We left Strines on monday heading for Whaley Bridge at the end of the Upper Peak Forest Canal, where we serviced the boat and did some shopping at Tesco before heading back to moor at Furness Vale. The mouthwateringly nostalgic aroma coming from the canal-side Swizzels Matlow sweet factory (they of 'Love Hearts' fame) at New Mills snaps me back to a memory of my childhood and a threepenny bit burning a hole in my pocket.
Since arriving here and despite my continuing problem with gout I've managed to walk down into the Goyt valley and follow the river through the Torrs Gorge below the town of New Mills to the splendour of the view from the Millennium Walkway and the river tumbling past beneath. This should be one of 'THE' destinations for anyone visiting the area and can easily be reached in minutes from the New Mills visitor centre and car park above the gorge. You can virtually taste the industrial heritage of the town and it is ever more tangible standing on the Millennium Walkway looking across the river at the Torr Vale Mill.
In the three years since our last visit little if anything has changed and the landscape looks even better and more defined, which may be as a result of the tree debris that had built up in and along the river then, having been cleared away.
Still going strong is 'Archie' the innovative Torrs Gorge Archimedean Screw micro hydro-electric scheme powered by the Torr Weir. A community project generating 70?kW of electricity, which is supplied to the Co-operative supermarket. Any excess is fed back into the National Grid. Brilliant!
The local industrial history along with the legacy of the flooding in 1930 and 1872 is testament to the ingenuity and hardiness of the people who brought lasting prosperity to the area and leaves me with nothing but an overwhelming admiration for what they achieved.
Go to this Wikipedia link for a very interesting overview of New Mills and its history http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mills
Gout is continuing to plague me daily although the pain now dulls enough to allow me to sleep at night and by gritting my teeth I can limp through it enough to walk a couple of miles with Gunner. Blood tests came back to say I have raised Uric Acid levels and I'm to be prescribed something to hopefully fix it along with something for a high cholesterol level, which I've ignored for years as it was considered to be hereditary. Both my diet, fitness and lifestyle should exclude both problems but seemingly not. Oh well, onwards and upwards. Hopefully the 'upwards' won't be for a few more years yet though.