Pensioner Potter

For the young at heart

19th, February, 2019: Tuesday's Potter.

A gathering by the water, while Honza disappears up the hill.

Kav pressing home his intent with sibiling in persuit.

The Webmeiser enjoying a pleasant descent

While two of the group show their displeasure.

Report to follow.

14th, February, 2019: Thursday's Potter.

The idle rich watching the navigators at work.

There's something about water that's so alluring.

Or, could it be a Potter fell from the bridge parapet and ended up in the drink?

Trev the rev bringing up the rear on a beautiful day in mid February. Nice to see the old dog’s still go some swing: if there ever was a swinger you could always count on Trev.

12th, February, 2019: Tuesday’s Potter.

Grant feeling his most amongst the Potter ladies.

A welcoming smile to lighten the gloom of the morning.

Grant trying his hand at snorting ?

A blazing trail of snowdrops along the way to Gawsworth.


Honza led this Tuesday Potter from the desirable location of Lower Sutton: there is a Higher Sutton, where the great man lives, but he thought he’d slum it and delve in the lower reaches of this quiet backwater, where the waters tumble from the adequate reservoir to feed the popular, recreational Macclesfield canal that meanders through this this part of East Cheshire.

A fair gathering of shapes and sizes grouped by the venue’s lay-by to hear words of wisdom from the morning’s leader: to take note on where one could become detached and go astray, and perhaps never be seen again in the area of Danes Moss, where it's possible to lose one’s footing and end up in a peaty bog and join other misfortunates that went missing while their minds wondered elsewhere. However, all went well and the troop did as they were meant to, and so arrived back at base all in one piece, and having learnt something they wouldn't have known if they'd stayed at home; that was to remember to carry more money when Johnny's on a lead, as he tends to try and winkle money out of those for his services rendered: he hasn't got where he is today just pandering to the Liberals.  

5th, February, 2019: Tuesday’s Potter.

Jitka has kindly sent these impressive snowscapes, captured from her area in the Czech Republic. She just loves riding her mountain bike whenever she gets the chance, and heads off into the clear, wonderful area of Jizerské Hory (Jizera Mountains), just below the Czech’s northern border with Poland, - not too far from where she lives, though far enough to escape the vagaries of daily life, and possibly Brexit, that’s if the tentacles of that horrible beast hasn’t - god forbid- reached that far into Eastern Europe.

Whether these piccies were taken on a Tuesday is hard to say, but if they’d had been, surely, it would be in keeping with the spirit of a Potter, so then, worthy a showing on these flexible pages: the fact that Jitka’s many a years from retirement shouldn't blight the prospect of showing us her obvious talent on photography. Did you know they have an abundance of Lynx roaming freely in her part of the world? Apparently, It’s nothing to worry about as they're rather shy of humans and would preferably bolt that make a stand of it.

31st, January, 2019: Thursday's Potter.

Part of the troop bracing the clear, blue air on high ground around the pleasurable area of Biddulph Grange.

Leader Mike taking note of someone’s displeasure at something not to their amusement.

Here's a silhouette of a certain Potter character: could you identify him? Given a clue, one would say this person’s a, pain- in-the neck, but that wouldn't be quite right as It's an untrouth. It can be difficult discovering the truth when dealing with anything Potters: all’s not what it's meant to be; especially when one’s dealing with spectres. What’s it holding on there?

29th, January, 2019: Tuesday’s Potter.

Gawsworth Church: Reflectons on tranquility.

A mixed bag of a day today, if there ever were one, in the bewildering world of Pottering.

A fair assemblage of members grouped in the charming spot of Gawsworth Church to partake in Dot’s little sally around this seemingly untroubled locality, where life seems to be more productive in the ancient graveyard, than out there on the bare pavements- that is until the Potters arrive.

The assemblage soon dispersed though; some in the opposite direction to the leader’s choosing, and several many minutes before: they were shuffling you see and didn’t want to be cought-up in the melee of the start.

Turbo Pete, on being wise, also decided to go a few minutes earlier, thougbegin in the same direction as the leader; this allowing his troublesome hamstring gradually warm-up, so by the time the troop had arrived everything would have been purring nicely......


