27 May 2017

Stones

I have blogged about millstones before. For example, this was back in January 2014.

Yesterday, with my right knee feeling pretty comfortable I decided to go for a three mile hike near High Neb which is the highest section of Stanage Edge. The bracken is still very much in its early stages of growth so I knew that I would be able to find and photograph abandoned millstones quite easily.
It was another lovely day - so hot in fact that I smeared my face with sun cream and donned the faded blue sun hat I bought in Malta a few years back. There were very few people around but I encountered a young German family - Mum, Dad and three children under five years old. The kiddies were struggling in the heat and one of them was crying in protest. I am sure they would have preferred a paddling pool in a park but of course Mum and Dad knew best. Poor little mites.
 The millstones were used in both flour milling and metal industries. Lord knows how many of them were hewn from Stanage Edge biut in the early years of the twentieth century demand for Derbyshire millstones plummeted and  several small quarrying businesses closed down - often leaving finished or half-finished stones scattered near the rock faces which had spawned them.

They remain as monuments to past industry and a world that is now lost to us. More than twenty years ago someone painted a smiley face on one of the stones but I swear it wasn't me! He's still there smiling at passing ramblers and German families with tiny children, flushed red by struggling over rough terrain in the heat.
Later today we are heading down to London for a couple of nights. Back Monday evening.

23 comments:

  1. The second picture could easily make it into my next calendar! As for the family, I guess the little ones were fine with their parents introducing them to such great landscapes at an early age. Our parents took us hiking when we were little, too, not always without us protesting, but in the end we liked our hikes and they certainly did not harm us.
    Have a safe journey to London, and back!

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    1. That family were two miles from their car that they had parked right at the southern end of Stanage Edge... but as you suggest, it was probably character-building.

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  2. Imagine having one of those around your neck!!!

    I hope you and Shirley have a lovely, relaxed weekend. Take care.

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    1. Didn't Fred Flintstone wear one like a medallion?

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  3. I like the smiley face on the millstone. As usual, your landscape portraits are magnificent, but I think my favorite photo this time is the first one.

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    1. So pleased you like the first picture Jennifer. It suggests the millstone in its environment without spelling it out blatantly.

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  4. Had to laugh at the German family. As a race, they love to go a-wandering with a knapsack on their back, as the song goes!

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    1. By the way, enjoy London. My daughter lives nearby in Clapham Common now.

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    2. I think I saw your daughter get on the tube at Clapham Common. She was swigging a can of strong cider with her arms draped round a heavily tattooed guy with various piercings. She called him Gilbert I think.

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  5. I love the first shot of the ferns sprouting through the millstone hole!

    And Hiker Mom and Dad may reconsider their decision to hike with little ones in the heat if any of them got too much sun ... it can make for a vomit-y evening/night ...

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    1. I used to take my children on country walks when they were quite small but we didn't go far and they never complained.

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  6. When I see such millstones I think of the tremendous work that went into making one of these.

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  7. I like the first photo too, and of course the scenery is beautiful.
    Wishing you both a safe and peaceful time in London.

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    1. Safe and peaceful? Don't you mean crazy and wild CG?

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  8. I have enjoyed your stories about the millstones that you encounter.

    When I had such trouble with my knees and surgery on one years ago, I was fitted with a brace that was to be worn only when walking on uneven ground or stones or when I was in a very crouded venue where I might get knocked about or have the knee shifted in any way. I still wear the thing when I am out walking in our woods. It at least makes me feel better to know I have that slight protection. Just a thought.

    Have fun, you two. Say hello to the Princess for all of us!

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    1. Thanks for the knee thoughts Donna. Much appreciated.

      When you say "the Princess", do you mean your daughter? Is she over on London or did you mean Princess Charlotte? Princess Anne? We have many princesses in England. It's easy to trip over them.

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    2. No, my darling I meant YOUR Princess.

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  9. It's so interesting to think those stones are just lying around in the countryside. I like the smiley face! I'm glad someone came up with a way to put one to good use. Have fun in London!

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    1. Just back from London. I didn't see any millstones lying there but I saw Londoners lying around on Tooting Common and later in Victoria Park.

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  10. I've been meaning to say for some time that you live in a lovely part of the country which frequently gets overlooked.

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    1. I guess I should keep quiet about it. Don't want more visitors Philip.

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