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20th July 1958 - Millers Dale & Monsal Dale

This, the last ramble before the long summer holiday, was not so well attended as usual. The poor attendance was mainly due to bad weather and, to a lesser extent, to the fact that a number of children were on holiday with their parents.

The weather in the morning was very poor, with continuous drizzle, and it was intended to cancel the expedition on account of this. However, despite the poor conditions, ten children arrived at Marple Station and showed great keenness to carry out the plan - hence, against better judgement, it was decided to carry on. An extra two or three heroes boarded the train at New Mills.

The plan was to train to Millers Dale, scale the side of the dale, travel in a southerly direction to Priestcliffe, and then alter course roughly eastwards to drop into Monsal Dale near its junction with Taddington Dale. From here it was planned to follow Monsal Dale - with a stop to scramble on the rocks near the weir - before joining Millers Dale and following the river to Millers Dale Station.

On arrival at Millers Dale Station to start the ramble, rain was falling with depressing steadiness, and it was noticed that one girl was most inadequately shod in the lightest of lightweight sandals. As it was not reasonable to cancel the whole party because of one foolish girl, and this one did not want to spend the day at Millers Dale station, it was decided to press on in the rain, and hope.

WW1960-009 The weir at Monsal Dale
WW1960-009 The weir at Monsal Dale (from another walk)

Dropping into the valley and crossing the Wye, a path was followed across the slope of the hillside to the old cement works and then steeply upwards to the fields above. Keeping carefully to the edges of the fields in parts were the path could not be located, a way was made to a track leading to Priestcliffe - here a path was missed and we later found ourselves joining the main dual carriage way near Taddington. Rather than retrace our steps to pick up the path across the not very interesting small stone-walled fields, we pushed on rapidly along the main road to Monsal Dale, reached at about midday.

From this point we walked happily along the lovely Monsal Dale, accompanied by a large herd of inquisitive cattle. Lunch stop was made at the weir in lovely surroundings, but rather dripping conditions - the party were all happy and cheerful despite the continuous heavy rain.

After lunch most of the party scrambled up the steep dale side to explore the weird rocky formations resulting from an old landslide - much fun was had here, with no mishaps on the big rocks and loose boulders. Later the trek was continued, by most, along the valley floor, while a few took the high path to rejoin the main party shortly after the sharp turn into Upperdale.

For the next half mile or so it was necessary to follow the pleasant narrow road to ‘the cotton mill', where we were able to join the most interesting path, close alongside the stream, through the lovely limestone gorge to the next mill near Litton Slack. From here it was again metalled road - but a very nice road.

Some of us, out of curiosity, climbed an intriguing flight of wooden steps and followed a path to Ravenstor YH and thence, by devious narrow paths through thick woods to rejoin the road near Ravens Crag. From Ravens Crag it was but a short walk to Millers Dale Station to catch the 5.25 train back to Marple. Despite the bad weather a successful ramble.

The girl with the silly shoes put up an excellent show once she'd got used to having very wet feet, but determined that never again would she venture on a long ramble so foolishly shod.

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