23 November 2020

Congestion

View from Coggers Lane to Lose Hill and Win Hill

A five minute walk from this suburban mansion and you're on Ringinglow Road. Follow Ringinglow Road for half an hour passing High Storrs School, the shops at Bents Green and "The Hammer and Pincers" pub and you are out in the countryside. A further mile out of the city and you reach the tiny village of Ringinglow itself with its "round house" and "The Norfolk Arms" public house.

Half a mile beyond Ringinglow you reach Yorkshire's border with Derbyshire. It's a route I have driven many times. It takes you out to the moors, to Stanage Edge and The Hope Valley and the world beyond. If you have been a frequent visitor to this blog you will have seen pictures of the landscape I am talking about and you will have previously travelled with me along Ringinglow Road.

On Coggers Lane looking to Stanage Edge

Mostly when I get out there there's hardly anybody else about. However, yesterday afternoon it was crazy with cars, walkers and cyclists. I have never seen the area so congested before. It was because of COVID-19 and our current semi-lockdown arrangements. People need to do something at the weekend but what can they do? Drive out of the city and enjoy the countryside.

"What the hell is going on?" grumbled Clint. "Is there a pop festival?"

Cars parked on verges where I have never seen cars parked before. Cars on both sides of the road. Burbage Bridge car park overflowing. The rock climbers' car park under Stanage Edge chock-a-block. Many of the verges will have been damaged by tyres, impairing the appearance of the moorland environment.

Rainbow's end on Stanage Edge

I had been more or less housebound for two days so Sunday afternoon's nice weather was an opportunity for a constitutional walk along the narrow lanes beyond Stanage Plantation. After edging through the cars and the bloody cyclists in their space helmets and ridiculous lycra jumpsuits, I headed for a tiny gravelled pull-in where I have often parked Clint in splendid isolation but yesterday there were five other cars there.

Boots on, I plodded my familiar route. Unusually, I needed to have  my wits about me because of the coronavirus vehicles passing by. Perhaps I should have snapped potentially historical pictures of the cars and people in the photographs that accompany this blogpost but I chose to blot them out.

Clint was dozing when I completed my circle. Gently, I raised his tailgate and extracted a deckchair, a flask of coffee and a book about the English Civil Wars (1640 to 1660). And there I sat with the sun sinking over Bamford Moor, certain that a lot of the vehicles would have disappeared by the time I steered Clint home in time to prepare a roast chicken dinner.

On my route I passed North Lees Hall which Charlotte Bronte visited in the summer of 1845
and below Bronte Cottage - so named because of that visit. She was writing "Jane Eyre" at the time.

33 comments:

  1. I'm not sure whether to believe you about this congestion while you were out and about. I thought you might have taken ONE photo since you have never seen so many cars, people and lycra in your favourite jaunt.

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    Replies
    1. Please believe me Carol. Quite simply, I couldn't take photos while driving through the congestion. That would not be safe.

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    2. All good YP .. 2020 the year of unusual things. Here in Australia when the various states had shut their borders, the story goes that people in Longreach in outback Queensland, saw a Rolls Royce roll up on a driving holiday.

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    3. What? You mean it did not have a driver behind the wheel? Spooky!

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    4. Hey Carol, long time, no see !! hope you are going well ??

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    5. Hey Helen, yes I pop in and out of places to add some normalcy to this crazy year. I popped over and saw your COVID projects the other day .. they are lovely.

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  2. Now that's more like I envision a cottage but still a very fancy one. Isn't a cottage supposed to have a thatched roof? Obviously this is a subject which I have very strong ideas about. And no real knowledge at all.

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    1. Ms Moon, main thing I associate with "cottage" that they are non-urban, thick walls, fire places, an Aga. The rooms are small and the stairs steep. On the other hand, trust the English, you could just nail a trellis to your MANSION with, say, clematis clawing their way up, not to forget ivy - the bringer of bad news for brickwork. Meadow in the back garden/yard. Give your place a name (Pudding's Cottage?) and bingo, you have arrived.

      When house hunting in the late Eighties I looked at about ninety one houses. One of the ones I shortlisted for the bacon hunter to give a second opinion on was the joke of all cottages. I loved it. It was all a cottage should be. Wonky floors, impossible stairs, low ceilings, a walled garden to die for, you name it. Alas, in the olden days people were shorter. And all those beams running across ceilings are, apparently, bad Feng Shui. So that was a no then. I suppose he was right. Though do still remember the romance of the setting.

      U

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    2. Ninety One Houses !
      You should be writing those short descriptive pieces, Talk of the Town, in The New Yorker, Ursula, for they are seldom as witty as yours.

      *Madame est comme un rayon de soleil* (in these dark winter days).

