The Vault Regulars

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Hopwood Nature Reserve.

 We started this walk from the car park at Slattocks, Grid Ref SD 88459 08648.

The route is local to us and we did 8km on a cold but very sunny day. The pictures depict how nice the walk was with little explanation needed.

The route which we took in an anti clockwise direction. Starting from the chequered symbol.

The most photographed ducks on the Rochdale Canal at the Ship Inn Pub.

The Lodge at Hopwood Cottage. (Now Manchester Golf Course)
Wood Anemone

Gorse Bush
Castleton Church Spire, chimney of Arrow Mill and Scout Moor Wind Farm behind.
Gorse in Lords Wood.
Knowl Hill in the distance.

A pair of lone tree shots.

Tree Rats sunbathing.
Long Zoom shot of Winter Hill. 22km as the crow flies.
Long zoom shot of Peel Tower at Holcombe. 12km as the crow flies.
We got close to Bambi.
Bambi's mates.
Blackthorn looking well. (See comments from Bowlandclimber)
As we didn't take any coffee with us it was back home for lunch.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

A walk around Manchester Golf Course. Take 2.

 As i mentioned in the previous post, it wasn't until we got home from our walk did we realise that a trig point existed within the golf course.

We never came across it and so we had to go back and visit said OS marker.

We walked a little further this visit, 10km in total.

Here is the photo of us at the trig point and also we was surprised to encounter even more deer than last time. 6 in all.

2 of the 6 Roe Deer.

When we looked at an old victorian map of the area there used to be a branch canal leading from the Rochdale canal at Trub and terminated at the wharf in Heywood. It was filled in years ago when the M62 motorway was built but after a bit of a search on Google Earth the course of it can be worked out. We wondered if we could find any of it still on the ground.

We think we did. The photograph below is the only bit of "canal" that we think still exists. It is overgrown but it is the right width, in the right area and going in the right direction. There was also some stone blocks to be seen which would have been the embankment. 

The canal opened in 1834 and was worked until 1937 when most goods travelled by train. It. was subsequently filled in.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

A walk around Manchester Golf Course.

 Because of lockdown rules closing golf courses, Manchester golf course management have opened up the course for the general public to walk around. A splendid idea.

I have never been on the course before and i never realised just how big it was or how wonderful it is to walk around it. It was well worth doing and we clocked up just over 7km.

We started off walking down the Rochdale canal before joining the slip road into the course. The Canada geese were very friendly.

The Course club house which now includes the Nineteenth Hole has lots of Ancient History and was originally called Hopwood Cottage and was part of the Hopwood Hall estates which date back to the 12 century, it had a boating lake with a boat house and a very unique ice house. These still exist today.

Hopwood Ice House. You can just make out the curved brickwork which was the domed roof.
Cottage Pond. Not sure where the boat house was.
Hopwood Cottage clubhouse, now extended.
Zoom shot, the original cottage. The club is the second oldest club in England although it hasn't always played here.

Becoming ominously dark. The hills were dissapearing.

Nice colour in the rough
Daffodils with a prikly existance.
I didn't realise the course was this old.

A nosey occupant of a neighbouring field.

I was just taking this picture when a Deer ran out from the trees and past us. It was gone in a flash so i didn't get a photo. We thought we might see another but we didn't. That was until maybe 20 minutes later and in a dense coppice i spot this beauty below.

Zoom shot of a Roe Deer.
We tried to get closer to it by walking in a large circle behind it but it heard us and we just caught a glimpse of it's white behind as it ran away.
Super Zoom shot of the monument on Tandle Hill.
There are quite big areas which are left as rough pasture which i think is a great for animal life. 
Trub Brook winds its way through the course.
A stump full of Brackets.
A new range is being constructed and all the white dots you can see are hundreds if not thousands of golf balls. As a kid we would have been in here picking them up and selling them. But it looks like they are just going to get buried by the Caterpillar D6 that Sheila is stood aside below. Cost new £400-£500K
We covered just over 7km on the course and it was an eye opener of what a lovely area it is to walk. It's a shame that it couldn't remain open to the public after the course re-opens.

