Thursday, 28 October 2010

Hadlow Road

Hadlow Road station opened in 1866.  The line closed in 1962 and is now the track of the Wirral Way cycle and  footpath. The station building is restored to its 1950s state as a typical village station and acts as a visitors centre. Tickets anyone?

Mary is the hostess of the midweek meme Windows...and doors too

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

ABC Wednesday - Oxen Fell

Taking the road from the Lake District village of Coniston many cars pass this place as they travel to Ambleside. They may stop at the Yew Tree Tarn, admire the still water and see the trees and low fell around it and be unaware, as they drive on, what is just a short walk away up a farm track at High Oxen Fell, 
outstanding views of the Langdale Pikes and England's highest mountain, Scarfell in the distance. High Oxen Fell is a place of woods, dry stone walls
old stone barns
and farms like the 17th Century High Oxenfell Farm, once owned by Beatrix Potter
and left in her will, when she died in the winter of 1943, to the National Trust, along with another 14 farms and cottages plus 4000 acres to ensure the preservation of the landscape. Her friend Canon Rawnsley was one of the founders of the National Trust, set up to protect and preserve land and buildings of beauty or history. She was rather ambivalent about the people running the National Trust and said "There are I fear a number of foolish people in the National Trust. The difference between them is the Trust will continue".  She was of course right.
High Oxenfell Farm is on high fell but surrounded by the hills and like most fell farms today has diversified into other areas and here at the back on the right is the holiday cottage.  How wonderful to wake up in the morning to those views walk by quiet
babbling brooks, and they are babbling for all they are worth at the moment. We have had some torrential rain recently.  But the rough track
to the scattering of cottages and farms on Oxen Fell drains nicely no problem for this dog walker who had just turned from the sign post with child settled cosily in the backpack.

But enough of this gentle amble or perhaps  I could call it odyssey, for it is nearly Halloween and the track up to the farm is reputed to be haunted by the Oxen Fell-dobby (ghost).  The story goes that many years ago a farmers daughter Betty Briggs lived west of here at Tilberthwaite and went to a dance near Ambleside with her beau Jack Slipe. But at the dance Betty flirted with a handsome stranger and Jack found himself alone. Betty's new admirer walked her home but after leaving her door he was never seen again.  Did he meet with an unexpected accident.?  Jack Slipe began to act strangely and died, it is said. of remorse and guilt for his crime of passion.  And the sound of the desperate struggle is still heard along the lane......WOOOOhhh

Which is what I said to this rather laid back sheep on Oxen Fell, well actually more an of an uoo,
it had looked at me and then gone back to nibbling the grass, but at that sound looked up for its picture, although it looks more hopeful that I might have something to eat.  This is a Blackface sheep (I think, haven't run this identity past my farming friend) a sheep of the uplands, but Beatrix Potter was something of an expert in an other upland sheep, the local Herdwick, and won many prices for them.

ABC Wednesday, a journey from A to Z, now past the halfway mark of this round, more of the letter O here.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Innominate Tarn

Two boys finding the perfect place and time, as the autumn leaves fall, for climbing trees. My tree climbing days are well behind me (not as much bounce-ability)  but this is a pleasant place to stop on Holme Fell. Although it looks like a natural tarn as it nestles
under the hillside, high on the fell, it was artificially created to supply water to drive haulage machinery for the old slate quarry below.  The Hodge Close Quarry closed in the 1960s but in an ironic twist of fate is now filled with water and a popular scuba diving destination.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Church in Northern France

Walking through the small village of Coet-Bugat in France we came across a little Gothic style church.  I like a wander round a church, but it was locked, so we never got to see the intriguing stained glass windows from the inside.  What else is a person with a camera to do but look for something interesting outside.
An entry in the mid-week meme  "Window Views....and doors too"

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

ABC Wednesday - Nature Walk

Nature and the rhythm of the year as autumn turns. The late flowers are on their final flush, the roses

bloom in perfection for the final time, while the pampas grass arrives and shoots for the sky, its fonds float in the breeze, what care they that there will be winds in November, ha, they say, we laugh in the face of wind and will bend, this is our time.
Berries are in profusion in hedgerows, nuts are falling from the trees, birds are spoilt for choice
 although sometimes it is easer to eat nuts already shelled.

The Leven River at its tidal end with sandy banks at the time of this month's neap tide, the least rise and fall of the lunar month.  This short river drains much of the nearby woods, this is a very nemorous area, (no the spell check could not cope with nemorous, it means wooded).
I love a duck-board and this one makes a very wet patch of wood navigable without the mud oozing over shoes.  My companion, the mud-hound, having managed over the last few weeks to be as one with mud completed this walk almost totally dry.
The fascinating fungi love the damp of an autumn wood, I do not know enough about them to name this one but possibly as there were dozens of them growing on a fallen tree from its shape it is a  type of Paxilllus.

The 'name of the game' is ABC Wednesday nip over to see more words starting with N

Friday, 15 October 2010

Blog Action Day - Water

The pipe over the River Dunsop in Lancashire that carries the water from Thirlmere in the Lake District to Manchester. How lucky we are in Britain to have a system that brings clean water to our taps. In other places of the globe people are not as fortunate.  One billion people do not have access to safe water, 4500 children a day die from water borne disease and no proper sanitation.

