Trips 2014 - 2015
One Saturday afternoon in October, the members of the society joined a three stage ‘Tour de Chadkirk’ encompassing 1500 years of history. To paraphrase Dickens, ‘It was the oldest of times, and the newest of times’ that afternoon. Judith had organised a walking tour of the Chadkirk area, taking in the old and new; Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport Hydro and, for those with limitless energy, an opportunity to visit the new Sustrans footbridge over the Goyt. Not just for human feet but for cycles and horses as well. Judith had organised a walking tour of the Chadkirk area, taking in the old and new, Chadkirk Chapel, Stockport Hydro and for those with limitless energy an opportunity visit to the new Sustran cycle, horse and foot bridge over the Goyt.
A lonely figure stood at the junction of Upper Brook Street and Hathersage Road. It was twenty five past ten and no one had turned up for the planned day visiting the Victoria Park area. Judith was very nervous. Where was everybody? Was it the wrong day? Suddenly, to her relief, people appeared in droves. What Judith had not appreciated was that no member of Marple History would dream of catching a train before 9.30 a.m. That was when the free pass entitlement kicked in. The 09.38 should get everyone there in plenty of time so that was the vehicle of choice for many people. Unfortunately the 09.38 was late, very late. Nevertheless, by 10.35 Judith had a full complement, and we were off to explore Victoria Park with our old friend and blue badge guide, Jonathan Schofield.
The area began as a speculative venture building villas for the nouveau riche of early Victorian Manchester. In the 1830s it was well away from the smell and the noise and the pollution of Ancoats but still near enough for owners to keep an eye on their investments and to meet colleagues and competitors at .....
[in those days of the paralell 'normal' universe we took ourselves over to Yorkshire for the day, without a second thought]
There was no problem with finding Wentworth Woodhouse. With 365 rooms, it is the biggest house in Europe. Quite a contrast to the miners’ cottages that we passed on the way there. However it might not have 365 rooms as our friendly guides wouldn’t confirm that. How do you classify a corridor with eight fireplaces or a cupboard bigger than a bathroom? We hoped to understand this problem once we got inside the house but where was the front door? It began as a Jacobean house with a gateway by Inigo Jones and that is still the core of the house as nothing is ever knocked down. The first Marquess wanted something rather grander so he grafted a very large baroque house onto it - the west front.