Posts Tagged ‘2008’

Magpie Mine

September 20, 2016

Magpie Mine is a former lead mine near Sheldon in the Peak District of Derbyshire. We came on it rather by chance when avoiding heavy traffic in the Bakewell area. This was back in October 2008.


This is one of the best preserved mines in Derbyshire – some restoration has been carried out. It almost looks Cornish.


Apparently there are guided tours but with no one about we took an unguided one.


It was beginning to look quite stormy.




In fact it was distinctly gloomy. But cameras can fight the gloom and make it look pretty cheerful.



There were remnants of the old mine everywhere.


Here we have a winder, a stack and the cottage at the mine.



A view through an arch in the old mine building.


Another winder.


Magpie Mine in its setting.


But just what is this?


The Peak District

September 17, 2016

I like the Peak District so it was with pleasure that I turned my railway poster calendar to September and found a picture of this Derbyshire (mostly) area.


This poster, for the old London, Midland and Scottish Railway was first published in 1923 with art work by R S Wyatt

It features a viaduct with a train in LMS red passing over it.

I suspect this represents the viaduct at Monsal Head – now a walking/cycling trail. I snapped a photo of it in 2008 when I was in the area.


I note from what I wrote at the time that I was unwilling to pay to park near there so was unable to get a good photo but I can certainly find photos of elsewhere on the Monsal Trail.

image004It is a very pleasing area.


The Monsal Trail is clearly a former railway – once part of the third way between London and Scotland.

A wall lizard

August 15, 2016

These photos, taken in April 2008, was near Camon in the south of France. It was a warm spring day and the lizards were out.


It needs a bit of a zoom.


This is a wall lizard – the commonest lizard in France. It is probably a male. At home, in the south of England I do see lizards of the kind we call common. It was a delight to see these creatures in France.


What charming animals they are.

Tight curves

May 26, 2016

The heritage line The West Somerset Railway is delightful in many ways. It runs neat, tidy trains and uses a good and suitable variety of motive power. It has length – some 23 miles of it between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead, so you get a decent ride through attractive countryside and along the coast. Photo opportunities abound.

As a rail enthusiast I have a taste for travelling in either the first or the last carriage. If you are in the first coach you can really hear the loco and that tells you just how hard it is working as it goes up hill or else taking it easy as it goes down dale.

But the rear coach provides photo opportunities when the line is curving for you can see engine and train up ahead.


It looks as though I am not on the train, but I am and up the front we can see our loco. She’s puffing out plenty of spent steam so she is working hard. I was lucky with this photo. First of all, I have got a mile post in shot so I can locate it precisely as 170 and three quarter miles from Paddington.  It’s near Crowcombe Heathfield. Secondly, I love the serpentine curves of the track as it wends its way towards the Somerset interior. And I love the gangers hut, clearly kept in respectable condition by the volunteers who work on the line. And of course the curve is tight enough for me to see the loco quite clearly.


Those two heads peeping out of the second carriage won’t have got anything like the view I got.

The loco, by the way, is really a freight engine but such locos were used on holiday excursions and are well suited to a hilly line. Small wheels gives them pulling power but also a lower top speed. That low top speed is no problem on the speed restricted light railways of the heritage world.

Pooh Sticks

December 20, 2015

A A Milne gave a name to one of the great pastimes for kids of all ages. I don’t imagine he invented the idea of dropping sticks in a stream on one side of the bridge and then going to the other side to see which stick emerged first. I dare say youngsters played such games long before Christopher Robin and Friends played this game and called it Pooh Sticks.

The idea is so utterly simple yet it mixes a large dose of luck, with a little skill in selecting a likely stick and the best drop zone for it.

And here are two adult ladies about to drop their Pooh Sticks into a stream.


It has to be said the game is best played at a bridge without a road, particularly if children are involved for once they have launched their sticks they will charge across the bridge with no thought to traffic.

I’m afraid history has not recorded the winner of this game which was played in 2008.

Millers Dale

December 5, 2015

Travel in 1905 and 2008

We’ll start with one of those railway carriage prints and it depicts, as the name implies, travel back in 1905.

What we see here is a Midland compound loco on a Manchester express near Millers Dale in Derbyshire. The loco was said to be new back then. It still exists for it became a part of the nationally preserved collection of locos.

The print does not date from 1905. It was issued in 1951 by the London Midland region of British Railways. The original art work was by Hamilton Ellis and was part of a series of ‘travel in’ prints used.

I reckon this particular copy has suffered fading. The loco and carriages ought to be in a crimson colour. If you search for this item on the web you’ll see what it would have looked like when new. But I rather like the more subdued colours here.

