SATURDAY 11th SEPTEMBER 2021
The first walk on our winter programme saw Graham Gill lead a party of 12 on a circular route from The Swan Inn at Ridgeway into the Lower Moss Valley and calling at the Church Farm Tea garden in Eckington. We started out taking the path by the Junior School across the fields to Haven Farms 1 and 2 then past the underground reservoir, along Bridle Stile, an old packhorse route, to the Mosborough Millenium Circle. Here a couple of members picked juicy blackberries and filled a container before we continued to West Mosborough and into the area known as Eckington Park. This is owned by the Sitwell family at Renishaw Hall and is a lovely area all year round with a mixture of public and concessionary footpaths. We turned left and took the path below Ladybank Wood where Graham showed us an old WW2 bunker used as a control and maintenance centre for the dummy lights placed in the valley to fool German bombers into thinking they were bombing Sheffield. On towards Eckington, across Gashouse Lane and up the steps by the church to the tea garden. The owner Jenny and her two waitresses served us up with teas, coffees, cake and sausage rolls in the peaceful garden setting. After about a 30 minute stop we set out on the return leg along Mill Road where there are the remains of the old Eckington Mill and dam. Continuing through Ince Piece Wood we came to the Seldom Seen Engine House where Graham gave us a brief talk on its history. It was then on through Twelve Acre Wood past the remains of more dams of yesteryear – Lower and Upper Carlton and the quaintly named Never Fear Dam. We climbed the field up to Plumbley Lane, turned left for a few hundred yards and took another path to the right. This path has great views of Ridgeway Moor and the Upper Moss Valley beyond. A short descent before the last climb past Kent Wood, behind the old Craft Centre (now housing) and back to The Swan. Due to other commitments no-one took the opportunity for lunch at the pub, but that didn’t stop Graham having a pint of Abbeydale Moonshine- one of his favourite beers.
Good weather, good company and a good start to our winter programme.