A Visit to Lyme Hall……………..

As I continue my wanderings and exploration of Cheshire (and continue to get lost on a regular basis as all the lanes in rural Cheshire look exactly the same) I decided to visit Lyme Hall, just off the A6 south of Stockport.

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I knew nothing about the place but did a little research beforehand. So a little background, Lyme Park was begun in the Tudor period but the present house was transformed by the architect Leoni into an ornate Italian palace in the 1720s. Within the house traces of the Elizabethan core remain, providing a contrast with Leoni’s work.

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In 1898 he second Lord Newton decided to remove many of Leoni’s Palladian features and return the house to its Elizabethan roots. The 18th century colours on walls and doors were painted over, and chimney pieces removed. The 3rd Lord Newton tried to keep the house together as the 20th century rumbled on, but in 1946 he gave up and granted the house and estate to the National Trust. The trust, thankfully, restored the Palladian decor, so that now Lyme Park is a very pleasing mix of Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian.

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The setting of the house is quite stunning and the surrounding grounds and countryside are a delight for anyone who enjoys the beauty of the Britain’s “green and pleasant land.” It is very popular with the public and the car park was rapidly filling up when we arrived at about 9,45am.

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After a re-fuelling stop for cappuccino in the café, we set off up the hill behind the main house and were greeted with the most stunning views across Merseyside, Manchester, the Welsh Mountains and the Pennine Hills of North East Lancashire. It was a hard slog up the hill but was worth all the effort as the visibility was so clear, I could see the planes landing and taking off at Manchester airport.

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A circular walk through a small wood (we were not where we thought we were!) provided views of the Peak District in Derbyshire until we started the descent of a rather steep hill, but with a magnificent view of the most obvious structure in the park, other than the house, which is a tower called the Cage which stands on a hill to the east of the approach road to the house It was originally a hunting lodge and was later used as a park-keeper’s cottage and as a lock-up for prisoners.

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We only covered a very small part of the estate so a return visit(s) will be in order to explore the rest of the grounds, and not least the house and gardens (I really must get around to joining the National Trust at some stage!).

Photographs © Kindadukish 2018

I am grateful to Wikipedia and Britainexpress.com for some of the history of the hall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Architecture, British, History, Lancashire, Landscape, Lyme Park, Nature / Flowers, Peak District, Pennine hills | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rod Liddle tells it like it is………….

Over the last few years various word and phrases have crept into the language and often make me want to weep e.g. selfie. However the one thing that makes me cringe and want to vomit is the phrase “woman/person/man of colour”. How many times at award ceremonies has someone got up and started the acceptance speech with that phrase, usually in a hushed voice and head bowed. But forgive me here but I was under the idea that we were ALL people of colour, we just happen to be different colours. How has this phrase been hijacked by people with dark skin? I even heard British politicians using the phrase recently in a TV interview, but I suppose the old adage is true that “whatever the USA does today, the UK will do tomorrow” and slavishly (oops, am I allowed to say that?) follow this politically correct bullshit!

So, picking up the Sunday Times last weekend I turned to the Rod Liddle column and read his take on this subject, and I confess that I haven’t laughed as much in a long while on his ruminations. So I have taken the liberty of printing the piece in full below, I do hope it brings as big a smile to your face as it did to mine. It is fair to say that Liddle has a knack of saying what many people think but are too scared to say it out loud for fear of being branded racist, sexist or any of the other “isms” that the “left” like to rant about.

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I’m declaring Terf war on neologisms – Rod Liddle (Sunday Times)

Hip new words such as “selfie” and “simples” get themselves into the Oxford English Dictionary, to show that the OED is dead with it, daddy-o. But a new study has shown that their tenure in our vocabulary is fleeting and ephemeral. They disappear very quickly. This is good news. Here are some more modern words and phrases that I hope also bite the dust in the near future:

Person of colour As opposed to a wholly transparent human being.

Vibrant When applied to a community, these days almost always means “criminally inclined”.

Vulnerable Current definition is either “a bit thick”, “antisocial” or “not white”.

Hate speech Saying something with which someone else disagrees.

Troll Not a hirsute Norse hobgoblin but simply someone who says something with which someone else disagrees.

Non-binary These days it has no mathematical connotations, it just means “psychologically troubled”.

*****ophobia Trust me, I do not have an irrational fear of Islam. I just have one or two misgivings about it, you know? Ditto, transphobia, homophobia and Cymruphobia.

Terf A sensible woman who knows that the person in the ladies’ toilet with a formidable beard and a slightly weird smile is, actually, of a different sex from her.

Gif I don’t actually know what Gif means but I don’t like it.

Diverse Today means “an area populated entirely by Bangladeshis”.

Community A group of people whom leftie politicians wrongly believe share the same beliefs, aspirations and vulnerability (qv).

Mansplaining The necessary act of explaining stuff to women.