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    3. Just like human beings, cottages can take many different forms. One of England's top footbll teams - Fulham F.C.- play at a ground in London called Craven Cottage. No roses or thatch in sight but a nice view of The River Thames.

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    4. My late brother Brian would have known about Craven Cottage: one of his books from childhood I still have is titled *Goalies Are Different*: he enjoyed Masefield's *Dead Ned* (Ned isn't dead at all) and *Stig of the Dump* which was read out on Blue Peter: we used to say that a trusting character on East Enders was like Stig grown up, the same mop of curly black hair ...
      I think he ran a video store, and his girlfriend two-timed him.

      As for names, you have gathered some beauties like a Xmas garland hung on oaken doors: Bents Green, The Hammer and Pincers, Coggers Lane, Lose Hill, Win Hill, Hope Valley, High Storrs School, Stanage Edge, and best of all, nestling on the Derbyshire border, Ringinglow village.

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  3. Did you go and search for a pot of gold around Stanage Edge?

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    1. The pot of gold for me, Jennifer, is Jane Eyre.
      *A novel as deep as England,* as John Fowles said.

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    2. Unfortunately, I had not brought my shovel with me Jennifer.

      And John - my final year dissertation at university was on the novels of John Fowles. I wrote to him with several questions and he kindly wrote back - answering them all.

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  4. Maybe one day you will write a post about John Fowles. He was a good amateur botanist, and you are surrounded by wild flowers and grasses in those fields and moors.
    Fowles was a flinty character, judging from his Journals, not a people person. I could wish he had a bit of Leslie Thomas in him, instead of being so snooty, but I am glad he answered all your questions.

    *A Maggot* was his most enigmatic novel, touching on the origin of the Shakers. I have a big coffee table book on Shaker furniture and Shaker meeting houses.

    They made a dreadful film of *The Magus*: Anthony Quinn was the only good performance.
    Last night I watched an old Quinn movie on YouTube, *The Naked Street* (1955) with Farley Granger, who was in two Hitchcock movies, *Rope* and *Strangers on a Train*.

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  5. Maybe one day you will write a post about John Fowles. He was a good amateur botanist, and you are surrounded by wild flowers and grasses in those fields and moors.
    Fowles was a flinty character, judging from his Journals, not a people person. I could wish he had a bit of Leslie Thomas in him, instead of being so snooty, but I am glad he answered all your questions.

    *A Maggot* was his most enigmatic novel, touching on the origin of the Shakers. I have a big coffee table book on Shaker furniture and Shaker meeting houses.

    They made a dreadful film of *The Magus*: Anthony Quinn was the only good performance.
    Last night I watched an old Quinn movie on YouTube, *The Naked Street* (1955) with Farley Granger, who was in two Hitchcock movies, *Rope* and *Strangers on a Train*.

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  6. Bloody people but I feel the same way, just want out of my house. Yesterday we took the little guy for a car ride around Sherwood Park. Not exciting but it got us out of the house for an hour. Then we worked on the driveway, chopping up the ice and compacted snow. It was nice to get some fresh air.

    Love the photos. One day I shall make it back to England.

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    1. We will put out a red carpet and I shall ask Prince Charles to wait for you at the airport.

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  7. I had a similar experience at the Heath on Sunday -- LOADS of people. Far more than I expected. I guess everyone feels like they gotta get out while they can, before bleak December, January and February descend. Me, I'll still be walking around out there no matter how dark and wet it is!

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    Replies
    1. Even when you have departed this earthly life, you will still be haunting The Heath! And Olga will be chasing squirrels through eternity.

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  8. More wonderful drystone walls to marvel at Mr Pudding. I think we should start the Drystone Wall Appreciation Society. We could drink Stones bitter at the meetings.

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    Replies
    1. They are accidental works of art aren't they? We could listen to rock music while guzzling Stones.

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  9. More wonderful pictures! You do have a talent with a camera. Maybe one unexpected side effect of covid will be more people learning the joys of hiking!

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  10. As many of our parks were loved to death during our lockdown. The Bronte house looks wonderful.

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    1. That house is quite remote and usually the old fellow who lives is out working in his garden or in the garage so previously I have not managed to snap a good shot of it.

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  11. I discovered on the week end that one of my quiet places has become very busy. A few years ago I would go out for a ski and there were maybe five cars but yesterday there were probably 150 cars.

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    1. You are obviously a trendsetter Red!

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  12. *sigh* So very lovely.

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  13. Beautiful, coffee-table-book-worthy pictures, Neil!
    And those names - Lose Hill and Win Hill, you couldn't make that up.

    Yes, all those other people walking where and when WE want to walk... Many of the hikes/walks O.K. and I have undertaken this year were like that, with a lot more people about than usual. I don't blame them - after all, we are there, too - but I still most prefer as few others around as possible. Selfhish, I know. And don't get me started on cars!!

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