This morning we were just finishing breakfast when our Sainsburys order arrived. We had been restrained this time as there wasn’t 25% off wine, so we only ordered four boxes. When you do an online shop you are asked to tick those things that you would like substituting if what you have ordered is out of stock. Not everything on our list has a tick, but some do, including the wine. We had ordered a box of Merlot and another of Shiraz, but they were out of stock with the Merlot so a substitution was sent. We think that the picker had a bit of a laugh whilst saving us some money.
The sun was out for the first time in what feels like ages, so as soon as Tilly came back on board we put our walking boots on and went out to make the most of it. On past visits we have meant to walk up onto the Saddle of Kerridge and look at White Nancy, but I’m glad we left it for today.
Trying to stay as high as we could up the valley side we crossed the canal and walked through houses, along footpaths, down a bit, up a bit until we came across the start of the footpath to the top of the hill which was tucked just next to someone’s house. The hill is covered with footpaths and we tried to find our way without having to head directly straight up. The paths are obviously popular as they have been paved at some point, first with flag stones and then as you get closer to the top stone steps all a bit higgledy piggledy. The white of Nancy against the bright blue sky was a picture, so plenty were taken.
White Nancy was built in 1817 as a folly or summer house by John Gaskell junior to commemorate victory at the Battle of Waterloo. It originally had an entrance to a single room which was furnished with stone benches and a central round stone table, but the entrance is now blocked. The origin of the name White Nancy has several theories. It may have been named after one of the Gaskell daughters, Nancy, or maybe after the horse that is said to have hauled the table top up the hill.
Until 1925 the structure remained unpainted, but since then it has been painted several colours and in 2005 vandals painted it bright pink. Motifs are painted on it now for big occasions, the Queens Jubilee, the Olympics, Remembrance Sunday. In the 80’s she was quite often decorated for Christmas, as a Christmas Pudding or Father Christmas.
On Christmas Day just gone Bollington Brass Band played as people gathered to celebrate. It must be a fantastic place to be for sunrise and sunset. The views are vast across the Cheshire Plain towards the mountains of North Wales to the west, the hills of Shropshire to the south and the Pennines to the north and east. Today a mist clung over Manchester.
We took a different route down through silver birch and oak trees where birds were singing their hearts out. Then cutting across a field which has a footpath crossroad slap bang in the middle before we rejoined the roads clinging to the side of the valley. A lovely walk on a stunning day.
0 locks, 0 miles, 6.937 Litres wine! 2 pairs of boots, 2 many paths to choose from, 2 far too see, 1 white Nancy, 1 black nipple, 90,000 acorns a year, 1 lost stile, 160 squares cut, 1 tangerine commander in chief, 1 box of green lasagna left, 1 Waitrose needed soon.