Friday, March 30, 2018

Slatepit Dale, Northedge, Alton, Farhill, Ashover, Tansley, and Matlock

I travelled on public transport to Slatepit Dale, a hamlet about four miles southwest of Chesterfield on the Matlock road. The first photograph is where I got off the bus.

I walked downhill towards Alton, just another hamlet consisting of a few houses, going along footpaths, tracks and country roads. I got lost though and after about an hour I found myself needing to return to the main road, only about a mile from where I'd started. I did enjoy looking at the countryside as I was going nowhere in particular...and I was greeted by three cats at one farm and seven dogs at another. I really should take more care with the quality of the maps that I produce when I'm printing them off from online sources - my computer monitor screen might be high definition but my printer certainly isn't. 

 So...I tried again to head off towards Ashover...this time managing it without any problems. 

There was nothing to photograph at Northedge or Alton; I didn't take my camera out of my pocket until I reached 'The Fabrick' most likely the highest point on my walk today - it was certainly the location with the most extensive views. It's a small area of high moorland with rocky outcrops and a toposcope on the summit. There's also a trig point and the ruins of some sort of building complete with the remains of electrical or pumping equipment.

Farhill is only about a mile to the north of Ashover, high on the hill above the village. I didn't see much though because the footpath descends through a couple of short tunnels and there are high walls at either side for much of the length.

I passed three pubs in Ashover, the first one, The Black Swan has a welcoming sign. There was also an eggs vending machine outside, which was only selling cartons of milk today.  If I hadn't lost so much time earlier in the day I would have popped inside for refreshments and sustenance.

There's a building directly opposite to the church that looked interesting to me.

There was a large 'welcome' sign pinned to the door of the church stating the opening times, so I went inside. The interior is pleasant enough but the radiators must have turned up to the maximum heat because it was uncomfortably hot inside.

The roast dinners being served at The Old Poets Corner smelled delicious [I immediately noticed the lack of punctuation]. I doubt that my custom would have been appreciated in this establishment though.

I took the footpath down into the valley, crossed over the River Amber and climbed up the other side to reach the foot of Cocking Tor. A short section of road then followed before I made my way over to Tansley. On the way I noticed this gate incorporating an old oven shelf into the construction.

For the final mile into Matlock I needed to walk along the road. I timed my arrival so that I didn't have long to wait for the TransPeak bus to Bakewell, then had only a few minutes to wait for the Sheffield bus and then literally walked straight onto the train at Sheffield.

As I was walking through Doncaster town centre I was harassed by a junkie asking for money. When I refused he made unwanted and unpleasant remarks and comments so I had to politely, yet very firmly, tell him where to go and what he should do when he gets there. He seemed to still  be staying too close behind me for my liking and so I walked to my house the long way round, cutting through back alleys and across a bit of waste ground. He soon lost interest in me. I think that many of these characters think I'm a fellow traveller...they couldn't be more wrong.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Burn, Carlton, Camblesforth, Barlow, and Brayton

More disruption on the trains today so I travelled on the bus to start my walk at Burn, just about three  miles south of Selby. I had a quick look round the village then headed south east down the lane towards Carlton. After about a mile I reached my first footpath, at first going alongside the disused runway at the former Burn Airfield and then along farm tracks and across fields until I reached a level crossing. The railway line here used to be part of the busy East Coast Main Line running between London and Edinburgh but these days there's only a limited local service and a few Hull Trains services to London via Selby. When the Selby Coalfield was opened up in the 1970s the mainline was diverted a few miles to the west to stay clear of any potential mining subsidence. 

There were good views of both Eggborough and Drax power stations from many locations fact I couldn't find many open spots were I couldn't see at least one of them.

I needed to use a short section of metalled road on the Quosquo Estate, an unusual name which looks Latin to me but I can't find any translation or explanation online. There's a lovely line of trees leading up to the hall here.