 

  • Taken from an original article in the Sunday Times dated 22 April 2018

 

Posted in Criticism, Culture, Discrimination, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Anson Engine Museum…….a “must see” industrial heritage museum

Today I took the opportunity of visiting the Anson Engine Museum as I continue my exploration of the industrial heritage of the area I have recently moved to. I came across the website for the museum by chance on the Internet, so decided to pay them a visit.

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You approach the museum along a beautiful wooded lane and enter a very informal looking parking area, which is free of charge. The entrance to the museum is possible the loveliest entrance to any museum I have visited (and that includes museums in London, Amsterdam, Paris and Madrid (see photograph).

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I entered the museum and paid my £5 entrance fee (exceptional value if I may say so), I was then given a detailed briefing of the displays by one of the many volunteers, a printed guide to carry with me, and then off into the museum itself. As you enter your nostrils are assailed by the smell of oil, and you quickly realise that this is a REAL museum and not some sanitised outpost, which many of todays museums seem to be.

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Perhaps a little background would be helpful to the reader, this unusual and fascinating museum used to be one of the best-kept secrets among Cheshire’s many attractions. Over the past few years it has undergone some major changes and is now recognised as one of the Country’s leading specialist museums. 

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Situated just south of Manchester on the site of the old Anson Colliery, it is the result of Les Cawley and Geoff Challinor’s years of hard work collecting and restoring engines. The museum is a registered charity and does not receive government or public funding towards its running costs. To date most of the work has been carried out and funded by the volunteers and Friends of the museum. It was described by one of its visitors as ‘run on a shoestring and fuelled by enthusiasm’.

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Despite this the award-winning museum has flourished and now houses a unique collection of over 250 gas and oil engines, many maintained in running order. Ranging from early Crossley gas engines through to more modern diesels. Engine enthusiasts from all over the world come to visit this fascinating museum. 

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 My visit lasted about 3 hours and you really need that amount of time to take in everything. One minute you are looking at an old engine that may be over 150 years old and the next moment you are looking at a turbo engine of the Bentley Continental car, which generates 600bhp.

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 The volunteers are extremely friendly and knowledgeable, and are more than willing to explain things so that even “non techies” like me can understand the basics. Some of the engines have been displayed in such a way that they could almost be viewed as “art installations” and would make a mockery of many of Damien Hirst’s so called “creations.”

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 It is also the little things that catch the eye, from displays of oilcans to old metal posters advertising various items or companies.

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This museum chronicles and displays some of the finest examples of our engineering industrial heritage and should be preserved and developed at all costs. I get very angry when places like this get no government funding yet they see fit to send £13 billion (yes, read that again) to countries in foreign aid, most of which are corrupt! OK that’s my political rant over.

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 I would recommend a visit to this museum just to see what a tremendous industrial heritage this country has, and indeed what we gave to the world. Finally, a word of thanks to all the volunteers who made us so welcome and spent time talking at length about the museum, its history and contents.

 

Photographs © Kindadukish 2018

My thanks to the Anson Engine Museum website for some of the history of the museum and which I have incorporated into the article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in History, Industrial Heritage, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Anderton Boat Lift…………British Engineering at its Best

 

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Went for a walk around the country park next to the Anderton Boat Lift, which is just outside of Northwich in Cheshire. There is a pleasant little walk (a couple of miles or so) which takes you on a circular tour of the park with the last part a pleasant amble along the Shropshire Union canal tow path past the Anderton Marina.

We passed several boats setting out for the day, with a couple heading for the boat lift to take them on to the River Weaver. The marina was full of boats, some just visiting but other appeared to be permanent moorings.

As we got back to the boat lift there was a couple of boats waiting to go down so I ambled down to the side of the lift to see the lift in action.

The Anderton Boat Lift was built by Edwin Clark in 1875 to lift cargo boats the 50 feet from the River Weaver to the Trent & Mersey Canal. Like all great things, the concept is simple: two huge water tanks, each with watertight sealable doors carry boats up and down.

The original counter-balanced system was replaced in 1908 by electric operation, but the lift now works hydraulically again. No description can adequately convey the sheer scale of this engineering feat. The lift worked until 1983 when serious deterioration of the structure was discovered. Some £7m was raised to fund the restoration, which was completed in 2002. The completion of the restoration was followed by the opening of an Operations Centre in 2003.

Eventually the two boats entered the lift side by side and then descended as the other lift came up carrying the tourist boat. Even by today’s standards, this is a feat of engineering that one can still marvel at, and it is thanks to the local community who canvassed the government, that the lift was saved and restored.

One of the “lift operators” told me that when the group went to London to hand in a petition at 10 Downing Street to save the lift, one of the police officers was so intrigued by the lift that he travelled up to Anderton to see the lift for himself (this may be an apocryphal story, but its one I like to believe).

A visit to the café was called for, where we sat out on the balcony drinking cappuccino and consuming a rather nice Eccles cake and taking in the wonderful view of the lift and the River weaver.

