The Vault Regulars

Friday, October 30, 2020

Kingsley, the River Weaver and Frodsham Cut.

 Friday, 30th October 2020

We managed to attend one of Martin B's walks today which made a pleasant change for us. As a bonus it was also in an area that we had never walked in before.

It started from the village of Kingsley, near Frodsham in Cheshire. Finding the start point at the community centre was easy enough and parking was not a problem. 

Kingsley, from what we saw is quite a small but nice village with good local amenities. Our small group of 7, which is allowed I may add under current covid restrictions set off past the well stocked Co-op and the Church of St John's to an ancient stepped style onto open fields between Hollows Lane and Pike Lane.

At the first fence we came to an obstacle which was going to play a major roll in this walk, MUD. We didn't know this at the time but we soon found out. It was a blessing that it was raining which meant we had over trousers on already which saved our trousers from the gloop.

A broken stile and knee deep gloop.
We crossed Pike Lane and dropped down through a wooded glade, crossing a small stream via a foot bridge. The adjoining field path brought us in front of Peel Hall.

This image doesn't do the Hall justice as this is a moated site. The current residence dates to around 1840 but the moat which is a scheduled monument is pre 1660 when this was the seat of the Ardernes family, probably Henry. The original house burnt down. 

The moat is now a source of water for the local cows which seem to be a shy lot.

The lane away from Peel Hall was another muddy trod but we past a nice piece of kit. A McConnel centre mounted backhoe tractor attachment.

On route across fields towards the River Weaver Navigation we had the first of only two meanders on this walk. Meanders are where we stray away from the set route. We don't mind meanders.
However the mud became deeper and deeper and at one point I thought we might loose Sheila as she struggled to get over a really deep section of mud and slurry.

This way or that way?
Walking into the gloom and rain.

A darkening view over Sutton and Frodsham.
Signal Box on the Frodsham Line.
Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge and signal box on the railway built around 1850.

The field in the foreground of the above image was a field of corn. Quite a few husks were still on the ground even though it had been harvested. Sheila gave us a quick lesson in how to remove the grubs that hide in the stem of the corn. Her expertise in the subject was gained from her time in the USA where she used to sell corn on the cob direct from a farm wagon. 

The weather closed in again for a short period of time before finally we got to see the sun. After our second meander we found the path and stile which led to the Weaver river side.

The River Weaver navigation was built to ship salt and clay from Cheshire. It was built in the 1750's.
There is a guillotine lock still surviving even though the "cut" stopped being navigated in the 1950's.

Disused guillotine lock.

Here we found a bench which brought about 11'is or 12' is as it was now. It was actually sunny, well bright anyway.

The muddy crew lunch break.
The "path" along the "Cut" was a real mess, made worse by hundreds of cows hoofs. We couldn't walk in the adjacent fields because they were just as bad and habited by Canada geese and Gulls.

Walking the muddy cut.

Once away from Frodsham Cut we made way for a group of young quad bikers led by an instructor. It was a guided route across farmland so I guess its a way of diversifying. It looked worth trying out one day.
I should of took a photo.....

Back into Kingsley, we retraced our steps past the church and the Co-op back to the car park.
St. John's Church Kingsley. Built 1850 by George Gilbert Scott.

Benchmark found on st John's Church Gate post.
This is a cut benchmark. 0.3m above the ground. It is 56.56 metres above OS Datum Newlyn (Tide gauge bolt Newlyn Pier. Last verified in 1964. Grid ref. SJ 5473 7500.

Just time for one more tractor pic. John Deere 6130R.

Todays route 10.80km. We walked in a clockwise direction from the red dot.

Thanks to Martin B for organising the walk. It was most enjoyable as was the company. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

All quiet in Manchester.

 Photographs of Manchester during the day. 

Eerily quiet. 

I have heard that Manchester is not complying with the Governments Tier 3 rules. Well here is the proof that they are and this is rush hour 4.40pm.. 

But, there was no hussle and bustle at the Covid Nightingale Hospital. In fact just the opposite. 

Strange considering. Why don't they do covid testing whilst they are doing very little instead of folk having to pay between £120-£200 for the privilege. Or do we forward the expense to Chinese Embassy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A short visit to Dunnerdale.

 Monday 12th - Thursday 15th October 2020

I had originally planned this camping trip for last week but a sore achilles put paid to that. We were just a little disappointed because we hadn't been up to see our friends in Seathwaite since before the covid lockdown in March.

We had to camp because we couldn't visit their house, but to be honest I was quite looking forward to getting the camping gear out again. If I could find it all.

Monday was forecast a wet day and it proved correct. It rained most of the way and had set in for the day by the time we arrived at the campsite in Seathwaite. We waited in the car for a short while to see if the rain would abate but no luck, so it was just a matter of getting the waterproofs on and getting the tent up ASAP.

