Geograph Blog ::

Time marches and Aprils on

By Chris Allen

January and February were relatively devoid of my favourite type of steamy industrial archaeology but the last two months have seen a worthy improvement.

March started with an evening visit to Worcester University to see parts of the old infirmary and then to partake of a black tie dinner in Worcester Guildhall SO8455 : University of Worcester - Charles Hastings building by Chris Allen SO8554 : Worcester Guildhall by Chris Allen.

The first weekend saw me arranging a complex two day visit with Ashley Dace in order to get him to some marvellous sites in Greater Manchester. We met on Saturday in Stoke on Trent and started with potteries in Longton SJ9143 : CoRE - Longton by Chris Allen SJ9043 : Pottery, King Street ,Longton. by Chris Allen followed by Apedale Heritage Centre, the footrail mine and the Moseley Railway Trust - SJ8248 : Apedale Colliery by Chris Allen SJ8248 : Apedale Valley Light Railway - the yellow Simplex by Chris Allen SJ8248 : Apedale Valley Light Railway - blue Simplex by Chris Allen. The afternoon was largely spent at Cheddleton Flint Mill SJ9752 : Cheddleton Flint Mill by Ashley Dace SJ9752 : Mills at Cheddleton by Chris Allen SJ9752 : Cheddleton Flint Mill - Robey Engine by Ashley Dace followed by a quick visit to the former watermill site in Stafford SJ9222 : Stafford Town Mill by Ashley Dace.

The Sunday started with an abortive trip to Vine mill Oswaldtwistle to see the remains of a rope race but the vital gate was locked SD7327 : Engaging with the locals by Chris Allen SD7327 : Number 3 Mill, Vine Mills, Oswaldtwistle by Chris Allen. We called in at Darwen en route to Bolton and recorded al fresco engines and some of the local mills SD6921 : Geograph photographer at large by Chris Allen SD6921 : Former mill, Darwen by Chris Allen. The Bolton Steam Museum was one of our major targets and while Ashley recorded steam engines SD6909 : Bolton Steam Museum by Ashley Dace, I recorded the remnants of the local millscape and cobbled streets SD7010 : Atlas No. 6 Mill, Bolton by Chris Allen SD6910 : Atlas Nos 8 & 6 Mills, Bolton by Chris Allen SD6910 : Back Sofa Street, Bolton by Chris Allen. We finished the day with the spectacular large mill engine at Ellenroad Engine House and while Ashley photographed the main event SD9311 : Ellenroad Mill Engine by Ashley Dace SD9311 : Ellenroad Mill Engine by Ashley Dace, I photographed some extra bits for my collection SD9311 : Ellenroad Engine House - gear teeth by Chris Allen SD9311 : Ellenroad Engine House - workshop by Chris Allen SD9311 : Ellenroad Engine House - coffin bottom by Chris Allen.

On the 10th of March I did some local canal photography SO9163 : New marina by Droitwich Junction Canal by Chris Allen SO9260 : Worcester & Birmingham Canal by Chris Allen and on Sunday visited Croome Park and Pershore with a family friend SO8744 : Croome Landscape Park by Chris Allen SO9545 : The old Pershore bridges by Chris Allen.

Saturday 17th was another delightful day with Ashley Dace in Derbyshire and we did a geologically interesting old quarry SK1171 : Disused quarry, Calton Hill by Chris Allen, Millers Dale station, viaducts and lime kilns SK1373 : Miller's Dale Viaducts by Chris Allen SK1473 : Miller's Dale limekilns by Chris Allen SK1373 : East Buxton lime kilns. by Chris Allen, Litton Mill and a nearby rock formation SK1672 : Litton Mill by Chris Allen SK1572 : Litton Mill by Chris Allen SK1572 : Pillow talk by Chris Allen, a former corn mill SK1473 : Miller's Dale Meal Mill by Chris Allen and Cressbrook Mill with its water turbines SK1772 : Water turbines at Cressbrook by Chris Allen. We then followed up with the truly iconic Magpie Mine at Sheldon SK1768 : Magpie Mine, Sheldon by Chris Allen and Caudwell's Mill at Rowsley, which is always an absolute delight SK2565 : Caudwell's Mill, Rowsley by Ashley Dace SK2565 : Early Rollers at Caudwell's Mill by Ashley Dace.

