Hits Last 30 Days

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.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Glow Worm Walk 10.30pm Wednesday 28 June 2017

Photo from last year's walk.

We will leave the small car park at the top of the slope down to Mickleover Station (almost opposite the Great Northern pub) promptly at 10.30pm. We will walk fairly slowly so anyone arriving late will be able to catch up with us. It is unlikely we will see any glow worms until we are beyond the housing and the City boundary. The walk will be about 2 miles to the glow worm’s limit at Bannell’s Gate. Should be back at Mickleover Station by 12.30am.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Rangers Ride

On Sunday next 25th June we are riding out to Locko Park Spomdon for the Derbyshire County Show. There will be lots to see at the show, hence the early start.
Entry charges are £13 for adults and £10 for concessions.

Also Rangers Meeting on Monday 27th. 7pm at the Eagle in Agard Street.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Informal Lunch June 1st

A good turn-out for this month's informal get-together at Don Amott's Cafe in Hilton, with nine people having nothing better to do on this fine sunny afternoon.

Here we are inside, (except for Sue Harris who took the photograph).

And Mavis, John, Nick and Peter about to leave for home.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Informal Lunch Dates

Our monthly informal lunch meetings at Don Amott's Cafe in Hilton have been moderately successful in keeping old and new Rangers in contact, without interfering with the formal meetings held at the Eagle PH in Agard Street.
The informal lunch meetings will normally be held on the first Thursday of the month, those being as follows:
June 1st
July 6th
August 3rd
September 7th
October 5th
November 2nd
December 7th

See you there.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Events in May

Our next Informal Lunch is on Thursday 4th May at Don Amott's Café in Hilton.  About  12.30pm.
The next Derby Rangers Meeting is on Monday 22nd May at The Eagle on Agard Street, Derby. 7pm.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Sustrans Milepost Painting

On our patch we have half a dozen or so of the cast iron mileposts which were funded by RBS in the early days of the National Cycle Network.
Most have been painted in a variety of styles and colours, by our own Rangers, but this was a long time ago and most could do with a repaint.
We understand that Sustrans now have an artist who is willing to carry out this task. Having seen an example of her work (see below), I think that we should be asking her to pay us a visit and suggest that she might repaint the post at Mickleover Station on NCN Route 54/68 (for a start) and that we should treat her to a meal at The Great Northern PH nearby when the job is done.

This newly painted post is on NCN 5 as we approach Chester and with due regard to our faithful Rangers who have painted our posts previously, I think that this effort puts the job on a different level, adding a real touch of class to the National Cycle Network.

Hardwick Hall family ride Sunday 21 May 2017

White Peak Sustrans Rangers' Group
Providing guided public rides
Join us for a guided family cycle ride to Hardwick Hall
 Ride location:  The Phoenix Greenways, starting at Teversal Visitor Centre.
Date & start time: Sunday 21st May – 11.00am
Approx length: 10 miles taking around 3 hours (inc stops)
Suitable for: Family groups, including accompanied children who have reasonable proficiency at riding a bike. Appropriate to riders of all ages.
Terrain: Tracks and Trails.
Ride description: This is an "out and back” ride along the traffic-free Terversal and Rowthorne Trails, taking us into the spectacular Hardwick Park. The Trails are shared by walkers, horses and other cyclists so can be busy at times with walkers, joggers and loose dogs, so basic riding safety etiquettes and protocols will be observed.  The ride is mainly level apart from a very gentle incline on the outward leg in the grounds of the Hardwick Estate, but it should not provide a problem to anyone with a degree of basic fitness.
The ride will be fairly leisurely and ride leader will facilitate a number of stopping points to take in the views on the outward leg.
Facilities: There is free parking at the Teversal Visitor Centre. The Café and information Centre opens at 10am so refreshments can be bought before the ride.  When we arrive at the National Trust Hardwick Estate, we will have approx. 30- 45minutes relaxing time to enjoy a drink/snack etc, at the NT café and picnic area, alternatively you can bring your own refreshments.
Entrance to the estate is free, but this ride may inspire you to visit Hardwick Hall another day and discover how Bess of Hardwick acquired her wealth and built Hardwick Hall.

Ride leaders: The ride will be led by a member of the Group who has will provide some information about the history of the trail and the Hardwick Estate. He will be supported by other members of the group to ensure that the ride is conducted safely. All members of the group are qualified to lead rides of this nature and are approved to do so by Sustrans.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Action on Graffiti

Some months ago the underpass of the A516 bridge at Etwall was attacked by mindless vandals who sprayed graffiti over a large area of the walls.

Our policy is to paint over such unsightly spoilage of our Greenways, but due to difficult weather conditions we have only just got round to fixing the problem.
Today our crack team of graffiti obliterators turned out with rollers, brushes and a large bucket of white paint to overpaint the eyesore.

                                                 And here they are - in action.

Within a couple of hours,  using surprisingly little paint, the job was done, and although we need to do a bit more tidying and perhaps a second coat of paint, at least the graffiti is gone.
After a break for coffee tea and snacks, kindly provided by Mavis and Sue, we had time to
attend to a few other minor problems in the immediate area. The 33 wooden steps at Sutton Lane Bridge needed a good clean, some pruning of overgrown vegetation was required and locks on the gates needed lubrication.

Phil, Sue and Mavis here making a nice job of cleaning the steps which lead down from Sutton Lane Bridge to the R549 path below.

Mavis checks the steps on completion of the job.

And Phil points to another problem on the bridge, that being two empty bottles precariously  perched on a ledge. He was unable to dislodge them by throwing stones at them, so watch out when you next pass beneath the bridge as they will surely come down one day.

Thanks also to Nick Potter who came along later having represented us at the meeting with Huub Events regarding the Great Northern Run. He also did some pruning of nearby vegetation and carried out maintenance of the nearby gate locks.

So, a good job done by all. Don't forget to record work hours on the Sustrans Volunteers Web Site.