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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Christmas Lunch

Final list of bookings reveals 20 people coming along this year to Don Amott's at 12.30pm on Thursday.
Here is a high tech spreadsheet of the menu choices, so please check that these are correct and if not mail me ASAP at lezderby@gmail.com
Two possible sources of error:-
a. The organiser (me) has made a mistake (highly unlikely!).😇
b. You have forgotten what you ordered (quite possible).😕

Snow on the Path

Looks nice but with temperatures well below freezing overnight the hard packed snow is smooth and slippery so no cyclists to be seen on the Mickleover Greenway.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Sustrans 40th Anniversary

This year saw the 40th anniversary of Sustrans and at a recent ceremony in Leicester, the Derby Ranger Group were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for their work in 2017.

Also receiving an award was artist Pat Wilson who has so beautifully re-painted our RBS mileposts at Mickleover, Alvaston Park and Darley Fields.
Pat travels around the NCN doing this work and has painted 16 of the posts so far. Watch out for her work - you can't miss it.

Here we see Pat at work on the post at Mickleover Station.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas Past

Occasionally St Helen's Church in Etwall, hold a Christmas Tree Festival. There will not be one this year, but last year's event was very successful with close on a hundred trees, decorated by various local organisations on show in the church.
With NCN 54 passing close to the church and some of our Rangers living in the village we decided to take part.
Click HERE to see the video of our display.

Christmas is a coming

Yes, coming along fast now and the People's Tree on Route 54 about a mile from Mickleover Station has once more been nicely decorated by the Public.  Every year the tree gets bigger and we get more decorations. Only very tall people can reach the top now.

A smattering of snow enhances the scene and more to come over the weekend we hear.
Better than the tree in Derby Market Place by all accounts.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Rangers Chrismas Lunch

With our Christmas Lunch now only 7 days away, we need to finalise bookings and menu choices. Apologies for some communication problems due to the breakdown of my PC and it's consequential hospitalisation.
Please book menu choices by code thus:-
LS 1a 2b 3c
VS 1b 2a 3a
Mail that to lezderby@gmail.com ASAP please.
Here is the menu. Gluten free available if ordered.

Tomato & Basil soup with Roll (order 1a)
Beef & Vegetable soup with Roll (order 1b)

Turkey & Stuffing Roll (order 2a)
Beef & horseradish Roll (order 2b)
Jacket Potato with Cheese (order 2c)
Jacket potato with Tuna (order 2d)

Christmas Pudding with Cream (order 3a)
Christmas Pudding with Custard (order 3b)
Lemon Meringue Roulade with Cream (order 3c)

Coffee, Tea and Mince Pies as required (no need to order)

The cost is £10 per person.
Pay on the day (to me). Cheques accepted but no credit cards or foreign coins.
Bring your own alcoholic drinks as required
Confirm 12.30 pm on Thursday 14th December at Don Amott's Cafe via Isis Way Hilton. Plenty of free parking for cars and bikes.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Five Years Ago

 The Mickleover Greenway and several houses alongside, including Mickleover Station, were flooded by extremely heavy rainfall.

 View looking towards Etwall from the bridge piers.

Meanwhile, below the bridge which carries the path over Heage Lane at Etwall ............................

Mickleover Greenway Closure

Photos here of the works about 1/2 mile from Mickleover Station to install a new 2m dia. culvert beneath the path.

 The approach looking towards Mickleover.

 Sadly it was necessary to fell several mature trees.

The pipe will direct water from the South side of the path to the North side, alleviating the serious flooding of nearby houses some years ago.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Forthcoming Events

Thursday October 5th at 12.30pm sees us back at Don Amott's Cafe in Hilton for our next Informal Lunch.

At the recent Rangers Meeting, it was suggested and agreed that we should have a change of venue for the November Lunch and combine that with a ride to the Bennerley Viaduct. Ian Dent will lead the ride which will include lunch at a nearby hostelry.  The date for this is Thursday 2nd November.  Start from Derby Market Place at 10 am.
Total ride distance 28 miles including homeward route via Shipley Park.

Railway enthusiasts will no doubt be interested in a lecture at the Mickleover British Legion on Thursday 26th October at 7.30pm.
The subject is the building from scratch of a Patriot Class Locomotive which is in hand by a dedicated team of enthusiasts. Every one of the old class of the LMS Patriot class locos was scrapped in the Beeching cuts of the early sixties.
Entry to the lecture costs £4 (which will obviously go to a very good cause) and there is free car parking on site. The building is just off Western Road in Mickleover.
Alternatively you can park cars and bikes at our house which is a short walk from the Legion.

This is what the loco will look like when completed.
It will be named "The Unknown Patriot".

Also if you fancy a ride out to Longford on Wednesday 4th October you can see country pursuits such as horse drawn ploughing and manual hedge laying/cutting at the Breadsall Ploughing Match to be held at School House Farm.  Entry £6.

