Pensioner Potter

For the young at heart

Stafforshire revisited.

Pale legs seen above a rotting access point.

A woodland scene in late springtime.

I took a punt at Deepheye C/Pk today, as did a few dozen others (but most of them were picnicking).
I chose to try one of my Potter runs, so set off alongside but up above the canal. I soon found two ladies with children on the path ahead.

For some reason they wanted me to make a 'cow' sound (where is Dave Walker when you need him?), so - for the benefit of the youngsters, you understand - I gave voice with my best effort. They were so impressed, they wanted to record me (presumably for posterity). Regrettably, I had to decline, as I pointed out that the sound was the cow equivalent of 'Come and get it!'. I left her to explain to the kiddies what that meant and continued on my way.

Thankfully, I found no more walkers, as I was heading out into the empty countryside. As usual, the farmer at the end of the path had a bonfire going, so I had to be careful to avoid breathing the noxious fumes. I was surprised to find a footpath I had not seen before, so took that to see where it went.

Eventually, I found myself in the little private nature reserve and turned for home. Finally dropping back into the back of Deepheye, I thought the footbridge was photogenic enough to warrant a pause with the phone camera. I was surprised at that moment by a female walker, who just happens to be in my photo, but with her back to me. (After your salacious comments last time, I thought it best not to proposition her and request a photo 'for the website').

And so back to the car, with a few steps to avoid a few groups of walkers who had taken the high path too.

Altogether a splendid run, albeit by my lonesome self again.



Bollington way.

JohnK enjoying a flutter from Spuley Lane. With compliments to Toe for providing this fetching image.

Macclesfield Forest.

An iconic view of Shutlingsloe.

Grant's strenuous efforts finally paid-of with this lovely image of his vivacious quarry.

As you might imagine, the warm weather has brought people out 'in their droves' today, so my outing to Macc Forest was somewhat different from my usual lonely foray. I managed to secure the last parking space by the heronry and set off to ascend to the standing stone car-park. That of course was full when I got there.
On the way up I passed several fallen trees, one of which displayed a rather attractive filagree-like root system. However, I didn't take a photo of it as I imagined one of the locals might have done that already. I had planned to take a snap of the standing stone itself, but a lady cyclist was sitting by it with her bicycle, leaning against it, and I thought it churlish to ask her to move.

Undeterred, I set off 'upwards and onwards', taking the steep path off to the left of the main track. Within a hundred yards/metres I found a suitable subject to photograph - a tangled tree - which made a useful frame for the forest view behind it. Eventually, I found myself heading for the fabled hill, known locally as 'Shut'.
However, the summit looked a little crowded, so I took the track heading away to the left and began to descend. This, of course, meant that I was heading away from my required direction, which forced me to ascend the back slope of the hill. I managed to make the steep path to meet the well-used stone-flagged track.

Once back on 'familiar turf', I headed back towards the forest. I could see a female runner in a white top heading that way, but perhaps 300 yards ahead. I gave chase and was slowly gaining - she was a fit young thing and maintaining a good pace - when I took a tumble for my pains.

Fortunately, I suffered no serious injury and picked myself up to give chase again. I was inching towards her hoping to run with someone else for a change, albeit at the recommended social distancing! Once through the gate and 'into the trees', I was gaining ground again (mainly because it was safer to run a bit faster on the main track). I caught her as she stopped to avoid a group of walkers and finally got to chat briefly.

I thought she would take the path down to the visitor centre, but she opted to climb again, which was the way I wanted too. Eventually, after trailing behind for a little, we came to the viewpoint over the reservoir (with the benches). I offered to take her photo (which I did) taking one for the website.

I have missed running with good company and look forward to when we can restart our outings. 


Between Buxton & Macclesfield.

Here’s a rare treat, in what appears to be a bomb crater: a yellow spotted Toe. Unique to these parts because it usually prefers rich vegetation on lower ground. Most likely the bird won’t make it back from where it came as the poachers round these parts are crack- shooters so it could be in the pot by nightfall.