The 24th of March was spent in Leeds en route to elderly relatives and a few sites were captured SE2933 : Leeds & Liverpool Canal - office by Chris Allen SE3033 : Cloth Hall Street and White Cloth Hall, Leeds by Chris Allen SE3033 : Colourful dancers, Leeds by Chris Allen. The Sunday 25th March was spent with said relatives but I did get a Sunday morning constitutional with some interesting industry and power technology to be seen - SE5522 : Grain silos at Whitley Bridge by Chris Allen SE5523 : Bowmans flour mill, Whitley Bridge by Chris Allen SE5622 : A field, two trees and a power station by Chris Allen SE5624 : Defunct Arbre power station by Chris Allen.

On the following Monday I had business at a local hospital and recorded one of Worcestershire's windmill stumps - SP0664 : Alexandra Hospital, Redditch by Chris Allen SP0258 : Former windmill - Holberrow Green by Chris Allen.

So, a fairly eventful March gave way to a pretty good April. This started on the 1st with the excellent Charlecote watermill near Stratford on Avon - SP2557 : Charlecote Mill by Chris Allen SP2557 : Charlecote Mill - the stone floor by Chris Allen SP2557 : Charlecote Mill - the bin floor by Chris Allen. Friday the 6th was also a watermill at Hestercombe Gardens near Taunton ST2428 : Hestercombe Gardens - watermill by Chris Allen ST2428 : Hestercombe Gardens - water turbine by Chris Allen and Sunday 8th was a cup of coffee in the former Strand mill at Dawlish SX9676 : Strand Mill, Dawlish - waterwheel drive gear. by Chris Allen.

Tuesday 10th april was the centenary of Titanic's departure from Southampton and I had a commemorative cruise on the preserved steamship Shieldhall - SU4210 : SS Shieldhall - Titanic event by Chris Allen SU4210 : Southampton water - SS Shieldhall by Chris Allen SU4209 : SS Shieldhall, Southampton Water by Chris Allen. Wednesday and Thursday were spent in Exeter, Chagford and Axminster - SX9290 : Compost site and gas turbine power plant by Chris Allen SX7087 : Chagford, New Street by Chris Allen SY2997 : Axminster Carpets Ltd - chimneys by Chris Allen SY2998 : Old carpet factory, Silver Street, Axminster. by Chris Allen SX9392 : Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford Branch) by Chris Allen.

Friday 13th and Sunday 15th were spent at the Exeter Festival of South-West Food and Drink SX9292 : Exeter Festival of south-West Food & Drink - Location, Location, Location! by Chris Allen and the Saturday between included a wet trip to Sidmouth SY1287 : Hailstorm in Sidmouth by Chris Allen.

The 17th and 18th saw me examining trainee pathologists in Leicester and the camera saw some use too - SK5903 : Leicester University - Maurice shock building by Chris Allen SK5903 : Leicester University - T rex by Chris Allen.

My final outing in April was to Gloucester Waterway Museums for the reinauguration of the steam dredger SO8218 : Gloucester Docks and Gloucester Waterways Museum by Chris Allen SO8218 : Gloucester Waterways Museum - mayor and deputy mayor/sheriff on steam dredger by Chris Allen SO8218 : Gloucester Waterways Museum - SND No. 4 dredger, steam engine by Chris Allen SO8218 : Gloucester Waterways Museum - starting up for the mayor by Chris Allen followed by a few mills in the Stroud valleys SO8602 : Port Mill, Brimscombe by Chris Allen SO8603 : Ham Mill, Thrupp by Chris Allen SO8802 : St Mary's Mill, Chalford  by Chris Allen SO8902 : Belvedere Mill, Chalford by Chris Allen.

So, what's next? The early May bank holiday is Claymills in steam but the weekend of 12-13th May is National Mills Weekend and I'm hoping for ten sites in two days. Next is the Devon County Show and towards the end of the month I'm planning a day in the Ironbridge gorge with Ashley Dace.

Sun, 6 May 2012 at 20:55
Chosen Photo

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