View from Oban Bothy

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

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Tally-Ho! from the Tiger's Head, Norley. 4th Jan 2020

Tales from the Hares....

Hon Pres Park and I met up at the appointed hour and place (the car park of The Tigers Head), and after some faffing around with sawdust, shredded paper, and trail-bags we trotted off, leaving clumps of trail up School Lane and Maddocks Hill to cross over High Street by the Bowling Club.

It was a bit of a chilly morning. The sun was low in the sky but dazzlingly bright, the Winter Solstice had only recently passed. It was easy to miss faint tracks.

The route had been dreamt up by Wells, but contraints on his time (he’s retired) meant he hadn’t had the chance to recce the route on the ground, and family commitments meant he was unable to lay this trail. All the planning had been done on paper. I’d recced a section the day before, this had proved to be A Very Good Thing.

Where we SHOULD have gone
Running (!) south and downhill along the familiar lane we were soon following footpaths through cow fields populated with, er, cows.

Cow fields make for easy trail-laying trail….we knew exactly where to place the sawdust.

By Breach Moss Wood and crossing Small Brook we soon entered Delamere Forest proper where the going was good on the dry forestry tracks.

Now heading west, the sun was no longer doing it’s best to blind us, and we were able to trot along quite happily, dumping sawdust with gay abandon.
Paul had warned me of an almost hidden left turn off the track. It wasn’t marked on my 1:25k map but I’d downloaded the GPX file onto my Garmin Etrex30 – so we found it. The narrow footpath took down to the delightful Dead Lake, a lovely spot where we stopped to take photographs, discuss the state of British politics (woeful) and wonder how many runners would turn out to follow our beautifully laid sawdust trail.

 Dead Lake....dead lovely

We were so full of ourselves that we completely missed our turn-off to exit the forest. Oh well, I needed the exercise.

We eventually exited the forest onto Station Road, close to Delamere Railway Station….and far more importantly, the ice cream shop. We didn’t stop though. Instead we headed west into Delamere ‘park’ along a track that was really quite busy with walkers and cyclists.

We then ran south and uphill through Eddisbury Wood, then west, on good paths, ignoring the many tracks up to Pail Heights which was on the originally planned route. All the tracks were blocked off for forestry / logging so we just continued west to join the Sandstone Trail at Eddisbury Lodge. This was a blessing in disguise, taking in Pale Heights would have extended to route to nearer 10 miles.

Turning right to run north, we dodged walkers, dogs, and cyclists who were out enjoying the lovely weather. More than once we had to explain what we were doing – our explanations seemed to be well received. Or maybe the enquirers were just being polite.

The prescribed route veered off from the Sandstone Trail after a while, no doubt in an attempt to avoid the crowds. This would have been a fine plan, indeed all was going well until Hon Pres Park, running a yard or so ahead of me, suddenly lost 2ft of height – he’d stepped into a fetid, man eating swamp. 

A second later I suffered the same fate. It was clear that further progress along this path was going to be impossible – certainly without the aid of a boat. 

We re-traced our steps and re-joined the busy Sandstone Trail, crossing the wonderfully named Battleaxe Road to get to it.

Our route crossed over a minor road at Barnbridge Gate and we soon once again left the Sandstone Trail. Some muddiness followed.

The forestry tracks zig-zagged to Hatchmere, where we hoped to spot a big blue duck, featured on the OS map. 

No such duck was spotted, but the view over the mere was quite lovely….if you squinted into the still very bright sun.

A short trot down Delamere Road took us by an old Tally-ho! venue, The Carriers (Marstons).

Turning left (North) off the road we followed more tracks and paths to Norley Road, where after an only slightly circuitous route passing by Norley Hall and Home Farm (home of the very tired couple of stiles and the now legally diverted footpath to avoid them) we used the last of our sawdust to lay the final approach to the Tigers Head.