Somewhere above Bollington. 

Jacko enjoying a foray in an idyllic setting as the bluebells begs their leave.

Sounds of nature... Or is it Jacko summoning his little people for a harmonious gathering?

Somewhere in Staffordshire.

Soay sheep on a down hill canter. Obviously, Grant spooked them.

Does this stone wall have a story to tell? Only Grant can say. As of now it's a harbinger of wildflowers and other things.

As part of the 'lock-down easing', I had my first foray into Staffordshire today. You can probably guess where I went from the photo of the Soay sheep. Just before I took the photo, they were posed in a perfect family group, with the lambs in the centre of an arc on the slope above me. If only they had stayed there another few seconds. C'est la vie!

I needed to take it easy today as I was a little concerned about my left ankle, which I sprained rather badly nearly two weeks ago. I didn't want to risk running across the slope, so was walking when the sheep appeared. Still, I got a fleeting shot of them for the 'ppotter' website.

The section of the Gritstone Trail that I was following seemed rather popular today, with couples and families spread along it at intervals. It must have added an extra quarter of a mile to my run just avoiding them!

It was so good to be on decent hills again, you have no idea!

The grass is quite long in many of the fields at the moment, so I kept a careful eye on the ground where I ran. Better safe than sorry. I shall have to try and pick the pace up a bit too, in anticipation of when we go out as a group again. I don't want to be left behind too often.

When the hill I am presented with is not too steep, I have been trying to run up it providing I am able. I may risk doing intervals in the park again, so long as my knee holds out.


Somewhere in Cheshire East.

A quiet backwater far from the maddening crowds. A place where one could lounge in dishabille without any repercussion.

One thinks this is a very old horthorn tree; possibly 500 years... who knows? A right of way passes near-by.

It’s an advantage if one's rather nimble. To fall in the brook would be a tragedy but not necessary fatal.

A cloudscape flecked the skyline, only interrupted by this ancient tree line. Will those with a keen eye have noticed Sutton Tower somewhere on the horizon?

Somewhere in Staffordshire.

The Mere’s been framed.

I had a very cautious run today, as Sunday's outing gave me cause for concern. I felt pain in my right knee just as I was winding it up doing some efforts in the local playing fields. Grrr!

After a pain-free walk on Tuesday, I kept it more or less steady today with my 'route number 3' (I am very limited here, trying to keep off roads).

I managed to take a photo of the Mere, looking so beautiful in the sunlight (photo attached).

Here's hoping we shall be able to run together again before we grow too old!


Near Sutton Common.

A quiet backwater where these Alpacas have the place to themselves and take water whenever the mood takes.

Near the Cat & Fiddle.

Is it possible for the Swindell family, who's standing outside Moss House Farm, have descendants living over at Whirley barn, Macclesfield, running a well-known fencing business?

Hi Dave,

The photos show the remains of Jacob's cabin, on Goyt's Moss. There is not a lot to see, just one corner of some footings. If you zoom in on the skyline, the mast at the Cat and Fiddle is just visible. It was a shooting cabin. I went to find it today, cycling to the track which starts about 700m to the south of it. This takes you across a scheduled historic site and lots of evidence of coal mining can be found. A very entertaining little excursion from my favourite bike route.

John K

Hi John,

Interesting. I looked it up and as you say the area seems to have lots of industrial archaeology relating to coal mining which apparently supplied the Buxton limestone burning industry.
The other interesting thing was the number of buildings on the old Macc road from the Cat to Buxton. These have all gone, the only remaining one being the loos at Derbyshire which was Goyt’s Moss Farm – link attached.

One needs to copy and paste. Ed.

I think this call for an exploratory walk next week. Walked along the river from Dane Bridge today past the brewery.

Very scenic if you stay close to the river’s edge and again lots of archaeology related to the canals.


Between Macclesfield & Wincle.

