Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A Walk To Conisbrough

I went to Conisbrough today, walking along Balby Road as I left town. This old Methodist church on Balby Road has recently been saved from demolition.

Fortunately he parish churches at Balby and Warmsworth aren't likely to be destroyed anytime yet though.

I passed through the old part of Warmsworth.

I turned down Edlington Lane and then along the route of the old railway line at Warmsworth Halt. I continued to Edlington Community Woodland and then Martinwells Lake.

There was a well-used, but unmarked on the map, footpath through an area of scrubland and then across the fields to Stringer's Garden Centre on the edge of Conisbrough.

I entered Conisbrough from the southeast and I attempted to take a shortcut through a housing estate and ended up turning down three dead-ends and adding a few hundred yards to my mileage for the day.

Surprisingly, the church was open; I'd just set foot inside the building when someone rushed over to me and insisted I needed to use the hand sanitiser. I declined his offer, turned around and left...I want no part of this 'New Normal' that's being forced on us.

No hand sanitiser was required to enter the grounds of Conisbrough Castle though.

I found a short footpath which went down into a wooded  ravine - much better than walking the road. I still needed to pass part of a housing development though to reach the bridleway that goes down into the Don Gorge.

As I headed home, walking downstream through the gorge I was searching for tunnels; I know there are several pedestrian tunnels going under the railway, most are blocked off now, but a couple aren't. Additionally there are some other short tunnels...I don't know what they were used for though. There were so many of them I lost count.

I needed to walk through the final two.

When I returned to the main path after seeking out one of the tunnels I got talking to one of the locals. For the second time in only a few minutes a loud sound came from one of the nearby quarries; I commented that it didn't sound like the blasting I heard last week and he told me it was gunfire - South Yorkshire Police have a firearms training range in one of the old disused quarries.

After walking through the last of the tunnels I wasn't sure where the path went, but after only a few yards I was walking in the streets of Hexthorpe, a part of the area unfamiliar to me, but only a couple of miles from home.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

iPort Lakes

I've never written a blog title starting with a lower case letter before, but it's the correct usage for these very recently established lakes...I hope they get a better, more suitable, permanent name soon.

I checked the Street View images on Google Maps to look for a path that would get me to the iPort Lakes once I'd reached the Lakeside area, and as previously it looked like there's a cycleway...and indeed there is.

It was rather cold when I left home at 9:20, windy, drizzling, and quite dark too. It brightened up a bit later on, but it got even windier.

These two photographs of the Lakeside area don't actually feature the lake.

I got to the iPort lakes within forty minutes; there's a cabin there that sells snacks and drinks and it was quite busy - I sat and ate my sandwiches in a field of clover.

Although there was a path I couldn't make an entire circuit of the lakes - a drainage ditch was in the way. I think that in drier weather conditions it would be possible to junp across it though.

I re-traced my steps and then walked where I could get.

I stopped to photograph this pretty, but tiny, railway bridge on the return journey, going by a different route, one that I've used before...but hadn't noticed the bridge.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Walking Through Cadeby Tunnel

This walk is a follow-up to the walk I did last week to Conisbrough Crags when I accidentally discovered the entrance to Cadeby Tunnel and decided to go back later with my headtorch to walk through the tunnel. It was an early start this morning at 7:20 because thunder storms were forecast for mid-afternoon - this meant that I had to cancel my daily Facebook group chat with family and friends.

It's taken me a bit of time to do some research and prepare for the visit; checking that the tunnel's not blocked at the other end and if there's easy access to footpaths at the other side, making sure my torch works and that I've got new, and replacement, batteries, and choosing appropriate footwear.

I walked along the river to Sprotbrough and went out onto the island for a change.

I bought a tea from the concession stand down by the landing stage, a sign that things are getting back to normal, I hope. I was surprised to find them serving hot foot and drinks so early in the morning - there were quite a few people around though - dogwalkers, joggers, cyclists, birdwatches, and walkers.

Even before accidentally discovering the entrance last week I was already aware of the tunnel's existence; it's only 163 yards long and so I wasn't inside for very long, even though I stopped a few times to take photographs, experimenting with the light beam from my torch, and even switching it off to see what effects I got. 

The tunnel was a bit muddy at first, but after a few steps it became dry with a level compacted surface underfoot.

I wasn't alone inside the tunnel; I didn't notice the creepy doll looking at me until I got home and started editing my photographs.

I was inside the tunnel for twice as long as I expected though because when I reached the eastern portal there were some partially broken down railings which I already knew about, and a squirrel,  but disappointingly after only being out in the cutting for a few yards my way was blocked by large concrete boulders. Further on there were active quarry workings so I had to turn around and head back into the tunnel.

Whilst looking online I also found out about another tunnel in the vicinity, a much longer tunnel, but a smaller bore, constructed to transport water from Thrybergh Reservoir to Warmsworth. It's maximum height is 6ft, and since I''m 6ft 4ins tall I'd have to stoop...and many sections are even lower than that - so I won't be wanting to explore this tunnel. 

I visited Steetley Quarry on my way back home.

Since I'd got my torch with me I went inside this short blocked-off pedestrian tunnel going under the railway line - it was made for quarry workers who lived at the now abandoned hamlet of Levitt Hagg.

There was a lot of blasting at the quarry as I was walking along here, a lot of trains  passed as well.

This rockface ought to have a name.

This tree's got a name...several others nearby have the same name as well.

The final photograph features a very noisy, large, scary vehicle that I saw up ahead on the edge of the town centre, not far from my home. It was quite near to the police station and courthouse and so it might used be for transporting criminals - I've never seen one like this before...it looked more military to me though.

UPDATE: The creepy doll I saw inside the tunnel is related to the story of the 'Mexborough Ragger'. Details here - https://paranormalhauntings.blog/2019/02/12/the-tale-of-mexborough-ragger-haunted-yorkshire/