A showery Sunday

We’ll head for Shrewsbury – we won’t be too far from shelter if the rain comes on. The showers could be heavy and thundery, according to the forecast. They weren’t, of course, though we did shelter under the English Bridge for a couple of minutes. There’s much more sunshine than shower, in fact, and the quieter streets of the town are at their best in the warm autumn light.

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The Whistling Pig

dsc_0361Just published to “Geoff’s Rail Diaries”, an account with pictures and video of our trip to the Forest of Dean last Saturday, to visit the Alan Keef open day and the Lea Bailey Light Railway. Viewers of the video will discover how the Lea Bailey EIMCO got its name “Whistling Pig”… Visit “Alan Keef and the Whistling Pig” – now!

September fields

A short wander near Wenlock, out to the old farm at Perkley and back beside the former railway line. The harvest is mostly finished, the toadstools are popping up and the blackberries are juicy…

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One-liners

monorailMonorails, in other words! Just published to Geoff’s Rail Diaries, “Monorail” – photos and an account of our visit to Nantmawr, to view the amazing collection of monorail equipment. Also – a ride on the standard gauge line, and a brief visit to the Cambrian Railways line at Llynclys

Trains in the rain

dsc_0142Just published to Geoff’s Rail Diaries, “Soggy Statfold” – photos from that rather damp day out.

Brown Clee and Boyne Water

Perfect for a fine and sunny afternoon, with just a pleasant breeze. Taking the direct route to the summit, there are others about, but as we continue towards Boyne Water and the track down through the estate lands, we realise we’ve left the crowds (perhaps a dozen in total?) behind. We followed this route back in the spring, but today we’re doing it anticlockwise for subtly different views.

As we near the equinox, the sun is noticeably lower in the sky. Those shorter days of misty distances are getting closer.

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Peter Pan, Dalmunzie and the Whistling Pig

Not every visitor to the Geoffspages blog will know what they have in common. Simply, they’re all narrow gauge railway locomotives – one steam, one petrol-engined, and…. Peter Pan is well-known and well-travelled; Dalmunzie much less so, in both respects, and the Whistling Pig? Who knows? PP was in action at the Alan Keef open day today, with his friend Woto. Dalmunzie, not in working order, was on display, pre-renovation. At the nearby Lea Bailey railway, a couple of diesels coughed and chugged up and down the short-but-interesting track to the mine entrance, but the star turn was undoubtedly an EIMCO compressed air-powered mines loco, which scuttled back and forth in fine fashion, its exhaust making a curious whistling sound. Given its basic shape, the name is entirely appropriate.

A “Geoff’s Rail Diaries” page will appear in due course (but not before I’ve done the Statfold page), including video (with sound, of course) of the remarkable yellow pig.

Alan Keef Ltd
Lea Bailey Light Railway

Edale to Glossop – a day to remember

Tuesday: The Greater Manchester “Wayfarer” is excellent value, especially to those of us who qualify for the “concession” fare of £6. A day return from Shrewsbury to Wilmslow isn’t too expensive – from there, the Wayfarer takes over – and we don’t even need to change trains to get to Piccadilly. We’ll have a little while to wait before we join a Sheffield-bound “stopper” for the ride to Edale. Soon we’re heading for the hills, and already the day is very warm in the bright sunshine – it will turn out to be the hottest September day for many years (though it’s not going to be the temperature that makes it memorable). By early afternoon, we’re on the edge of the summit plateau of Kinder Scout, where there’s no shortage of comfortable boulders for a lunch break.

By the time we’re moving again (only minutes), there’s cloud in the west, and the day has changed by the time we reach Kinder downfall. The landscape is murky (and the temperature has dropped) as we head, via Mill Hill and the curiously-named Harry Hut, towards Glossop. A glint of metal catches the eye in the increasingly-drab heather – the remains of a WW2 bomber. (Later research tells an unexpectedly-happy tale – the two-man crew, on delivery duties, were able to walk down to the main road, suffering just cuts, bruises and one broken jaw. The web site doesn’t tell how the latter was sustained)

As our train from Glossop approaches Manchester, the sky over the city looks threatening. We hear the rain – and the thunder – begin while we take refreshments, before boarding the 6.30pm for Shrewsbury. The sky is now so dark (apart from the near-constant lightning) that it could be midnight. “Look at that staircase – it’s a waterfall!”. Our prompt departure is misleading – we crawl from signal to signal most of the way to Wilmslow. Then, with (at last) a glimmer of light in the western sky, we pick up speed and run to Shrewsbury without further delay.

We arrive home perhaps half-an-hour late. Checking the news sites, we realise that we got off lightly – Manchester’s tram network had come to a complete standstill, an international football match had been called off, and chaos reigned (rained?) in the city’s sodden streets. It was a most enjoyable walk and a great day out, but that might not be why we’ll remember this trip.

Greater Manchester Wayfarer
B-24J Liberator 42-52003

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Later that day

28 August ctd: Taking it easy, at Uig pier, and later at Camas Mor.

There would have been more photos of this year’s trip. On our last day, the wind was blowing strongly from the south-west, and the west side of Trotternish was misty and grey. Perhaps we can get out of the wind down the east side, at Rubha nam Braithairean? Yes, we could – not only was it sheltered, but bright and sunny too – a perfect spot for a brief exploration. But I’d forgotten to put the camera in the car…

Alone on Rubha Hunish

28 August: Last time I was here, there were others about. This time, I paid my visit to Skye’s northernmost tip before lunch, and had the little rock-rimmed peninsula to myself – and the gulls, and the cormorants. Wonderful! I’m on my own because my usual companion on these little outings would be quite unable to manage the very steep rocky path down the cliff between Meall Tuath and Meall Deas – it needs a good head for heights. After a most enjoyable hour or so, I’m on my way back, and now there are others on their way down. They’ll enjoy their visit, I’m sure, but being alone on Rubha Hunish feels a little bit special…

 

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