Today is designated blog action day for water. Thank you to Elizabeth for her article that highlighted this. 
Join in and sign the blog action petition here and perhaps visit  Water Aid  who run projects throughout the world and see what can be done.  One billion people is a daunting number but as Lao Tzu said "A journey of a 1000 miles must begin with a single step".

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Tower Window

The Tower Garden, named after, yes the tower, in its corner of which this is one of the windows.  When it was built (sometime just before 1750) it was at at the boundary of Tatton Hall, its purpose, to watch for sheep stealing in the park, now it is just part of a peaceful yew hedged garden.

The statue is of Fame, the hundred tongued Roman goddess of news and rumour.

Participating in 'Window Views...and Doors Too' photo meme.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

ABC Wednesday - Muncaster meander

Monday was like summer if your closed your eyes, open them and the autumn leaves gave away the time of year. A pleasant day then to talk a meander through the woods past Muncaster Castle  and perhaps investigate the
monument that sits far above the road in the wooded hillside. The skeleton tree on the bend balances it on its branches, squint or click to enlarge, and it is there on the right.  Making our way up through the woods, which appears to be little used, we did not find a distinct path, just a muddle of trees, bracken, brambles and rhododendrons. Nothing like a scramble up a hillside manoeuvring through dense undergrowth, not. Happily after a false hope of reaching our destination it was blocked by fence and barbed wire, we retreated and then headed up in another direction which led us to open space and our object  was in sight.
The monument to Henry VI probably built in the 18th Century. Why and by who I do not know but best guess would be the Penningtons of Muncaster Castle who made many modifications to the castle itself in the 18th Century, and there is a story of their connection to this king. It is said that during the War of the Roses, a conflict  for control of the English crown, Henry VI fled in 1461 after defeat at Towton, the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil.  He arrived at Irton Hall for shelter but the owner was a Yorkist so was refused, again he fled over the fells to Muncaster in Cumberland, where he was discovered in this spot by shepherds who took him to Sir John Pennington at Muncaster Castle, he stayed for some time. When he left in gratitude he gave the family a glass drinking bowl with a prayer that they would prosper as long as it remained unbroken.  This is called the 'Luck of Muncaster' which seems to have worked.  The family are still there, in a line that goes back to 1208.  Wonder who dusts the glass.
The monument is a curious thing, inside there are niches that look as though they once held objects and perhaps in the past it was decorated inside and light flooded in through the small holes.  We left the monument
by, yes a road, who knew that there were a couple of houses further on up the hillside, we strolled down this wondering why we did not notice come up this way.

The morning over, our next destination was
Muncaster tarn, looking marvellously blue and not a cloud in the sky.
Up the hill passing fields to gain
Muncaster Fell and its panoramic views.
As we sat by the heavily concreted trig point on Hooker Crag, the sun beating down, hardly a breeze, the far mountains  surrounding us on three sides and the bays and inlets of the west coast sea on the other, what a magnificent place to be.  The only malfunction was the heat had brought muzzy and fuzzy views.

For multifarious words beginning with M visit ABC Wednesday

Friday, 8 October 2010

National Poetry Day - Almost

I'm late for National Poetry Day on the 7th October, but what is day without poetry. 
One of the Scottish Poetry Library's set of  e-cards.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

ABC Wednesday - Lancaster

The old coat of arms of the city of Lancaster when it was the administrative centre for the county of Lancashire appears on the gates of the present town hall.  This was built early in the 20th century and was funded by the 'lino king' Lord Ashton (a multi millionaire), because the city could not afford to build one itself.
 The old town hall, now a museum, the front of which is a popular meeting place when school comes out, learning done for the day, the volume of chatter is boisterously loud.
Always a display of hanging baskets.

Now when I wondered what have I could use for ABC Wednesday's L and thought at the back of my mind, oh yes I've taken a few pictures in Lancaster, what I did not realise, until today, was I'd never taken the things that are usually associated with Lancaster, its many Georgian buildings, the Priory and the 12th Century castle so perhaps this tour
 is of the other corners of the city, the canal
by the side of which lie a couple of pubs, the Water Witch and the White Cross, where you can sit outside on a sunny day.  I suppose you could call this
a back street tour of Lancaster.  Going up the hill from here there is another pub,
which gives you an indication that just further on up the hill is
 the large Williamson Park
and its Butterfly House, closed the day this photograph was taken, but when open
 its tropical butterflies can be admired in lush foliage.
While a storm brews outside.  The other waterway that runs through Lancaster, the River Lune and the new Millennium Bridge, the Ashton Memorial on the skyline.  I have a least taken pictures of that, but used it before, in the last round for the letter S;  but there is another fine building I have not taken a photograph and is behind me as I took this photograph, the 18th Century Custom House which is now a Maritime Museum. How lamentable lax I have been, however luckily I might squeeze another letter out of this city for another round of ABC when I get round to taking the photographs.

Leap over to ABC Wednesday to see other words beginning with the Letter L