29 September 2015


Paths off Hallgate Lane, Pilsley
Sometimes, when I am out and about, rambling along less trodden paths in less salubrious places, I feel a bit like an explorer of yore -  a latter day David Livingstone. But I am not bringing religion to the natives - nor coloured beads or mirrors, I am just looking to record what I see with my trusty digital camera - far quicker than a sketchbook.

Last Friday, I was back  in an area where tourists or "Berghaus" ramblers with flasks and compasses never tread - North East Derbyshire. For a hundred years this was a grim area of mining villages and smoky coking plants, railways and humble terraced homes even though all of that was layered upon a much older rural history. Now you could say that it is almost post-industrial. The mines have gone and the coking plants are wastelands.

I parked in North Wingfield opposite the  "I (Heart Shape) Hair" Salon, then set off on The Five Pits Trail to Wolfie Pond before looping back to the Chesterfield road where I confess that I purchased a small bag of chips from The North Wingfield Fisheries. Delicious and golden they were too  and so  I consumed them with greedy relish before advancing to Station Road.

Jungle drums were beating deep in the forest and the mosquitoes were like miniature Spitfires attacking exposed parts of my bodily temple as prehistoric crocodiles slid into the steamy River Rother. But I carried on determined to claim this ungodly land for Queen and Empire.

Soon I was in the dark heart of Danesmoor where I saw a visual poem of our times. On one side of the street, the old Bethel Chapel was being converted into a residential property and on the other side the presumably once popular "Parkhouse" pub was little more than a burnt out shell. Possibly an insurance job. That is how it is these days. Old ways are being buried under mountains of passing weeks and years. Perhaps it was always thus.

Then on to Hallgate Lane and Lower Pilsley. To Seanor Farm where I surprised a nervous heron in the farm pond and then over the fields and back to the car in North Wingfield. Fortunately, the native North Derbyshire-ites hadn't torched it and I was able to drive back to civilisation, like James Cook aboard "The Endeavour" after his first visit to New Zealand.

More proof that I was there:-
Wolfie Pond
Chesterfield Road, North Wingfield
Industrial wasteland between Danesmoor and North Wingfield
Impressive St Lawrence's Church, North Wingfield
Wary heron at Seanor Farm
Ode to Danesmoor. The visual poem of our times in Danesmoor - chapel being 
converted into a dwelling and the burnt out "Parkhouse" pub.


  1. Chesterfield Road is a wonderful image and I don't know why it is so appealing.
    This place reminds me of Belfast suburbs during the civil war, sectarian conflict, call it what you will. It is a depressed place but worth recording.

    1. PS. Iremoved the post as I had spelled road, road and not Road.

    2. Good job you corrected "road" or you would have had to see me in my study after prep! Too much time fiddling with farm machinery instead of getting on with your studies methinks.

  2. Love the first photo. Shame about the old pub but you are finding this quite a lot, aren't you ? Caused by a population shift towards the cities plus closing down of those industries too I am guessing ? ?

    1. There are several reasons why traditional English pubs are in decline Helen - both in cities and in rural areas too. Ironically, it is frequently to do with the narrow mindedness of controlling breweries but you are also right about what happens when old industries close their doors for good. Nothing lasts forever except change.

  3. Thanks for sharin' the heron with us, Yorkie.

    If I had a dollar for every pub that's burned down, I'd be rich as Rockefeller, gaining regular interest payments as I went along.

    You have no need to confess...to feel guilty about having a feed of golden, hot, crisp chips....there is nothing quite like golden, hot, crisp chips...I confess....I'm going to have myself some today! :)

    1. How can you have yourself? I don't understand Lee!

  4. Like Helsie, I love the first photo. The entire walk sounds good, taking you to such different places and each bringing up various emotions about them.
    That poor pub... Is it very common for them to fall victim to such insurance jobs, or is it often a case of vandalism once they stand empty?

    1. Regarding pubs - both things can happen when they stand empty like that. I think of all the happy times that were spent there - the sing-songs, the laughter, friends meeting up. So sad when a community loses its local.

  5. I doubt coloured beads and mirrors would hold much appeal to the natives of North East Derbyshire - though a bag of those top chips from the North Wingfield Fisheries might hold some currency.

    Is that one of the natives keeping his distance across the water of Wolfie Pond?

    Lovely heron.

    Ms Soup

    1. Well-spotted Eagle Eye! It was a fisherman, walking round the pond to talk to another fellow dangling his thing in the pond.


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