View from Oban Bothy

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

Friday, 9 September 2016

A Breath of Fresh Air, 7th Sept 2016

…or Norman’s Birthday Walk

 

Badge

Norman’s got this thing about lighthouses. If there’s even the slightest chance of including one in a walk it’s a dead cert that he’ll incorporate it somehow. This has led to many a sorry tale of navigation gone wrong, too many miles etc.

But today we decided to humour him, he’d just had his birthday y’see and advancing years are taking their toll on the old bugger.

‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ is a route that Norman devised when he was a young whippersnapper of 70, Each year, around his birthday, he leads this walk in the (vain) hope that fellow members of the East Lancs LDWA will buy him lots of beer at the apres. Fortunately the members are wise to his ways and he always ends up having to put his hand in his pocket. It’s tough being a retired plumber.

P1030826

The Wednesday Chapter of the East Lancs LDWA in all their finery and glory

After a quick pre-flight check and photo call we left Conder Green’s Pay & Display Car Park (which was free ‘cos the ticket machine was jammed) and walked north along a disused railway track

The sun shone strongly and lashings of ginger beer sun cream were (was?) being applied to bare bits of flesh in an attempt to avoid nasty sunburn.

P1030828

Norman sped off, leaving us in his wake. It was a devil of a job to catch him up.

Norm1

Norman checking that his followers are, er, following him.

P1030827

At Aldcliffe a call for elevenses went out, it was only 3 miles or so into the walk but it was hot and I don’t think anyone objected to such an early stop. A convenient wall provided seating, trees provided a little but much needed shade.

P1030832

P1030830

The Lancaster Canal, our view from the elevenses stop.

Suitably rested, fed and watered, Norman once again sped off – now heading south along the western bank of the Lancaster Canal.

P1030834

After four miles of fast-ish flatness our leader decided it was time for his troops to lunch at a lovely lock-side spot, just south of Galgate. This was a very leisurely affair – there was plenty of time to catch up with all the current LDWA scandal and gossip…..but I’m sworn to secrecy – so no boddice ripping tales will pass my lips. Well not until the dust has settled.

P1030842

Norman in Lunch Mode

Our route left the canal towpath and we headed towards St Michael and All Angels Church in Cockeram, a fine bulding if ever there was one. I’ve been this way on other walks and have always wanted a peek inside. Bits of the building date back to 1589, there’s little doubt that parts are considerably older. Today a service was being conducted so once again my plan for a quick church explore was foiled. Curses.

P1030847

  St Michael and All Angels Church, Cockerham

A couple of miles further and another stop beckoned, this time for cold drinks and ice creams – very welcome in such high temperatures. The venue for this much needed stop was the airfield at Cockerham, home of the Black Knights Parachute Team. As with previous visits to the airfield, the team were in action – and what a glorious day to be pushed out of an aeroplane at 15,000 ft.

P1030859

P1030857

P1030853

Doggies weren’t allowed close to the airfield, so whilst we enjoyed our cooling refreshments and watched the aerial display the pooches were left tied up in the airfield’s car park.

P1030861

Eschewing NORM1, our leader takes to the hoof ….Barbara looks on in amazement

Leaving the airfield by the tradesmen’s entrance we were marched towards the coast – and a fine example of salt marsh:

P1030862

The next point of interest, Cockersand Abbey, looks nothing like an abbey – it looks more a little chapel / church, a fine build nonetheless:

P1030867

Cockersand Abbey

Just visible from the abbey is Plover Scar Lighthouse, set off the coast, in the River Lune estuary. Although the lighthouse is small and isn’t normally manned, apparently it offers some very basic accommodation and a fireplace – presumably in case lighthouse staff were marooned because of bad weather.

P1030868

Plover Scar Lighthouse (Black Combe in the distance?)

The lighthouse suffered a bit of a prang earlier this year, a passing vessel barged into it causing some damage to the cast iron structure. It still works as a lighthouse but is currently undergoing repairs by a specialist welding company.

Northwards now, heading towards the fleshpots of Glasson Dock, world famous for it’s docks. Although still officially a working sea port, it seems to be more suited to leisure craft these days – it has quite an extensive marina.

P1030869

Following the coastal path to Glasson Dock

P1030873

P1030875

P1030874

P1030876

One for Alan R

P1030878

P1030877

Glasson Dock Marina

P1030880

Nearly back!

16 miles from the start:

P1030881

P1030883

Norman in Rehydration Mode:

P1030885

P1030886

So that was that. A flat 16 mile walk in excellent company, stories told, beer drunk….and then we all went home for tea.

Thanks to Norman for leading the walk and everyone else who walked the route – you all made it a grand day out. Thanks!

Where we went:

Breath of Fresh Air route 

16 miles of flat niceness.

Links:

More photographs here

Route details on ViewRanger

East Lancs LDWA ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ webpage

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sunday 20th March 2016, 31st Two Crosses Circuit

 

Tottering around Tottington

I try to enter this event each year…apart from being a good excuse for a walk in good company it means that I don’t need to make my tea when I get home, the catering on the East Lancs LDWA Two Crosses Circuit is legendary. Judith took part with me last year, but the thought of having to walk with me for another day was enough to put the poor girl off. Anyroadup, in a moment of absolute madness, Alistair agreed to join me on the day’s walk.

