THURSDAY 17th MARCH 2022.
The Vault Regulars
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Wednesday 16th March 2022
Sheila's 60th Birthday. She had said for years that one day she would like to go up Pendle Hill in Lancashire. I think we must be the only couple who have never been up it.
At 557 metres high and surrounded by flat land, Pendle Hill can be seen for miles around and certainly looks higher than it really is. However the height should not be taken lightly as it can be exceptionally cold at the top with strong winds even on a mild day in the valley. If the weather is poor then good map reading skills are required too.
The weather forecast was not particularly good for the day so decided to do an alternative walk and make a decision later on whether to go up the hill or leave it for another day.
We headed north east out of Barley village and took the track to Lower Black Moss reservoir. There were quite a few Great Crested Grebes fishing but a little too far away to get decent photo's.
At the end of the reservoir the track splits left and right. A sculptor trail can be found in Aitken Wood so we took the right. In a field close to Black Moss Reservoir was the site of a 17 century Witch's House that was excavated in 2012/3. It was re-covered with earth later to stop damage and vandalism.
The sculptor trail is a nice easy stroll on a circular route and all the items can be found without leaving the trail. Here are a few images of what can be seen. There are many more.
At the top of Aiken Wood we noticed a wall stile and a footpath which is not shown on the OS map. The path headed towards a trig point located on Stang Top Moor. Following the path led to a gate with a sign "Not access land". The gate was padlocked. Do we turn back? No, we climbed the gate and went to the trig point. Unusually the TP was painted blue instead of the usual white.
Beyond the trig point we picked up the path which led down hill to White Hough. On passing the outdoor education centre we spotted the OS Benchmark and unusual plate.
Eventually coming through the lovely village of White Hough and down to Pendle Water we follow the stream along the river bank, passed the old terraced cottages of Narrowgates Mill.
Narrowgates Mill, a water-powered cotton-spinning mill, was built by the Hartley family of Barley in about 1799. A steam engine was added during the first half of the 19th century. The main mill building burnt down in 1867 and was rebuilt in stone rubble as a three-storey, seven-bay long, three-bay deep building. The attached waterwheel house has been demolished, as has a two-storey block and the engine and boiler houses. The stone chimney with its tapering square shaft survives as do two rows of workers' houses to the immediate east. Converted to a private dwelling in mid to late 20th Century.The Lancashire Textile mill survey records the mill as having been demolished in 1969, but part of the complex remains and the chimney is still extant.
Lunch time called which we took in the Pendle Inn pub and decided because the weather forecast was wrong again we would go up Pendle Hill by "The steps route". It's the quickest way up but tough on the thighs.
Walking through Barley Village until we came to the Primitive Methodist Chapel where we found the footpath opposite, alongside the stream. It is a nice easy route to follow all the way up to the gate at Pendle House.
We more or less had the route to ourselves with only another couple a little way in front of us. The steps are steep and tiring and we were glad to get to the top of them.
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Last year when we spent holidays in Greece we suffered from a hurricane. The result of this was 5 days with no water and no electricity. Fortunately I had taken a water filter so we didn't run short of drinking water as we filtered rain. Electricity though was another thing, we really struggled. So when I got home I bought a mobile solar charger.
I am no expert on solar anything so I asked around and finally bought the 10W panel. It was the same as the above photo but with smaller panels. Unfortunately it didn't work properly with my iPhone, I kept getting a message that this accessory was not compatible.
I contacted MSC, explained the problem and they sent me the 3 panel 15W panel at no extra cost. Now that I am more familiar with the panels I found the problem, which I will explain later.
The specification of the 3 panel charger is:-
(spec courtesy of MSC website)
This year on our holidays in Greece I used the charger almost every day for a month. Obviously in Greece the sun shines dependably, so if we had problems in Greece then the issue would be worse in UK.
Charging power banks with the solar panels is trouble free and certainly the best piece of kit to use to recharge your phone and other gear.
Charging phones directly, I have tried 2 brands, Apple and Samsung. If like in Greece the sun is constant then charging the iPhone is no problem but if the sky is sunny and cloudy then the output voltage from the charger to the phone will be variable. It seems that the iPhone has very tight parameters regarding charger voltage variance and this can make the phone reject the solar charger as incompatible.
The Samsung seems to accept the voltage variance better than the Apple.
Putting a power bank between the charger and accessory acts as a voltage regulator and that is why I say the best setup is to use a power bank in UK.
Now that I have used it regularly I am glad I bought it, however if there is a panel available with a built in voltage regulator, I would get that one.
Costs. 10W £80, 15W £109.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Wednesday June 23rd.
The weather in June has been surprisingly good, except today when it's been a bit grey and not very sunny at all. Not great for photographs.
It took us about 40 minutes from home on a busy motorway to reach our parking spot on Stones Bank Rd at SD699166. A little further up this road is the site of a Victorian Turton Sanitary pipe manufacturers. The old tramway still visible on the ground leading up to Turton Moor. It closed in 1911 and was liquidated as Darwin Sanitary Pipe Co.
Our route today though headed south to Blackburn Rd (A666) A devil of a road. Crossing it with care and taking the footpath upwards towards Turton Heights and our highest point of the day, Cheetham Close Hill.
At a crossing of a multitude of paths, The Witton Weavers Way, The Rotary Way and others, used to stand the farm called Parrs, I *think* the last farmer was James Marsh. Unless you look hard it's difficult to envisage just where it was.
We continued up hill with good views across Delph reservoir to Winter Hill, following the Witton Weavers path until we crested the hill and took the boundary path through deep grass towards a dry stone wall where we had to descend eastward to find a gate through the wall. I don't recommend taking this path as I imagine it would be awful in wet weather. We should have taken the earlier path at SD709165. But this route was new to me and you never stop learning.
We eventually reached the OS trig point on Cheetham Close hill. SD716157, a height of 329 Metres. It's a tall trig point but the OS bracket looks like it has been removed by force. We felt cheated as we couldn't record the number. Maybe that's why its called Cheetham Close.
It's a great 360 view from the top and also there are close to the trig point a couple of stone circles shown on the OS map. We hunted them out and found some broken stones and undulating ground but not what anyone would call stone circles from the Bronze Age. Then we read that the standing stones had been smashed by a farmer from Turton in 1870. The original circle was 61ft diameter. Also a Roman Road ran approximately 200yds away from the circles.
The now derelict Spring Side paper works is still to be seen. Covering a huge area. I have read that planning permission has been granted to demolish it and build houses. It will be a lovely place to live.