Friday Again……. I think?


It is Friday again……  there are occasions in these troubled times, when normal is far from normal, that the days of the week blend seamlessly together and even merge with the weekend.

I am though, pretty sure that the Blacksmith and his assistant ( probably have been some young lad who should have been at school),   would know when the working week was coming to its close (probably Saturday lunchtime if they were lucky).  The Blacksmiths Shop above has long since stood idle…gone is the noise, heat and smells from hot coals and the metal  being shaped with the thud of a hammer.

Just for the record…it is Friday…I think

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

28th August

(C) David Oakes 2020


VE-day 75……… Hope


There has to be Hope for the Future

Sunrise, Sunset……. both symbolic of new starts to come. 75 years ago, today it was VE-Day. Whilst people paid respects to those who had suffered loss and experienced sever trauma, they also expressed Hope and Optimism for a Brighter and Better future.
Maybe today the World is trying to come to terms with a not dissimilar Global tragedy….. Yet signs of Real Hope for the Future have yet to be expressed. For now, the desire is that progress will be made to find a Vaccine, and that ‘some form’ of normal life will return. A NEW NORM is the phrase used but yet none of us know what that New Norm will look like.
Maybe we will never get back to what was normal. I am fairly sure the world, and that includes you and I, will have to adapt to new ways, new challenges.
But we should also pause and remember those traumas of 75 years ago.
Their Hope and Optimism remain the key words for today

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

( The image above is of the Derwent Valley Reservoirs where the Dam Busters Trained for the Bombing Raids – Tranquil today but a permanent reminder of trouble times )

8th May

(C) David Oakes 2020


Cees Fun Foto Challenge…. Look up


Heage 6 Sail Windmill, Derbyshire

Windmills were common over most of our countryside.  Wind power to grind grains to  make Flour or perhaps to  pump water in wetland areas. Today they are magical features evoking nostalgic memories of days and a way of life long gone….

Marsh Mill, Thornton, Lancashire. L

A 4 Sail Windmill, Marsh Mill, Thornton, Lancashire

Today we cover the same landscape with another form of windmill which we now call Turbines….and I guess the only real difference (apart from that these are used to generate electricity) is that we group them together in what we call ‘Wind Farms’….. maybe that is to add some romance to these modern triffids….


Hopton, Derbyshire

(look carefully and you can see the remains of a stump of ‘proper’ windmill)

My response to this weeks Fun Foto Challenge from Cee.  The link to her Blog is :-

Why not join in and have some fotographic fun


10th March

(C) David Oakes 2020

Silent Sunday…… It all happened here


Lindisfarne Abbey, Holy Island, Northumberland

These rather grand ruins dominate Holy Island off the Northumberland Coast.  Travelling there is rather dramatic requiring careful checking of Tide Tables before crossing a narrow causeway only passable at low tide….but its a journey well worth the effort.

Lindisfarne was one of the most important centre’s of Christianity in the north of England.  Records go back to 634 and Saint Aidan.  There were other notable religious figures apart from Aidan associated with the monastery, Finian, Bede, Eadbert and Cuthbert.  It was during this period that the famous Lindisfarne Gospels were written and illustrated…..these are now in the safe keeping of the British Library, London.

Also of note in its history is the violent Viking raid of 793.

Then by 1093 the Normans re-established the Benedictine Priory.  Move on to 1596 and to Henry VIII and trouble once again with his dissolution of the Monasteries after which  parts of the Abbey were destroyed.

Thankfully today it is protected and a joy to explore, be in awe of its scale and imagine just how magnificent this building once was

15th December

(C) David Oakes 2019

A Fantastic September morning… just right for a Canal side walk


Cromford Canal, Leawoods Pump House, Derbyshire

Friday was just a perfect September day…. not quite the heatwave as promised, though perhaps a better temperature for a canal side walk.  The canal selected was the Cromford Canal…. one of my favourites for a walk.  The only disappointment is that it is no longer navigable by narrowboats.  None the less there is much to see and much to remind you of the importance to our industrial heritage that this small part of Derbyshire played.  Now part of the UNESCO Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.

The canal was opened in 1794 primarily to serve  Arkwright’s  and  Smedley  Mills amongst others at Cromford and the Lea Valley.  At the time Cromford Canal linked up to the Erewash Canal, ultimately the River Trent and then the greater English canal network.

At Cromford where the canal begins its journey south are two of the original warehouses. Like all the buildings we pass along this canal, they are rather fine architectural buildings, much finer than todays utilitarian industrial buildings.



Progress came fast in the 18th/19th century industrial revolution. The canal was soon to be joined by one of the very first railways, the Cromford & High Peak Railway. Opened in 1849 it provided a faster link across the Derbyshire Peak District northwards. The task being to create a reliable link to Manchester and the Port of Liverpool.

This walk takes you past many of the old railway buildings, engineering sheds, warehouses and wharfs…..


 I have to admit to once again pausing and taking a peak inside the railways workshops at High Peak Junction.


The highlight though is the famous Leawoods Pump House built by the Lea Aqueduct.  It is a steam lift pump that was used to ‘lift’ water from the River Derwent to keep the canal ‘top up’.


The best part of the legacy left by the canal is the towpath… a peaceful walk through woodland and some expansive Derbyshire views.  At this time of the year, before autumn sets in, is the rich foliage along the bank side that is the star. Tall grasses wafting in the lightest of breezes mixing with wildflowers and herbs, banks so full that they hide the elusive Water Vole and provide hidey-holes for Dab Chicks.  Today the bright low sun is making the greens glow, glow much more like spring than autumn.


All in all….not half bad for a once hectic industrial landscape.

14th September

(C) David Oakes 2019