Sunday, 17 February 2013

A lovely day for a walk and a Stepper ride

Today was like spring; bright sunshine, birds singing in the trees, and buzzards mewing as they soared the thermal currents above the tree tops. Only the low angle of the sun in the blue sky and the chill late in the day when the sun went down reminded one it's still only mid February.

Sunday morning is when the Alderley Edge Wilmslow & District Footpath Preservation Society, of which I am secretary, hold our walks. We usually walk between four and six miles ostensibly to check the condition of paths, stiles, etc. in our area, though most of our members simply come along because they enjoy a Sunday morning walk through lovely countryside in pleasant company.

We started the walk this morning close to Withington Hall, near the famous Jodrell Bank radio telescope.

Apologies for the low quality of the photographs of the walk, which were taken on my mobile phone camera. Please click on them for a larger image.

Lovely old farmhouse at Smiths Green

Happy walkers enjoying the winter sun; it feels like spring!

But the low angle of the sun reminds us it is still February

Famous Cheshire landmark in the background; the Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank (click on the picture to enlarge to to see the telescope more easily)

Hillary, our walk leader today, turns to face the camera

Lower Withington - about halfway round the walk

Marion and Brian with some snowdrops in the background (click on the picture to enlarge it to see them more clearly)

Heading back up from Lower Withington towards Withington Hall

Withington Hall and its lake

After the walk we called in at the Stags Head in Warford for a pint of their own 'Stag' ale (lovely and light and hoppy). We enjoyed our drinks al fresco in the rural environs of the Stag's garden (not bad for February!) before I headed home for a shower and change and a spot of light lunch prior to firing up the mighty Honda C90 step-through to meet some mates at Malc's house for a ride out to Northwich.

Garry, Tony, Ivan, and Malc ready for departure
First stop was Geoff's house to pick him up. My red C90 in the middle of the picture.

Ooops! On Noah's Ark Lane Garry hit some mud and slid off the bike he'd borrowed from Tony. Here we are all stopped while a broken indicator is removed from the fallen steed.

Garry's borrowed bike was acting up, so at Ollerton he and Tony decided to return home, and Geoff went with them. So then there were three! Me, Malc, and Ivan carried on to the Weaver Hall Salt Museum. My C90 nearest the camera, then Ivan's SS50, and Malc's Novio, with Malc and Ivan.

A better view of Mal'c Novio (and Ivan!). Leftwich railway viaduct on the Mid Cheshire Line in the background.

We had a look around the museum, including watching a short film in the museum cinema. Northwich's history, from pre-historic times right through to shipbuilding on the River Weaver, the railway, and of course the salt industry that the town is famous for are well represented.

We set off home calling in to see Graham at Lostock Gralham on the way. It got surprisingly chilly as the sun set, reminding us that despite the spring-like sunshine it is indeed still only mid February.

Malc on his Novio, me on the C90, and Ivan on his SS50 in Graham's yard at Lostock Gralham

A look back to Tuesday 12th February

I attended the media launch of Quarry Bank Mill's appeal for funds to enable the National Trust to carry out extensive improvements at the Mill. I was interviewed by Radio Manchester and chatted to some journalists. In the afternoon I went to Nether Alderley Church Hall to meet the other volunteer guides, staff, and Nether Alderley church folk who will be involved in the re-opening and running of the recently restored mill in March.

The press taking a photo opportunity at Styal Mill with mill owner 'Samual Gregg' and his 'daughter'


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