View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy
Showing posts with label Beer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beer. Show all posts

Friday, 15 September 2017

Trotting around North Cheshire, Sat 29th April 2017

Point-to-Point 2017

I was all a bit last minute, but I volunteered to help plotting a little running route, the Hartley Folly, the Cheshire Hare & Hounds Tally-Ho! end of season run – always a bit longer than the Club’s regular fortnightly runs.

Tim, the original plotter had been inundated with so much work (the sort of work that people go out to) and family stuff that he was rendered unable to get stuck in and sort the job.

I had the following parameters to work within:

Start point: The Griffin in Bowdon (a rather posh part of already posh Altrincham)

Finish point: The Swan with Two Nicks, Little Bollington (a lovely pub in a lovely hamlet)….around 1.5 miles from the start

The route should be a long(ish) one – and definitely be predominantly cross-country.

There must be a tea stop.

If you’ve been keeping up and not fallen asleep (yet) you’ll have noticed that the 1.5 miles between the start and inish doesn’t constitute ‘long’. Or even ‘long-ish’.

Tim had come up with good start and finish points, so that was something I didn’t need to worry about – it was just the bit in between.

After much studying of maps and loads of recces I settled on a pleasant 19 mile route that took in some interesting bits of local countryside.

The recces, and there really were many, were carried out with the invaluable assistance of Mssrs Coatsworth, Banfield and Norman, plus the Ms Fairley who provided much in the way of (constructive?) criticisim. Atcherly, having those extra pairs of eyes proved invaluable in tweeking the route and it’s description – thanks guys….and gurl.

Anyroadup, the route wasn’t particularly original, more a tweek of a route I’d walked / run in the past.

19 miles of clockwisery:

Tally-Ho Hartley Folly 2017 full map Rev4

On the day itself I set out alone but armed with a bag of sawdust to mark bits of the trail where runners could have lost the intended route. I was probably the first to start – I wanted the extra time to drop sawdust where I thought it might be needed. And I’m a bit on the slow side. Rather a lot on the slow side actually.

The route left Bowdon and so did I, initially on quiet suburban roads and paths before heading down to follow the River Bollin upstream. The river passes the back gardens of some enormously expensive and expansive houses on one side and the uber-posh Hale Golf club on t’other. Apparently the odd famous footballer / manager can often be seen walking their doggies on the river bank. I wouldn’t know an odd famous footballer or a manager if they bit me.

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I dropped a few clumps of sawdust along the way, nothing conspicuous, but enough that runners following me would spot the stuff.

The weather was ideal for trotting along, dry and bright but not too warm – a hot day wouldn’t do at all for a 19 miler, however slow I was.

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It was still early in the year so whilst undergrowth was quite verdant, the trees were lagging behind – few were in full leaf.

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The River Bollin close to Sunbank Wood

My original route was to take me through Castle Mill but the previously good footpath had been illegally diverted through a mud-bath that really was quite impassable. The obnoxious land owner has been reported to the local authority who are taking action against her.

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Castle Mill’s mud-bath …and electric fence. Photo taken on a recce.

My alternative route bypassed the quagmire and entailed passing our local trig-point, looking a bit forlorn. I have a plan to brighten it up….


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The rather sad trig point at SJ796837 marking the dizzying altitude of 60m ASL

The sound of aircraft now became noticeable, I was approaching the end of one of Manchester Airport’s runways.

The River Bollin proved a bit of a problem to the contractors charged with extending the airport with the addition of Runway 2. The problem was solved by culverting the river under the new runway:

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Doggy walkers were walking their doggies and birdies were tweeting in the hedgerows, it was only the occasional roar of aircraft taking off that spoiled an otherwise very pleasant trot alongside Runway 2

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There was just a bit of tarmac beyond the airport (sorry guys, even the best trails often have SOME tarmac!) but the trail was soon back on field paths that skirted the north side of Mobberley. It was on this section that the first runners caught me up (and passed me…of course), I was beginning to wonder if anybody had turned out to follow trail.

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Here they come…

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….and there they go

Numbers weren’t great on the day. Excuses for absence were many and vairied, Hon Sec had the best one – he’d broken his arm whilst on the Lakes Weekend trail run.

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Approaching the tea stop

Whatever, it was good to catch up with Tim & Rob at the tea stop:

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Tim’s wife and family had provided a very splendid spread for us, it was easy to eat and drink too much – Not A Good Thing To Do when there’s still another 9 – 10 miles to run.

As we guzzled and slurped our way through the feast more runners appeared:

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Fast Taylor – going remarkably fast considering he was nursing an injury

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Hon Prez Park….say no more

Dragging ourselves away from the tea stop we plodded off along more tarmac to enter Tatton Park at it’s southern, pedestrian only, entrance. The trail now changed direction, turn north on the eastern shore of Tatton Mere. The run through the park was very easy running, we were treated to a toilet stop and a herd of curious onlookers.although they weren’t watching us at the toilet stop.Probably.

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The next point of note was the No 1 Parachute Training School monument in the park. Ringway Airport (now Manchester Airport) was the site of the training school and parts of Tatton Park were used as a landing zone. Tatton Mere was used to practice water-landings.

