The Clough House Mill Saga

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Chris Yeates
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The Clough House Mill Saga

Post by Chris Yeates » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:55 pm

A recent collection of a foam sample from a Yorkshire stream has proved extremely interesting. This is Part One of the tale.

The collection site lies in West Yorkshire above Slaithwaite. It is on the site of a former (19th century) woollen mill, now completely gone. Clough House Mill was owned by Edwin Shaw and Company; I don't know when it was originally built, but it's already on the 1850s 6" to the mile OS survey.

Here is an early C20th (exact date unknown) photo of the mill © Kirklees Image Archive:
00-Clough House-2.jpg
Here is a map of the site in 1892:
00-Clough House-2a 1892.jpg
And in 1968 (the tenters have all gone of course, and there is now a sluice controlling the water level in the pond):
00-Clough House-2b 1968.jpg
By the 1980s all had gone. I haven't looked closely yet, but there is now virtually no evidence left of the mill itself.

Water would of course have been a vital part of the steam required for the mill's functioning. There is a mill pond, approximately 0.37 hectares in size, and an outflow channel which passes over a small stepped man-made "waterfall" immediately above the collection point. The mill pond is surrounded by trees and there is some emergent vegetation. So all in all the site is a potentially good one for Ingoldian fungi, especially when the oxgenation provided by some man-made "waterfalls" is added. The local geology is siliceous Carboniferous "Millstone Grit", so the water will almost certainly be ≤5pH.

Here is the collection site:
00-Clough House-1.jpg
00-Clough House-4.jpg
Part Two in a day or so . . . .

Cheers
Chris
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

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Chris Yeates
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Re: The Clough House Mill Saga

Post by Chris Yeates » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:29 pm

Part Two
Combined 1.jpg
A Campylospora parvula. 3 records on FRDBI - I have an additional one from South Yorkshire.
B Classicula fluitans. An interesting species, as it is an anamorphic Basidiomycete - DNA studies place it close to the rust fungi (!)
B Classicula fluitans.jpg
C Culicidospora gravida. The scientific name means "the pregnant mosquito spore".
C Culicidospora gravida.jpg
D Lateriramulosa uni-inflata.
D Lateriramulosa uni-inflata.jpg
E Isthmolongispora minima. Originally described by Matsushima from Papua New Guinea. Three previous GB records: one from Laurus litter on Arran, and two from aquatic environments in Rutland.
F This is the Actinosporella anamorph of the aquatic discomycete Miladina lecithina. While the previous species are relatively small, this is a monster - the distance between top left and top right arms is over 100µm - and the arms can grow much longer.

Chris
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

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Chris Johnson
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Re: The Clough House Mill Saga

Post by Chris Johnson » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:36 am

Great report, Chris.

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Chris Yeates
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Re: The Clough House Mill Saga

Post by Chris Yeates » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:01 pm

Quick update before Part Three. I mentioned that the Actinosporella anamorph of the aquatic discomycete Miladina lecithina can get much bigger. Here is a more typical one with longer arms (the distance between the lowest one and the right hand one is almost 350µm.):
Miladina lecithina 04.jpg
By a happy chance there is, in the same image, a conidium of one of the smallest Ingoldian species, which has proved to be frequent in this sample - Heliscella stellata.

Chris
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

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