View from Oban Bothy

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

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.


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


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.



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.


Millstone Edge, Standedge


Marsden Moor, Castleshaw Reservoirs in the distance


Park burning off the opposition


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.


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.


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.



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.



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.


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


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.


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.




Prez Park speeding away


Merciless heading for Vanishing Point



Joe, Harry & Des


Meself, Harry & Des


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.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Friday 2nd October 2015, Another Curry Walk

Manchester to Bury, and no curry

The Plan was hatched a couple of weeks ago: Rick and I fancied trying out Bury’s Katsouris eatery and it seemed a good idea to incorporate a little walk into the visit.

Considering that this was early October, the weather was just glorious. Although it was slightly chilly and a little murky first thing it soon warmed up. Walking in shorts proved to have been a good choice.

The Gang of Six convened at Manchester’s Castlefield Tram stop and wandered off through the back streets of Manchester and Salford in search of the River Irwell.



We left the tarmac of Salford’s Crescent to descent to the bank of the River Irwell:





P1050610Carrying Manchester’s drinking water all the way from Thirlmere without the aid of any pumping stations, gravity does all the work.

P1050613 P1050616L > R: Sue, Martin, me, John, Rick, Rob 

A compulsory brief sit down was called for coffee and a piece (each!) of Martin’s (equally compulsory) rather wonderful chocolate fudge :-)

Then we carried on walking:

P1050617 Dismantled railway line that once ran from Clifton Junction to Bury


One of the Irwell Sculpture Trail’s sculptures. Actually the ONLY sculpture we saw.


Onto the towpath of the disused Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal




A couple or three miles before Bury I spotted a fast walker coming up behind, it was Phil who Rick & I know from Lymm Folk Club. Phil had intended to meet us at the start of the walk but missed us by minutes. He set off, without a map and with only a vague idea of our route – and he caught us up.

What was even more surprising was that he knew t’other John. They used to run together – which is how I first met John. A small world!


P1050639Leaving the canal, we then once again followed the River Irwell – although only for a short distance. Half a mile later we arrived at our destination, Katsouris….and lunch. Most of the meals were good, Rick and I got the short straw: a tiny meal that took ages to prepare. Having checked out Trip Advisor it seems our experience was very common. That’s such a shame, the Katsouris in Manchester is really excellent.

P1050642 (Late) Lunch at Katsouris, Bury

Martin, Sue and John went off home after eating. Rick, Rob, Phil and I wandered the back streets of Bury, guided by Phil, to the Trackside Bar at the Bury station of the East Lancashire Railway. It’s essential that walkers maintain a good level of hydration, so we rehydrated enthusiastically. It was good.


The Beer Menu of The Trackside Bar

P1050643P1050645Phil and Rob showing off their Tinner’s Rabbits

After a couple of beers each it was time to go home – although not for Phil, he was staying in Bury for a concert. And more beer.

We had a brilliant day out, the route was so much better than I had expected. Although the weather helped enormously, the good company was the icing on the cake. Thanks folks, we’ll plot another Curry Walk soon.

Where we went:

Manchester to Bury Curry Walk 

Around 12.8 miles with norralot of ascent.

More photographs here.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Good Friday 2015, Cycling the Eight

It’s Good Friday so it must be the Mobberley 8

Every Good Friday there’s a bicycle ride around the pubs of Mobberley. It all started in the 1970s and has continued ever since. It’s not organised, it just happens every year. Apart from last year, when I was walking a section of the South West Costal Path, I’ve done the M8 continually since the mid 1980s.

Whilst most cycle around the route, although in previous years there have been some on horseback, a couple of runners, the inevitable walkers….usually those who have a bike that’s let them down – punctures etc.

In the early days the challenge was to get around nine pubs, starting from the Plough and Flail at twelve o’clock midday, and finishing 2 hours later at the Railway. Why nine pubs? Well, the parish of Mobberley has 8 pubs but the route takes you out of the parish to pass another pub. And it could be considered rude to pass the pub by without calling in for a swift one.

In these days of extended pub opening hours the Mobberley Eight still starts at mid-day, but it’s finish is far more relaxing. Many don’t leave the last pub until 6pm.

This year the event was supported by those fine young ladies (?) of the Macclesfield W.I. Well that’s who they said they were. The contents of the teapot were ever so slightly suspect.

At the first pub, The Plough & Flail:





The Frozen Mop:P1040168


 Some ladies appear to have taken a wrong turning – in more ways than one


LJH (on the left) engineer and carpenter extraordinaire‎. He built the machine below.

The ‘8’ always attracts some real feats of engineering contrivance, this year was no exception:

P1040171Front wheel drive: a 24v motor powered by 2 x 12v GelCells. the motor had a reduction drive and further gearing was via a cobbled-together derailleur mechanism hanging off the front forks. It worked but the lack of a soft-start on the motor made for some interesting standing starts.

P1040172 Slightly damp conditions kept many away this year, numbers were definitely down

Two pubs were closed this year, the Stag and the Roebuck. This meant other arrangements needed to be made. One substitution was The Mobberley Victory Hall, purveyors of very fine ales indeed:



 The Victory Hall’s very tasteful dedication to those who fell

The Route:


From Timperley it’s around 25 very gentle miles

A very jolly day, some folk were jollier than others :-)

More photographs here.

Until next year then….