Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


Moving Swiftly Along

Firstly an apology for the lack of a Spud on Sunday post yesterday, the day simply ran away from me! Thank you for the wonderful suggestions of names for the kittens; Spud the dog will announce the favoured names next week.

At eight AM on Saturday morning I found myself in Stockport. Personally I don’t like being in Stockport at all, but at least at that time on a Saturday there was little on the roads, its common  and tedious for the traffic to crawl along the A6.  I took Tom for his driving test theory exam, he passed.  Excellent.

I think Stockport’s most redeeming feature is the viaduct,

Stockport  6-1

that bunny hops the railway line across the town,  it opened in 1840 some 11,000,000 bricks were used in its construction (now there’s a pub quiz question).

Stockport viaduct -1

There are some still some distinguished looking mills, mainly converted to flats or for commercial use, such as storage. I imagine they must have been grim to work in. Stockport was famous for the production of hats (and is now home to The Hat Works Museum, which is worth a visit, although you could be put off by the weary website.)

Stockport  mill-1

Hat making was an industry renowned for the use of chemicals such as mercury to cure the felt,

“Mad as a hatter” is a colloquial phrase used in conversation to refer to a crazy person. In 18th and 19th century England mercury was used in the production of felt, which was used in the manufacturing of hats common of the time. People who worked in these hat factories were exposed daily to trace amounts of the metal, which accumulated within their bodies over time, causing some workers to develop dementia caused by mercury poisoning. Thus the phrase “Mad as a Hatter” became popular as a way to refer to someone who was perceived as insane.

Lewis Carroll grew up in Stockport, whilst Lowry drew it

Stockport  viaduct 5-1

One way or another, the Victorians and the Industrial Revolution certainly made their mark on Stockport’s buildings, what’s followed since though is distinctly bland (if that is not a contradiction..) I  just couldn’t bring myself to photograph the Merseyway shopping precinct

Stockport -1

Locals from around these ‘ere parts will always talk of ‘going down Stockport’ (note lack of the word ‘to’). However, ‘incomers’ will talk of ‘going up to Stockport’. True, Stockport is north of here, so technically it is up; however it is down from the hills, that’s what makes the difference.