The Ice House

“A restored brick structure, once thought to be an ice-house, but more likely used for storage” – so says the website of ‘The Nine Men of Madeley project’. It’s all that remains of Madeley Wood Hall, demolished around 100 years ago. Whatever it is or was, it’s an interesting destination for a walk on this very warm morning. Ice house? An ice cream would have made the morning perfect…

Nine Men of Madeley Project: Madeley Wood Hall

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Crabs, bats and hops

Seeking the shade with a walk along Shirlett Lane, down Round Hill, through the Smithies and back up Ned’s Lane. Crabs? Two years ago, we had an excellent haul of tiny apples (which later became excellent crab apple jelly) from a tree along the way. Last year, barely an apple to be seen. This year – it’s well laden. We’ll be back! Near the bottom of Round Hill, we stopped to watch dragonflies. Again, a couple of years ago they posed obligingly on the bushes. Today – no chance.  “That’s a big one”.  Yes, it would have been – but it was a bat, not a dragonfly, flitting about in broad daylight (it’s about 2.30pm).  In the Smithies, there are more reminders that, despite more warm weather to come, it will soon be autumn. Yellowing leaves, damsons – and wild hops in the hedgerow.

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An evening around Church Preen

After a busy day, an evening wander around these very quiet lanes is just the thing… Last autumn, there was a bush beside the lane, full of wild plums. It’s still there (I remember it well!) – but not a single fruit! Further along, there are damsons galore, though they’re some way off being ripe…

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Yorkshire Day on Brown Clee

It’s the 1st of August – Yorkshire Day! It’s a long way to the Yorkshire Dales, but just a little over 10 miles to Brown Clee, so that will have to do. Others had the same idea – it was quite crowded up there. We must have seen at least 15 other people, though happily they were well spread out. One had the temerity to sit in the chocolate seat! Fortunately we’d had our lunch, on the tranquil bank of Boyne Water, watching dozens of dragonflies and a goodly number of electric-blue damselflies. Most of them refused to be snapped, but one common darter posed obligingly. The sunshine was pleasant, the temperature likewise, with a gently-cooling breeze. Gradually, the sky’s blue turned milky white, and as I write, the rain is teeming down. I wonder if it’s raining in Yorkshire? (They’ll all be suppin in t’pub if they’ve any gumption…)

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Return to Rindleford

We walked this way in early March (see Roaming around Rindleford) – the air was clear and cold, the spring vegetation just beginning to appear. At the end of July, it’s a different scene – warm, grey, flat lighting – and truly a jungle on the descent to Batch Lane. Similarities: the route; the quiet surroundings…

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