Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Wandering Walton's visit Derbyshire

Destination Alton.

You know when you think everything is starting to go wrong and there is just no way of pulling it back together. Well riding back from Remes with Ben in "silent mode", I started to worry that the fall in the camp site car park may have done some serious damage to Ben's confidence, especially in Mr T.

All rev'd up and no where to go!

Saturday turned into a full day of playing out or to be 100% honest. Gate Crashing his mates, mate birthday party! So all I could do is take the rubber mallet to Mr T's bent lower offside pannier bracket.

Another 150mm and the pannier
would have been rubbing the wheel.
(taken in France Friday)

After a good few "wollops" it was back where it should have been. I don't know about Ben's confidence being knocked, mine had been! I had no confidence in the panniers ability to cope with having a rough life so I got on to Metal Mule and ordered the frame to go with the panniers I bought on ebay a few weeks ago.

Ben came back all refreshed and having had a brilliant time on the bouncy castle. What was even better he was looking forward to visiting Grandad and Ange on Mr T tomorrow, for a few days.

Sunday morning came and to my delight it was a bright sunny day if not a little cool but it was only 7.30am. I got all our kit out, re packed an overnight bag that would do for two nights maximum as Jeannie and Lilie Rose were away near York at Brownie Camp until Tuesday. Loaded the route into the Garmin and that was Mr T ready for the off.

Then it was time to get Ben up, fed and watered, showered and dressed, all of which went very smoothly for a change. It's amazing how helpful he is when his Mum is not around to wind up!
1030am and we were ready to get on our way. The plan, to take all A and B roads all the way over to The Cat and Fiddle then drop down into Matlock Bath for a Chippy Tea then over to Alton to my Dad and Ange's for around 4.00pm. I had plumed all the locations into the Garmin and set the computer to "Shortest Route". As soon as we got on our way the Sat Nav decided to head straight onto the M62 towards Manchester and on to the M60 via Chadderton! Aaaahhhh! At the lights in Chadderton I check the settings, "Fastest Route" was ticked. As soon as I hit "Shortest Route" it re-calculated and told me to turn left. Then the fun really did start, through the back of Oldham, Ashton, Dukinfield, Hyde and over towards Marple. We never saw another motorway all the way over to Dissley then all the small tracks and lanes Mudhurst Lane, Higher Lane over to the Cat and Fiddle.

On the approach to The Cat and Fiddle we caught up with a guy on an R1, he was very impressed when we gave him a run for his money though the back lanes at a fair rate of knots. Ben loved it, the R1 rider chose not to turn into the car park when he saw our indicator go on and he took off straight down the road past the pub. Ben was buzzing as I tend to ride like the "Old Man" I am when I have him on the back.

Not as many there as I expected!

We had a good look around and found a couple of very nice bikes one being a K reg Fireblade with a very nice Yoshimora system on. I had a look round to see who's it was before taking a couple of pictures.

A "K" reg CBR 900 Fireblade looking very nice.

I had to laugh as when the owner came to leave it was the guy sat at the side of us on a bench who had been listening to everything Ben and I had been talking about. "Now't so strange as folk"! We then had a steady ride down to Matlock Bath as there are so many 50mph average speed cameras around. Non of which looked like they were active but you never know.

My "Home Turf" from being 18 years old!
"How old do I feel right now?"

Matlock Bath was heaving with bike. Ben had a ball having a look at all the different types and styles. It turns out he is a little bit of a Harley Davidson lover on the sly. I was going to make him walk to my Dad's for that but I let him off.

"Is that Lefty's bike Dad?"

Especially when he spotted a Kawasaki Combination which he said would suit Lefty really well. I just fell about the place laughing. Nice on Dash! I had a great fish, Ben tucked into a Jumbo sausage and chips till the damn thing rolled off his plate and onto the floor. Where it stayed as he is one fussy eater.

Best Fish 'n' Chips in Matlock Bath!
Sausage wasn't bad till disaster struck.

Big Smiles for Grandad and Ange.

Arriving at Dad and Ange's at around 4.00pm I settled in for a nice catch up and Ben did what Ben does he went exploring. My Dad took us both up to the Febrick at the top of the lane and we all had a scramble on the rock. It's an amazing place and well worth a visit.

Ben on the Febrick with his Grandad.
Not bad for a 68 year old.

