Pensioner Potter

For the young at heart

20th, September, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

Some prickerly types amongst the roses.

Taking the high ground.

Train spotting from distance. Looks like Tux’s having an apparitinal experience.


I was pleased to welcome the Potter for an interesting run round the Marple area. I don’t think that there was a carpark bifurcation this week. At least, nobody has claimed that they went to another carpark.

We met at the Chadkirk Country Park and after an opening saunter arrived at Chadkirk Chapel. We were lucky that one of the Friends of the Chapel was about and were able to go inside a gem of a building that dates back to the 16th Century.


We then set off along the Peak Forest Canal and under the Marple Aquaduct and Railway Viaduct (never call it a bridge!). It is truly awe inspiring to think of the work that went into the construction of these magnificent structures.


Onwards along the bank of the River Etherow to arrive at Compstall Mills, where local musician Taylor joined us at the bridge over the river. We then ran into Etherow Park to where the Rivers Etherow and Goyt meet. Is it a confluence or a bifurcation? Then up the hill back to the canal to cross the Aquaduct and see the magnificent views from a great height. We then came back through some lovely woods to the Country Park.


We managed to get everyone round my dining room table for drinks and cake and a rousing chorus of ‘Happy Birthday to Shoey!’


Come again soon!




18th, September, 2018: Tuesday’s Potter.

Fine, lucid imagery on today’s Potter.

Sublime view of good housekeeping from a rough standpoint.

A shaggy prospect to negotiate.

Johnny led this little sally from Danebridge into the heart of magnificent walking country where the views are almost worth dying for. A little skip,hop and tootle brings one in command of these superb, natural features that will linger on the mind for the rest of the day, or maybe even the week, if one’s been utterly enthralled by the occasion.

Pity, this sprat couldn’t make it but the imagery will compensate for lack of attendance so, many thanks to Chip Woods, who snapped these exceptional piccies for us all to enjoy.

14th, September, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

A colourful troop donning colourful tops on the Edge of Alderley. Unfortunately, we don’t have any other piccies of them elswhere on the run to show-off their sartorial elegance.

This week’s Thursday Potter is likely to take on legendary status so it deserves a short report before the truth gets lost in the fog of endless reminiscing and emailic banter.
To cut a long story short, a combination or the law of unintended consequences and the law of assumptions being the mother and father of cock-ups led to all of us enjoying a fine morning’s running, but not necessarily together, or in the same places.
Run leader Tucker parked along with 9 other Potters at the NT car park. Being a lovely day they set off for their run forgetting that the main meeting place was the layby below the Wizard. This is where Jim, Jude, Pete and I parked. We assumed that the NT parkers would be down to collect us a few minutes after 10am. When nobody arrived we ran up to the other car park found a few familiar cars there, interrogated a few other car park users whether they had seen any runners (they had not), we returned to the layby in case the others had gone there by a woodland route. We decided to go it alone and Jude came up with a fine route which became even more cunning as we went along. It was more like an orienteering course with sharp changes of direction and a figure of eight loop. It took us to places that Jim, Pete and I rarely frequent.
As Jim pronounced “The Wizard 4 were in the right place at the right time and were justly rewarded with a fantastic route led by Jude who kept up a good pace along some unfamiliar parts of the area. I doubt the NT10 had as good a time as we did ( and that's as it should be).”
After our 8 mile run we met up with the majority party at the caff and they were in good spirits too. Although and although the two parties sat on separate table this was because there was not a table big enough for 14, and not because of any major falling out whilst the two groups lodged claim and counter-claim as to what had happened and why.
The Gang of Four were so persuasive as to the quality of their run that the NT 10 pleaded with Jude to put on the route some time in the near future, and she agreed.
Perhaps it was all rather Shakespearean, and a comedy rather than a tragedy. Depending on your perspective “All’s Well that Ends Well” or “The Comedy of Errors”?

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

Mow Cop, originally built as a green house?

Old Man of Mow; just along the way from Geoff’s pad.

Down and out amongst the tables.

Is life worth living: had it said on the cards?

On Thursday 6th September, 11 intrepid Potteres made their way up to the summit of Mow Cop in increasingly misty conditions. Most were trying to remember where Geoff Pett lived, others, perhaps unwisely,  relying on their satnavs, or even, 
following Jim.....

Some had not seen Dave Taylor’s wise words re locating the start  on the website. 

Jim, not renowned for high risk activities these days, took the track past the Old Man of Mow.

This is used only by tractors, horses, large Land Rovers, and those trying to ‘right off’ their car for insurance purposes.