Axel arrived in the start on his old mountain bike: he’s been having problems with his left calf muscle just lately, so is feeling quite sorry for himself. He thought it best to give the injury rest and let the bottom take the strain, and what better than placing the butt on the bike. It didn’t take too long though to realise that the butt’s not as tough as it used to be. However, all thoughts of that sore calf evaporated within a few miles.

Winter isn’t a favourable season for riding one’s bike, especially when the temp’s hovering just above freezing, when fine gear and a reasonable bike are essential under such conditions. Unfortunately, one can select the wrong gear and choose  something not quite right for the occasion. Needless to say, this happened to Axel today, and well before the end of his ride, by which time his hands, and feet, suddenly complained in a manner only a feeble mind could understand. Back home it took many gulps of warm tea and so-gentle rubbing for the numbness to wear-off!


It was said, Grant became detached from the main group sometime early on the run: reason being only he could say, but the word’s about that something was troubling him: Grant, ever the mystic, appears to transgress within his surroundings whenever it takes his fancy, so, perhaps, it was one of those days.

One hears he arrived back at the Fairway’s all in one piece and ready for the goodies- just as the rest were leaving?

24th, January, 2019: Thursday’s Potter.

Clearly, the troops are enjoying themselves in an otherwise muggysome day.

Tow, mystified in Over Alderley, and probably mistified he didn’t stay in sunny Spain, that much longer, when he had the opportunity to.

22nd, January, 2019: Tuesday’s Potter.

Dot Com and Thatch, showing their paces on a briskly cold morning.

......while the sheep do what they normally do on mornings like these: not a lot.

A convenient resting place for those in dire needs, or just a potential dive for a Potter café

Colourful potterers enjoying spots in high places where the majority fear to tread.

Tuesday’s Potter was run in the snow and notable due to the Potterers being recruited by Cheshire Constabulary to apprehend villains from Liverpool who had been sighted looking very dodgy.

Never seen coppers on the top of Kerridge in the snow before.  They said they were up there because they thought the scousers would never think they would get up it. Anyway, when we spotted the lads we told them to scarper quick or they would get nicked.

The second excitement instalment was after the run when we visited the new SubStation café in Hurdsfieldt.  Delicious coffee. We had to chain Margaret to her chair to stop her attacking the amazing variety of climbing routes on offer.



17th, January, 2019: Thursday’s Potter. 

Casting a long shadow in bright sunshine, while amusing the cows.

Catching the bright sunshine at the Combe Valley Nature Reserve.

Heads will roll: I Grant you.

Has Margaret got that sinking feeling ?

All’s not what it’s cracked up to be.

Today we had a pleasant outing over the hills East of Leek, pausing at the Combe Valley nature reserve to take in the majestic scenery. The underfoot conditions were near-perfect, as most of the boggy places were drier than usual and the muddy places frozen and runable.

Once we had warmed up with a gentle start, we were able to take advantage of the easy ascent to the medieval ridge byway, known as Fynneylane. Down the grassy slope beyond, lead to another wooden footbridge with missing treads - a trap for the unwary. A short steep hill and then the steady climbing footpath across fields to the start of the Ferny hill ascent.

Three grassy fields later and all of Staffordshire was displayed around us - or at least all you can see from the summit. A quick detour to view an ancient - and derelict - stile and we were back on track and into the Combe Valley nature reserve, with its firm tracks, leading eventually to the visitor centre and a splendid photo opportunity in the glorious sunshine, as mentioned above.

From there it was a downhill country frolic back towards Leek, taking in the Roman Egg well, which Margaret reluctantly decided not to bathe in, and on to Ashenhurst Mill, where horses with very short legs gazed at us with sad eyes. Saving one last easy hill as an extra surprise, it just remained to drop back to the road back into Leek and onto the Birchall playing fields.

Sadly Kath, Margaret and Mike had to say their farewells, leaving just four to enjoy the delights of the Foxlowe cafe. Grant however afterwards located the alternative Corner Cafe suggested by Kath and will sample same next week.



15th, January, 2019: Tuesday’s Potter.

Passing through a quiet quarter of Tytherington: an unasuming place, and so close to Macclesfield Town centre. Life can be sweet in the slow lane.

