Pensioner Potter

For the young at heart

21st, November 2019: Thursday's Potter.

All wrapped up near Harrop Fold Farm. At least the weather conditions were dry, if but cold. So, very little naked flesh being exposed to the elements, except for a pair of pale, knobberly knees, kindly provided free of charge by leader John k

 Nine of us gathered at Spuley Lane for the start of this Potter. It was nice to see a new recruit; Anne, that Christine had inveigled into joining us. After the trudge up the Hedgerow we turned off across the fields to Harrop Fold Farm. Crossing the road, we followed, in reverse, a route we have taken before – up to the ridge and along the permissive path to Charles Head. Along here we were exposed to the full blast of a strong, cold, easterly wind. When we dropped down again, we found some shelter and could stand upright and resume the usual banter.

Heading down to Harrop Wood, an optional extra loop up the steep climb to Sherrow-Booth Farm and a circumnavigation of Andrew’s Knob found no favour today. We will try again on a warmer and less blustery day. From here it was a straightforward trot along the valley side, across the packhorse bridge and back to the cars.

I am pleased to report that Nine of us finished together. Getting everyone back at the same time is a first for me as the leader. Afterwards, the Farm Made Café supplied most of us with hot drinks and sustenance.

John K


19th, November 2019: Tuesday's Potter.

This Picture has nothing to do with today's Potter, except we share a love of landscapes. In the Middle Ages Bruegel the elder painted them in abundance. He was very accomplished and, with a fertile imagination. One could evoke much on this Harvesters scene, if one had the time.

.A wonderfully clear, but cold morning greeted those few who'd turned out for this little shifty to admire the views above Hammerton Knowl and the surrounding prospects.

So it wasn't surprising rhapsodic feelings gripped the small party as they eagerly moved off up the hill to capture this iconic scenery only to be slightly disappointed on encountering Grant arriving in his bus from the opposite direction, late. Needlessly to say a slight pause was allowed in proceedings for the great man to collect himself and come to terms with the situation. In the meantime, Dot and Kath, being who they are, didn't hesitate and descended the hill to greet the enigma while this wily, old sod here stood his ground, not wanting to lose any of the advantages.

While this scene was being played out, Honza and Phil were walking the route in the opposite direction, with happy thoughts of viewing, en route a couple of " Newt Ponds" somewhere near the old "queer farm": a name we won't get embroiled with for fear of causing endless litigation.

Anyway, it just so happened that was the area where our two groups merged, and, unfortunately, no newt ponds were ever found, which, for Honza, would have been a great disappointment, as he's hoping to have a couple established on his land- thanks to the sponsorship of the Newt Conversation Partnership?

It's said, if all else fails he's so keen he's even willing to use his bathtub as a habitat. Oh dear; the things we have to bear.   


5th, November 2019: Tuesday's Potter. 

Jenkins Chapel: Not the first order of visitation but one of the highlights. It stands almost opposite the second Millennium Stone we attained. This spot was almost half way round the challenge that John had beset us. One thinks that was what the man implied?

The man thoroughly enjoyed himself, though thoughts of food must have weakened his resolve as the Sirens of the Tegg's Nose Café beckoned him forth to that cosy place where dreams often mutate to things more tactile.

A fine picture of Shutter's raising its pointed peak above the bleak, fallow wasteland.

Leader John checking his timepiece during a meanacing head wind that entered parts that only mothers had dared to go.

Tucker and Pete forging ahead to a point where the terrain rose giddyingly sharply.

At the penultimate Millennium Stone. Still a fair way to go though, with a few climbs to test one’s resolve.

Turbo Pete making a move up the left side (on the bank) while the remainder found the gully rather sqaggy.

A short compilation of previous Potters, each including an image of John K. Notice the fine weather we mostly encountered, compared to most recently

5th Nov Rainow Millennium Stones As a change from the usual Tuesday Potter routine of a gentle 1 ½ hr run with early starters setting off to walk, today we all set off together to walk. The other small difference was the route was 22km long, had 880m of ascent and was expected to take about 5 hrs.

Somewhat to the surprise of the leader, 10 hardy souls prepared to set off from Teggs Nose Café, most of us arriving early enough to get a fortifying hot drink before we started. The intention was to visit the five Rainow Millenium stones, placed in and around Rainow in the year 2000, each one named for its location with a small picture engraved relevant to its position.