The sound of gritstone gouging along catalytic converters and exhausts is not likely to settle the nerves before a run.

Jim, Tony and their followers emerged wild eyed from their cars, whilst Grant, who had followed the route description, warmed  up with intervals along the track.

The route, of just over 6 miles
( 10K to those under 65) weaved it’s way past renowned Mow Cop tourist attractions, first the Old Man, an impressive towering pillar of Gritstone rising 70 feet ( studied closely by Tucker looking for hand holds)  and then the Castle, a folly built in 1754.

A steep descent through yellowing heather, an old quarry and still dry rock was undertaken at a blistering pace of 10.5 minutes a mile.

After mustering, we ran briefly along the border with Kidsgrove, not daring to venture therein to darkest North Staffordshire, and through woods and fields to the Macclesfield Canal.

After 2 miles we turned right to be greeted by the enormous bulk of Mow Cop shrouded in mist, towering above us. The big mast was our objective,  over 600 feet above us. This final ‘off road killer mile’ was taken as justification to walk by some, at a more leisurely pace, whilst others, led by Barry,  took the opportunity for some hard hill work and skipped upwards like veritable chamois.

After a water stop at the house, and spurred on by Jim’s earlier route choice rebellion, the assembled masses again rose as one against the words on the website. This time the insurrection was led by Dave Taylor and Margaret Huyton. The bedraggled troops retreated not to Glebe Farm ( as instructed on the website) but to the Chappell Centre, where they were welcomed as heroes by ladies in pinnies, baring tea, cake and bacon butties

11 in total:

Geoff Pettengell 
Margaret Huyton
Dave Tucker
Dave Taylor 
Harry Stubbs
Tony Burton
Trevor Longman
Jim Kelly
John Cavanagh
Grant Silk
Barry Blyth.

Good to see you all.


Geoff Pettengell. 

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

Some troops loitering on Alderley Edge’s main advantage point.

Troughing apres run at the Wizard Tearooms, Over Alderley.

A fair, though grey day greeted those that ventured out on this day’s Potter to indulge in a little badgering or  a bit of tit-for-tat on any scandal that may have crossed through someone’s ears in the preceding days since last we met.

Trouble is, as day’s go by, one forgets what went the day before to the extent one wonders what that little knotted string on one’s finger represented? At least he’s got a finger to do what he feels like with, though one dares say it could get him into a bit of bother unless he’s using it to stem some dyke or other. 



But then, we never appear to have any trouble in explaining the workings of nature and the wild creatures therein: Badgers spring to mind in that we came across these rather large holes, dotting the side of a sandy hedgerow not too far from today’s venue. Alex thought they were the workings of rabbits but Plimblob quickly interjected and uttered: Badgers! So, there you are, if one’s in the right place at the right time, one can learn something without really trying.

The way its going Alderley Edge could become synomynous with jodhpurs: One can’t remember a time not seeing the horsey types strutting their mounts along the lanes and by-ways of this monyed enclave. It seems now more fields are set aside for horses so, one needs to be vigilant and keep an eye out for these handsome but smelly quadrupeds, especially when crossing fields.   

30th, August, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

It’s all ( nearly ) down hill now.

Leader Tow displaying the wisdom of appropriate head gear.

JK finally relieving emotions from the time of his recent JN DNF: when all around him were falling apart he held his nerve.

Jude pulsating with vigour while Jimbo does a gate turn waiting for Tow to collect his unsure bearing’s ?

Eleven intrepid runners set off today and yet somewhat surprisingly after a rather ragged start twelve returned safely (Grant arrived a tad late but caught us up)!  Brian went looking for his wallet and then decided to run the opposite way around the route to everyone else.  Never mind he cut across the middle to join the main group.  Eventually we were a single group!  The weather was perfect – sunny and cool.  The scenery was some of the best the Peak District offers.  At the Farm Made Tearoom/coffee shop we sat outside in the sunshine and their service was super in spite of a pleather of differing requests (extra hot, decaf, extra shot, Earl Grey, etc!).  The cakes were fresh and delicious although there were some murmurings about weak coffee and some educational inputs on the proper use of tea strainers.  All in all a pleasant morning in good company.


Tony Burton.

28th, August, 2018: Tuesday’s Potter.

A Private place.

