Monday, 26 December 2011

Keith Booth

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you  Keith Booth passed away this morning. He died peacefully in hospital surrounded by his family. Keith was a stalwart member of our group and although in recent years he had not enjoyed the best of health he still joined us on our walks. May his soul rest in peace and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.

The funeral will be at St Paul's on Saturday 14th January 2012 at 10.30 a.m.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Photographs from Previous Walks

The Warpers Trail, October 2010

     Fossilised tree in Jumbles Country Park

Crossing a stream on the way to Edgworth 

Wayoh Reservoir

Feeder stream for Entwistle Reservoir

 Afternoon break at the head of Entwistle Reservoir

Werneth Low December 2010

                                            In his master's steps he trod,
                                            Where the snow lay dinted;

On the way to the summit.

View across Greater Manchester

War Memorial - Werneth Low

On the way back to the pub and Christmas dinner!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

December Walk 2011

The Christmas ramble. A short walk and a long lunch! On a wet and grey Saturday morning fourteen members of the group assembled outside church at 9.30 a.m. to travel to Plumley for the start of a four mile circular walk around Holford Moss. As we arrived at our destination the weather suddenly brightened up and in good spirits, equipped with suitable footwear for the expected muddy conditions, we set out on our way. After walking through  the village we were soon out into the surrounding fields and countryside. Although we had expected it to be muddy conditions were not too bad and we were able to make steady progress. Today the only activity on Holford Moss is  agriculture but as you walk around the area you notice  evidence of salt production in the past and it was close to one of the many lakes we stopped for coffee. After a short break and a warming tot for one of  our party we continued up the path to the first of the old pumping stations now lying derelict and rusty.  Continuing on through mossy woodland we eventually came upon the second industrial activity - oil storage. All that remains now are the concrete bases of the site built during the last war primarily for the supply of aircraft fuel. We were now close to the next industrial site, an old land fill site for soda ash used in chemicals production. The area is now covered in trees but the fired limestone can be clearly seen lying in layers on the banks of the site. Enough industrial archaeology, our next point of interest was Holford Hall a 16th century moated manor house and  we made a short detour to view the house and moat and take photographs. By this time we were only a short walk back to the start point which was reached in plenty of time for lunch.

The Christmas lunch had been organised at the Smokers Inn where we enjoyed  traditional festive fare and friendship. A vote of thanks was proposed to Judith & Mike for organising the walk and the lunch. Then came the business part of the meeting, finding volunteers to lead walks in 2012. Happily the rota was very quickly filled and the first walk of the new season will be in February in Lyme Park.

           Coffee break on our way round Holford Moss on a sunny Saturday in December

                                         Brine pumping station on Holford Moss

                                              Views of Holford Hall, Plumley

Monday, 12 December 2011

November Walk 2011

The November outing was a six mile ramble along the Beamers Way part of the longer Witton Weavers Way. Our start point was Witton Country Park, Blackburn and luckily we enjoyed a warm sunny winter day. The first part of the walk was through the park to Big Cover Woods and a long steady climb through woodland to the hills above the park. After a short rest we eventually made the summit and crossed the Yellow Fields, so called because of the gorse cover in Spring, to the top of the ridge known locally as 'The Hump'. Here we were able to enjoy views across the Ribble Valley  and the Pennines above Bury and Bolton. After enjoying a coffee break we then descended through pleasant countryside to Houghton Bottoms and the River Darwen. Although the day was dry and warm, heavy rain the night before made it muddy underfoot and slowed progress across many fields. Undeterred we continued along the river bank passing a cow who appeared to have strayed from the herd for she was entirely alone! Reaching the Pleasington Golf Course  we turned to head back to the start point and after a short climb we reached Pleasington village where lunch had been organised at the Butlers Arms. Fully refreshed and rested we continued on the final leg of the walk. Passing the Priory we sauntered down the lane to Witton Country Park and followed the river through the park to the car park at the end of the walk.

               Taking a break in Big Cover Woods as we head to the hills above Witton Country Park

                                Coffee Break on the Yellow Hills - green at this time of year!

                                             Trees in the River Darwen valley

                                   Pleasington Priory on a sunny Saturday in November

October Walk 2011

The October walk was a 6 mile ramble on the moors and valleys above Tintwistle. We set out from the Angling Centre on the Arnfield reservoir in good spirits but in driving rain which we hoped would clear as we progressed. The first part of the walk was alongside the reservoir but we were soon climbing upwards towards the high moor. As we neared the top the rain came down even harder and we also ran into mist and cloud. We had expected to see views from the summit of Lancashire, Cheshire and Derbyshire but the weather was just too bad. Coffee was taken in the shelter of a dry stone wall which kept out the wind but not the rain. The next part of the walk was the descent into the Arnefield river valley and as we reached the lower ground there was a brief respite from the driving rain. Eventually as we reached woodland, the rain eased and our spirits rose. Not for long, however, for we suddenly realised we had missed a turning and we had to get out map and compass to get back on the right track. The detour took us down to the river where we decided to stop for lunch. At the same time the rain came back with a vengeance but showing true British spirit we continued with lunch! Afterwards we made our way down the valley and the walk finished with a gentle stroll around the Arnfield reservoir to our start point.After a quick change from our waterproofs and boots we enjoyed tea and cakes at the Angling Centre which was a splendid end to the walk.

In spite of the atrocious weather everyone enjoyed the walk and our thanks go to Beryl and Brenda for leading and organising the day. No photographs for this walk - just too wet to get out the camera.