On the way back we spotted this colourful rooster.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Peak Designs Capture V3 camera clip.

 Carrying any sort of DSLR or 4/3rds camera or compact for that matter when hiking can be a bit of a pain. I have never been very comfortable with the options available. There are many different types of camera support systems on the market but none had taken my fancy. They were basically designed for street photographers and I say that respectfully, rather than backpackers on long trips where you don't want to keep stopping to de-bag the camera whether it be in a separate camera case or worse still in the rucksack.

That was until I was watching a YouTube video during the first covid lockdown period and the American backpacker was using this clip system. I couldn't catch the name of the clip from the video but after some googling I managed to find out who the manufacturer was.

It was Peak Designs. 

It turns out that this kit was originally a Kickstart item in 2011. It raised $15 million. Since then there have been 3 versions. The clip that I purchased and which this review is based on is the V3 which was released in 2018.

I won't bore readers with the history of the previous 2 versions because it's all available on line for those who want to know. What I will say though is that the V3 is the smallest and lightest version without distracting from the carrying specifications.

The clip weighs 84 grams and includes the locking plate that attaches to the camera base.

Beautifully smooth CNC machined and anodised aluminium, weatherproof and finished in black as mine is or silver option.

Image from Peak Design website.

The clip has an impressive carry weight of 90kg plus. or 200lb in old money. Far more than any camera.

Item 1, fits to your rucksack strap or it can also be tailored to fit on trouser belts or other types of bags. A separate strap for this method is available as an add an accessory. I didn't purchase this addition as I will probably only use it on my rucksack strap.
The dimensions are, width 8.3cm, height 4cm, depth 2cm.

Item 2, this fits onto the base of the camera using the tripod location. The thread is 1/4 -20 UNC. Standard on all cameras. It is a 4 way fitting into the clip so it doesn't matter which way round you locate it to the camera base. You fit it in a way which best suits the lenses you want to attach. You can't get it wrong. Honest.

Item 3, 2 sets of screw are provided, one pair which are finger tightening and the other pair hex head tightening.

Item 4, Hex key for tightening the plate to camera and the optional use screws. Complete with ring attachment to a key fob.

Item 5, Carry case.

In Use.

Fitting the clip to the rucksack strap was a bit of a faff at first and it is MOST IMPORTANT to be aware that the clip is made to fit straps that are no bigger than 6.4cm (2.5") wide and 1.5cm (0.6") thick using the finger tightening screws or a thicker strap, up to 2.2cm (0.88") with the 2 additional set screws.
I refitted the clip three times before I had a comfortable position for the camera on the strap and which was easy to release the locking pin to remove the camera.
By using the 2 set screws my feeling is that by pinching in the straps you could probably get away with straps that are slightly wider than 6.4cm but I haven't proved that yet.
To stop the clip from sliding down the rucksack strap the clip has an injection moulded PVC pad fitted. I haven't had any problems with it sliding down at all. I guess it depends on the total weight of your own set up.

I have seen some videos of the clip in use where users say it was awkward to remove and replace the camera but I found it very easy indeed after 3 or 4 goes. It's all about familiarity and dexterity. If I can do it easily, then anyone can.

Once you slide the camera into the clip you hear a click which is the locking pin latching securely. If the camera is to be in the clip for a period of time or you are going through difficult terrain like forestry etc etc where you may have to bend or climb over obstacles then by turning the locking pin 90 degrees this stops the pin from being inadvertently released. When safe, turning the pin 90 degrees again releases it.
If you look at the clip and pin you will see a pair of lines, one on the body and the other on the pin head. When aligned the pin is free to unlock.

Peak Designs Capture clip in situ.

Locking pin in unlocked position

Peak Designs recommend that you fit the clip on the right hand strap but from what I found I prefer it on the left strap. It makes no difference to its operation, it is what ever suits you best. It is trial and error and personal preference.