Sunday, 24 September 2017


Rangers meeting tomorrow Monday 25th September 7pm at the Eagle PH in Agard Street Derby.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Informal Lunch 7th September

Seven of us turned up for today's lunch at Don Amott's Cafe.
Left to right Steve, Ian, Les, Mavis and John.
Only five qualified for the photo as Phil and Sue arrived later, after we had put the camera back in it's bag, drunk the tea, and eaten all the food.

Sunday, 3 September 2017


A reminder of this month's Informal Lunch on Thursday next 7th September at the usual venue, Don Amott's Hilton. Come along for food, drink (non-alcoholic) and stimulating conversation, including reminiscences which we have all heard before but are worth hearing again.
Be there after 12.30pm.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Edited Out

Cycling on the Trans Pennine Trail in North Derbyshire earlier this week I came across a Derbyshire County Council notice board which had on it a large poster exhorting people to explore the Greenways on foot, on bicycle or on horseback. One of the photographs looked rather familiar and in fact it was one that appeared on this Blog some years ago.
It portrayed horses on the Mickleover Greenway at Etwall and the original included Rangers John and Mavis Ratcliffe talking to a lady on a horse. Or maybe she was talking to the horse.

                                        Original photo - 24th March 2011

Sadly the Council have cut off Mavis and John and here is their version. Note that the sun is to the left, and what at first appears to be the shadow of the foreground horse, is in fact Mavis and John's shadow, so at least they appear in spirit.


A similar thing happened to me when Derby City Council organised a public outing on the Five Parks Ride starting from Markeaton Park.
I was asked to lead the ride together with Nigel Clough, the then Manager of Derby County. As we led the 100 or so cyclists across  the park, a Derby Telegraph photographer took a picture which later appeared in the newspaper.  I also had been edited out!
It wouldn't have been so bad, except that Nigel only rode as far as the park gates.

My wife has fared rather better, still appearing on the front of the Cycle Derby map (top right) with our two grandsons.

This picture has stood the test of time.  Jamie is now 23 and Owen 18.   How time flies!  My wife's age remains a closely guarded secret.

                             Here is the original photograph.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Yesterday at Darley Moor

British Human Powered Vehicle Club
Darley Moor Race Circuit

Monday, 14 August 2017

HPV Racing

The British Human Powered Vehicle Club are back at the Darley Moor Race Circuit on Sunday 20th August start 10am. Entry free.
Come along to see these guys belting along at  + 40mph.
Lots of other innovative bike designs  on show
No facilities except toilets, so bring food and drink.
Best route to entrance on A515 Sudbury/Ashbourne road is via R68 - Longford, Rodsley, Yeaveley.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Tree Danger Sorted

The Derbyshire Countryside Rangers came along to deal with the precariously poised willow tree and it is now safe. It was far too big to be felled complete, so branches were cut off individually and turned into sawdust which was then sprayed into the undergrowth by a rather wonderful machine.
Watching other people working is a popular pastime, particularly so where they are experts at the job, as these guys are.
As always, experts make difficult tasks look easy.

                                       There goes one!

 This is the Muncher which was also useful for nudging the resulting logs off the path.
                         See it munching on video HERE

                                     The end result.

                       See the size against my 20" wheels.

                                      Path now clear.                      
                   Compare with similar photo on previous post.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Dangerous Tree on R54 at Mickleover

 A large willow tree is hanging precariously over the Greenway about 1/2 mile from Mickleover Station. This view is looking towards Etwall and is next to the last house before Potlocks Farm Gate.
Phil Royle has notified Derbyshire County Council Countryside Services and it is on their URGENT list, so we hope that the tree will be made safe (ie felled) tomorrow Friday August 4th.

View looking towards Mickleover Station.

PS 7.40pm 
It now seems that the Countryside Rangers arrived later this afternoon, but could not find the tree, and those of us who knew where it is had all gone home.
Propose to contact them again first thing Friday morning.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Task Day at Breadsall

A very successful Task Day with 9 Rangers, including 2 new faces, turned up at Breadsall Station to cut down the enormous growth of vegetation which had sprouted in and around the dwarf walls of the station buildings. What a difference it has made!
Mavis came along with one of her delicious cream cakes and, just like the good old days, we saw the disappearing cake trick (except that it isn't a trick).
A second task day is proposed to clear the overgrown vegetation which has grown around the signal box, the lamp shed and the level crossing gates.
Sorry no photos as I took my camera which turned out to have a flat battery, particularly since I bought a spare battery last week, but left it at home.

Friday, 21 July 2017

August Informal Lunch

We meet again for a chat, food, and drink at Don Amott's Cafe on Thursday 3rd August. Be there sometime after 12.30pm if you nothing more important to do.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Informal Lunch (July)

Being the first Thursday of the month, tomorrow sees us once more at Don Amott's Cafe for our Informal Lunch.
Sorry for the rather late reminder.