Sunday, 27 September 2015

Walking over Kinder - with the North and Mid Cheshire Ramblers Sept 2015

Kinder Via Red Brook
12.3 miles and 3427 feet of Climb

It was my turn to lead the Ramblers on this challenging and unusual route.
7 members with 2 guests joined with me at Bowden Quarry CP for the day's adventure. We first paid our respects at the plaque commemorating the Mass Trespass of Kinder in April 1932 that led the way to open access on the fells. Taking the contour route across the front of Kinder edge, the Leader was spot on with map and nose navigation to find the Mermaid's Pool - she was elusive as ever! Then came the big clamber up Red Brook, proving a challenge for all - each picking a route to suit of their own choice. After a well-earned break at the top, we followed the southern Kinder Edge round to Crowden Tower and dropped down the rugged Crowden Brook path. What goes down must be climbed - this time up the Jacob's Ladder. Love it or hate it, it was the way back. Our 2 guests took the direct route back whilst we followed the ridge around to the delightful South Head and Mount Famine with the awesome 360 degree vistas.

The Ramblers group await the start

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 year.
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.

The mist hangs on the hills as we walk up past Hayfield Reservoir

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!
The view up the Red Brook ascent

Mist hangs over Kinder Edge

Leading a few stalwarts up the gully clamber

Looking down on the reservoir
Standing next to the Kinder Low Trig Point - at 633m (2076ft)

Passing Pym's Chair

The strange stone shapes called the Woolpacks

Descending the rugged Crowden Brook

A view of Mount Famine - our route took us along the ridge and down into the Kinder River valley, back to the quarry to finish a challenging walk
Soon back at the cars, welcome refreshments were taken in the Sportsman Inn

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Bodmin & Wenford Steam Railway - August 2015

West Country Tour 2015
Bodmin Heritage Railway

Whilst stopping in Cornwall, we took the opportunity to visit this delightful Heritage Railway.
We were last here in the summer of 2013 when I visited Bodmin. Here is the link for 2013 Bodmin Railway visit.

This year, we both drove up to Bodmin General from our Treyarnon campsite and made the most of a full day.

As we arrived, Loco No. 5619T is preparing for it's day's work
A JCB loads coal
GWR Tank Engine No.5619T runs around it's carriages at Bodmin Parkway.
The 5619T was built in Swindon in 1925 for work in the Welsh valleys coal field.
One of the 200 of the Class 5600, it was ideal for the job being powerful with good braking ability and with a short wheelbase, able to deal with sharp curves.
Ideal for the Bodmin and Wenford Railway!
There are just 9 locos of this class in preservation. No.5619T is painted in BR unlined green
GWR 5619T takes the gradient out from Boscarne Junction station.
Back at Bodmin General - classic GWR bench
A reminder of yesteryear ..., 1950's style
Our second train of the day was this delightful Autotrain, pulled by Great Western Region pannier tank engine 0-6-0 No.6435PT. Built in 1937 at Swindon works, it was one of 40 Class 64xx locos built for branch line work.
All were fitted with the necessary equipment to work an auto train- one that can be driven from the engine in the normal manner; or by remote control from the front of the leading coach when the train is being propelled by the engine.
The other (business) end of the Autotrain
A view through the Driver's position, with the driver holding the handbrake
The driver's view down the line - the regulator (controlling the steam input) is in the middle 
Looking at the Driver's cabin with the driver holding the handbrake
This photo shows the regulator bar that runs from the Auto Coach to the loco
Looking down the newly renovated Autotrain carriage
Yours truly demonstrating the helpful leather ceiling hangers
The Guard shows the green flag and gets ready to jump aboard
There has been major track sleeper replacement programme.
Here the speed restriction applies to a recently worked section
A view of the discarded old sleepers
Arriving at Bodmin Parkway, a Class 43/0, No.43042, built between 1975-82 though
 re-engine with a new MTU up-to-date power unit. This famous High Speed Train can regularly do 125mph. Here heading towards Bristol and then Paddington, in West London 
A view out the carriage window looking up the steep gradient out of Bodmin Parkway.
With a ruling gradient of between 1:37 and 1:44, the GWR 0-6-2 4619T can probably only manage 5 coaches 
At the end of the working day - 5619T takes on water
It was a great day. Here to finish is a photo of a Pulman Dining Car - based on a BR Mk1 Second Open Carriage, built in 1957 by Birmingham Carriage Works.
Painted in Chocolate and Cream, it is graced by the Pullman name and Cornish Patron Saint - St.Piran