Pensioner Potter

For the young at heart

13th, December, 20018: Thursday’s Potter. 

A fine view of the troop huddling from a bitter, wayward wind on top of the famous Bosley Cloud.

10 troops plus Goeff Pet’s border collie Whiskey set off from Mossley Church in a biting wind. The route took us over dry fields towards Timbersbrook and onward  to the Bridestones.

We then approached The Cloud from the Leeward side, which is also the most runnable of several routes to the summit.

Thanks to Chip at this point for the excellent photography. The descent included following some of the route  of a new mountain bike track within the Cloud National Trust area before we hit yet more unseasonably dry fields, returning  back to base in pristine condition.  

 

It must be mentioned that Whiskey is a very well trained dog, although Jimbo may disagree as he tripped over a long branch being hauled off the path by our canine friend. He certainly increased the average level of intelligence of the group.  

 

Finally, due to carol singers at the Chappell centre, we travelled another mile for refreshment to the Congleton Garden Centre. I doubt if we will ever darken their doors again.

 

Patch.


11th, December, 2018: Tuesday’s Potter.

 

One wonders if the tree on the left was meant for Christmas? Happy are they who venture outside the wooden box.

A pause for a weir-side experiance as the Dane? gently make’s a splash along its delightful course.

Like a scene from an Enid Blyton novel, the Adventurous Four slipped out of Danebridge on a winter's morning. There was no wind and a weak sun lit the surrounding moors. A perfect day for a run in the hills. The group's leader, a top navigator of vast experience, took 15 minutes to get out of the Dane Valley, normally a 5 minute jog.

Eventually, however, the group met with familiar ground and, after skirting round Paddock Farm, they gained the gritstone outcrops at Back Forest. Here they turned south to Buxton Brow pausing to watch a helicopter hover over nearby fields. 

The recent rain had not created the usual winter mud so the passage down to Turners Pool was firm and grassy. It was a long slog up to Gun End via Neild's Farm. Then followed a section on road and concrete farm track before a steep descent to Gig Hall brought them back to the River Dane. An easy finish along the river concluded a gentle and pleasant 1hr 55 min outing. It would have been ten minutes shorter but for the leader's exploratory tendencies.

 

Peter Nolan


6th, December, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

Jude leading the troop down Into the swamp-lands and felled trees of a microcosm of Prestbury.

Mike; ever the helping hand with a damsel in distress.

Butch triumphant; by walk on water.

Tux led the troop on this one from the Mac Leisure Centre; a place we often ran from on Monday evenings in the past, so it was nice again to visit and tread the paths we once often trod.

Times change though and todays venture proved no different: Back-then we used to sneak over Mac Town Rugby fields to reach Alderley rd before heading behind Fallibroome Farm and beyond, without having to leave the venue by road.

But, unfortunately, that option had been unavailable ever since building work started at Fallibroome School, so that sneak was lost forever.

And now, we have lost another swath of land for access, to the new King’s School site, just off Alderley rd, which has denied us a lovely route from the old Farm, of which, no doubt, will be flattened before too long, and be replaced by nothing more than functional school buildings or other types of utilitarian structures, just for the sake of posterity.

And good, productive farmland has been stripped of its organic nature to be replaced by nothing more than inorganic concrete. Is this what they mean by progress? or is it possibly something more? Bad decisions? lack of foresight?

Populations are growing but land is mostly shrinking and it’ll never change until the proverbial eleventh hour is reached- by which time it may be too late. Oh dear, where’s the Tardis?


4th, December, 2018: Tuesday’s Potter.

The leader taking Harry through the paces

Stand by your man.... or woman.

A stairway to heaven?

Where have they all gone?

Cloud inversions for the many.

One of the many trails in Lyme Park; leading to Bow Stones.

A fabulous sunny morning for a Bowstones potter. Nine set off and nine finished the slightly 😉 hilly route up into Lyme Park, to the Bowstones themselves, down to the cage and then back to Higher Poynton. 