Sadly, the old Midland Railway route to Manchester was closed in 1968. Parts of it have been restored as heritage lines and much of the area in Derbyshire is now a footpath – the Monsal Trail.

Back in 2008 we walked some of this including a stretch at Millers Dale.


That scene, taken from the track, could be very close to where Hamilton Ellis set his scene.

This is Millers Dale station with a platform edge, the remains of buildings some being used by builders, but no tracks and no trains.


At Monyash in October 2008

September 23, 2015

Monyash is a village in Derbyshire with direct family connections.

Monyash had village farms – the house was at the front and barn and byre buildings were attached at the back. There seems to be a squeezer stile to that phone box.

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In fact it also led to some kind of wash sink.


It also led to hilarity as two people tried to get through the squeeze.



Nearby was a small village green with what looked an old monument.



The pub, with ancient blocked door stood by the green.


Morris men were arriving and considerably later we saw them performing outside the Queen’s Arms.


Oh yes, there seemed to be a bikers’ convention as well.




This is Monyash Church which would have been despised by my wife’s relatives from 300 years earlier. Cornelius’s mother, Alice – my wife’s direct ancestor – was a feisty lady who disrupted services across the moor at Leek and spent time in prison for her Quaker beliefs. One of her children  – a breast-fed babe – died in prison with her.

This was one way out of the churchyard. Large slabs are placed in the wall to make a kind of ladder.


After a dull start to the day, the sky was clearing. The sun may not yet have been with us but there was plenty of blue sky.


Just below the church was a small lake called Fere Mere. These were dug in the clay areas so that water could collect and provide that much needed fluid for animals being driven across the dry limestone areas.



I stopped by a field gate to take a photo and three fat lambs – I bet they’d been hand reared – charged over to see me with hope and expectation written all over their face. But of course, I had nothing for them.



And now, the Mere – attractive and reflective.


Steps led down to the edge of the water – and down on into the water. Recent rainfall probably meant it was a high water mark.

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Two drakes – a bit Khaki Campbell in style, cruised over to see us, rippling up the water.


When we didn’t feed them, they hopped up the steps to follow us.


One of the benches around Fere Mere. Very nice!

Well that was Fere Mere, but next door, the school playing field was not coping too well with the quantity of rain.



Monyash House Farm had a National Trust Sign.


Having been for a walk, we returned, not only seeing Morris Men, but also the old reading room.


Gascony Cattle

April 21, 2015

Time for a train

No, I’m not talking about a train time nor even a timetable although I could recall table 28 in the Southern Region timetable of the early 1960s which covered services between London and the Sussex coast. For me that timetable was a totally straight forward affair but looking back with the benefit of a bit of age and (I hope) just a tad of wisdom, I can imagine it was an utter nightmare for most people.

But no, I just feel it is quite some time since I saw any kind of train on my blog and I decided it was time for one and here it is.


People vaguely in the know will recognise that this is no English train. This is in France and behind the train we see snow capped Pyrenees mountains so we are not that far from Spain. I have this photo captioned simply as ‘near Momtgaillard’.

Noe I know absolutely nothing about French trains but I will point out that this train is what gets called articulated. The three carriages have just four sets of wheels. And with that I’ll let the train pass and return to what I was doing at the time in April 2008. That was photographing cows.


These handsome beasts are Gascony cattle. They looked at me, looking at them.


They didn’t think much of me. They were off.


The real reason for departrure followed behind them. They clearly didn’t fancy the bull.


Blythburgh (2)

March 7, 2015

Having looked, yesterday, at Paul Bennett’s view of Blythburgh I thought that today we could see some of my photos.


This was a hazy day in April 2004 and we can see that little hill with the village on it.


It was even mistier on another visit in February 2008 when we walked paths in the marshes.


This boat’s useful days are clearly over – but modern photography makes it all too easy to brighten up what was a very misty shot.


Aha. Now here’s one for a nerd. It’s an old AA reflector to help make sure cars don’t crash into the corner of a building.


Sorry folks. I have photos of church and village but there are dozens of them on the web already

Selworthy Beacon

November 29, 2014

Yesterday I aimed to cheer up the drab end of November with summer sunflowers. They were cultivated and in France. Today we’ll look at wild flowers in the UK – on Selworthy Beacon, Exmoor, to be precise.


I’m guessing this smile bringing collection is pinky purple heather mixed with bright yellow gorse. I think it looks great.

There are acres of this heather mixture, high above the coast.


That’s the view down to Porlock Bay.

We were at this lovely location in a somewhat damp and chilly august in 2008.