As I have started in Ravenglass, I will fill in alternate posts with my journey to date. it will give you at least some sense to this!
For most of my life I have lived on or around the Mersey or one of its tributaries. I also didnt know the river, I just knew a few bits of it, and its mouth in Liverpool. When planning a walk therefore it seemed a good idea to walk the length of it and get some exercise to boot
So with precisely no preparation I drove to the centre of Stockport, parked up and started walking at the Coop Pyramid
I spent nearly 30 years of my life working in and around the Coop. This building was once a call centre, I dont think they use it any more. There were once plans to have a Valley of The Kings when it was planned in the late 1980s, however the economy tanked in the 90s and the Coop gained it by repossession. Now it is the Coops turn to pass it on as its economic model tanks.
Much of the Mersey was once part of a sea, and this is especially evident in the sandstone banks and caves you can see around Stockport.
The river is much cleaner now than it was when I played along these banks as a child and it is noticeable mainly in the absence of stink along the river. It is a much more pleasant place and you could be fooled that you were in some glorious England imagined by Robert Browning. I pass fields with horses, and see a heron on the river
But there are also clues as to industrialisation and the remains of the old railway bridge of the Manchester to Tiviot Dale railway pop up. I remember when trains went over this, they only finally stopped when the motorway was built in Stockport in the late 80s and destroyed the tunnel by accident
The path is easy and the route well marked (which is just as well because in my naivety I have not brought a map, I have also failed to bring any drink or food to eat, as I also naively believe I will find shops and places to eat en route. This is a valuable lesson to learn for next time, and it is a blessing that I am not far from major routes. It’s a long time since I have done any serious walking , and it shows.
There is not much to see of the Bleachworks any more in Heaton Mersey, these were built in 1785 by Samuel Oldknow , and only went out of use in 1992. Roger Rowson Lingard (see my blog above on Heaton Lodge – its all connected you see) will have known this and it is likely his firm had dealings with it in the 1830s.
I am doing quite well at this point, and breeze across the road by Cheadle station and do well on the way to Northenden, where I cross Simons bridge
Henry was born in Silesia in 1835, and arrived penniless in Manchester in 1860. He revolutionised flour milling, by designing equipment for McDougalls, and of course founded Simons engineering. He also was a founding member of the Halle Concerts society and was instrumental in building the first crematorium outside London at Southern Cemetry . Needless to say, he died a rich man
However, my lack of fitness is showing now. After a mere six miles I have to give up being absolutely shattered. I literally limp to Northern Moor Tram stop, and decide to be a big kid and catch the tram to the airport first, before travelling back to East Didsbury and bussing back to my stop.
Over this walk and my Irwell walk, I will get to all points on the Metrolink network. However, I am really tired and my bones and muscles feel the effect of lack of exercise over the next couple of days, I do get better, but at the moment, the length of the Mersey is a challenge
Copyright 2018 Allan Russell