Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Remember, remember

With school work done, it was off to swimming for us this afternoon, which was followed by a walk along part of the Trans Pennine Trail.

We started our walk at Royston, following the trail alongside the now defunct Barnsley Canal.  The canal was a broad canal, originally used to transport coal from the many mines and pits in the area, and was first used in 1799.  It even had a 5-arch aqueduct nearer to Barnsley, but this proved problematic as mining subsidence caused a breach of the canal in 1911 and it was out of action for eight months.  A further huge breach of the canal in 1946, elsewhere at Littleworth, led to the ultimate closure of the canal in 1953.  Much of it has been filled in, built over or otherwise destroyed, but bits of it are still in water albeit in no way navigable, and it provides a haven for wildlife.

 One of the chimneys of the Monckton Coke and Chemical works in the distance, along with the smoke from another.  The village of Royston can be decidedly smelly at times with a definite sulfurous odor hanging over it.

Part of the waterway glimpsed through the trees

Looking back towards Royston and Monckton Coke Works

Small took the above photo, and if you click on it to view the big version, you may be able to  glimpse a set of rails.  This is part of the remains of the former Midland Mainline that was  once four track but is now just a rusty single track.  It's part of the same line that our Chevet Branch Line cycle ride and walk branched off from.

This part of the canal looks like it may have been a place to turn boats.  They do have a specific name, but I can't remember what it is.

We did a double take at this.  Small was quite convinced it was a prickly bug of some sort, and I must admit that with the three bent "legs" on either side it does look remarkably like a bug.  It's actually a piece of thistle that had fallen onto the path, but we enjoyed pretending it was something more scary.

We carried on along the path, picking up sticks (kindling) as we went.  We divided them equally between us and did "stick math" as we went, practicing our doubles.

The stonework in the above two photos, and the two below are all that remains of the bridge or possibly viaduct that carried the Barnsley Coal Railway from Stainfoot Junction to Nostell Junction, via Royston and Ryhill.  Passenger services were withdrawn in 1930, although it continued to carry goods trains until closure in 1961.

Although part of the trackbed remains as a bridleway and walking path beyond Ryhill, it's hard to imagine a railway existed at all much beyond this point, as the huge embankment or viaduct which carried the line has completely disappeared.  It's somewhat ironic that the proposed route of the HS2 train will see it, or some modern day monstrosity, put back almost exactly where the missing bit once was.

We were somewhat puzzled as to why this metal bear suddenly appeared on the side of the path, but a bit of Googling once we got home revealed that it apparently relates to something the locals referred to as the "bear cave".  Nothing to do with real bears, which went extinct in the UK centuries ago.  The "bear cave" was apparently a drainage shaft to do with the canal.

Nearing the end of our walk
Marker post, also part of the Barnsley Boundary Walk here

At this point, the route continues over the other side of Notton Lane.  The Wheels of Wakefield cycle ride, and the walk along the Chevet Branch line can be accessed from here, although if one is continuing along that route from the TPT route then there's no need to walk up the side of the field like we did, you'd simply carry on along the side of the Midland Line and straight onto the branch line.  To get to the TPT from Notton Lane, you have to go further along to High Bridge to join the path which follows the canal.

We ended the day with a visit to a local park for the fireworks display, which was free.  As Small suffers from sensory processing disorder and can't stand loud noises, the problem was solved by putting a pair of protective ear muffs on him which did the trick.  He was able to enjoy the visuals without being too upset by the noise.  He must have liked it as he said it was "the best day ever."

Until next time. x

1 comment:

  1. These walks of yours are pleasurable to read about. On Escape to the Country they often talk about the walking trails. Its not a common thing to do here in Oz.


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