Posts Tagged ‘Derbyshire’

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.

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.


Trains in a Tent

January 28, 2015

OK folks. There are no real trains in this one – just a board game which is actually called ‘Ticket to Ride (Europe)’.

The game was bought for me by my daughter who no doubt thought that a game which might have a train theme would suit me. And it did although, in truth it hardly mattered that it was about building rail routes in competition with others. It just proved to be a really good game – simple to play and with a definite mix of luck, planning and a tad of skill.

My wife and I were soon addicted and had taken the game on a camping holiday with us. We had basically been up in Scotland, but on the way home we found our way to a site in Derbyshire where son and future daughter in law were staying. Now future daughter in law was also addicted to the game – more so than us – and for their camping holiday the two of them had actually taken two different versions of the game with them. We always called this game ‘trains’. It seemed snappier and shorter than Ticket to Ride but nobody else would have a clue what we meant if we suggested a game of trains.

Well of course, we had a glorious get together in our nice spacious tent and had a four person game of trains. And here’s wife and daughter in law with the corner of the board just visible.


As you can see we’ve had a brew up. Mugs of tea are ready.

That was a memorable stop for many reasons – really lovely to meet up with the family in remote Derbyshire.

Peak Rail

January 21, 2014

The other day I was searching through older photos from my digital era which began in 1998. I was looking for the first occasion my wife was wearing the coat she was just doing running repairs on at the time. I found it back in January 1999 so it is 15 years old.

But I also came across this picture which looks horribly sad. It isn’t my wife wearing a coat – it is a diesel locomotive wearing protective clothing.


This was back in October 1998 and the loco was what I and many other train spotters of the 1960s called a Peak class. These had been early arrivals in the dieselisation of Britain’s railways. Indeed, the first of the class carried the number D1 – diesel 1. That was delivered to the railways in 1959 and eventually there were 193 of these locos. They proved to be reasonably successful engines. The last Peak class was withdrawn from service in 1989.

This photograph was taken at Matlock as day began to turn into night. It looks a very sad sight. I do not know what number this engine was, but I don’t think it is early peak number D8 which carried the name Penyghent. I think that engine was already serviceable by 1998.

The photo does not give a good impression of Peak Rail which has re-opened a part of the old Midland main line from Matlock to Rowsley South. I have never travelled on it but it operates steam services as well as diesel and I believe it has much to commend it.


On the canals in 1975

February 18, 2013

1975 was a BC date. That means ‘Before Children’. Five of us, two couples and a brother of one of us hired a narrow boat from Penkridge in Staffordshire for a week. We took our boat to Nottingham and back.

I have close on 100 colour slides from that week many of which could fit the bill for a ‘Happy nerd’ blog.

Today I shall look at the Trent Corn Mills.


The first problem! You take 100 colour slides and then send them off to be processed. Quite a long time has elapsed since you took the pictures. You can’t remember where they all were taken.

I knew this was the Trent Corn Mills because the building declares itself. At the top of the gable end it says F E Stevens Ltd and Trent Corn Mills.

Of course, in 2013, when you rediscover the old slides, you can look things up on the web. This is at Shardlow in Derbyshire.

I am so pleased, though, that the trip we made was in 1975. Britain was running down as a manufacturing country, but plenty remained of old buildings. Now we are a heritage country and the corn mills, perhaps out of use in 1975, are now a swish visitor attraction. The building is listed and here’s the text that explains why.

Corn warehouse, now museum and tea rooms. 1780, converted c1970. Red brick with brick and stone dressings and red plain tile roof with central louvred vent, projecting hoist roof to north, and stepped eaves band. Four storeys and five bays with wide slightly advanced, gabled central bay. East elevation has a full width segmental brick arch with stone hoodmould and keyblock to centre bay flanked by segment headed doorcases with plank doors, that to north with an insurance plaque over. Beyond to either side there are three storey segment headed hoist doorway with timber lintels at floor levels, now completely glazed. Above the central arch is a fixed small pane window below a flat brick arch with stone keyblock and to either side there are similar segment headed windows. Similar windows in same arrangement above with a small oval painted plaque below the central window, inscribed ‘1780’. Above again there is a similar window to the central bay with its keystone running into a plain band across the gable at eaves level and to either side there are two flat headed 2-light windows below the eaves. Below the central window is a large painted sign inscribed ‘From the Trent to the Mersey’ and above in the gable there is another painted sign inscribed ‘Navigation’. Over this is a clock face set in a circular stone surround. North elevation has a two storey segment headed hoist doorway to first and second floors with a small segment headed window above, and the hoist over. West elevation similar to eastern elevation except outer bays have segment headed windows instead of large doorways. Interior has the original floors and timbers. One of the earliest in a series of canal warehouses, built after the completion of the Trent and Mersey Canal when Shardlow was a thriving inland port. The building had its own spur from the canal to enable narrow boats to get right into the building to unload, via the central arch.

It says the building was converted ca 1970. I’m going to suggest it was after 1975. To me, back then, it was just a delightful building clearly making a sensible link between a product (flour and other mill ground grain) and a transport system that was the best, in its day, for getting goods round the country. But of course, the mill has been preserved and I hope we can all be pleased about that.