Our first stone was at Walker Barn (querying tools) then off onto our anticlockwise circuit to Saltersford/Jenkins Chapel (Saxon cross), Harrop Farm (a valley scene), Ingerlsley Vale (waterwheel), Rainow Village (a raven and a tower) then back to Walker Barn and the final trudge back up to Teggs Nose for more hot drinks and some sustenance.

Six of us completed the round in a little over 5 hrs: for various reasons, the remainder had dropped off earlier on to make their own way back to base.

The weather was kind to us for the time of year and we had more time than usual on a potter to enjoy the company and admire the many fine views and autumn colours.

John K


31st, October 2019: Thursday's Potter.

An interesting, obtuse image of Little Morton Hall, captured in its famous livery. No doubt Tux took this image to flaunt his flair in photo taking, contrasting the Elizabethan building with the modern merchandise adorning an ageing generation.

A candid report on the morning's activity would be greatly appreciated, if only for some text to fill this void.   


28th, October 2019: Tuesday's Potter.

A commanding prospect as the group pose for prosperity in the capable hands of Grant, who took this captivating image.

Margo sitting pretty while those in attendance make light of the situation. .

Spectacular, commanding views was had by John K and the webmeister above Lamaload Dam.

In the fore yard of 17th Century Withinlow Farm. A grade 2 listed building up near the old Highway Man PH. This interesting part of the outbuildings has character; to the extent jimbo took a keen interest in how the property manage to stay upright while other properties of the period succumbed to rubble. What the joke was between Margo and the webmeister is beyond yours truly.

It was a fine morning to dig out the old fell shoes and go a Pottering in the photogenic area of Higher Rainow, where, on a day like today the views were decidedly stunning. So it was no surprise to see a fair crop of potterers gathering at the venue in anticipation of what was forthcoming. And the suspense succumbed to a couple of those present for they departed up the lane at a canter, as though dinner had lain in wait on table. A couple of others had left before the mark as well, though in a different direction. This included the leader and a certain renegade as well, hoping to steal a march on those that were to follow. This worked rather well for a while, but as the steep terrain got steeper we were reeled-in till the pips squeaked.

Snipe House, above Lamaload Dam, allowed a teeny respite before an extra effort was needed to witness uninterrupted landscape of the outlying areas. Then, it went down a little to Brock Low, where a photoshoot conveniently took place. Margo, being Margo climbed a wooden stake there as though a monkey-  to the amazement of others.

It could have been a spot in the distant past where ancient people did what they did: commanded the high ground and most likely, respect: the men, clubbing about in their loincloths and generally making a nuisance of themselves, while the women nursed their sore heads and, in large crocks, boiled the local cretins who roamed Bollington at the time.

From there it was almost plain sailing back to the venue but, with a nifty short section before the run's end, where the persistent leader had to show those who'd thought they'd almost be back at the cars by then, to see this remarkable old farmstead, which is tucked away somewhere below the old HighwayMan PH.

When the run was done, people disappeared in their vehicles, off in different directions as a quartet made their way to the Tegg's Nose Cafe to delve into some of their delightful offerings. Unfortunately, there were no Boiled Bollington People on the menu so we had to makedo with some boring old stuff.


24th, October 2019: Thursday's Potter

Above Whaley Bridge: a safe heaven to be away from the rumblings of a suspect dam.

The remains of a near " Catastrophic" event that almost swept the town of Whaley down the swanny. So said the Doomsters.

The heaven's went down the tubes with such force the locals shat themselves. While the Emergency Services were in their element, throwing their weight about, upsetting those with a nervous disposition.

It appears the Canal and River Trust had been telling porkies, and if the Dam had burst, those who survived the tragedy would have lynched the perpetrators before stripping the skin of their backs for parchment to record the unforeseen drama.


17th, October 2019: Thursday's Potter.

The webmeister and Margo descending the lower slope of Bosley Minn after frenetic encounters with acres of mud on a route devised by the lovely Dave Tucker.

All was not finished, however, as this weary trooper came a right cropper where horses found it difficult to stand.