As I approached Carlton I crossed another railway line, this time the branch that goes to Drax Power Station; it's one of the largest power stations in Europe and there are frequent deliveries of coal. Just after I'd crossed the tracks a man driving a large four wheel drive car towing a trailer stopped and asked me about the driving conditions ahead, where I'd just been. I told that it was dodgy, a rutted track across a field, not flooded or muddy...but quite difficult I would think. I think he wanted me to make the decision for him as to whether or not to continue; we both agreed he should get out of his vehicle and go and have a look for himself. A few minutes later I could hear the noise of his engine as he was approaching me from behind, he'd turned round and was going to try to deliver his load of pipes by using another route.

I had a specific reason for wanting to visit Carlton - a linguistic peculiarity that can be photographed.

That reason is 'The Odddfellows' pub...yes, that's correct: I've not added the extra letter 'D'.

See here:

In the 1980s when the pub was being refurbished the signwriter made a mistake; the brewery wanted to correct the mistake but the locals persuaded them to leave it as it is.

Of course there were other things in Carlton for me to photograph; the first place I visited was Carlton Towers, adding half a mile to my walk to get this image.

There are Anglican and Catholic churches in the village, a Methodist chapel and a delightful tiny chapel at the cemetery.

In several of the fields near Carlton the farmers are using a new crop growing technique, I've certainly not seen it before anyway. It looks like some sort of fine biodegradable mesh or netting that's been laid in rows.

I re-crossed the Drax railway line; even on footpaths draconian railway byelaws still apply.

I got lost a bit and should have crossed the railway about half a mile to the west. This mistake had its benefit though; it meant that I was able to get sight of the cooling towers close up without the pylons and the transmission cables interfering with the view or the composition of the photograph.

I had to walk down the road for a longer distance though; this wasn't too bad because there was a pavement and so I had no problems with the camber hurting my feet.

I didn't go into the main part of the village at Barlow, I only saw modern houses and a school there.

At Barlow I was abused for the second time today by some teenagers as they rode by me on their bikes; the usual stuff, loud animal noises and strange contorted actions. If I was a member of a visible minority group I'd receive the protection of the law, but because Asperger's syndrome is an invisible disability I've just got to swallow whatever poison is rammed down my having to deal with other people's scepticism and hostility who think I'm not disabled at all but just idle, a waste of space or a parasite - members of my own family have called me all of these things. 

By the way I'm not a 'special snowflake' - I believe that no-one has the right not be offended, ridiculed...or even bullied for that matter, but when someone calls me idle I demand a right of reply and to able to confront them face to face. I might not ever have had a job, something I received wages or a salary for doing but I did do ten years of full-time voluntary work on community development projects...and acting as a mentor and [hopefully] positive role model for young people. The unemployment rate for people like myself with a diagnoses of Asperger's syndrome and no other development or learning disability could be as high as 97%, far higher than for any other disabled or disadvantaged group. Over the years I have begged to be given a chance to work; on local radio, on stage in front of hundred of people, at conferences...whenever and wherever; God knows I can't remember them all.

I arrived at Brayton with plenty of time to photograph the church, although by this time it was quite cloudy.

This final photograph is the view from the bus stop.

My day ended well: as the bus passed through Askern a friend who I haven't seen for several years got on and we chatted until he got off just a few stops before the town centre. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Discover Lincolnshire Weekend: Lincoln, Torksey, Marton, and Retford and Gainsborough Garden Centre

A visit to Lincoln today with Siobhan, my support worker. This weekend has been Discover Lincolnshire Weekend 2018 when many tourist attractions in Lincoln and across the county had free admission.

We visited the cathedral and the castle grounds which are free to enter anyhow, and the Bishops' Palace, which usually charges an entrance fee.

We left Lincoln at about two o'clock and the plan was to call on the way back at Torksey Lock to look at the boats moored at the marina and have cream teas at the cafe. Unfortunately both parking areas were full and so we continued driving until we reached Torksey village where we had a short roadside stop for me to take photographs of the church. I was very disappointed with the church here, apart from the tower the entire building has been rendered with concrete...absolutely horrid!

A few miles further on at Marton  the church is much better to look at...and photograph.

We finally got to have our cream teas at the cafe at Retford and Gainsborough Garden Centre at Beckingham; very reasonable prices and pleasant surroundings.