Mill wheel

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From a couple of years ago, acrylic on water colour paper. A mill in Leek, Staffordshire moorlands. Done for a leaflet about the Trent and Mersey canal. Another one of those Facebook memories that crop up that you’ve forgotten about until they pop up on your time line….

Memories

August at Rudyard lake, DSC_2199_optimized

Heat, sunlight, memories of warmth. Memories of the lake and the little narrow gauge (miniature?) railway that runs along side it. I think it’s 18 inch gauge.

The lake surface was very smooth apart from ripples caused by a few rowing boats. We had sandwiches and ice creams at the cafe and caught the train there and back to see how far it was (one of my Dad’s phrases).

I miss the sunlight and the warmth. It’s only two months ago and it’s literally freezing outside tonight. We had frost this morning…. Let me go back into my memories, time travel, back, to summer.

The winking man

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If you drive over the road between Leek and Buxton you drive past a hilly ridge of rocks  on the right hand side called the Roaches. There is also a hill called Hen cloud. You can turn off on the left and either take a road that runs along or behind the ridge. There are rocks to climb or scramble over and footpaths to follow up high to a pool on the top and then down again to the road which loops round the end of the Roaches  Follow the path onwards over the road and eventually you get to a wooded valley and a cut through the rocks covered in lichen and moss called Luds Church. I’m not sure of the map references but it’s an interesting place to visit….

But the winking man is further up the main road past the first turn off to the Roaches. Its on the left side as you drive up the hill. It looks like a profile of a face with a hole for the eye but as you drive up to it the rock beyond can be seen through the eye and it appears to wink or blink.

The rock of the Roaches is hard wearing and the face has been visible for years. It is a well known landmark but be careful when you are driving I’d rather miss the wink of an eye than the view of the road.

At Cheddleton today

 

We went to Cheddleton today, a little village in the Staffordshire moorlands near to Leek. Cheddleton Station is part of a preserved railway called the Churnet Valley line. It runs from Leek brook junction, through Cheddleton and on through various tiny stations to Froghall.

The railway society run several special days throughout the year and this weekend was world war 2 themed. A singer was singing old 30s and 40s songs. She was dressed in a uniform with badges saying ENSA on them which was the group that used to entertain the troops .

I had forgotten my phone so ended  up doing some drawings on a sheet of A4 paper folded into quarters. I only had an old black felt pen with me  but that helped with the shading. I was able to draw one of the trains standing in the station (about 10 minute sketch) and one if the singer (15 minute sketch) . As I drew the pictures I joked that I might have been arrested as a possible spy during the war. After all who would want to draw train and railway details ? It is odd how paranoid the world seems to be these days and how simple activities can make you think about things. I wish I had taken some photos to show the reality of the place, with the trains and the classic cars that were there. There was also a large gun like a howitzer being carried on one of the trains.

We went for lunch at the School house tea rooms at Cheddleton and had a lovely meal. It was a good afternoon out.