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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Peak Forest Tramway

This morning Jo and I set off for a walk along the Peak Forest Tramway. The tramway dominates the Bugsworth basins, as its many lines split around the various arms. It originally ran from the limestone quarries at Dove Holes Dale down to the basins. From the Navigation Inn it is sign marked, but it is also quite an obvious path. Soon after leaving the basin area, there is another section of the tramway, which used to branch off and up into Buxworth itself, to access the lime kilns in between the basins and the village.

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There are 2 skew bridges very close to each other in this higher line, the first crosses the Black Brook, and the second bridge crosses the old road between Macclesfield and Chinley but now accesses a small holding immediately behind the bridge.

At the site of Whitehall Works the original mill pool has been turned into a reserve, and includes a fountain in the middle. There was a pair of black swans in the pool, but as soon as we neared the fence to photograph them they came close and spoilt the picture. This was the best I could do under the circumstances.

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They obviously expect food, like most other swans. It was here as we were watching the swans that Edwina Currie caught up with us, out walking her dog. We had passed her early on the path, but wasn’t until after we had passed that we recognised who she was. We walked along with her for a short distance, and had a very pleasant chat with her. She is living locally, although temporarily, whilst waiting to buy a house in the area. We parted our different ways near Chinley.

Along the tramway there are some spectacular views across the valley, but today the low cloud made things look far more dramatic.

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At the site of Forge Mill, the mill has been flattened, but the chimney remains. According to Edwina this is where they hope to build some houses. It looks like they hope to retain the chimney as part of the new estate, when it eventually gets built.

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Having got to the end of the accessible section of the Tramway we returned to the Navigation Inn for lunch and what a lunch it was too.

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Jo had the liver and bacon, and I had the cottage pie, they were both very scrummy. To finish this off Jo had the chocolate fudge cake with ice cream, and I had the sticky toffee pudding, bot again were excellent. This was all washed down with a pint of Doctor Morton's “Duck Baffler”. After lunch we had a quick walk up into the village of Buxworth.

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This is the rather pretty little church.

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And this was the Methodist chapel, but is now a private residence, complete with gravestones in the back garden!

We walked back to the basins, via what used to be the arm below the lime kilns between the basins and the village.

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Keith.

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