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Poseurs at the monument, L>R: Mssrs Taylor, Park, Bell, Jenkinson, Riley & me

Turning west(ish) towards Tatton Hall, Hon Prez Park was delighted to see that we’d arranged for his own personalised route out of the park:

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More northness followed, this time to Rostherne, along a church path – reputed to be the path used by the Tatton Estate workers to get to St Mary’s Church at Rostherne.

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Taken on one of the recces: Martin at Rostherne Village Water Pump


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The church grave yard had some interesting, er, features 

A concessionary footpath, not marked on the OS map, takes you nicely past the church and allows views over Rostherne Mere:

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Rostherne Mere

In the two weeks leading up to the run one of the field footpaths had seen a significant diversion to allow for ploughing. This lengthened the route – but just two days before the run the diverted path had been re-instated and all was well.

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More tarmac followed, although it was less than a mile and along very quiet lanes before once again getting onto the (slightly) rough stuff. The ground was generally quite dry although the odd bit of wetness muddied the legs – giving just a bit of credibility to our cross-country run.

Once over the M56 on the footbridge to the east of the Lymm roundabout we were on the home leg. We once again met up with the River Bollin, now on the outskirts of Bowdon….home to the Club’s esteemed legal advisor.

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River Bollin bailiff’s shed near Bowdon

We ran west along the north side of the river, passing the site of the Motte & Bailey castle at Watch Hill. It’s well worth watching this YouTube video.

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Taking our lives in our hands we crossed the very busy A56 and continued to follow the River Bollin along another concessionary path to the Swan with Two Nicks and the end of the run.

I took about 5 1/2 hours to complete, I was quite happy with that considering I’d spent around half an hour at the tea stop and spent additional time laying trail.

The pub was unable to provide bathing facilities – or even a room to change in. The Club’s tin bath was once again pressed into service in the pub car park. Pretty Quick Riley opted to cool his legs off with the pub’s hose pipe before diving into the bath. At least that what he said he was doing:

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Tim & Co had arranged for a gazebo to preserve the dignity of the runners and to spare the blushes of the pub’s customers.

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Our luxurious bathing facilities

An excellent nosh followed. Runners, helpers, guests and partners enjoyed a fine meal supplemented by beers from the Dunham Brewery. And I wasn’t driving.

Thanks to all who helped with recces and planning the route, in particular Tim, Andy, Martin and Joules. Your inputs really were invaluable.

Thanks also to Tim’s family who fed and watered us so very well, to everyone who ran the route – and to The Club for letting me plan the route.

Smile

Monday, 20 February 2017

Trotting around Saddleworth, Saturday 18th Feb 2017

18 runners (well some of them were runners) gathered at the Cross Keys in Uppermill on a pleasantly mild afternoon in order to drink lots of JW Lees go for a run around some of the hilly bits of the area.

Only 17 runners actually set off on the trail, Merciless deciding to go home when he realised he’d be better off putting his feet up in front of the telly.

I set off with Whitworth and Bell, always good company, and after a good 10 minutes of faffing about trying to locate the route we finally set off in a muddy direction, sort of northerly.

Running parallel to Running Hill Gate (a misnomer if ever there was one) through Running Hill Head and then by Big Rough (about right) our trail led us to Diggle. The ground wasn’t too bad, being only a bit incredibly muddy, but there you go. My tastefully coloured brand-new pair of La Sportiva Raptors (yellow & black) will never be the same again.

We tried to run but the ground wasn’t too good here-abouts.

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No idea, it just seems to be an odd place for a statue (about a mile E of Diggle)

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In the middle of nowhere…situated almost directly above the Standedge Tunnel

Built in 1859, this building may have had something to do with the reservoirs, Brun Clough Res is just to the east.

The route became moderately runnable, the mud wasn’t as squelchy as on our last little outing 2 weeks previously – although there were some quite bad bits. Hon Pres Park came into view, he’d set off 10 minutes after us and was making good time.

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Whitworth & Bell keeping their distance from Park

The running on Standedge was good. We were afforded excellent views over Delph, Oldham and Shaw. The breeze was quite chilly on the tops, it was good to keep moving. The edge was popular with walkers, we met a goodly number – all going the other way.

Park stopped to chat to a sweet young thing at the trig point, obviously attracted to the pack of egg sandwiches she was trying to hide from him. Foiled by her determination not to share her lunch, we continued on our way – still heading north, and still not always too sure that we were on our route. Nowt new there then.

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Millstone Edge, Standedge

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Marsden Moor, Castleshaw Reservoirs in the distance

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Park burning off the opposition

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Still keeping to the high edges, and still enjoying good ground, were began changing direction – bearing over to the west. We kept Park in view for quite some time but he was determined to avoid our company (wise man that he is) – at least we didn’t have to worry about going wrong as long as we could see him….assuming that he was on the right trail.

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Castleshaw Reservoirs

No photos, but the faster runners were now coming into view. It would be a while before the caught us but spotting them spurred us on. But only a bit.

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Oldham Council Waterworks stuff at Castleshaw

According to the O.S., Castleshaw is the site of a Roman Fort. Interestingly, when I lived in Newhey, a few miles to the west, locals often referred to a local footpath as being a Roman Road.