Once in the park and up a hill or two, there appeared an interesting folly. Much discussion failed to elicit the reason for this folly - leader should really take research more seriously! 

 

The detour to visit the Bowstones themselves was worth the effort, despite the fact that they are a bit underwhelming. Luckily their history is explained on the plaque in front of the stones! 

A lovely trot through Lantern Wood saw Grant take a dive - fortunately no injury and he was up and off running in a flash. Out of the wood onto open ground allowed the group to look down from the blue sky onto the cloud sitting over Disley. A quick run down then yet again up, put us at the cage - so popular back in the day for ladies to watch the hunting from the top floor. 

 

No more hills, so a quick run down to the main car park for the majority - Trevor leading a small breakaway group up a final hill, then back to Nelsons Pit for tea and snacks in the Original Coffee Tavern.

 

This was a little like stepping back in time - tea in mugs, sweets in jars as well as cycle repair kits and other essentials all in the same shop. We were made very welcome by the chatty owner and given mince pies just for being there.

 

Christine.    


29th, November, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

Post Potter lounging at the Lazy Trout, Meerbrook: Chip butties flying off the menu. The faces have it.

As Storm Diana blew itself out over Staffordshire, the potterers stood in a huddle at Meerbrook debating the wisdom of the high route round Hen Cloud which I had recced on a glorious summer's day. So many softer options were available. But, with typical grit and foolhardiness, plan A was chosen and the group set off into the wind and rain.

First stop was the public toilets at Tittesworth childrens' play area: this allowed Margaret time to go down the big slide. Then it was off up Whitty Lane on the route of the Passing Cloud race.

In Upper Hulme the party was spread out in a long snake and it became obvious that the conditions were not ideal for such a split. So, just beyond Well Farm, a B party plumped for a shorter route. By which time the intrepid front runners were away over the moors heading for Harpersend on the Back of the Rocks Road. Here we were at our farthest point.

Turning left along Hazelwood Road and left again onto a farm track, we came round to the gap between Hen Cloud and the Roaches. The wind was in our faces now and the rain was getting heavier. The downhill grassy descent via Windygates Farm, normally so fast and easy, was a fight against heavy rain driven into our faces by a gale. It was a relief to turn away from the wind towards Frith Bottom and its deserted farm.

Out of the wind it was so much warmer and the run into Meerbrook was pleasant and uneventful. There was some concern, when we reached the car, that the B group on the shorter route, was still not back. But, like bad pennies, in they rolled full of tales of derring do and we all retired to the Lazy Trout and our chip butties.

Photos were taken inside the pub; this was not the day for heroics to record our time in the hills. We all survived to run another day, more ready now for the oncoming rigours of winter.

 

Peter Nolan.


27th, November, 2018: Tuesday’s Potter. 

A crush of potterer’s above the leafless expanse.

A pause for thought.

A dry, cold morning greeted those who turned-out for this little frolic around the realm of Prestbury; touching the nether parts of Bollington and the lovely village of Butley Town, tucked in a tract of land to the north of Macclesfield.

 

We’ll forget the silly mix-up with this Potter venue only to say the leader had sent out a text contradicting where it actually was, as stated truly on the Tuesday Venue’s page on the Potter website- a senior moment if ever there were. Still, it didn’t dampen ardour and everyone eventually emerged and dashed off on one of the many tracks we’d soon encounter.

The forecasted rain never appeared, which was a blessing really, though most people were prepaired, completely covered, except for Turbo Pete, who’d be forgiven if he’d arrived for a race, donning his favourite black shorts.

An evil wind did raise its ugly head though on nearing the run’s climax; at the point of mounting the not-so-often-used footbridge over the Mac’ railway line, where an opportunity for a photo-shoot allowed for a regrouping, just before the tussle with the frisky equines we had in the horsy fields that this area is renowned for.

It wasn’t long before the dash back into Prestbury village loomed and the group separated to their respective parking venues, no doubt feeling at peace with themselves, though, perhaps not Harry on realising he hadn’t done quite enough mileage, so ran round the car-park a couple of times to put himself at peace with the world. Ah, there’s no taking it away from the legend.

