In which Stuart re-joins the group and has a spectacular accident on a bus, John auditions for this year’s pantomime and discussions stray onto the etymology of invisible rabbits.
Despite the resumption of choral activities, the walking group is still rambling on. Most of the group reports have been written and photographed by me (Stuart) but I’ve missed a lot of walks having overstretched my Achilles tendons. Since my ankles now appear to be functioning I joined John for a walk from Chapel-en-le-Frith to Edale. This was preceded by the 61 bus from New Mills to Whaley Bridge with a very enthusiastic driver, particularly with respect to corners. It was probably on the hairpin onto the A6 that I lost my glasses. I’d taken them off because I was wearing a face-mask and my spectacles had fogged-up. I’d hung them on my shirt and the movement of the bus must have swung them off. John had noticed a lady on the other side of the bus hand a pair of specs to the man in front of her, but didn’t realise they were mine. I only realised they were missing when I got off. I got back on, searched my seat and failed to find them, then got off again with a shrug, only to have another passenger run after me to say that someone else had got them.
(The bus to Chapel was less eventful, although motorists kept stopping the driver to tell him that a panel of the bus was hanging loose.)
After the first path out of Chapel, which involved crossing the A6, John’s route took us on field paths and deserted by-ways to Sparrowpit, then via the rake on Gautries hill and the outskirts of Perry Dale to Conies Dale, where we fell into the discussion about the etymology of coney. Latin was a possibility, but at the time I couldn’t remember that the Latin for rabbit was cuniculus. (We didn’t see any rabbits.)
This symbolises the exciting nightlife of Chapel-en-le-Frith.
Small, well-stocked garden pond (outside the boundary of the garden).
Eccles Pike looming over Hobbiton (home of F’rodo).
These sheep looked like Texel crosses (no idea what they were crossed with). The Texel ancestry was confirmed in the next pen…
Proud parent (or ugly brute, depending on your perspective). Texel rams look like the breeder couldn’t decide between a sheep and a bulldog.
Trough in Sparrowpit. The plaque tells us that it was originally drinking water and that the outflow goes (via the Mersey) to the Irish Sea, whereas the stream on the other side of the road flows to via the Humber estuary to the North Sea.
The rake – the long pit in the ground, which actually runs for about three quarters of a mile – was made by lead miners following a seam. (John had read that the woodland was planted to deter animals from grazing on the poisonous spoil heaps.) This was the earliest form of lead mining, dating back to Roman times. (John relayed a tale from Christine and Ken Wood who, on a trip to Pompeii, had been told that the Romans got their lead from Derbyshire.)
My van’s missing. I’m sure I parked it around here somewhere.
John’s pantomime piece: “Now, boys and girls, where’s the horse?”
Having found ourselves with 20 minutes to cover the 3km of steep hills to Edale station, we concluded that we were going to miss our train. Since the next train was two hours later, we decided on a deviation via Mam Tor (shown) and the pub (not shown).
There’s Hope in the distance.
This week’s des. res. comes with excellent ventilation.