"If I say up the lane I mean, UP THE LANE!"

Ben helping move a day old calf.

Then on to the milking, all 140 plus of them. Ben was in his element. He came back at 9.30pm covered in you know what. After a shower and some tea he informed me that he needed to be up ready for work at 7.00am. With that he went to bed and was asleep before his head had even touched the pillow.

Monday the alarm went off on my mobile at 6.45. "Wake up Ben, time for work", without opening an eye or moving a muscle Ben said "Herd the cow's, feed the bulls, feed the calves, feed the sheep, milk the cows take them back up the field". His eyes were still shut! Five minutes later he was up and eating his 4 Weetabix, washed and dressed. Wellies on, big hug and he was off over the wall, walking past the guard dog who just looked and lay back down. If that had been me it would have ripped my leg off just for something to do. Ben really does have a knack with animals.

How Big is that Bull! "No Fear Dash"

I headed off up to the Faybrick again to have a bit of a climb on the boulders and rock face up there.
(I would return the following weekend with Jeannie so take a couple of pictures).

Does my Bum look big in these?

Ben was back in at 1130am for a bite to eat and a rest before starting the evening shift. A Full English courtesy of Grandad Walton went down a treat. Then a spot of TV

I got a shout later on from Judith, about 2.30pm "Do you mind if Ben watches one of the cows give berth?" "I don't mind, what do you think Ben?" "Ye, ye, ye please!" So of they went down to the meadow. Ben watched as the cow ended up giving berth to a bull calf, breach, with David assisting using pulling equipment. Rather Ben than me!

Minutes old Bull Calf and Ben watched the whole birth.

Before I knew it, it was 6.30pm and Judith was shouting for me to get the camera, Ben was herding the cows in on the Quad. I grabbed the camera and set it to video expecting Ben just to ride on the front with David at the controls.................... no such luck!

Take it steady Ben, Ben, BEN!"

Once a Petrol Head always a Petrol Head!

I left them to the milking and feeding, Ben returned at 9.30pm a very happy but tiered little man having worked on the farm since 7.00am that morning. After a shower he sat down to a Chines but was so tiered after just a couple of ribs he was off to bed and out like a light. "Dad, don't forget to get me up in the morning, same time please!"  Needless to say I didn't as we were heading home on Mr T via a few nice locations.

Tuesday I managed to wake Ben at 10.00am. Usual for breakfast then it was into the bike gear for the ride home after saying a "Great Big Thank You" to Grandad, Ange, David the farmer and Judith for a wonderfull few days.

We called in at Temple Normanton Cemetery where I showed Ben my Mum's grave with Auntie Susan on one side and Uncle Frank on the other side. Great Grandad with Grama and Uncle Gerald in front. This was the first time Ben had ever visited the cemetery and was a little upset but glad he had shown his respects.

We dropped down into Temple Normanton Village and I showed Ben where we had all lived when we were young.He got to meet Uncle Neil my Dad's only surviving brother and his son Andrew. They live in a new house built on the plot of our first home where I was brought up.  After a good chat we headed off up through Sutton Wood on what can only be described as a  dirt track. What's the point of having an adventure bike if you cant have adventures on it? We both had a great time. We called in at Sutton Hall, Hardwick Hall, The Shoulder of Mutton at Hardstoft where I worked as a chef from 15 through to 18. Then on to Chatsworth House through the beautiful Peak District, using all the back lane and single track roads I could find.

Sutton Hall just off jct 29 of the M1

Hardwich Hall

And Chatsworth House.
Now that's what I call a tour of Derbyshire.

Then over to Hathersage and up through Bamford and along the edge of Ladybower Damn, made famous by the Damn Busters. Then over to Glossop, Stockport and back to the range. Arriving only minutes before Mum & Lilie Rose arrived home from their Brownie Camping Trip to York.

Three generations of Walton's

It's been nearly 40 years since this happened, a picture with all three generation of Walton's in it. I would have been little older than Ben, digging out a "Pit" in my Dad's garage with my Grandad Walton. I am so happy I now have my own, thank you Dad and Ben. Also a great big thank you to Ange for taking the picture, your a Star! (Dad where is the original picture?)

So all in all a great week end was had by all, if not all in the same place at the same time.

Or is it WALTON?

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