I took the Kuiu Mountain Star tent which is an easy tent to erect and it doesn't matter if its raining, the inner tent doesn't get wet. Five minutes after the tent was up the rain eased slightly but it wasn't to last. At least I managed to make a brew before it started again. Only at this point did we realise that we had forgot the coffee so it was green tea.

Tranquility in the Duddon Valley.

I had a short wander around the site and found there was only one other tent.

We lazed around in the tent for the rest of the afternoon, it just wasn't worth getting wet through, but later we had arranged to meet up with our friends in the Newfield Inn at 6.00pm come rain or shine.

The Newfield Inn opened its doors on 1st September under new management so we were more than looking forward to seeing what had changed. Considering it was a wet Monday night there was more folk in than I had expected. It was good to see our friends again, but no hugs. 

I have to say that the menu was very good and the food was excellent. I had Steak and Ale pie and I wished I had taken a photo because it looked wonderful and the portion were very large. I struggled to finish it all but I wasn't going to leave any. 

A notice on the bar said, "Breakfasts being served from 9.00am". This is new. I took a mental note.


The rain had stopped and it wasn't a bad day. My achilles was not causing me too much pain but I knew I daren't risk going on the high fells. I planned a short walk up the Walna track to take some photos but it seemed we just diverted and went up the good track to Seathwaite Tarn and back. 

Once up at the reservoir it was a different day. From being a warm day down in the valley, it had now turned into a very nippy and windy day. Not a day to linger and have a picnic. On the way back we passed quite a few folk on their way up. I thought "I bet you think its a lovely day but just wait till you get up there".

When we got back we spoke to a lady who had gone up to Dow Crag. However, she had got blown over at Buck pike so decided to get off the mountain. Wise decision.

Harter Fell


The night turned into one of gale force winds with rain lashing down. We didn't sleep much until about midnight when the wind abaited a little. I slept ok until about 5 am but Sheila didn't sleep much. As it was we had a bit of a lie in.

Once the sun was up it proved to be a lovely day so another short walk was called for. We headed for Fickle Steps, which is a series of large boulders and a wire handrail across the River Duddon. Luckily the river was not too high and we got across with dry feet. 

It had been many a year since I had walked the Duddon Gorge and so it proved to be a good decision. We loved it. Such a peaceful path which undulates with great views of the river and higher up onto the fells. I had to be a bit careful in parts and just watch my footing on the rocky path. I din't want to twist my ankle and make it worse. We were in no rush anyway so it didn't matter how slow we walked.

In the evening we headed back to the Newfield to socialise with our friends before leaving for home tomorrow. We suggested to have breakfast here in the morning which would be better than us cooking it. All agreed.

Wednesday night proved to be a bit of a chilly one and we were grateful for our -5 PHD sleeping bags. Just before we packed up we had a chat with the owner of the campsite and he was telling us of his good fortune at the Tup auctions were he had sold one for £18,000. Fantastic price.

Breakfast at the pub turned out to be an excellent choice. Bacon, sausage, 2 eggs, tomato's, mushrooms, black pudding. Toast and coffee. It cost £9.95 and I know some will think this is a lot but it was worth it. It was quality and I look forward to next time.

Well that just about ends our short trip. Hopefully next time my ankle tendon will be much improved.

Friday, October 16, 2020

3F Ultralight Gear 2/3 person tent FOR SALE.

 I bought this tent in February 2020 for an event which was to take place in April. 

See it here.

Obviously with what took over the country in March the event was cancelled. I now have no need for this tent. I was going to keep it but the amount of times I would use it just doesn't warrant it.

So someone could grab a bargain. I paid £140 not £220 and I would accept any decent offer. Taking into consideration that it is in as new condition. It has been erected twice. It has no marks on the groundsheet and it has only been slept in for 2 nights.

If your memory is good, you may remember the Golite Shangri la 3. Well this 3F tent was probably made in the same factory using the same patterns and materials and has been re badged under another name. Thats my guess, knowing the Golite version. It is also very similar to the Nigor WikiUp 3. The quality of the 3F tent is perfect.

Here is the weight. Tent inner and outer, pole and pegs and bags. 1634 grams.

It says this is a 2 person tent but it would easy accommodate a small child or a dog too.

Tent dimensions.

The inner tent is very fine mesh which is midge proof.
The zip is two way so can be opened from the top to give even more ventilation than the huge three vents at the top.
The tent is supplied with a pole extension only, for use with the owners own walking pole. Saving weight.
12 tent pegs are included.
The inner groundsheet has a high bathtub floor. 2 inner pockets for storage.

Where the provided extension pole fits with your walking pole.

Tent details.

Outer fly sheet.  15D silicon coated Nylon 5000 hydrostatic head.
Inner tent. 20D Gauze.
Groundsheet. 20D Silicon coated Nylon. 6000 hydrostatic head.
Pole extension rod.
12 tent pegs.
Colour, Green.

Any questions please use comments below.

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