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Friday, 7 June 2013

A short sojourn to Keadby and Scunthorpe

The 3rd of June 2013
It's time I went and visited some of my family. I haven't seen much of them since our Ireland Reunion back last August. 
I'm driving down. It's the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria but the A66 is relatively quiet and I only see two horse driven traps on the road. I should go visit one year.

I'm staying at Keadby (pronounced Kidby), home of my eldest daughter.
I can't believe how much Callum and Erin have grown in ten months.

I'll see Charlotte and Jack tomorrow. We went to Fun Forest at Brigg where they could be let loose. 

My first morning in Keadby and I'm taking a walk.
There's a lot of drains in this area. It's historically part of the Isle of Axholme which is criss crossed with drains much like the Norfolk Broads.

The Keadby Pumping Station featured on the BBC's Domeday's programme back in 1986

There's an amazing amount of birds across the area.

Other flyers are also available.

Neither myself or my elder daughter had ever heard of Volotea, but it's a Barcelona based low cost airline.

Still on Keadby Drains I've spotted a quartet of Canada geese

I never knew that the dandelion seed heads that we used to tell the time from as kids were called  filamentous achenes. I'll never remember that !

It's good to see that the Pisces Angling Club are looking after those less able

From the drains I now take to the path alongside the Stainforth and Keadby Canal 
It's also at this point that the trains usually cross the canal. These rails must be relatively new since the Corus Group was formed through the merger of Koninklijke Hoogovens and British Steel on 6 October 1999. Perhaps the 08 signifies the year. 
MSM in my days at the steelworks stood for Medium Section Mill.

There are no trains running at the moment, but it looks like the signalman is working. The reason no trains are running is due to a major Landslip at Hatfield Main Colliery

Good to see that they're using the stoppage time for maintenance work

This machine is a Colmar Rail Loader

An announcement of an upcoming fishing match.
Judging by the one word comment at the bottom, someone must be happy with the allocated pegs.

Alongside the canal is the Keadby Power Station hence a large number of pylons in the area.

When I worked at Keadby Wharf we'd often see ducks with a large number of cygnets. It was also a fact of life that many of the cygnets did not survive. Pike was the danger from below while raptors were often seen hovering overhead. If mother duck raises three of these bonny wee things she'll have done well.

Quack quack babies and good luck.

I walked almost three and a half of the four miles along the canal to Ealand near Crowle, and all along here were swans. 

I disturbed a pair of resting ducks...........

...........but kept taking pictures..................

.............until they took off.

There was quite a variety of water birds. I spotted a number of tufted ducks.

A new bridge now crosses the canal. The operators of Keadby Power Station, SSE are now busy preparing a site west of the power station to accommodate a thirty four turbine windfarm. Looking around the area it's not just Galloway that's being flooded by them. 
I'm still on the fence, but for those interested here's opposing views.
Wind Energy the Truth by J.A.Halkema (he died aged 90 in 2009)
It's hard to find a link that isn't somehow connected to the power industry and their companies, but here's one from the BBC's childrens programme CBBC
I think I'll soon be off that fence !

more swans

another tufted duck

retracing my steps

are these more of a blot on the landscape than turbines ?

The Power Station. Note the lack of smoke from the chimneys. It's offline at the moment

At the lock gates where the canal flows into the river Trent.
Top left is the Spider T, top right an old workmate.
Bottom left my old boss and golf partner, bottom right is the barge the Hakuna Matata (recently sold for £65,000) 

On Tuesday we're off to Brigg to meet up with my second eldest daughter and Jack and Charlotte. 
There are four levels of fun (it's the biggest playframe for miles), a four lane Astra slide, a giant spiral slide, a twin lane wavy slide and a toddlers area.

Callum didn't come along, he's too big now. These three are having a great time though. 

On reflection !

I love you kids.

Scunthorpe claims to be the Industrial Garden Town. I'm absolutely amazed at the new building projects in the shadow of the Anchor Steelworks. Is the town bucking the national trend.


My walk today is through Twigmoor Woods close to the town.

Various varieties of rhododendrons make it really colourful.

One of the Scawby Gull Ponds

However, back at Keadby there's almost as much of Mother Nature
A young blackbird sits on a recycling bin................

.................and close by.

I've enjoyed my short trip but I'm now on my way home.
I've heard on the radio that there may be delays on the A66 due to the Appleby Horse Fair.
I'll take the scenic route over the A68 and A689 via Alston
This is a beautiful area. This is the North Pennines and they're hosting a Walking Festival in September.

I seem to remember that I'm looking down at the Nenthead Mines

I can see lots of people sitting outside the Nenthead Mines cafe.

I take a driving break in the highest market settlement in England
It's Alston of course

The good weather's fetched out the tourists

I'm surprised that there's no one sitting outside the Turk's Head though

I've been on this road before and if you're in no hurry it makes a scenic change to the A66 Scotch Corner to Penrith. There are lots of quaint villages and hamlets along the way. Below was my last picture of the day before getting back to my home in Newton Stewart.
I wondered whether Slaggyford suffered jokes about it's name, but surprisingly it seems not. Must just be my warped mind. It is however home to what looks like a good pub,the Kirkstyle Inn. May be worth a visit and not a million miles from Galloway.

That was a very enjoyable little jaunt and the weather was good to me.
See you guys again soon.


  1. A lovely walk Jim, and really different sights to see through your lens. So pleased you had a wonderful visit with your beautiful grandchildren.
    And very happy you took the scenic route home!

  2. such cutie pies!!! i really enjoyed all of your wonderful pics!

  3. What a fantastic collage of photos! I thoroughly enjoyed this tour! Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. An area I know nothing about. Looks an interesting place with plenty of variety on show.
    Also looked like your Grandchildren enjoyed your visit Jim.
    Best time of year for getting out in nature and seeing new life in the animal kingdom.

  5. Hi Rose, it was a short but extremely satisfying trip. Loved it all.

    I was good looking when I was their age Lynn but that doesn't mean they'll go to seed like I have ha ha

    Glad you liked the trip Linda. I like virtual tours too.

    The one thing about Scunthorpe that Galloway doesn't have Bob is consumer satisfaction. Worldy goods, nick nacks, jewels and whatever you want to eat is just a block away.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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