A perfect morning for running saw 5 of us set off on a ‘new’ route from Prestbury via Butley Town, Bollington and Tytherington.

A testing hilly start was rewarded by discovering a new gate to replace a rickety stile (had this put in especially for Peter, but he had other plans on Tuesday). Some of the paths had Alex reminiscing - we try to please - but unfortunately the good humour didn’t last (‘don’t like this’). After almost picking up a new recruit and dog, and actually picking up Tony who was returning from a gruelling lamp post interval session with John, we had to make a slight detour across the golf course to return to base.

Had we not been forewarned of a Bollin Valley footpath closure by Neil, we would have been faced with huge mounds of earth and JCBs – but at least the new footpath should ensure any future routes through the Bollin Valley should be mud free.



10th, January, 2019: Thursday’s Potter.

Jacko in rocky surroundings, taking a quiet moment, perhaps reflecting on whether he could have had better quality-time spent elsewhere.

Mike demonstrating on how one should ride a white-elephant without any aides what-so-ever.

Surely it’s the mist that creates a situation where the troop are sent spellbound in such a dank location?

8th, January, 2019: Tuesday’s Potter.

Facing a piercing sun on Ridge Hill, Sutton.

A fair turn out of Potters gathered on this “Quiet Lane” of Sutton, to sally up, down and around the pleasing environs of this lovely part of East Cheshire, where the sun never seems to fade below anything. And today was no exception as it illuminated parts of the scene that otherwise wouldn’t have been noticed: one’s car, for instance, looks as though it could do with a good clean; and where did one get that dint on the off- side wheel arch, one wonders?


Oh dear, let’s move on otherwise one’ll need to take more karma- like Grant does; not that Grant really needs to partake in this sensuous discipline but it must help otherwise he wouldn’t join us on these outings.

So, the Baker’s Dozen made its way to higher ground, passing several farmsteads on the way. Farmsteads that have deep roots, thick walls and have stood the test of time: an ambience feel springs to mind when thinking of these old steads. Old stead goes quite nicely when compared to an old potterer: the only difference being potters have a tendency to fall over.


Drama is never far away on a Potter and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Today it came in the shape of a tree- a big one. And it wouldn’t take it lying down..... well, actually, it did, and that was the problem. It’s at times like these we have to think collectively and find the best solution to solve a problem. Brute force won the argument in the end, but we still lost to the tree. So we had to wade through branches and things to get our way out of the mess. A little cameo was seeing Christino balancing on a branch while we were trying to hump it off a stile: it didn’t take her long to find clearance.


Soon the fun was all over and most found themselves down at Bullocks Lane, drinking lots of tea and munching tasty things.

Negotiating a felled tree resting on damaged stile in a quiet corner of Higher Sutton.

Heave- ho the tree wouldn’t go.

3rd, January, 2019: Thursday’s Potter.

A winter prospect in perfect conditions.

Mike displaying his lust for blood, while Pete looks on with trepidation.

Our first Thursday Potter of 2019 attracted an excellent field of 16 troops plus  Alfie Hill, the very well behaved dog. Weather and ground conditions were perfect. Despite perfection the scribe started to hear grumbling requests for  historic information about a tunnel close to Biddulph Old Hall  ( the tunnel is a folly) and again about  a large cave close to Troughstone Hill ( I did not notice  it and cannot find any information – homework for another day ).

The pressure for local information was taken off by Chip who took photos with a view of the Cheshire Plain in the background.  We then returned to the car park via Timbersbrook   exactly 1 hr.  45 min and 7 miles after setting off.

The wonderful ladies at the Chappell Centre completed our enjoyment by feeding and watering us with their usual good service and cheery smiles.   That’s all  



1st, January, 2019: Tuesday’s Potter.

A summer meadow above Rainow.

A summer place near Rainow with leader Dot.

Seven of us plus Johnny, who chose to go his own way, set off to start the new year with a gentle tour round Rainow. We headed to Hedgerow then up to Further Harrop Farm and back via the Highwayman where the usually boggy horse field was as dry as I’ve ever seen it - maybe because there was no sign of any horses.

