Bickerton Hill

Sunday afternoon: we’re away from our usual haunts, up in the south-western corner of Cheshire, which unlike parts of the county, isn’t plain. These sandstone hills are not very high, but only a little elevation is needed for the extensive views in all directions – once we’re out of the woodland, that is. Away to the north-west, we can make out Liverpool and its cathedral (one of them), and there’s the reassuring outline of the Wrekin to the south. It’s good underfoot too – sandy paths and not much mud, despite recent rain. But it’s busy on Bickerton Hill! There are lots of people everywhere, especially on the main drag up from the car park to Kitty’s Rock and the hill fort at Maiden Castle. It’s not quiet here! We’ll come again, and explore more of the Sandstone Trail – on a school-term weekday…

Bickerton Hill NT

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=349960&Y=353210&A=Y&Z=120

Cheshire Lines

We’ve been on a brief (and fairly limited) exploration of railways in Cheshire, focusing on the town of Northwich, whose railway station still looks like a railway station, complete with canopies (on ornate iron columns) and a Joyce (of Whitchurch) clock, which has stopped. Almost exactly 40 years ago – April 1979 – I was on a railtour which also stopped (briefly) at Northwich station. Standing beside the old loco shed was a line of tank wagons, which I guessed were used for storing fuel for diesel locomotives. Look at the middle two – how old are those frames? What were they originally used for? There’s an estate of modern houses where the loco shed stood. I wonder what happened to the wagons?

More photos on Geoff’s Rail Diaries: “More Cheshire Lines”

Beside the Canal

Audlem Festival of Transport, based on the Shropshire Union Canal and its flight of 15 locks – forty or more boats and, on the Sunday, a gathering of “historic road vehicles”. The latter seemed mostly to be cars, and many didn’t appear to be very old (which probably says more about me than the vehicles). I’m sure their owners loved them anyway. There were one or two other items of interest – a couple of nice old half-cab double-decker buses, and a traction engine ticking over quietly. The canal towpath was the place to be – lots of colour, lots of boats (traffic jams…). Great fun!