Sunday, 19 April 2015

Kinder in the Peak District - from Red Brook April 2015

An 'A' Walk up onto Kinder, via the Red Brook

A good friend (an excellent walker) joined with me to recce a new walk I would like to do with the Ramblers.
Basically, it's a variation on the Kinder Plateau loop - though with the challenge and enjoyment of gaining the top via an ascent of the Red Brook.

The plaque at Hayfield Quarry

We started at Bowden Bridge Quarry, just outside Hayfield - this was the gathering point for the mass trespass of Kinder Scout, held in April 1932, some 83 years ago this month.
Around 500 walkers, mostly from Manchester, gathered for a mass trespass up onto the Kinder plateau - there were some violent scuffles with local gamekeepers.

Although trespass was (and still isn't) a criminal offence, six walkers were arrested with some receiving jail sentences of up to 6 months for violence to the gamekeepers.
This was the beginning of the campaign by the Ramblers Association which eventually led to the passage of the National Parks legislation in 1949 and subsequently the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Walking up past Kinder Reservoir

Adrian, my friend, looking up at Kinder

The route taken is the contour around the bottom of the Kinder edge

 - A view of the Mermaid's Pool from above. This natural water feature is quite hard to locate as it sits in a slight hollow and can easily be missed if approached from below.

Mermaid's Pool is said to be inhabited by a beautiful mermaid. A 19th century account describes how she rises to the surface on Midsummer’s Day, and lures men to their deaths with her seductive singing. A poem illustrates this by relating how a shepherd boy fell in love with her, and, at her bidding, jumped into the pool to be with her, never to be seen again.
But other accounts describe her as benevolent, and say that she will grant eternal life on those who see her swimming in the pool, and that she can be found doing so every year at midnight on Easter Eve.
The pool is said to be salty due to its being connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a subterranean passage!

Looking back down Red Brook, having climbed half way

Looking up

Another photo looking down
The climb from the stream bottom to the plateau is 750 ft

Here we are enjoying a breather!

Further round the southern edge - here on top of Crowden Clough

We covered 12 miles in all and climbed 3050ft - over 6 hours of walking.
A great day in the hills!!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Marlow on the River Thames - April 2015

Enjoying Easter - April 2015

We journeyed down to stop with our Son in Staines-on-Thames over Easter.
The weather was lovely and we got out and about.
We got the train into Charing Cross - to go and see Sondheim's 'Sweeney Todd' done by English National Opera with Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. It was the Lincoln Centre production brought over from New York and was absolutely excellent!
The photo is of Lord Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square, where we sat in the afternoon sun!

We also visited a favourite riverside park of ours - here at Marlow.
This photo is of a lovely riverside property opposite the park 

The famous view downstream to Marlow Bridge 

Old timers taking a scull - what you do when living near the River?!

Marlow Rowing Club - where the great Sir Steve Redgrave rowed

The view of Marlow weir with the Mill complex in the background - looking downstream

The white building is the old Mill, with the mill race flowing out in the back left corner - now lovely duplex apartments

This is the view upstream (in hazy midday sunshine) - we intend to come this way next year 2016 on our big summer cruise!

Watching a fine cruiser come through the lock - there wasn't a Lock Keeper there, so the crew worked the gates and paddles themselves - 'self service'!

Filling the lock

Next downstream was this large cruiser

In one of the nearby gardens, I spotted these bee hives in the classic WBC design.
 They were invented by and named after William Broughton Carr in 1890, and are a double-walled hive with an external housing that splays out towards the bottom of each frame covering a standard box shape hive inside.
There was plenty of bee activity on the warm Spring afternoon 

Here I am looking up at the 'big man' - Sir Steve is an inspiration for rowers and sports people
Family enjoying the afternoon sun in the park

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Wells Cathedral Visit Mar 2015

Last week, whilst in Somerset, we went over to the City of Wells - the smallest city in England! The main purpose was to visit the delightful Wells Cathedral, set in the cathedral close with the green in front.
We stopped for tea and cakes on the café and spent a splendid long afternoon looking around. Having bought a photographic ticket, we were able to take many photos.

The icing on the cake was waiting til the Evensong and participating in an age-old religious ceremony going back to medieval times - sung by the excellent Vicar's Choir.

Here are some photos:
The gatehouse to the Bishop's Palace - we will have to visit here again and do in here ...
Having parked our motorvan - Chris patiently waits outside the Penniless Porch c1450(where the City's beggars plied their trade)
Through the Gate to view the magnificent frontage of Wells Cathedral
Built between 1175 and 1490 - on the site of an earlier 705 Abbey Church
In the Early English Gothic style - this west façade has about 300 hundred surviving statues
Looking through at the inner cloister courtyard
The ornate painted roof of the Nave


This photo shows the Astronomical Circular Clock dated from about 1325 - the second oldest medieval clock in Engalnd

Looking east, past the High Altar to the Lady Chapel

The magnificent East Window

We had the privilege of participating in Evensong seated here

Following some subsidence of the central tower, these 'scissor' stone supports were erected

After Evensong, we emerged to this glorious view at sunset!
For detailed information about Wells Cathedral - see this link