Where am I? It's a lovely quiet spot where one could charge their batteries if feeling a little run down. There is a tall tower not too far away so one needn't get lost if they're in a pickle.
Two sequoia trees stand proud in the vicinity, quite tall for seventy-year-olds but far short from their potential. The nearby brook is bobbing nicely on its downward trajectory in the afternoon's sunshine while the variety of songbirds are busy chirping away, as though competing in a singing competition.
It's time to move on: there's a short but steep incline further down the route which gives one a jolt out of potential slumber, enough to remember it the next time.


Run from Cheshire View car park.

Stairway to Mow Cop.

In memoriam:

Where was I?

A view from the rear.

I had a chilly start to my run today, as I was on the border ridge between Cheshire and Staffordshire and the wind was in my face and 'keen'.

However, down in the valley, it was quite pleasant and I managed to warm up. The only issue I had was the period since I last ran my chosen route, but after some careful thinking, I managed to find my way.

I came across an interesting memorial plaque that I don't remember seeing before, so took a photo of it. And one of 'The Folly' too.

I also thought I ought to include a 'mystery footpath' for people to puzzle over, so here's mine. I've added a view in the opposite direction.


Between Broken Cross & Gawsworth.

Where was I? Cheshire East was the place. Between Broken Cross and Gawsworth.

The trees are reaching their zenith, displaying their finer features and colours.

As one can see the footpath is tenderly mowed for the walkers. How considerate is this?

Not too long ago this spot was as bare as a naturalist’s bum. How quickly nature takes hold and Sows the seeds of time?

This here property was in a sorrowful state over the years, but as one can see it’s been tasteful modernised.

Mow Cop Area of Staffordshire.

A view of the Bridestones from a different angle.

The Alders Farm footpath (it heads over to Brookhouse Lane and the Timbersbrook road) has been greatly improved by the new owners. The photo was taken standing by the 'wishing well'.

This is an extract from a communication Grant had with Alex on a recent run where Grant demonstrated his admirable affinity with life outdoors, and skills for survival, until the great man tripped over and almost fell apart:-

Before I turned my ankle, I was having a reasonably good run. Not continuous, because I was looking out for interesting landmarks to photograph. I had parked at Timbersbrook (the furthest I can justify for 'essential exercise'), and run over the -- unnaturally dry -- fields to Brookhouse Lane. This gave me not only the steep climb up the lane, but led also up the steep footpath over to Reades Lane. Almost a fell!

Before the road climbs to the ridge, the footpath over the fields back to Timbersbrook has been improved with new stiles (in the new fences). I went along that footpath almost to the bridge over the stream, but turned right to climb up to the top end of Gosberryhole Lane. I would have loved to cross straight onto the new 'concrete sleeper' track up to the momument, but as it's not a right of way, I went up the road instead.

Stopping just to take a photo, I went on through the woods and onto the ridge path over to the Cloud. There I met a friendly couple who were walking in the opposite direction. I stopped to chat with them (at a three metre distance) before continuing. I thought the path along the wall in the woods was too full of tree roots, so I chose the centre path and -- would you believe it -- I turned my ankle on what looked a reasonably level stretch! I shall have to wait ‪until Sunday‬ to see if I can run again by then (sob!). I have to admit exclaiming at the pain -- and then looking around quickly to see if anyone else was around to hear me (with a ready apology on my lips). It took several minutes before I could 'run' again (with a limp), but I wasn't able to do so very well and ended up walking back to the car instead.

At least it was all downhill. I would have liked to meet a St. Bernard with a small barrel around its neck at that point, just to lift my spirits.

Incidentally, I don't expect we'll gather for a potter again before August at the earliest! It all depends on the dreaded 'second wave' of the virus.

Keep smiling!



The photo has been taken at the start of a 2020 Congleton lead Potter. The story behind the photo is also required to win the prize of tea and cake at the Chappell centre . Another clue is that the view of The Cloud, Croker Hill,Shutlingsloe round to The Roaches and Shining Tor from an altitude just over 1000' lifted the spirit. Good luck .Stay safe and ,trusting Tuckers forecast, see you all next month. David T. aka Patch

This is Jimmy, he was told to stay low while the Lockdown was in place. He’s really fed up with nothing to do but count the days and lives off past memories. He dreads dogs finding his patch and blowing his cover so’s looking forward to a time when everything returns to normal in his macro world.

