Northernvicar walks – January, February, March and April 2018

I had planned to walk 1,000 miles in 2017, but only managed to be a Proclaimer. I won’t manage 1,000 miles in 2018 either, but I’ll let you know how I do. In January I managed 25 miles. On 2 January Alex and I went to Hull – we walked from Cottingham station to the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull for a splendid exhibition of the works of Terence Cuneo. You could get up really close to the paintings, no one minded me taking photos (so I hope no one will mind if I post a couple), and there is a small permanent gallery there too with some lovely work. These two paintings are “Departure of HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh from the Corporation Pier, Kingston upon Hull, for the State Visit to Denmark, 1957.” They were en route to the Britannia. The picture is owned by Hull City Council. “Track Laying by Night, 1950” was sketched at Wandsworth Common, and was described by Cuneo as “the most chaotic” of his railway commissions.

I started February with a day in London. I walked four miles from Euston to Victoria, past the wonderful Oxford Circus Underground station, met Claire and we went to St Paul’s. You can’t photo inside – so you didn’t get a blog – but we enjoyed the views. We then did another 9 miles across the Millennium Bridge and all the way along the river back to Victoria.

I managed five miles in Nottingham on Saturday 10 February while Julie enjoyed Waterstone’s – I decided they fly the flag on Nottingham Castle when Maid Marion is in residence. On Sunday 11 we went to the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway, and enjoyed their new wheelchair lift – well done them! (Thanks to Kevin for the photo)

We went to the Church Times Bloxham Book Festival for a weekend in February. We had a Friday at Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House en route – two lovely NT properties (I blogged the church at Baddesley last time I visited). Baddesley has an excellent second hand bookshop – they had a 1660ish Prayer Book from Ashchurch – as that’s another NT property, I suggested they should pass it on. I had a five mile walk along the canal from Packwood.#

Between some excellent talks, I did another five miles from Bloxham on Saturday (I blogged that church two years ago), and then seven miles along the Oxford Canal on Sunday. Superb advert on a roundabout in Banbury.

On Saturday 24 February I walked down to Duffield, then had a train ride up the Ecclesbourne line to Wirksworth (Iris is a lovely unit) – so that as 69 miles in February.

I only managed 10 miles in March, so we’ll draw a veil over that. We did manage a trip to Nottingham Castle where they have some beautiful alabasters (let’s hope they display them better after the forthcoming refurbishment).

April was 62 miles. Most were local, some have been vaguely blogged along with their churches. One needs a mention of its own – on Thursday 12 I walked a few miles along Manchester canals, had a ride on the new Ordsall Curve, then a walk under the Dinting Viaduct.  It was first opened in 1844 by the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester – on their Woodhead route over the Pennines. Originally it had laminated timber arches – presumably like the ones Carmichael painted in the North East. In 1859 wrought iron girders were installed. The brick pillars were added 1918-20, more work was carried out in the 1950s when the line was electrified, then another £6 million was spent in 2012.

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