Blog Update – Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all readers of the blog, new and old. 2021 was a fairly good year for the blog, although restrictions caused by that pandemic meant that I wasn’t able to get on a train until mid-April, when I went to Thurgarton in Nottinghamshire.

Thurgarton station, in the middle of nowhere.

2022 promises more exciting blog content, and also more good things on the social media channels. Every Friday, there will be a “Picture of the Week” on Instagram, highlighting some of my favourite photos taken over the last three years. I also strive to make more videos for the YouTube channel. Thank you to everyone who has liked/followed/subscribed to the social media channels, and if you haven’t yet, then all the links can be found here.

Throughout December 2021, the four parts of the annual Blog Review of the Year were published. If you haven’t yet caught up with them, then here are the links:

If you were wondering which were my top three trips of last year, then I will tell you:

3: Syston (May 2021)

Syston was a very good place to visit, with some interesting old buildings and a country park to explore. The day I visited was the Monday after Leicester City had won the FA Cup, and there was an atmosphere of celebration in the air, with the buses displaying congratulatory messages and an enterprising man on the street selling commemorative merchandise. I wondered at the time if he had been up all night printing the flags and making the scarves, or if he had bought them in the hope that the Foxes would win? The only thing that marred the trip was the torrential rain which fell as I left the Watermead Country Park and walked to the station. Luckily, I had taken my umbrella.

2: Radcliffe-on-Trent (August 2021)

I always enjoy a Saturday morning trip on the trains, and it was on a hot one in August that I went up to Radcliffe on Trent, Nottinghamshire. I always have a look on Google Maps before I go to places, to see if there’s anything interesting in the area to see. Radcliffe has a cliffside walk which looked OK from the air on Google Maps, but was infinitely more impressive in real life. Add to that the village itself and the awe-inspiring Olympic Stadium (home of Radcliffe Olympic FC), and it made for a great day out.

1: Cromford (November 2021)

My favourite trip of 2021 couldn’t be anywhere else. It was my fourth visit to the Derbyshire village in three years, and it still doesn’t get boring. It was the first time I had visited Cromford in the autumn, and the golden trees and fallen leaves made the place look better than I had ever seen it before. I didn’t visit the Cromford Mills or the centre of the village this time around, instead heading up the hill to Black Rocks, then on to the High Peak Trail and across the Cromford Canal, taking in the Leawood Pump House and Aqueduct Cottage, which is currently being restored and is hoped to re-open in 2022.

So, that was 2021, but what is coming up in 2022? I have a couple of trips provisionally planned for later in January, depending on the weather and any travel restrictions being imposed. In the summer, the Big Burton Carousel sculpture trail gallops into town, following the success of the Swan Trail in 2020. I also hope to complete the East Midlands Ranger Area challenge in 2022, and tick off the remaining 17 stations that I haven’t yet visited. There is also so much more for me to explore in and around Burton on Trent.

Happy New Year from me to you, and I hope that 2022 is everything you want it to be. Thank you very much for reading.

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