The field of around 190 walkers and runners were gathered in the event centre in sunny Tottington, drinking tea and scoffing the toast that the Club had thoughfully provided for the participants. It was good to see Martin, Steve B and his mate Steve at the start. They were doing the 25 mile route, Alistair and I had opted for the more leisurely 17 mile option.

P1060319

L > R: Steve, Steve B, Martin, Alistair, ready for the off

At 8am the field set off. Martin ran off and the two Steves soon pulled away from Alistair & me – we were out for a more laid-back day. Conditions were perfect: it wasn’t raining and the ground was quite dry, within half an hour of starting out the sun came out to cheer us on our way.

P1060320

Looking towards Egerton & Chapeltown

P1060321

P1060322

P1060323

Jumbles Reservoir

P1060324

A modern Peak & Northern Footpaths sign

P1060325

T’Tower at Turton

Even though we were towards the rear of the field were making good time and arrived at the main food checkpoint with time for a good sit-down and chat with those manning (and womaning) the checkpoint. We probably stayed for 50 mins, long enough to see the first few runners (doing the 25 mile route) come in. We enjoyed firsts, seconds, and, er, thirds – the Greek salad was just delicious. As was the pork pie. And the fresh fruit salad….and all the other goodies.

P1060328

Checkpoint 4: lovely food!

Very reluctantly we eventually dragged ourselves away from the cheery East Lancs folk and their feast of a feast. Trying to walk briskly after a slap up meal wasn’t easy – but it had to be done.

P1060329

Turton & Entwistle Reservoir

Heading East now, our next objective was Bull Hill & Holcombe Moor, an area used by the armed forces so they can practice shooting at each other whilst covered in peaty mud. Very little mud today though, the recent dry spell had made walking across the normally evilly-squelchy really quite straightforward.

P1060333 Wind-up windmills decorate the moors & hills of Lancashire

Just to the north of Bull Hill is the infamous Naughty Corner, otherwise known as Checkpoint 6. All manner of naughty drinkies are available here: sherry, rum, whiskey….and other beverages too no doubt. Alistair and I resisted temptation but took advantage of the dry ground for a leisurely sit down in the warm sunshine and a damned good chat with those manning the check. Runners and walkers flew through as we chilled in the good company.

P1060334

An orange cap came bouncing down from the direction of the top of Bull Hill, slightly off-route - it was Martin. After a nip of something or other Martin joined us for much of the rest of the walk.

Marching south now, our route took us over Harcles Hill, and on to Peel Tower. This was the last climb of any significance of the day. There were loads of day walkers out, this is a popular area – especially on a sunny day like today.

P1060335 

Pilgrims Cross, Holcombe Moor

P1060336

Wind-up windmills and quarries of Knowle Hill and Harden Moor

P1060339

Peel Tower

P1060341

Peel Tower. And Alistair.

P1060342

South over Bolton, Ramsbottom & Bury, Manchester and the Peak District beyond

P1060343

Evidence of sheep literacy problems. It wouldn’t happen dahn sarf.

The next stage involves a steep decent through Redisher Woods, notorious for being slippy and slimy. If you got this far in the walk without getting covered in mud or sliding on your bum, this bit would ensure you finished splattered in the brown stuff (ask Judith). Not this year though. The ground was dry and we enjoyed a relatively quick and easy decent. 

P1060344

Martin entering Redisher Woods

P1060345

Alistair exiting the woods

P1060349

Looking back at Redisher Woods, it doesn’t look difficult at all

The final checkpoint (7), manned by the ever cheery Sue & Steve, came and went. We were now on the final leg of the walk, easy walking over footpaths, across a golf course and a section of disused railway line.

Once on the disused railway Alistair increased his stride, eager to equal or even beat his previous time of 6hrs 37mins (he equalled it) and Martin jogged off to get a good time. I couldn’t be mithered – I was wearing boots so running really wasn’t on anyway. As it happens I came in at 6hrs 38mins. I’m sure we could have easily knocked 30-40 minutes off our time if we’d have shaped ourselves at the checkpoints, but we were out for a walk and not a race.

Good food at the finish - home made soups, butties, Manchester Tart (especially Manchester Tart!) and loads of other goodies, ensured that nobody would need their tea when they got home. The East Lancs Catering Corps strike again!

A great day out (again!), my very grateful thanks to Alistair, Martin, the Steves, my Mum, and of course the East Lancs LDWA for putting on the Two Crosses – it really is a fine event. Special thanks must go to East Lancs members Paul & Alison. They have organised the event for the last 6 years and are now standing down to do other stuff in the group. The new organisers, Cordon Bleu Viv & Caroline are taking over – I’m sure the event is in safe hands. If nothing else the food will be brilliant!

Where we went (clockwise):

Route

17miles with around 2200’ of up and downery