The road to Ben Nevis Nov 2009

The road to Ben Nevis Nov 2009
The road to Ben Nevis Nov 2009

Search This Blog

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Care & compassion, dedication and enthusiasm at Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Employee Awards

BHNFT CEO Julian Emms with a selection of Governors at the award ceremony
Yesterday Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust celebrated the skill and dedication of more than 4000 staff through its employee awards ceremony. There were nominations in 5 categories and the four finalists in each category attended an event at the Blue Mountain Golf Club in Bracknell.

John Hedger chairman with 11 of his Trusty governors
For governors and senior management this was a privileged occasion, to share an evening with some of the 'best of the best' in our healthcare world. These are people who for the most part look very ordinary but, through their job, and through their attitude to their responsibilities and their customers, they have achieved something extraordinary.

The event was hosted by the Trust's chairman John Hedger with Clive Anderson presenting the winners with their awards and providing some humour with his failing voice.

The right place to get information about BHNFT service is here. I hope that there will soon be some of the inspiring stories behind the award nominees here too!
Clive Anderson provided some extra humour to the occasion

The familiar profile of Clive Anderson

Monday, 24 March 2014

New Tit takes up residence!

As spring begins to take off a new resident bags his/her spot in our bird box.

Hopefully this great tit will do better than our tenants in 2013. There seemed to be two clutches of eggs last year - eventually there were about 20 eggs in the nest at one time. Each clutch was abandoned shortly before hatching.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Wrecks challenge the TGO ers on Shelf Moor Bleaklow

The Snake Pass Inn is in an excellent location between two of the highest masses in the Peak District - namely Kinder and Bleakhow. The room decor is bizarre, but people aren't coming here a 4 star hotel experience.
 Several of my companions in fact decided to forego the room experience altogether and camped in the woods below.
This is the TGO Spring Experience (or Gathering) - and you may well see some familiar faces milling around the carpark on Saturday morning.

The excellent Graham Brookes planned a fine walk starting from the hotel. A figure of eight looped over Shelf Moor on Bleaklow to the north of Snake Pass and around on Mill Hill and Black Ashop Moor to the South. The first loop was around 15km, with the second an additional 7km.
 On the TGO dogs have to go undercover as the Powers strictly forbid the use of four legs. So this was an opportunity come out and for some to take the lead.
 The telephoto lens does not reveal what is being distributed here by the man in the black headscarf (click on the image to zoom in). But shortly afterwards the TGOers energetically swarmed up the hillside to the first wreck of the day.
 Gordon adjusts his gloves while Brenda sneaks up on the remains of a C47 Skytrain.
 There are more than 50 wrecked aircraft on the hills near here; some of them sneak up behind you when you are looking the other way.
 John Manning follows purposefully the race from wreck to wreck.
One of the four engines of the Boing B29 Superfortress.

 In the background some lightweight walking poles. In the foreground part of the undercarriage of a Boing B29 Superfortress still has some rubber attached to the wheel.
 Many of the wrecks have small crosses to commemorate those that lost their lives.
 John, Geoff, Brenda, and Trevor contemplate the next wreck. The two airmen involved here reputedly survived to stagger down the road to the pub.

Taking their cue the remaining TGOers decided to miss the final wreck site prepared for them by Graham and headed down to the Inn for beer and food. Probably reported on elsewhere ...

Monday, 10 March 2014

First peek at the Peak District - Kinder from Edale

I bought the Harvey maps for Dark Peak and White Peak in 2012. I'm not sure why. I suppose I want to support this small company with just 8 employees as they compete with Ordinance Survey for our custom. The scale 1:40000 is better for walking than OS's 1:50000. In most cases it is also better that 1:25000 which sometime seems to cover too much paper. The innovation of printing on thin polythene is great if you are out in the rain, and much much better than the heavy laminated OS maps. But I'd no plans to go to the Peak District.

So, since then, they've been hidden away waiting for the right invitation. This came last weekend - an event on Snake Pass. By travelling early the day before I could find time for a 'taster' route; five or six hours to sense the landscape and test out some boots.

South of Snake Pass is the high mass of Kinder (c600m). And South of Kinder is Edale, which looks a good start point. There is a station at Edale, and from my home the train journey is around 4 hours. The AA website gives a slightly shorter time for driving, but it actually took longer.

Map here.

Parking is just by Edale station. The pay-and-display requires £5 in coins for the day. Up in the village is the official start of the Penine Way and at this time, around 11:00 on a Friday in March, there were quite a number of people on this part of the path.

 The route heads west along the valley through Upper Booth 2km away.
 Here at Lee Farm the path swings NE towards Jacob's Ladder, the name given to the path as it ascends onto the Kinder plateau.

 Much of the path that is subject to erosion is paved which helps progress.
It is only 300 metres rise from the valley bottom, to gain the edge of the plateau and the views across Derbyshire.
 The plateau is relatively flat with a steep edge on all sides. A path follows the edge all around, but only the west side includes the Penine Way. Once this route heads off north towards Bleaklow How the path is much quieter.
 At the west end is a waterfall known as Kinder Downfall. In the high winds the water only gets so far down before it is blown up into the air!
 Where rock is exposed on the escarpment it is often sculpted by the weather into interesting shapes.
 This view looking down to Snake Pass on the north side of Kinder.
This stream runs into Fair Brook down towards Snake Pass. Here I turned south, following the stream into the centre of the Kinder wilderness. On the map the top is riddled with a myriad of streams. Some of them have running water, others are just deep cuts in the soft peat which make the landscape like an obstacle course.
 Where is the top of Kinder? This is far from clear. There is a spot marked Crowden Head on maps with an elevation of 631m. On the uneven ground it is hard to recognise any place as the highest, and I only reached this point by zig-zagging over the area with a GPS in hand. It is marked by a small cairn shown in the photo above. But there are no paths nearby.
 Reaching the Southern edge again, the low sun from the west illuminated the valley and picked out faces and shapes in the eroded rocks.

The route down is via Grindslow Knoll. There's a good path and quite soon you are outside 'The Old Nags Head'. With a big sign "HIKERS' BAR" it is impossible to resist.

 A pleasant walk with varied scenery. My route completed in 6 hours was around 21 km with 700m of ascent. Navigation across the top, even with fine weather requires a compass or GPS.