Tucker’s been on Kinder with Cheeky proving their worth as Scouts. No doubt the fine weather persuaded them from their respective holes to take flight from the dreaded, killer coronavirus?

Here’s the man himself, smug as could be. Would that be Kinder Low trig he’s mounted? They say he likes a good leg up now and again?

Grant’s been wandering lonely as a cloud. That was his theme for this pair of images.

A strange mix really. One denoting new life while the other, death and destruction. The sole violet making its presence felt with vibrant colour hoping, perhaps, to attract other’s of the spieces than our wondering cloud. The dead tree on the other hand couldn’t care less and abandoned its cover for greener pastures.

Jimbo kindly provided this stony image he came across while out on a Potter. It reminds one of a castle rampart but, no doubt, our keen-eyed snapper will prove otherwise. Where could it possibly be located? A clue would be useful? Ok, I get your point. It’s somewhere not too far from Walker Barn with a reservoir just out of sight. You do get spoiled you know coz the great man has provided a second image, just in case you stumble on the first, though you’ll have to wait a couple of days to give the old grey cells a chance to solve it.

A previous Potter trip to the Lake District where the weather and views appeared perfect

The group in rude health atop a famous fell that the name escapes me at this time?

Could this be St Sunday Crag where the troop are beginning to feel the day's worth and the exit from the summit a trite painful?

Here's an active image of Margo doing what she likes best, pitching her wits against the challenges put forward by the indomitable Mr Tucker. This escapade was pictured while the woman was exiting (appropriately) Suicidal Cave in the Peak District at the time people were allowed to roam freely in groups without deviation.

English landscape in spring

I took this photo on Thursday, as a picture of normality in troubled times. This was the furthest westerly point on my run and the furthest east on Dave Taylor's run the same day.

Quite a coinicidence, especially as Jeannie also stopped to take the same photo on her walk (we are a bit limited for off-road delights here).

Incidentally, Thursday was my first outing for more than a week, as I had injured myself gardening. Quite a dangerous activity, I've found (my back is still a little sore), which is why I usually leave it to Jeannie.

Quite right too, Grant. Ed.


One wonders if Potters go near this place these days? There was a time when they often past by though not from this angle. Winkle Minn is no more than a cockstride away.

Tucker has kindly sent us this sweeping cloudy, slightly broody image, taken on elevated ground, of which one should feel he knows, but, alas, the grey cells have betrayed him once again. Where will it all end, if not in a long, narrow box without handles? .................... Tucker has kindly curtailed one’s despair by revealing Charity Lane was his viewpoint for this image.

Stumbling on a well furnished pixie tree while out on an early, sunny Sunday walk, when all was clear, bright, and stillness. A believer would be able to open the small door and enter, whereas a sceptic would probably bash his head on the solid trunk?

Here’s a strange and moving image. One remember’s it lashed it down and a tempest brewed. Where was it now?

It all seems such a long time ago: remember the floods and people having to leave their homes because the dam was ready to burst its bank at Whaley Bridge? They thought it was catastrophic. If they had had the foresight just to see what was around the corner, they may have left things as they were and prepared for the approaching monster virus.

1 April 2020: Out Pottering.

The roads may seem extra quiet these days which is understandable in these troublesome times, but there's always room for a chancer; like a mouse sniffing for some cheese while the cat's having a nap on a close-by chair, although the chancer we're referring to is much larger than life. Well, perhaps speaking metaphorically, as he appears rather puny in the flesh. Not that that would deter him from doing outrageous things on a whim- he'll probably go out with a bang. However, when needed, he'd go out and snap some piccies for the website, to which we're most grateful to Tucker.

Months ago this would have felt surreal, when in life it's certainly not.