Long Walks in July 2018

4 Jul 2018 Flash   Walk Leader: Beryl, Length of walk: 9 miles, Driving Distance: 24 miles, Number walking: 17

With the heatwave its 5th week, we hoped for a cool breeze as we climbed to Flash – the highest village in Britain at 463 metres above sea level. Unfortunately the breeze was present only fitfully so we had to carry on as best we could. The name of the village has spawned a legend that button-makers used their presses to make counterfeit coins hence the phrase “flash money”. This is plainly nonsense, since there is no such phrase in the Chambers dictionary and Google finds it only in connection with the village legend. It’s lucky the group has a proper researcher to scotch these items of fake news.

We left the village towards Axe Edge Moor and stopped for the first refreshment stop by some rocks which provided rough backrests. The clear sky gave us views over many of our regular walking areas but we took the Dane Valley Way for our next stage. It was along this path that our leader announced that a woman was approaching. As the newcomer came close we could see that in the shade of the leather hat, the mutton-chop whiskers, beard and moustache belied the rather fleshy chest that confused our leader at a distance. Nonetheless, we have the Specsavers phone number in case she needs it.

The site for lunch was the well-known Three Shires Head (or Three Shire Heads on OS maps) but we didn’t go straight there. Instead we visited the quarry by the infant river Dane at Danebower where Stephen explained why sandstone can cleave in a similar to slate but not as thinly. The stepping stones in the river allowed us to cross into Cheshire dry-shod but there was a surprising amount of water flowing given the weeks of hot weather with little rain on the plain. Following the Dane Valley Way along the Cheshire – Derbyshire border we reached Three Shires Head to find it occupied by some wild swimmers and a couple of walkers. After we settled down to eat, the numbers swelled as a group of contenders for the Duke of Edinburgh Award rolled up and the “bearded lady” we met earlier emerged as their assessor.

As we assembled for the bridge picture, the back marker, hurrying to bag a good position, fell off a rock and scraped his leg. Who would know that so many people carried first aid kits? He soon cleaned the debris from his leg and Paul Billington applied a fine dressing to keep the blood contained.

The peace of the scene was disrupted by the arrival of two trail bikes, prompting Ralph to explain the role of the Peak District Green Lane Alliance which campaigns to preserve byways in a fit condition for non-vehicular traffic (like walkers). Its website is www.pdgla.org.uk and you may want to contact them if you spend much time walking along paths like the one we took to Flash.

We climbed the hill back to Flash but the leader was taking no chances in the final leg of the walk. She wanted to ensure that we called in at the Travellers Rest so bypassed the layby where we parked the cars and took a long way round that actually passed the entrance to the pub car park. The trick worked and everyone was successfully rehydrated.