Potter, first man home…

…followed by fast Taylor

The tin bath was put to use, and, for only the second time in the history of the Club, I enjoyed clean water. Perhaps that’s one of the perks of being a trail-layer.

21 sat down to an excellent dinner of beef & mushroom pie and chips (lots) followed by crumble and custard…apart from Merciless who had a meal more suited to his preferences.

The beer was good, with a fine selection which seemed to keep everyone happy. The pub’s "Second Son Distillery" provided gin for those who preferred that sort of thing – it seemed to have been very well received.
Sadly, this was to be the last time we would visit the pub whilst under the management of the very excellent Tracie & John who are moving on to other things, although I gather they will continue their gin production, presumably at another site. 

The route varied in length from 8.23 miles to 8.9 miles – dependent on who’s GPS device was used, and how lost they got.

Thanks to Joe for his help and fine company, and (probably) to Wells who’s damned fool idea it was in the first place.

Where we actually went

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Brian’s Memorial Run, 27th Dec 2019

Words by Wells, Pics by me.

Brian (2nd L) at the 2018 Turkey Trot

The Christmas pud was still very present in our digestion when we assembled to remember Brian by running around muddy fields from the Old No3.

I was still krook so volunteered to help the main man lay the trail. JJ also had a mate, Martin, along so we had plenty to carry the sawdust. 

It was an early start as the runners wanted to set off at 10ish, so we met and were off about 9.

The pub was located on the map and we set off along the road to find the path, only eventually to realise that that wasn’t the correcct pub and we had missed the path.
Scrubbing the trail out as we returned we set off down the path which was directly across from the pub.

We headed off across a muddy field and I thought that the hounds mayhave difficulty following trail until I realised that we had no real idea where we were headed. We circled about until we located the exit from the field and hoped the trail would be good enough. 

Straight across another field to the boundary and the left, following the fence. We were headed towards the motorway as the furthest south.

The day was overcast but not unpleasant after the excess of rain that had plagued the previous days. However that had left an ankle deep layer of mud over all but the firmest surfaces and made to going pretty tough. 

JJ and Martin were worried about being caught so trotted off, leaving me to follow as best I could. They hadn’t made much ground by the time we reached Reddy Lane as it emerged from the motorway bridge. Back on good going we headed back towards the canal before leaving the road right opposite Arthill Farm.

They raced off again and I followed filling in as I felt. Passing by a copse we crossed a field to enter as another. At least they did. By the time I got there 4 horses had galloped down and occupied the space between the entry and exit.

I had to detour into an adjacent field but was unable to get to the correct exit, but ducked through a fence and eventually regained the trail. Out onto Spode Green Lane and down to the A56. I kept the others in sight just about, but they disappeared as we crossed the road and took to the fields again at New Farm. 

They took an unusual route through the first field, ignoring the footpath to take the open gate instead. I caught sight of them as we headed down towards the Swan with Two Nicks, just ahead across the fields.

Exiting the fields onto Park View we turned right and crossed the Bollin before heading straight on into Dunham Massey Park. We ran in front of the old hall almost to the far side, but then turned right to run parallel to Charcoal Road to exit the park at the top end. 

A nip across the road and we entered the woods on the edge of the Dunham Forest Golf and Country Club. There we exhortations the stick to the right of way but these were not indicated so it wasn’t easy. JJ and Martin were somehow just ahead now, so as we did a lazy u-turn to exit the course and drop onto Oldfield Lane I caught them up.

Straight across the road we headed towards Dunham Town, turning right down School Lane past the Axe and Cleaver and joining the canal over the bridge. The Bridgewater was an unpleasant brown colour and we passed a good number of bemused walkers before we left the canal at Woodhouse Lane. We reloaded the trail bags here, and Martin set off putting trail down every few meters as we headed to Dunham Woodhouses. 

At the sharp right corner we left the road on the left and headed past Woolstencroft Farm to Agden Bridge Farm. It was very muddy across here and I was keeping up with the joggers ok. 

