Thanks for dropping in, sorry it’s been a while. What with holidays and work and a pile of laundry almost as tall as me, well, it’s been a while.
Holiday was lovely, though exceptionally wet even for England. We camped for three nights with our friends in Edale, at the start of the Pennine Way and visited Peveril Castle and Peak Cavern (which has a rather naughty alternative name). The cavern was just amazing, but unfortunately our guide was one of the most annoying people I think I may have ever met. So the trip was rather tainted with the demented woman bellowing and waving and generally being so ridiculous that I spent the whole hour underground with her just cringing with embarrassment.
I do that, get embarrassed on other peoples behalf, It’s really rather frustrating and I think is quiet possibly genetic. My Mum is just the same.
Any way, from a very damp Edale, we stuffed the tent into the car and headed to a little pub /B&B in New Mills. To be honest, there isn’t a great deal to New Mills. Except….
It’s where LOVE HEARTS come from!!!
Now Amy has tasted some of the wondrous sweets that Swizzle Matlow produce. They are a childhood dream and trip of the tongue like a tuck shop order: Refresher Bars, Double Dips, Fizzers, Drummer Lollies, Double Lollies…..
As we drove into New Mills I was fascinated by a semi shabby looking Victorian mill, trying to work out what it was. I noticed a tiny sign on the gable end which simply read Swizzle Matlow. I just couldn’t believe it!
But it looked really rather shut, no beckoning and cheerful factory shop for me. Ahh well.
The B&B was lovely and a delight after three days in a soggy tent. So we explored Derbyshire, visited the Tram Village at Crich and had a fantastic cup of tea in their 1940’s tea room.
Still the rain fell.
On the way to Crich, we had passed a brown road sign point to Caudwell’s Mill, just outside Rowesly. Boy oh boy what a wonderful place! I’m still kicking myself that we didn’t go their first. The trams were interesting, don’t get me wrong but the mill was Magical!
We paid the £3.50 entry fee and were each handed a little square card which contained on one side a recipe fro whole meal bread (which I haven’t yet tried) and on the back the guide to the mill. We were allowed to make our own way around the mill. Can you believe that?! No guide or tour, no irritating person regaling us with farcical stories. Just us and the mill.
The mill, a 19thC water run roller flour mill, was rumbling away all around us. It no longer grains flour due to grain costs, but does generate a small amount of electricity. Running along the clinging in all rooms were large rolling shafts from which made belts of different sizes wove, driving wheels and shakers and stones, and lifts.
The building felt warm and safe and alive. I loved it.
Did you ever read the Brambly Hedge books? If you did you’ll remember Dusty the miller and his little flour mill in the tree stump. That is what this mill felt like. Like a childhood book.
The mill is a little gem stuck in time, so much so that it doesn’t have a website, but this place gives a little more information.
The next morning faced with yet more rain, the land lady of our B&B asked us what our plans were. Ian finally broke and said that we really wanted to see if Swizzers had a factory shop. In her lovely Derbyshire drawl said that she reckoned it had been shut for some time, but she was friends with one of the senior engineers at the factory, she’d give him a call for us to find out.
Ten minuets later say came back saying that no they had shut the shop a while back, but her friend was going to drop a bag of sweets off for us instead. What we didn’t realise was that when we got back to the B&B that evening, two pillow case sized sacks would be waiting for us, chock full of sweets! I could not believe my eyes; I don’t think I have ever really seen that many sweets before, all for us!
Sweets are now being seriously rationed and the rest are hidden away on a high shelf.
So all in all Derbyshire was very nice, very wet, but I’m not sure we’ll be back for a while.
From Derbyshire we headed on to the Lake District for week two of our English Adventure.
But that will be another post.