Peter put his new year’s resolution into practice as he sprinted back for the tail-enders but he is not promising to make this a regular feature. The sun showed its face and the only adverse incidents were Grant whipping Cynthia with a branch (accidentally of course) and Al suffering a pain in his calf towards the end. I hope this won’t keep him at home for long.


Mike L please note time 1.30 hours exactly! Post run some of us took up Tucker’s kind offer of tea at his with the park runners. I am quite sure they did not have such an enjoyable morning’s run as us!



27th, December, 2018: Thursday’s Potter. 

It appeared a dank and joyless morning; as if the Christmas turkey had had its stuffing kicked out of it and had lost its appetite to please, or Santa had mislaid his whiskers which confused the reindeers who, then left him to abandonment.

Even Blaze Farm had originally shut-up-shop to the pesky hordes, took pity on us when we unwittingly crossed onto their site, displaying expressions of puzzlement on seeing signs reading Closed !! Then things turned more favorable as Florence, the farm mater approached with warm cordiality and proffered tea on our return form whatever we were contemplating.

Florence may be no nightingale but she can muster some grub in a blink of an eye, if your willing to pay for it. She may not have a voice like an angel but one knows where one stands when our lady warbles disapproval at something that doesn’t quite fit where it, not so much a tickler... more of a stickler.

So, there we were with Tux at the helm, heading over undulating fields of un managed ground where winter cattle make deep impressions in unrelenting earth, beasts that appear, more often than not, loitering near access points and stiles, so making one’s progress somewhat hazardous. Wimps we may be but, at least, healthy ones we are at that.

Dwelling a little; it’s amazing just how much heat these beasts generate, even by standing there in a field corner. This particular herd today will definitely go for meat products, which is rather sad really because they looked so cuddlesome; not like a bear mind, though who would cuddle one of those given a chance? Apart from the deep breathing, banter, and the sensation of forever climbing it was a typical mid winter’s day.

But one aspect of it which lightened the mood was when passing an old stone property which I knew was on the market at least 25 years before, and in the contract the buyer would have to allow the old lady vender to spend the rest of her days there. Unfortunately for the buyer, she lived to be a ripe old age, and they say he aged before his time.

20th, December, 2018: Thursday’s Christmas Potter.

Christmas cheer and paper hats to cover the gray cells.

A cross of contention.

Leader Jude: bright eyed and turning the screw.

Butch gurning familiar ground to attain Nancy’s perch.

A Potter gathering atop Kerridge Hill.

A long and lonely road to salvation. Above the masses life grapples with the eliments.

It’s possible a report is forthcoming regards this auspicious occasion: then, again, it’s possible it will not. It’s all down to the powers that be. First-hand recollections would be preferable, but if we become desperate, anything will be considered provided it doesn'td involve slander and things of a sexual nature. Those who may feel inclined to expose themselves, please do it in a civil manner and behind closed doors.    

18th, December, 2018: Tuesday’s Potter

Redesmere in a warmer climate.

Capesthorn Hall in its high grandeur: there was a time when the roof burnt down.

Another Potter: another storm. This one must have put the fear of God into the usual Tuesday crowd. Only two brave souls were waiting for the leader when he arrived at Redesmere. The gale was in full-throated roar and the forecast heavy rain was holding off.

At spot on 10am (you know what this leader is like) a party of three set off towards Siddington Church. As they passed through the churchyard, one irreligious soul noticed that the beautiful black & white timber effect was in fact painted onto a brick wall. So much for the old timber churches of Cheshire.

The fields across to Northwood Farm were still firm. The winter's rain has not yet taken its toll. The concrete track was criss-crossed with electric fences. Eventually the route came out onto School Lane and turned away from the wind towards Crabtree Moss and Henshaw Hall Farms. More fields and electric fences took the party to Fanshawe where the threatening rain still stayed away. So on they plodded, through the sailing club and around the Capesthorne Estate.

The turn back into the wind took them to Blake House where several muddy sections were encountered. Sneaking through the village hall gardens, Redesmere Lane was accessed and the cars were retrieved.


The threesome adjourned to Annie's Cafe at the Flora Tea Rooms where two non-runners were already tucking into their toasties. Bacon baps came as sandwiches (the baps were off), the rain was starting and another winter's morning had been successfully negotiated.


Peter Nolan