Then it was a quick change and into the Chocolate Box for pastries and meaty thing’s for some before exiting into the promised rain, which had just arrived. How’s that for timing?


22nd, November, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

Taking a well-earned break sidling Kerridge Ridge.

Report to follow. 


20th, November, 2018: Tuesday’s Potter.

A summer’s prospect: part of Dot’s route in better conditions. .

treading familiar ground above Rainow.

Familiar ground not far from Lamaload.

Nine of us set off over the hill towards Thornsett just after a heavy shower had passed through although the wind remained with us. Those racing ahead had to retrace their steps to regain the correct route ( Mike Laurence rule No 1).

Whilst some of us enjoyed a rest whilst regrouping, Trev earned extra Brownie points for frequent looping back - even when this involved extra hills! Harry’s example has set a precedent as *Christine joined in too. Others of us would like to show such big heartedness  but are too desperate and grateful for the chance to catch breath.

An uneventful trek followed over Valeroyal to the Lamaload waterworks, up Yearnslow towards Common Barn and back down the track to Rainow. However as the tailenders arrived we realised that we had managed to lose Alan who was last seen well ahead of us. No such luck. Just as the leader was beginning to feel a little concerned, in he trots full of the virtues of having completed a longer, more pleasant route.

We were fortunate that we managed the entire run between showers or is that something to do with sun shining on the virtuous?

 

Time (just about) 90 minutes ( Mike Laurence rule no. 2).

 

Then off to Tegg’s Nose for the usual fare.

 

Dot. 

 

* Christine makes a wonderful windbreak, when needs apply: Being tall and slender, one can tuck close in her slipstream and be protected from the oncoming blast. All one has to do is try and keep-up!! Ed.


15th, November, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

All smiles, please. Good to see Mike’s back in the fold, bringing a little sunshine to boot.

The highlight of today’s Potter occurred before the run started when a fit looking Mike Laurence appeared.

8 of us set off over fields, a short stretch of Astbury golf course and along the canal towards Mossley, then to Nick O’ the Hill and onward through woods passing “Harry’s Style”. Soon afterwards Mike wildly gesticulated, advising that leaders Harry and myself had gone “off piste”, and then put the troops on the official, very obscure path. (this explains why our recce involved climbing over a gate).

We then followed the Mow Cop Fell route to Fence Lane and back to Glebe Farm. Mike finished with a big smile on his face having completed the 7.85 mile route in good shape.

Pictures were taken by Grant at the start in case he fell by the wayside. He needn’t have worried. How have we managed all summer without Mike’s able leadership across the Congleton countryside??

Hopefully Grant will supply visuals in the course of time.  

 

David T    


13th, November, 2018: Tuesday’s Potter.

Nether Alderley Mill: a fine 16th Century structure displaying an overtly bulky exterior.

Saint Mary’s porch, looking outwards towards the school house?

There was not a cloud in the sky. The sun, typically low this time of the year, was so bright that I had to dig out my sun-glasses. Eight souls, determined to enjoy this beautiful autumn morning, parked up at Finlow Hill and were all set to go at the prerequisite time.

We initially headed for Harry's ancestral home bur veered away to gain Bradford Lane. Then followed half a mile of excruciating cobbles before we emerged onto the A34 near the primary school. It was only a short jog down to Nether Alderley Church with its surrounding old buildings, a 17th century school and a more modern mausoleum.

The next point of interest was the crossing of the footbridge over the new by-pass, a scene of some recent fatal accidents. Much discussion ensued on the flawed planning and construction processes that led to the present dangerous design. Next we passed Heawood Hall and speculated on the people who have lived in this group of properties, the Beckhams and the Boddingtons.

We used Bollington Lane to return to the A34 which we crossed at the traffic lights near a new estate of houses, built on the old AZ sports ground. We normally encounter maize fields here but this year is was open grassland so we were able to skip over the farmland to Painter's Eye and the bungalow at Fernhill.