We were now heading south, downhill too, on Moor Lane. This was (is!) a very good track although the trail we were following wasn’t always that obvious, the trail-layers were probably yakking and had forgotten to put sufficient sawdust down for us to follow. Oh well.

The trail-layers were Taylor & Wells, Wells being a stand-in for Old Markham who needed to stay at home to deal with ill-health in his family.

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Daisy

Faster runners now caught us up. Wilson and Burston being the first. They stopped to chat, we stopped to chat….and then the Fast Pack caught up with us. And still we chatted. Well, it had been two weeks since we last saw them, there was a lot of catching up to do.

Downhill and more downhill, eventually reaching the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Standedge Tunnel. The running now was very easy….having said that, Bell took a tumble at one point. Being the finely honed athlete that he is he was soon back on his feet.

Standedge Tunnel is over 3 miles long, running from Diggle to Marsden – the site of the tea stop on the Point-to-Point route from Newhey to Holme a couple of years ago. The tunnel was dug over 200 years ago which means it’s even older than Taylor and Wells’s ages combined. Just.

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A bit of muddy up and downery needed to be traversed before we got back to the Cross Keys….and because we weren’t, er,  the fastest runners, the bath water was a bit gritty. I needed a shower when I got home.

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Riley relaxing. That’s what he said he was doing anyway.

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Chillin’ after the run…and waiting for dinner.

We were relegated to the barn, not only for changing and bathing, but for dining too. We were served meat & potato pie, or more accurately patato and a bit of meat pie and chips. Apple crumble & custard finished the job. It would have been nice to have our meals served on real plates and to be allowed to use real knives & forks. Perhaps they don’t think we’re ready to eat like the grown-ups yet. Plastic utensils and polystyrene chippy-type plates aren’t brill.

Whatever, it was cheap, and the food was warming and plentiful. The JW Lees MPA was on fine form.

Around 9.4 miles with 1450’ of ascent. 

Tally Ho Uppermill 2017

It would have been less than 9.4 miles, but some silly sod laid a nice clump of sawdust right by the way we normally leave the venue. We wasted a good bit of time trying to find the right way.

This was a really excellent route, hard enough but without being stupid = very enjoyable. We missed the company of Old Markham of course, he probably had more than a little influence on the route choice – being as wot he lives in the area. Thanks to Whitworth & Bell for their very entertaining company, Taylor & Wells for laying a damned good trail (even if we couldn’t always find it!)…..and John Willie Lees for his Manchester Pale Ale.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Saturday 19th March 2016, Dinner at the Lantern Pike

Only thirteen sat down to an excellent meal at the Lantern Pike in Little Hayfield, those who were absent missed a treat. We were treated to very substantial helpings of proper steak pie & chips followed by enormous helpings of apple pie & custard – all washed down with TT Landlord served in lovely condition. Many were driving so they were limited to just the one, unlike those fortunate enough to be being chauffeured. Oh well.

We had a lovely run too. The pre-run description, c/o the guilty party (Young Wilson):

‘Little Hayfield on Saturday north towards A624 pass summit,then Burnt Hill (452m) Harry Hut Trig on Chunal Moor (441m) Descent to A624 north again to almost Chunal Village,then return south and climb back up to Monks Road (near A624 pass summit) Glorious descent back to Little Hayfield, Some quite scary wall stiles on the climb back from Chunal Village. Then a couple of pints and some good food. mileage under 20!! The climb up to Burnt hill is pretty dire as they are sorting the path. The conditions underfoot were slippy going on very slippy!’

Howarth, who hasn’t been seen by the Club for many years, was spotted at the start of the run but he didn’t sign in. He’d vanished by the time the rest of the membership returned to the pub. Where came from, where he went to, nobody knows.

It was a good do, I ran with Prez Park and Merciless Winterbone who proved to be fine and entertaining company – as always. The weather conditions were perfect, dry with very little breeze and not at all cold.

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We lost trail less than a mile into the route – a walker was sat on a lump of sawdust by a stile that we should have crossed. We weren’t alone in losing trail at that point – Whitworth & Co (legal advisers to the dodgier members of the Club) also flew past the turning.

Wilson had chosen his route well and had bravely volunteered to lay trail on his own as Vinny had to cry off due to work commitments. Trail was a bit on the light side but in spite of this we didn’t get very lost….not very often anyway. 

Patches of the white stuff were visible over to the higher ground to the east of Harry Hut although it certainly wasn’t a cold day. The ground was generally dry, some of the usually muddy paths were in the process of being paved which made for good and steady going.

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Prez Park speeding away

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Merciless heading for Vanishing Point

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Joe, Harry & Des

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Meself, Harry & Des

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On final approach to Little Hayfield

8 miles after leaving the pub our elite pack arrived back, unscathed and quite mud-free. After a nice hot bath and a change into clean(er) clothes we sat down to our meal.

A good day out, thanks to Prez Park & Merciless for putting up with me and to Wilson for laying on a fine route.

Where we went (widdershins):

Tally Ho Lantern Pike 160319

8 miles with 1500’ ascent.