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.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

6 thoughts on “Moving Swiftly Along

  1. I never knew the origin of the “mad as a hatter” expression but it’s always been a favorite of mine. Many thanks for the tutorial.

  2. The viaduct is spectacular. I could see taking the occasional trip just to look at it. I’m particularly fond of the fourth photo.

  3. Instructive and entertaining. Who could ask for anything more?

  4. I really enjoyed this interesting, and informative, post and looking at all the various links. I’ve been there once and all I remember is the viaduct. xx

  5. Congratulations Tom!

  6. Well done, Tom. Lovely post, yet another place I’ve never been to in my own country. If I ever get there, I’ll try to remember to go down and not up. Mind you, it’s way south of here, so it would be down. Unless I started somewhere else.

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