If you want to see part of our industrial heritage and a magnificent piece of engineering then I recommend a visit to the Anderton Boat lift, and do go on the lift, it is well worth it.

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Photographs (c) Kindadukish 2018

 

Posted in Industrial Heritage, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The British Police……becoming a laughing stock!

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The British Police are in danger of becoming a laughing-stock, witness the recent arrest of a 78 year old defending his house against a burglar for stabbing the intruder. He then gets arrested for “suspected murder” before a public outcry makes the police “re-evaluate” their action.

The family of the thug killed then start laying flowers outside of the house where he was killed, with cards saying he was  “a lovely man” and a “better man never walked the earth” (or words to that effect). This is an insult to the family whose house was broken in to and to the local community. So what do the police do?, sweet FA. A senior police officer says that is the flowers are in respect of the “tragedy for the family” of the man killed. No mention of the fact he had broken in to the house armed with a screwdriver!

The police are currently complaining that they are underfunded and do not have enough police officers, but they have time and resources to paint their cars with a rainbow and mince down the promenade in Brighton in support of the “Gay Parade”……….do me a favour!!!

Many police forces now have numerous officers monitoring on-line activity and comments, just in case someone posts something that someone’s takes offence at. Several on line posters have been visited by the police for posting “offensive” material, or as we used to say “a bloody good insult”. Don’t these police idiots realise that SOME THINGS are meant to be offensive!!!!!! But of course the world is now inhabited by “millennial snowflakes” who need “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” about things that may upset them.

Some forces now do not investigate burglaries where there is property stolen under a value of something like £100, and one force admitted that they only respond to burglaries that are committed in houses that have odd numbers on the street…………I weep with despair.

Meanwhile, there are terrorist cells throughout the UK, the vast majority are followers of islam, but the police will not acknowledge that, as in their eyes it would be “discriminatory’. You will recall that the police in South Yorkshire did sweet FA about the gang of asian men grooming and raping young girls in Rotherham. And even Labour MPs got in on the act, Naz Shah MP for Bradford approving and retweeting a comment that “the girls should shut up for the sake of diversity”, of course no action was taken against her for advocating a cover up of the crimes.

The British Police were once held in very high esteem throughout the world, unfortunately, they are now led by senior officers who are more concerned with the “PC agenda” than catching crooks!

 

 

Posted in 21st century, appalling behavior, Criticism, Culture, police, Politics, Politics. Labour Hypocrisy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Bridgewater Canal in Cheshire

Since relocating to Weaverham in Cheshire just over five months ago I have been continuing my exploration of our industrial heritage in the surrounding area.

Today I took the opportunity for a walk along the Bridgewater Canal, which is as flat as a pancake. The towpath moves along the edge of the Cheshire Plain and gently crosses the Bollin Valley and the gentle amble today was from Agden Bridge to Dunham School Bridge, a round trip of about four miles.

Having lived in West Yorkshire for such a long time and being used to the dramatic countryside that often surrounds the canals in that area it is a bit of a culture shock seeing how flat the mainly farm land is in this part of the country.

At the start of my walk I came across numerous “canal boats” tied up, some appeared to be permanent residencies for those choosing an alternative lifestyle, whilst others belonged to people taking extensive “holidays” cruising the canals of the UK.

I stopped to talk to one lady who told me that she and her husband spend from January to September each year cruising the canals of the UK and then spend the other three months at their home in Rotherham………….now that I could cope with!

My plan is to follow the canal into Manchester photographing the changing countryside, which will be noticeably different as the canal reaches the urban outer reaches of the city.

Below are some of the images I captured today on my walk……………

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Photographs (c) Kindadukish 2018

 

Posted in Canal, Dunham Massey, Industrial Heritage, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

First Aid Kit……..another Swedish export!

There are some musicians / groups who are so distinctive that it is almost sacrosanct to try to cover their songs. Amongst this select band I would put the Swedish super group Abba, whose sound was so distinctive, not least because of the composing / songwriting skills of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and the stunning vocals of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad.

Recently I was listening to a programme on the radio and a couple of young ladies were being interviewed about their latest record, a Swedish duo by the name of First Aid Kit.

The folk duo  consists of the sisters Klara (vocals/guitar) and Johanna Söderberg (vocals/keyboards/autoharp/bass guitar). When performing live, the duo are accompanied by a drummer, a pedal steel guitarist and recently a keyboard player. In 2008, they became internationally known by their YouTube video cover of the Fleet Foxes song “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” that gained significant Internet popularity. They have now released four albums, two EPs and a handful of singles. 

At the time I didn’t have time to listen to their singing on the programme but decided to check them out at a later date. So I did a little YouTubing and came across numerous performances by them, not least a wonderful version of the old Abba song “Chiquiqita”

Initially when I saw this come up I was somewhat sceptical that the sisters could really do the song justice, how wrong could I have been. Their harmonisation is wonderful and as one critic has commented “they sound a bit like a female Everly Brothers!

Give them a listen, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

 

 

Posted in Culture, Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment
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