A pastiche of previous Potters with leader Tucker displaying his unique but perplexing charms.


15th,  October 2019: Tuesday's Potter.

Christino appears to enjoy herself in the scrub while Grant moves rather attentively in the rear.

While Jimbo's eyes are keenly fixed on the task at hand. It's good to see his teeth are wearing well but his tongue's looking most vunlarable.

Johnny and Phil posing by a Bull sign, which is appropriate considering that’s what some say they mostly talk.

Honza gazing where he would fear to tread, unless there were some inducement or other: An astute man if ever there were.

What a dismal morning for a Tuesday's Potter? The threatening rain was in the air to accompany the pesky mist which lurked on the higher ground. But then we weren't there at the Gradbach venue with the main party and leader Dave (Chuck) Walker. It's gathered they had a whale of a time, though that wouldn't surprise anyone who knows this lot,

No, we had a somewhat more leisurely experience across the way in a miserable Rainow, where the heavens must have opened up and dumped a month's worth in about five minutes. We didn't complain mind, though one of the party of three wasn't really wearing the right footwear for such conditions, to the extent he lumbered up the slope of Kerridge Ridge while the other two stuck to the lower one, exiting by the weir at Ingersly Vale, where it was in full force: it's a lovely neck-of-the-Woods but, who would like to live there when the stream's at its most efficacious?


10th, October 2019: Thursday's Potter.

Bridge over troubled waters?

Trouble at' mill?

A montage of previous Potters with this weeks leader featuring in each image.

Wilmslow Common with its commemorative plaque donated by Sir Humphrey*. So one presumes Jacko owns a slice of the Common being a local lad. One wonders where that patch could possibly be? No prizes for those with a fertile imagination. * it appears Sir Humphrey took the money and it was down to others who provided the cash to purchase the site.

10 Oct 2019 - Thursday Potter – Wilmslow and Styal Woods Time to get cooking. It’s the annual visit of the Potters to sunny Wagslow-by- Bollin, so it must be my birthday around now. I dust down last year’s route and finish up with the same start and finish at the Lindow Common car park but much else changed.

First, a little warm up through the thickets along the edge of the common. We stopped long enough to read the plaque on a commemorative stone … "This common was purchased from the Countess of Stamford and Sir Humphrey de Trafford and presented to the residents of Wilmslow by Alderman John Royle JP AD 1897”. I believe that it was Sir Humphrey de Trafford.version3.

We kept Tucker away from the perils of the Black Lagoon in the centre of the common, remembering that such places have inspired many a horror film and that Lindow derives original Welsh name of this lake – Llyn Ddu meaning Black Lake. Crossing the old racecourse or Racecourse Road we duck and dive round the backs of big houses into the plotlands towards Lindow Moss, the resting place of Lindow Man, and the many paddocks now given over to horsiculture.

We climb to the highest point in Wilmslow marked by a seat and a methane vent atop of the old council tip which fulfilled the council’s duties under 1967 Civic Amenities Act to provide somewhere where householders could get rid of take rubbish. This was when politicians like Duncan Sandys did something useful on Friday afternoons and promoted private bills. The Act is also famous for having invented Conservation Areas.

We dodged around Morley on some muddy paths, just in case some of the team were lured into the attractions of the Cheshire Smokehouse and join Cheshire ladies who lunch, and then crossed the Altrincham road to Styal Mill where we took our first photo opportunity with Mrs. 85% standing on the bridge parapet. Next it was into Styal Woods following the Bollin as far as Giants Castle bridge where we took advantage another photo opportunity. Then time to go back through the Mill yard and wonder at the origins of the circular brick enclosure. It is a base of an old gas holder and run along past the deserted Rugby ground (perhaps everyone was in Japan) and along the board walk which now has a mighty list to it.
About 1hr 45mins taken, so within the guidelines. Weather mild and pleasant before the rain came about 1pm. 10 Potters were out for the run and all came back to Windsor Castle for lunch. Much tea, all parsnip soup and all the apple cake were consumed by all.

See you all again same time next year. Perhaps we will take in Lindow Moss, and eat the same old food, and share the same old anecdotes.

Thanks to everyone for coming along and apologies to Steve for my continually calling him Dave, an understandable error when there are Macc Harriers around.

BJ