A small part of the large railway operation in the heart of the Peak District. Limestone quarrying has been a feature of this location for more than 100 years and now it is the origin of some of the longest running railfreight flows in the UK. Over the years this expansive site has produced aggregates for everything from construction to catalytic processes in the chemical and petrochem industries. It has been run by many different companies including British giants like ICI, Tilcon and Blue Circle but is now mostly operated by Cemex of Mexico and much of the railfreight aspect is controlled by Germany’s DB Schenker.
The quarries and associated logistics operate on a 24 hour basis, it is the only mineral production site in the UK that operates 24/7 and continues to contribute significantly to the local economy and the prosperity of towns such as Chapel-en-le-Frith and Buxton.
Main picture EXIF details: –
- Aperture: ƒ/8
- Focal length: 50mm
- ISO: 100
- Shutter speed: 1/500s
The House by The Railway, seen on a long cycling trip into the High Peak with an exciting after dark return via the Middlewood Way. I think this is a classic and timeless (W H Auden-esque) scene alongside the Buxton line as it wends its way through Furness Vale in Derbyshire. The photo has had a slight HDR ‘lift’ but I much preferred the effect of this mono rendition with isolated colour. Light was fading fast but still quite moody, if a little flat. It is also a nice record of the ancient semaphore signal (Furness Vale station approach ‘distant’) with rare ‘sighting board’ Victorian era relics that are steadily disappearing from Britain’s railways along with the quaint country signal boxes from where the remaining few are operated. The Buxton line is due to ‘upgrade’ to remotely controlled light signalling by 2016.
Nikon D80, 10mm, 100iso, f5.6, 1/60sec, Mar 1st 2014 – 17:15
Nikon D80, 50mm, 100iso, f2.8, 1/3000sec, Aug 11th 2013 – 3:15pm
The ‘fateful road’ indeed, just a few shots from what promised to be a very productive (in terms of photography) trip but one that, instead, ended in disaster! The Buxton ride is something that I have planned and thought about for years, it is a very demanding trip for cyclists, but an extraordinarily scenic one and quite legendary with local cyclists and bikers alike. There are two possible routes both of which are risky to say the least. The A54 (Cat and Fiddle pass) is possibly the most dramatic route and is notorious as one of the most dangerous roads in Britain – the fatality count amongst motorbike riders and cyclist on that road is almost obscene. I however, chose to take the A5004 route via the A6 and Whaley Bridge – possibly the second most dangerous road in the north and equally scenic if a little different in terms of terrain and altitude.
The idea was to make many stops to try to capture the landscape in some way that was typically personal. But I was only about two miles into the journey down to Whaley Bridge when I had a catastrophic crash and ended up spending the night in A&E at Stepping Hill. The frustrating thing is that I hadn’t even reached the most scenic views just beyond the reservoir bends. I was carrying quite a lot of gear and fortunately neither my SLR or lenses were damaged, the tripod attached to my backpack and small point and shoot however, were not quite so fortunate.
I am determined to ride this route once again and make another effort to try to get some (hopefully) unique pictures but this time I think I should try to concentrate on the road a little more intensively.
Shortly after leaving Buxton, the building on the left appears to be an abandoned telephone exchange.
Somewhere not so far from where I came off the bike – I think?
Heading down to Whaley.
This was an eventful journey from Buxton to Whaley Bridge on the 11th of August along the A5004, during which I had a very nasty bike accident in the vicinity of the reservoir bends. Spent the night in Stepping Hill and Wythenshawe hospitals after hitting the road at nearly 30MPH! Suffice to say that I didn’t quite meet all of my photo objectives on this run. This was probably the last shot I took before the accident and was looking forward to reaching even more scenic views further down the road. I do love this landscape though, it is often quite dramatic and prone to turbulent weather, great skies and all of those interesting and exciting attributes of high altitude locations. This image has been orton processed.