The Vault Regulars

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Salford trail Pt.2

Last weekend i was invited by Martin, Phreerunner, (whose blog "Postcard from Timperley" can be found here, to join a walk with the East lancs section of the Long Distance Walking Association.
Website Here. That he and some friends were taking part in. 
It was to be Wednesday 23rd Feb and it would be about 12 miles long. A route map of the walk can also be found on Martins blog.

1. I have never walked with a “long distance walking association” before.
2. I have never walked with a large group of people before.
3. I knew nobody, i had only “met” Martin on the blog.
4. The "Long Distance" bit of the title was scary.
5. I had no idea where the Salford Trail went.

However, the 2nd stage of the trail started in Clifton, Swinton, Manchester which for me was only 4 motorway junctions away or 10 minutes in time. It seemed an ideal opportunity so i decided to go.

I checked the website and found that the location of the start was a 6 figure grid reference. It was a bus stop outside what used to be Clifton Park hotel. Now apartments.
I made my way to the bus stop and found that there were lots of small groups of people spread out along a 200 metre length of Manchester road. I thought to myself, “I hope that their map reading is a bit more accurate than this”.

Eventually the main group formed and it wasn’t at the bus stop but on the opposite side and a little further along. A number of people asked me if i was doing the walk, which i was and if i had done the first leg, which i hadn’t.
Martin was obvious in his bright orange peaked cap so i introduced myself and was then introduced to others.
The walk leader explained that the 1st hour would be quite noisy as it was in close proximity to the motorway. He was dead right.
 It was a rainy morning and it didn’t let up as we set off towards Clifton Common.

Crossing the M60 the path came to Wardley Hall where we had a brief stop to be told that it was the residency of the Bishop of Salford. Moving on swiftly a hundred yards further to the Cemetery and toilet stop.
Again our leader showed us the grave stone of Joe Gladwin an old character in The Last of the Summer Wine TV show. 

Our path led us on to Roe Green where we had a quick stop for a coffee before being shown a plaque on the church wall commemorating Michael Vaughan  (the cricketer) and his baptism. Passing Ellesmere golf club and a few muddy miles later we came to Blackleach Country park where it had been planned for us to have lunch in the visitor centre. Tea, coffee and biscuits had been laid on, so thank you to the  Wardens for that.
The country park used to be derelict and overgrown and looking at the pictures a great deal of work has been done by locals to end up with what is there today. A creditable achievement.

Post lunch we headed off to join the old railway track down towards Monton. The path was a pleasure to walk on after the miles of muddy track and thankfully the rain had now stopped. The pace quickened considerably and at one point i thought it might break out into a yomp.
On a number of occasions the leading group sped ahead only to be shouted back having missed a turn off.

The Thirlmere aqueduct was walked under and the old station of Little Hulton was passed. There was a stone commemorating it with a date of 1875 - 1954. 

We eventually joined the Leigh to Monton loop line and headed for Worsley. A little further on and passing some lovely houses we entered the grounds of Worsley golf club and Marriot Hotel and the end of this leg of the trail.

In the car park was the coach of the Aris Football team who were due to play Manchester City in the European tie.

I had had a good day and although i knew nobody i felt i had been accepted. Some names i remember and some i have forgotten. (not on purpose you understand).
But i would like to say a big thank you to Martin for the invite.
To Rick for the lift back.
To JJ, Viv, Vi, Hillary, Maude the well behaved Staffi. 
To Normon, Reg, Ruth and Anne and every one else who took the time to talk to me along the way. Thank you. 
Sorry, not many photo’s were taken as a result of the inclement weather.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ashworth Moor Reservoir and Knowl hill

Today we had about 4 hrs to spare so our walk started and finished at Ashworth Moor reservoir at SD 831158. Route was Yates Farm, Buckhurst Farm, lumb Bridge, Cheesden Bridge, Knowl Hill and back to start via the wind turbines and Cheesden edge.
when we arrived at the car park visibility was quite bad and we could only just make out the Wind turbines so we headed towards Yates farm which looked a little clearer. It was quite a cool day but quite calm.
Sheila looking a bit chilly.
One of the reservoir outflows
View across towards Buckhurst farm
Very strong steel gates on a boundary wall.
Heading for Buckhurst hamlet.

The bridge at Closes and the outflow of the Pond at Buckhurst.
General view east from Closes.
Buckhurst pond
On the approach to Buckhurst Old School we came upon these 2 lovely pigs. They were covered in tight curly hair. We had never seen this breed before. They were a friendly pair, although i don’t think i would like to stand in that sty all day.
View going up Cheesden Dale
A bridge in the Cheesden valley
An outflow at Lumb reservoir or pond as it is now.
Approaching Cheesden Lumb Mill.
Some lunatic tempting fate at Lumb Mill.
The remains of Cheesden Lumb MillJohn Kay (not to be confused with the John Kay who invented the flying shuttle) built Cheesden Valley's Lumb Mill in 1786, as a fulling mill, turning woollens into felted materials. (Source wikipedia.)
Somebody trying to be Artistic.

