Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Nice Stepper day round N.E. Cheshire

We're off early on a boat trip tomorrow from Liverpool (Waverley paddle steamer to Anglesey), so me and Malc went to Wilmslow station this morning to get our train tickets to Liverpool (Ivan couldn't join us today). Malc had to MOT his Yamaha Townmate in Adlington, and I had some shopping in Cheadle to do, so as we left the station we agreed to meet at the Adlington MOT garage later. Malc set off for Adlington on the Townmate, me for Cheadle on my Honda C90.

Why 'steppers'? These little bikes are 'step-throughs', or 'steppers' to us.

Malc has never been up to White Nancy, a monument on Kerridge Ridge above Bollington, commemorating the victory at Waterloo. It's a distinctive bright-white circular construction shaped like a sugar loaf, visible for miles, and that's where we went from Adlington.

Please click on any picture for a larger image.

The little bikes parked on Kerridge Ridge for our ascent up to White Nancy 

Looking back to the bikes from about half way up the hill 

Climbing the stone track up the hill, the monument doesn't seem to get any nearer. Then suddenly, you're there! Malc by White Nancy. The '50' commemorates 50 years of the Bollington Festival.

White Nancy before it was white! Built of sandstone rubble it used to have a door and stone benches and circular table inside. Today the door is filled in and the monument is usually painted brilliant white, though it has been painted in schemes to commemorate specific occasions over the years.

It wasn't the best of days, but the views were still good. Here's the now-closed Woodford Airfield in the distance, birthplace of many famous Avro aeroplanes, including all of the Vulcans. 

An enlargement of the above picture shows the white Vulcan just visible by the former flight sheds

The distinctive escarpment ridge of Alderley Edge over to the West 

From White Nancy we rode through Hurdsfield, Macclesfield, and Gawesworth to Congleton, for a look at Congleton Museum. It's quite small, tucked behind the Town Hall, but full of interesting artifacts relating to the establishment, development, and history of this characterful market town where Chris and I lived after we first married. Above, the author outside the museum this afternoon. 

Next stop was to visit Peter, an old friend now suffering Alzheimer's Disease and living in a care home in Holmes Chapel. He remembers things from the distant past (though can't put names to faces) but the events of even a few minutes previously are immediately forgotten. Here he is with Pauline, his wife, also visiting him in the care home today as she does every day.

Peter in happier times, on the right on a day out at Bletchley Park (see entry for 15th March 2011 in the blog). His Alzheimer's was apparent back then, but far less severe than it is now.

On leaving Holmes Chapel we headed the little bikes homeward, but not straight home - this interesting day called for a pint at the Bird in Hand at Knolls Green first. Here are the little bikes parked at the pub. 

Malc about to enjoy his pint of Sam Smiths excellent bitter at £1.80 a pint. If Smiths can produce such good ale at this price, why do most other breweries charge so much more, sometimes for beer that's a tad indifferent?

Must get an early night tonight - we've a train to catch to Liverpool tomorrow at some ungodly hour!


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