A leisurely morning run from the Leisure Centre, in downtown Bollington, where the most colourful aspect in the vicinity is the now famous, White Nancy- a blob of painted white Kerridge stone, perched on the end of Kerridge Ridge: a natural feature that separates the township of Bollington, and the small village of Rainow. Both must have something to give but, one just can’t put his finger on it. They say Happy Valley of Bollington, though one can’t think of a reason why, though, it appears, mushrooms of a certain hue, grow wild on the hills nearby.
So there we were taking a steady foot-path up a flank of the Ridge, leaving the flatlands and the Mac Canal behind us. At the time Alex was leading from behind as the fair sized group were bantering on about the Elephant Stone, which, as we know by now, is a quirky stone outcrop on the Rainow side of the hill: the Potter groups’ been there before on several occasions- 2 of those this year already, so, enough was enough !! That’s one of the perks of leading.

From, there-on-in it was plain sailing down the hill before hitting the ancient stone flags behind the pretty cottages near the Hough-Hole-Farm. Then to Savio House; pausing there for a photo- shoot: Snapper Grant eventually found his picture taker to snap this lovely picture of us all in various pose; casting one’s eye over the film gives one ample fodder to elaborate: Trev the Rev’s sitting there in the background on a stone stile, probably thinking: that’s the way we’ll soon be going ( he proved wrong ); Tux standing there, hands behind his back, probably wetting his pants, as if in front of primary school teacher for disobedience; there’s Chuck Walker, slanting forward with hand on thigh, grinning from ear to ear- could it be mushrooms?.......Is that an 8 cup bra he’s wearing or does I need an eye test?
; Turbo Pete enjoying himself immensely, perhaps knowing he doesn’t have to be around for at least a week or so due to a 6-day walk on Offa’s Dike, with Mike Laurence ( sadly, we don’t see much of Mike these days... at least he’s still doing something )

One could go on, but one’s sparing your time.

Then it was all to the Sweet Kitchen Cafe for sustenance, where the manager appeared overwhelmed by numbers; writing down each order in minute detail to the extent poor Pete had to wait over twenty minutes for his Bacon Butties to arrive, even though he was one of the first to order. The homemade Bakewell Tart went down a treat, well before Pete’s food had arrived. Oh dear.

23th, August, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

A fearless brace of lovely birds.

The Brace appeared to be captured by a hairy, yellow- bellied scavenger.


Only 4 potters ventured out on this run from Timberbrook.  Seems everyone is on holiday, mind you it is that time of the year!  Still we did meet Congleton Potter Debbie on her way back while we were out.  Thanks to Dot for her leadership and the lovely but challenging route.  We went up Bosley Cloud twice and I collected more mushrooms!  A seasonable thing to take advantage of.  The weather was perfect being dry and cool.  Coffee and cake afterwards was at the Chappell Centre and very nice as usual.


Tony Burton.


Tow, it’s the degree of persiflage that sets them apart: not the numbers- not that one’s accusing anyone of a lack of ridge..... god forbid!
Or, to indulge in a little bit of firkytoodle before dark; though, one dare says he’d find it hard to refuse-especially when under the influence of the devil’s drink.

21st, August, 2018: Tuesday’s Potter.

The Potter troop abutting the gable of Summer Close Farm, the piccie exuding mixed feeling on what’s next in store on this mostly scenic route. Dot sums it up perfectly with her apprehensive gaze.

The proposed leader had reported in with a poorly knee. I had led from this venue in the past so I was invited to take over the navigation.

A surprisingly good turnout greeted us at Blue Boar Farm. People are starting to drift back for summer holidays. And the summer seemed to have drifted off in the opposite direction. Low cloud clung to the hilltops as we set off through Common Barn and over the fields to Waggonshaw. I wore fell shoes for the first time in ages, the ground just wet enough to take a stud. These helped in the steep descent to the river and over the wet grassland to Salterford Hall. Stopping briefly to take in the history of the farm and the salters' mule routes, we then walked up the very steep track to Howlersknowl and exited onto the road via their drive. Its always fun crossing the high moors to Dunge Farm but it is sad to walk through the neglected and overgrown gardens. The drive is a drag but we were soon dropping back down to the river, over the hidden footbridge and up to Summer Close and a well-earned stop for photos. All that was left was the humongous climb up to the top moor, probable our last dry crossing for many months to come, and the race back to the cars and the fleshpots of the local cafes. A pleasant and well-trodden 6 mile route.


Pete Nolan

16th, August, 2018: Thursday’s Potter.

On, The Nab.

Jim taking a keen interest in looking after Tow on a supposably dodgy footbridge.

Please, don’t be confused. There’s a connectioon between his piccie and the main one, in that the mushrooms were picked on the hill by Tow and were duy fried later and presented at dinner table to be devoured at leisure.