A tragedy approaching.
Lunch at last, underneath the wall beside the Edenfield road.
A couple of things i was trying out today. 1. The Primus Express spider gas stove and 2. A pouch of one cup Cafe Express fresh ground filter coffee.
I have an Optimus Crux stove and its tiny and light but it’s never grown on me. It’s ok for 2 seasons in my opinion and it’s regulator is poor at best.
I went for the Primus because it was first of all a stove with a pre-heat tube and should therefore work in low temperatures, 2nd the weight and the the price was reasonable and it could invert the gas cylinder if required. Today was it’s first outing and i was only boiling water, but to be honest that’s about all we ever do with a stove.
It boiled 600ml in about 4 1/2 minutes in ambient temperature of around 3 degrees and in a sheltered spot. A wind shield wasn’t used today.
I think i am going to like this one.
Weight 198gr and it folds neatly and fits nicely into my 600ml pot. It comes with a base sheet of foil but i will be changing this to something more user friendly as it’s a bit too rigid for my liking.
The One cup Cafe Express coffee tasted wonderful but i don’t think we will be using them again.
The problem with them is that using them outdoors you want something that goes from boiling water to drinkable in a short space of time.
The filter bag is small, just like a teabag in size. you can only pour small amounts of water into the bag each time and therefore it takes about 7-8 fills to get a mug full.
It is strong coffee and you can get 2 cups out of it, eventually.
If the day was raining or blustery i am quite sure that i would have got fed up with waiting and scrapped the idea altogether.
Next time i will try the new 3 in 1 sachets.
Up towards Paradise and along to Cheesden edge our next goal of Knowl hill could be seen.
Now identified. Cup Lichen. (Thanks to Hendrik, see comments)
The dreadfully churned up track to Knowl hill. Trials bikes the culprits here i think.
A wind turbine maintenance crew
Top of Knowl hill
Somebody taking flying lessons.
View down off Knowl Hill

A couple of turbine shots. The noise!
Heading back down Cheesden edge to Ashworth Car park.

A very pleasant few hours and lots to stop and see along the way.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wonderful idea.

Last evening Sheila and I went with 12 others to a birthday / anniversary party at a Chinese restaurant in North Manchester.
On the way to the Gents i passed this sign and it made me laugh, so i thought i would share it with you.
I wonder what they do with them afterwards?
The food was excellent BTW.

Only the Energetic should look.

Sheila’s sister in Australia passed this on to me as she thought some of the more energetic of you guys and gals out there might want to consider a nice little run with a holiday in the future.
click on the link HERE
A 49km mountain run with 2790 metres of Ascent. I’d better get into training. Ha.

A local walk. Thornham and Hopwood

A lovely mainly sunny day greeted me as i drew back the curtains (Wednesday 16th). There was still some frost lying white in the shadows but steam was rising from woodwork bathed in sunshine.
I had a cooker to fix at home and also, i needed to wait for the postman but it was just too nice not to go for a walk.
I decided to do a circular route from Slattocks locks on the Rochdale canal, then head up through the woodland at Tandle hill. Down through Stakehill and across to Hopwood finishing back at Slattocks locks.
 Slattocks Locks, Rochdale canal.
 Bridge 66 and the Old Lock keepers house. Now privately owned.

 Slattocks locks, Rochdale canal lock 54
Is this above picture, Scotland in the making. Too many wind farms will result in a mass of pylons.
Looking North to Scout moor Wind farm in the centre and pylons everywhere.
 Trig Point on Tandle Hill looking north towards Rossendale 
 Heading South off Tandle Hill,
Mmm, Dark clouds building up on the South East over Oldham and here’s me without my waterproofs and Down Socks of course.
Through Stake Hill i crossed the main road and into Hopwood Nature park. They have done quite a bit of work here tiding the place up a little. It’s a good spot for a stroll. Plenty of Mallard to be seen and the males look magnificent in all there colour. Coot and Moorhen could be spotted occasionally in the reed beds.

Just beyond the pond there is a short rise up to a good viewpoint and it was good to see that this memorial to a man who recently passed away was intact. The medal was for the Great North Run 2010.
Long may it remain this way.
 View across to Scout Moor.

The path skirts the Hopwood college campus which was once the house and gardens of the Hopwood family. This sad picture of the boarded up mansion is all that is left. What you see was built in the 17th and 18th centuries but a dwelling has been here since the 12th century. It’s a shame to see it like this.
 A local history on the hall and some better accessed photo’s can be found here.
 The campus church tower with the sun in it’s stained glass.
 A not so well footpath sign, but it was pointing in roughly the right direction.
 A lovely tree lined pathway, once part of the Hopwood estate.
 Unidentified Fungi
 Man made earthwork at grid ref SD 870 081
Not sure what this is but it may be an underground reservoir.
There are no signs around to tell you what it is. Just the usual KEEP OUT notices.
 Signs of recent flooding.
 Unidentified Fungi
 Possibly Coriolus (=Trametes) hirsuta or Trametes ochracea.TBA
Trub brook.

If you have any idea of the names of the Unidentified Fungi then please let me know and i will include them. Thanks.

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