The leader is not the sort of person who practices waiting for slackers and does not normally show any sympathy in this direction. But he was eventually shamed by more socially conscientious members into looping back to gather the troops near Shawcross.

Eventually we all made it back to the cars and adjourned to the cafe behind the Wizard. The cafe was full so we sat outside, borrowing coats and fleeces to guard against the bracing temperature: it was very late in the season for al fresco refreshments.

 

Peter.


This season’s Spotlight.

This season’s Spotlight falls on Harryonious Newtonius, better known as the prancing canary; due to his often wearing of a particular hue while out practicing venery for senior prizes.

He descends from the Genus: Hard-Bones, of the pterodactyl family: the ilk feared and lives to ripe old age: blessed in not living amongst hostile predators, or bothered by natural afflictions, although it's been said he does twitch somewhat in the presence of the females of the species.

He’s a creature that has a sound, musical ear, and is happy to travel some distance to indulge in choral groups, harmonizing, twitteringly, aiming to ascend those high notes to reach the canopy to attain best effects. At ground level this adept, gregarious aves often attends happenings in the local theatre, where he’ll ruffle feathers with the best of them in pursuance of the desired affect. Then, once convinced, retire to the aerie and suffering mate, satisfied with the night’s performance, before preparing oneself for the morrow’s challenges.


8th, November, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

Harropfold Farm taken in Springtime when things could only get better.

Above Higher Rainow on a clearer day than on John’s run, looking back to Charles Head.

A previous image showing a section of John’s route- in better conditions.

Fourteen of us were out this morning, but never in the same place at the same time. One pair went off walking and Alan set off early and wasn’t seen again till the main group was about at the turn around point just above Charles’ Head. Before we caught the little rascal up, we had lost Brian and Grant who decided to take a different route back. Further on the party disintegrated again when a short cut was mentioned, five took the easy option and only five continued around the final loop to complete the 11.5km route.  Although it was a grey day, the views of the Harrop valley and from the ridge at the head of the valley were magnificent. Most of us adjourned to the Farm Made Café, which we almost filled. Cakes, coffee and tea were then consumed and gentle chatter filled the air, with hardly a mention of anyone’s parkrun embarrassment.

 

John K.

 

Parkrun embarrassment?: one’s mind’s perplexed with so many possibilities, John. Ed.   


6th, November, 2018: Tuesday’s Potter.

Grant demonstrating his canny impresssion of a grouper fish while out on the morning’s Potter. Never the one to over indulge but, sometimes has fishy tendencies.

Chris full of exuberance nearing the conclussion of the morning’s run, as in the background, Jimbo ponders the merits of staying cool while others around show signs of alacrity.

What could go wrong – a perfect morning, lots of Potterers and a leader who had reccied the route! – no bog for Alex this time. One Brownie point was collected for having an alternative gate to avoid a waterlogged stile and another for taking Tux on a path he didn’t know.

Probably one was lost for having to wait for a herd of cows to pass down the lane. There was one field however, despite the recci, that the leader had some difficulty getting out of – thank goodness for Jon, and Tux’s path detector to get me on the right track.

All things considered (too much road for Grant, too much canal for Dot and Alex ) the sortie taking in Lowerhouses, Whitely Green, crossing Sugar lane and Long lane and returning via the back cracks of Bollington (no not the Nab Chris) turned out to be 7 miles of pleasant route.

Unfortunately we kept Greg waiting in the café for our return. He had chosen to go solo, with Stan and Alan of course, and again perfected an exact 1 ½ hour route!

 

Cynthia. 

 

It’s amazing how Cynthia finds these obscure, narrow ginnels in urban situations. Ed. 


1st, November, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

A rare occasion when one see’s Jim smiling in the presence of a dog. But then, Stan isn’t any ordinary pooch.


Leader Cynthia leading the pack out of the wood with her shock of lovely hair trailing in her wake, as were the followers.