Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 35 – Whaley Bridge To Strines – 2 July 2017

A fine sunny Sunday sees me catch a train from Hazel Grove to Whaley Bridge.

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There is even some well dressing in Whaley

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and we should not trek on without appreciating the rear (ie station) entrance to the Jodrell Arms in Whaley, which despite being abandoned and left to rot is a Grade 2 listed building, Thankfully two years on, it is being restored.

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I’m growing to really like Whaley Bridge. Now the A6 does not pass through it, it is an oasis of calm (apart from its 2019 dam related drama that is).

Down at the canal I pass the transhipment shed, which allowed goods from the High Peak Railway to be loaded onto the Peak Forest Canal, it was built in 1801

Then it’s a leisurely walk along the High Peak canal. I cannot believe that in all my youth I never walked or cycled this, in those days we more enjoyed the challenge to Buxton and beyond. The river flows alongside in part.

After that up a spur of the canal to Bugsworth basin. My previous knowledge of Buxworth was that Pat Phoenix owned a pub there. I never knew it had these magnificent works

It was once the busiest inland port on the entire canal network, and was a terminus of the Peak Forest Tramway, used to transport lime into Manchester and feed the appetite of Cottonopolis for building materials.

Back onto the main canal, and passing some very pleasant canalside properties as well as some other canal dwellers.

On towards New Mills, and I pass the viaduct.

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Passing under the high road bridge in New Mills, it looks almost from a lost civilisation of giants.

This part of the river was once the site of Rock and Torr Vale mills, and remains can be seen all over. The mill was being restored and is now open as a multi function venue.

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The Millenium Walkway was a total surprise, it was as the name suggests a millenium project and what a bold one, a path above the sweeping river and mill works below. Tragically the chief engineer, Stan Brewster was murdered in the London Terrorist Bomb of July 2005.

After that, this rickety wooden bridge over the river was a nice piece of bathos.

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The river now became more sedate after the deep gully of New Mills.

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In Strines I walked over this bridge, which has a resonance back to the Whaley Bridge floods of 2019.

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Curiousity piqued, I looked up the flood of 1872. On 19 June 1872 4.72 inches of rain fell over Macclesfield (which feeds the Goyt) in 24 hours (the worst of the rain in 2019 was 2 inches in 24 hours). The flood chronologies database of Newcastle University records:

On 19th the Goyt was 12 to 14 feet above its normal level. At Whaley Bridge houses near the river were completely flooded and people were taken into the chapel and inns. At New Mills where the Goyt is joined by the Kinder, two blocks of a paper works were washed away. Two stone weirs were washed away and two bridges. At Waterside Disley a cotton mill was badly damaged. At Strines a stone bridge was partly washed away. A gasometer was lifted from its basin and tossed on the river bank. At Marple several houses were flooded. The Pineapple Inn was damaged by lightning. At Romiley a stone bridge was washed away. A bridge near Taxal church was destroyed.

12-14 feet above its normal level! People forget the weather is always with us. It isn’t a recent phenomenon. We just have short memories.

Strines was sleepy but interesting.

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The final delight of this tale was Strines station, it served as the inspiration for Edith Nesbit’s Railway Children. You can just imagine Jenny Agutter waving her knickers here can’t you?

Only six miles today, but what history!

Copyright Allan Russell 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: allanprussell

Big houses in the Heatons and others that take my interest.

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