It will come as no surprise that with an expensive camera and lens set up that I was quite nervous about it falling out and causing damage when I first used it. I can put your mind at ease, that feeling soon disappears as you get used to locking and unlocking it. It is a solid assembly and I never have any reservations about using it now.

The plate which screws to the camera is Arca type and therefore doesn't fit that many tripods. Quite a lot of tripods with slide in guides use RC2, for example the Manfoto tripods. (See Footnote)
Peak Designs do provide a solution with the dual plate accessory which currently costs £19. 

What I liked.
  • Overall weight of the assembly and the weight it can support.
  • Small size
  • Locking mechanism
  • Numerous accessories for lenses and Go Pro's etc.
  • Feel of security
  • Beautifully engineered design
  • Weatherproof.

What I didn't like.
  • The plate attached to the camera could cover some camera battery box covers. Its ok on my Nikon and Olympus.
  • Need to carry the Allen key with you. A coin screw lock would be better. The Allen key can be attached to your key fob.
  • Doesn't fit to all tripods.
  • The restriction on rucksack strap width.

 I haven't mentioned the cost as a like or dislike because it depends on everyones personal perspective. It costs £52. I believe it is a price worth paying because cameras are expensive pieces of kit and I wasn't prepared to pay for something cheap that may or may not work. I wasn't prepared to take the risk.

It is well made, will last and very little if anything to go wrong. It is very comfortable and after only 10 or 15 minutes you forget you have it with you.

I wouldn't be without it. It's a fantastic piece of kit.

Footnote. Since publishing this post I have played around with my Manfoto travel tripod and found that if you leave off the quick release plate and just use the Peak Design clip plate attached to the camera base. It is functional and will attach to the tripod adjustable vice. There are no override stops as with the Manfoto quick release plate but its a small price to pay considering that you don't need to buy the dual plate or have the hassle of changing attachment plates. 

Disclaimer. I bought this item with my own money. I wasn't asked to do a review and have no affiliation with Peak Designs.

Added 6th March 2021.

The comment below raised by Alun is a fair point and one which I did look into before publishing this post, and why I still think the clip is good.
The base design on the tripod mounts which have broken on some models of Olympus cameras are a different design to my Olympus OMD-EM5 MK2 but not the MK3. Maybe Olympus changed it because it was a failure point. That is my assumption and not fact.
Below is the broken base and then an image of my EM5.

Tripod Mount which shows breakage.
The tripod mount on EM5 MK2 which is completely different.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Can I give NHS Vaccine injections?


Many people already trained to give injections have been confronted with this pile of RED TAPE. So they back off. Utter ridiculous and may cost lives.

The checklist to become an NHS vaccinator

Recognising and managing anaphylaxis

Resuscitation, level 2

Safeguarding adults, level 2

Safeguarding children, level 2

Vaccine administration

Vaccine storage

Health, Safety and Welfare, level 1

Infection Prevention and control, level 2

Introduction to Anaphylaxis

Legal aspects of vaccination

Moving and Handling, level 1

Preventing radicalisation, level 1

Conflict resolution, level 1

Core knowledge for Covid-19 vaccinators

Covid mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine)

Data security awareness, level 1

Equality, Diversity and Human rights, level 1

Fire safety, level 1


Saturday, January 2, 2021

John Rousseau RIP.

 Very sad to hear today of the sudden death of John Rouseau from Broughton Mills. John was a Lakeland photographer and a real character. Sheila and I very much enjoyed his company over a beer in the Manor Arms in Broughton in Furness.

I remember talking to him about his camera work and he was so 'matter of fact' I just use an Olympus Pen, set it up and it does the rest. I have since bought an Olympus and I wish it was that easy. He had a great talent and will be missed by many.

 It's with a great sadness that I write this post note and our thoughts are with daughter Jayne and the family.

Here is a link to john's and Jayne's work.

John Rousseau. RIP.

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