unfortunately, this was washed away by floods in 1631 and replaced a year later by another, more sturdy, bridge. The present bridge dates from around 1869, and was funded by the two Counties of Cheshire and Staffordshire, with each paying £1,000 for its upkeep; materials being supplied by the Brocklehurst family, of Swythamley Hall, who were major landowners during the eighteenth century.
The Hanging Stone perches on the hillside like a giant fist, a sentinel overlooking Swythamley, on the Staffordshire side of the River Dane. Swythamley Hall stands in a fine park and was originally a mediaeval hunting lodge belonging to the Abbey of Dieulacres near Leek. The hall was granted to the Traffords by Henry VIII in 1540 and became their home and that of their successors, the Brocklehursts. Unfortunately the original house burned down in 1813, so the modern building is a rebuild dating from then. The Brocklehursts had an adventurous history. One of them accompanied Shackleton to the Antarctic. The Hanging Stone bears a plaque to Colonel Brocklehurst, who was killed in Burma in 1942. A game warden in the Sudan, he started a private zoo at Swythamley when he returned to Britain, and during the Second World War the animals were released into the countryside because there was no food for them. The wallabies from the zoo survived and bred around the Roaches until the late 1990s. Sightings of them have surprised many walkers and climbers over the years. The plaque reads:
“Lt. Col. Henry Courtney Brocklehurst. 10th Royal Hussars and Pilot in the Royal Flying Corps, 1916 - 1918. Game Warden of the Sudan. Born at Swythamley, May 27th, 1888. Killed Whilst On Active Service, in Burma, on Commando. June 1942.
Horses he loved and laughter, the sun. Wide spaces and the open air.
The trust of all dumb living things he won, and never knew the luck too good to share.
His were the simple heart and open hand, and honest faults he never strove to hide.
Problems of life he could not understand, but as a man would wish to die he died.
Now, though he will not ride with us again, his merry spirit seems our comrade yet.
Freed from the power of loneliness and pain, forbidding us to mourn or to forget.
Erected by his devoted brother – 1949”

There’s a second, earlier stone plaque at the foot of the stone:
“Beneath This Rock
August 1, 1874 was buried
BURKE
A Noble Mastiff
Black and Tan
Faithful as Woman
Braver than Man
A Gun and a Ramble
His Heart’s Desire
With the Friend of his Life
The Swythamley Squire”

Swythamley has been convincingly identified as the castle of the Green Knight of the classic mediaeval poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and nearby Lud's Church as the knight's 'Green Chapel'. This probably means that the unknown author was connected with Dieulacres in some way.

I continued on past Back Forest to Roach End, then through modern day ‘access land’ to gain the Roaches ridge. Dropping past the rocks I stopped by the BMC’s Don Whillans Memorial Hut for a flask of tea. There were numerous parties of schoolkids, climbing or lunching in a brisk shower of rain; there were no less than 7 school minibuses in the lay-by.
My route then took me easily past Pheasant’s Clough to Green Lane to complete my recce by finding an easy way around the impassable path.
Continuing by a boggy route past Turner’s Pool, I watched a fisherman land a 9 pounder and then return it to the pond. A short stretch of tarmac past a converted chapel brought me back to The Ship Inn, which is believed to date from the sixteenth century.

There are numerous stories associated with the pub, mainly concerning the name. It is presumed that a relative of Sir John Brocklehurst, who owned nearby Swythamley Hall, Sir Philip Brocklehurst, sailed with the explorer Shackleton on one of his many expeditions to the Antarctic, as an Assistant Geologist, although history states that he may well have been a paying guest. It was often thought that the sign on the Ship Inn related to the famous Endeavour, a 1914 expedition, but it depicts the Nimrod in Antarctic Ice. Others say that the Ship is named after another vessel, known as the Swythamley, which was owned by a close friend of the Squire, and that the pub was named in his honour. These days it is renowned for the fine real ales on sale, and a popular restaurant. I enjoyed a glass of Golden Jackal to conclude this pleasant stroll.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Thursday 18 October 2007 - Up and Running


After a tough day slaving over the computer, I finally upload the first entries in this blog, some two and a half weeks after they were drafted. So it starts off in arrears, but hopefully by the end of next week I’ll have caught up. The exercise is not without its technical hitches, as the links on an email I send don’t work for everyone, (sorry), and in the middle of everything I get the following message from the company that hosts our websites (to which I’ve just moved the main site from our original supplier):

“We are writing to inform you that we have recently discovered evidence of a network intrusion involving a server. We have reason to believe that the intruder has gained access to our internal systems, and that this may have in turn given them access to your username and some service passwords.”

So I spend some time changing a variety of passwords on all the sites over which I seem to have gained responsibility, wondering (naively I’m sure) why so many passwords are required.

By the time we set off into the sunset for this evening’s walk, a cheery message from Darren welcomes me to the blogosphere. Thanks Darren, and those other folk who have sent encouraging messages. [What was that…."Welcome to the Madhouse!”]

Today’s picture was taken on 10 October below The Roaches near the Don Whillans Memorial Hut.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Wednesday 10 October 2007 - Lud's Church



My old friend from our days at UMIST, Nick, currently in charge of Nike’s hat manufacturing in Taipei, is over for a few days. So today Sue took a day off and the three of us recced a Christmas walk that neither Sue nor Nick can come on. It proved to be a lovely day, the mist clearing from The Roaches as we arrived at the parking place near Upper Hulme. We set off with a gaggle of young school kids who were being taught how to climb. They were having a great time – how much better than being forced to play rugby like I was at their age! We soon left them after passing the Don Whillans Memorial Hut. Our morning route was over the Roaches to Roach End, and on to The Ship at Wincle via lovely woodland, Lud’s Church (where today’s photo was taken), and the beautiful Dane Valley - simply wonderful. The ‘sandwiches’ at The Ship range from £4.50 to £7.50 – which some may consider a little pricey. But these efforts come with a knife and fork, chips and salad, and fine real ale to wash down the ‘fresh cut granary bloomer bread’. Superb.

So after a happy hour in the pub (actually, we should have sat outside on this day fit for t-shirts and shorts) we ambled off up to Hanging Stone, which on our evening walks here we usually by-pass. But today we ascended the 40 metres up to the stone, and its memorials, and admired the views towards the Roaches and down to Tittesworth Reservoir. Then a lower, level afternoon route took us easily to Clough Head. But the path through the farm at Buxton Brow was inundated with slurry, so ‘proceed with care’ was the order of the day. There was a way around it; boots remained pristine, and after a tea break we found the nice path leading to Greenhouse. Our return to the car from here was blighted by an overgrown path that was impossible to follow. Clearly marked by a sign, it disappeared into a thicket of bramble and nettles. Thanks to Sue’s pioneering exploits we got through to the road, but not by the correct route.

The Christmas walk will take a different line!
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