Tuesday, 13 December 2011

December Walk 2011

The Christmas ramble. A short walk and a long lunch! On a wet and grey Saturday morning fourteen members of the group assembled outside church at 9.30 a.m. to travel to Plumley for the start of a four mile circular walk around Holford Moss. As we arrived at our destination the weather suddenly brightened up and in good spirits, equipped with suitable footwear for the expected muddy conditions, we set out on our way. After walking through  the village we were soon out into the surrounding fields and countryside. Although we had expected it to be muddy conditions were not too bad and we were able to make steady progress. Today the only activity on Holford Moss is  agriculture but as you walk around the area you notice  evidence of salt production in the past and it was close to one of the many lakes we stopped for coffee. After a short break and a warming tot for one of  our party we continued up the path to the first of the old pumping stations now lying derelict and rusty.  Continuing on through mossy woodland we eventually came upon the second industrial activity - oil storage. All that remains now are the concrete bases of the site built during the last war primarily for the supply of aircraft fuel. We were now close to the next industrial site, an old land fill site for soda ash used in chemicals production. The area is now covered in trees but the fired limestone can be clearly seen lying in layers on the banks of the site. Enough industrial archaeology, our next point of interest was Holford Hall a 16th century moated manor house and  we made a short detour to view the house and moat and take photographs. By this time we were only a short walk back to the start point which was reached in plenty of time for lunch.

The Christmas lunch had been organised at the Smokers Inn where we enjoyed  traditional festive fare and friendship. A vote of thanks was proposed to Judith & Mike for organising the walk and the lunch. Then came the business part of the meeting, finding volunteers to lead walks in 2012. Happily the rota was very quickly filled and the first walk of the new season will be in February in Lyme Park.

           Coffee break on our way round Holford Moss on a sunny Saturday in December

                                         Brine pumping station on Holford Moss

                                              Views of Holford Hall, Plumley

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