Walk completed August 28, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 41 – Whaley Bridge to Glossop – 9 miles

As you may know, many of our childhood nursery rhymes came from old England. Ring around the rosey, for example, dates from the plague. During breakfast, I engaged in conversation with an English couple who are spending two weeks in Buxton for the theater festival. They related one version how Humpty Dumpty originated. During the English civil war, the king had captured Bristol and was laying siege on Gloucester. The parliamentarians in Gloucester hid behind a wall on the bank of the Severn, while the king’s forces massed on the other side of the river. Apparently the king’s plan was to build a bridge to both cross the Severn and breach the wall. Measurements were taken, and a large structure denominated Humpty Dumpty was erected. The night before the assault, the people of Gloucester got out their shovels and widened the river. When Humpty Dumpty was floated across the river it couldn’t quite reach the other side, and the current swept it away. And all the kings horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again. Or so, that’s how it was related to me. Maybe one of my loyal followers can research this, lest I be contributing to another urban legend.

With nursery rhymes well in hand, I caught the 10:30 train from Buxton to Whaley Bridge, and at the station met two Americans from Salt Lake City who are touring Britain for five weeks. We had a very brief chat on the train before my 17 minute ride was up, and I had to get off.

Narrow, but too long to turn
The route out of Whaley Bridge follows another canal along the Goyt River, providing more interaction with folks on the narrowboats. I previously referred to them as longboats, because most are long. But some are short, so the proper term is narrowboats.

Al and Muriel
While on the towpath, I met Al and Muriel, who live in Whaley Bridge. They invited me to their home for tea, but I had to decline.

Eddie building a wall

A little further on, I met Eddie, who is a stone mason and is building a stone wall. I commented about all the dry stone walls I have seen and Eddie said he’s spent his life building and restoring them. Unfortunately, working on dry stone walls is a vanishing art; Eddie says that the young people don’t want to do all the hard work required. The hard work has done well for Eddie. He’s now 75 and is lifting big rocks that make me ache just to look at them.

Dual-tiered viaduct
Approaching New Mills, I came upon double-decker viaducts I don’t recall seeing before. Perhaps they date from different eras, but there was no explanation along the trail.

With all the rain, the meadows are still showing flowers.

Because it was a short day, I arrived in Glossop early. Tired of pub food, I searched for an Italian restaurant. I found one, but it is closed on Mondays.

© 2011 Ken Klug

1 comment:

  1. I just now have finally retrieved your card from my purse and have had time to look up your blog. What a nice blog you are doing of the trip!

    I am one of the Americans in your entry - Carlie - and it looks like you are almost halfway or more now. Wow. I'll be following your adventure now that I am back and I have internet access again.

    We had a fine time in England as well.

    And enjoy the rest of your adventure!