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Monday, 16 November 2015

The Missing Stones

The Mickleover Greenway was opened in 2001 and within weeks it was closed by the Foot and Mouth Disease Epidemic.
After the re-opening one of the first jobs that the (then) new Rangers did was to measure it's length accurately and put wooden posts in at each mile point. The (then) new local vandals soon kicked these out of the ground so we replaced the posts with heavy coping stones which the said vandals had pushed off one of the bridges parapets. The stones weighed over 2 cwt each, so we persuaded one of the local farmers to move them to the appropriate places with his tractor.
The stones have moved only slightly since, being pushed to one side by contractors mowing the verges with a tractor. Yes, they used to do mowing in those days.
Subsequently, Mother Nature joined in and some of the stones disappeared under a coating of moss and other vegetation.
Only recently did we find the long lost Stone 4 and so today on the Signing Ride we managed to pull it back into it's right (ie visible) position. We intend to clean up the stone with a wire brush and paint a large number 4 on it.
It is situated between Old Station Close and Kingfisher Bridge and here are photographs of it.


                               View looking towards Old Station Close.

Note that there is no stone at Mile 5. The reason is that we only had three stones. Fortunately Five Mile Gate is exactly one mile past Stone 4 and we don't need one at the start (Mickleover Station Gate).
Sadly, Stone 3 is still unaccounted for.  It is somewhere between Bannels and Bearwardcote Gates. We suspect that it also is buried in the undergrowth.
Perhaps we should be having a treasure hunt to find it.
These stones are useful to cyclists for setting up cycle computers and to joggers for checking their running speed.  Many runners have an optimistic view of their capabilities, thinking that they have run a mile when they haven't.

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