Road Closed February 23, 2022

I live at the bottom of the Snake Pass in Glossop. Snake Pass is one of those roads you will have heard about on the news, mainly because it’s blocked on a regular basis. If there a smattering of snow anywhere in the UK the you can pretty much guess that on top of the Snake – it’s going to be much worse.

So, the road regularly gets closed. The signs are illuminated, the cones go out and the bright red ‘Road Closed’ sign gets dragged across the highway.

The road is shut.

But dear reader…is it actually impassable?

Well…without wanting to cause uproar or any sort of dissent. The truth is…it’s very rarely impassable.

Quite often in fact it says ‘closed’ at the Sheffield end – whilst remaining open from the Glossop side. For those of you that are not familiar with the road, there are no turn offs, no alternates and nowhere to go other than Glossop to Sheffield or Sheffield to Glossop. Ok you can turn off to Hathersage but only after 20 odd miles of no turning.

To get to my point. It’s not often impassable unless the weather really gets foul, and in the current global warming situation it just doesn’t happen.

I have driven over this road so many times when it’s said ‘closed’ that I don’t even stop to think or worry any more. I just drive past the sign and just take note that it might just be a bit slippery. I guess I do have a four-wheel drive car with snow tyres. But I’m pretty sure that the road is still passable by most people with a bit of care.

Yet… ‘they’… keep saying road closed. “

I have two schools of thought;

  1. People are such poor drivers that the police take the option of closing the road to stop idiots getting stuck in what normal drivers would just consider ‘tricky’ conditions.
  2. We’ve become a nation run by the health and safety committee.

I’m definitely leaning towards the latter thought …having had a weekend of being told about terrible life-threatening weather, that the world was going to end, the apocalypse is at hand etc etc.

I’m pretty damn sure twenty years ago they would have simply said – ‘it may be windy over the next few days, take your coat with you.’

Having been told that it was ‘dangerous’ to go out, and only travel if ‘absolutely necessary’ – I found myself travelling to a funeral in Kent (circa 290 miles each way). It was windy and it was a bit tricky at times…but…in no way was it as bad as the weather forecast had suggested.

What about Covid?

Was it really as bad as ‘they’ had us believe?

If…it WAS… as bad as they had us believe. How on earth can the government now say – ‘no restrictions’ …just get on with ‘living with Covid’. It doesn’t make any sense.

Much of the stuff I read about electric cars, air pollution, stop burning coal, stop drilling for oil ….etc etc …I am beginning to see a lot of exaggeration, scaremongering and just total bullshit in the press.

We are being guided and manipulated to conform like sheep.

I’m not quite sure what the ‘end game is’ but somebody somewhere is making money out of all this bollox.

The message appears to be… ‘stay in, do what we say, don’t argue, don’t think tooooo much about what we’re asking you to do…just do it’.

And I’ve got to be honest.

I don’t like being told what to do.


Mike C

Memories – 20 Years February 9, 2022

It’s just been our twenty year anniversary at Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd. This set me thinking about the momentous times in my business life – what are the main events that I can still remember?

My first office.

I can remember how proud I was with the small room at the back of the architecture practice on Wellington Road South in Stockport. I had my own desk, drawing board, coffee machine….and my own toilet and separate access from the rear of the property. I remember getting a brass plaque made with ‘Michael Clough Associates’ etched into the metal, the plaque was then wall mounted on the front of the building. I had my own car park space which made me feel pretty damn special.

My second office

The second office was basically a large shed in the rear of my garden on Sunlaws Street in Glossop. Two kids and a mortgage made keeping the Stockport Office a bit too expensive so it was working from home for a couple of years. I can clearly remember getting our first word processor and the relief at being able to correct and change specifications without having to re-type the whole document. It was here that we got our first fax machine – the miracle of the modern age – I sat for hours just waiting for the machine to spew forth documents and clapped every time it worked.

Third Office

It was here that I got my first car phone. Again, I have memories of sitting in the car shouting ‘Hello’ so loudly that the phone was probably not needed for any local calls …as everybody could hear me anyway.

Fourth office

Didsbury – The Towers Business Park – I had designed the landscape around the buildings and had an office within a development that I had worked on. Great for business, great way to show clients my skills and the breadth of work that we could carry out. Many happy years working from the trendy Didsbury location.

Whitefield rented space …then finally purchasing the offices in Radcliffe. No more renting, I was now a business owner working from property that I owned.

Computers, dicta phones, answer phones, smaller computers, smaller phones, the cloud …all made huge changes to way the business worked.

However, to get to my point.

It’s not the location of the office or the gadgets that you remember, it’s the people.

Looking back, I have been lucky to have worked with some great people. When preparing for Japanese Knotweed Solutions 20th anniversary, I was amazed at the length of time that people have worked with the company.

Some people have worked for me from the days of Landmark and have 23 years’ service on their books, 21 years, 17 years, 10 years, 12 years – these are all people that have given a huge chunk of their working lives to the company and I am eternally grateful to each of them for their commitment.

Thanks all.


Beers needed.

Mike C