We rejoined the canal and headed back towards Dunham Massey but had to cross the canal. So went past the pub to use the tunnel at Little Bollington before returning to the pub along the other canal bank.

I recorded 9.5 miles but the runners made it about 8.5.

Greater Ruddock’s better half, Pauline was first on the scene, followed by Geof Walley with Aussie Daughter and Grandson. Slowly the others arrived and some partook of the small bath JJ had provided in the gents.

Shotgun was accompanied by Riley, Murray and Biker Eastwood walked with Doggie Burston and arrived back with Pres Park. 

Riley was joined by his better half and we all enjoyed a meal and a beer or two.

Not many photos I’m afraid:

A rather miserable looking River Bollin

Martin & Paul heading back to the pub

For Alan R

Where the Hares went:

Thanks to Paul for his report, and to Martin for his help in laying trail.
Martin’s report, which includes rather more photographs, is here.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

A Day Out in Lancashire, 2nd Nov 2019

It was a typical Lancashire autumn day as we gathered at the Royal Arms for our annual visit. Dull, grey and raining but not particularly cold. 

The hostelry had recently changed hands but there was little change evident with both fires blazing and the rooms dotted with dogs. We dragged ourselves reluctantly out to see what Ridings and JJ had produced for us.

They herded us across the road and down through the woods to the Upper Roddlesworth Reservoir and then headed along to the Lower Roddlesworth Reservoir. 

A brief trot through Roddlesworth Woods and then it was Rake Brook reservoir. This was the last of the water we saw in organised areas, from here on it was liberally spread over the paths we were trying to run on.

The drizzle was continuous as we approached the Hare and Hounds at Abbey Village. We were too wet and muddy to pop in for a quick one so carried on over the road and out onto the open moor. We circled an old quarry then headed southish through ankle deep paths. 

The going was pretty good and while the trail was a little sparse it kept us on our toes and all found their way round. We skirted the high moors here and eventually found our way to the road near Watson’s Farm.
There was a tricky right then left which a few briefly missed. The turn off the road was vague and then headed down what appeared to be a small stream to meet the River Roddlesworth and the main track.

While the trail had not been exactly flat so far, this was the start of the major climb. The path rose steadily through Tockholes No 3 Plantation and past Hollinshead Hall to reach the road at Thorny Bank Plantation.
We crossed the road then ran parallel to it until turning left to climb up onto the moors.  

Through the col between Cartridge Hill and White Hill then picking up the main track across Darwen Moor before veering left and heading for the Tower. A brief look at the view then continue along the ridge to drop down through the fields and back to Ryal Folds where the drizzle finally abated so that we could get changed in the car park.

A large group of runners had set out, Wells, Biker Eastwood, Skint Wilson, Lesser Ruddock, Leech and Potter. They had become separated during the run and finished one by one. Fast Taylor set of early due to lack of training and Greater Ruddock a little after him. 

First off were DingDong Bell and Old Markham who wisely chose to forgo the entire route and met us at the car park. Brown strode manfully taking photos of the participants and a shortcut to get back in good time. Murray and Riley set off a little later, and then Shotgun and McHarry. The latter
managed to overtake everyone on their way round.

Lastly Time Norman and his brother Chris set out. They were a little late and took their time, only arriving back late but safe.

We assembled in the room of the pub and sampled their excellent beer, revelling in the warmth and lack of rain. 

The meal was served promptly when we asked, and while the portions initially disappointed they proved to be adequate and very tasty. Lamb hotpot but much better than our usual fare. This was followed by an excellent apple crumble and all
DingDong Bell asked for was a tenner.

An excellent trail, meal and venue!

You can’t not like this video by Evie Hargreaves (you may have to download Vimeo to view)

Words (mostly) by Wells, other words and all pics by me. Apart from the video by Evie Hargreaves….thanks to my mate Cheryl for this.

Note that some of these photos were taken on a recce – when the sun was shining.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

October 2018

Now that I seem to have worked out a not-very-complicated Open LiveWriter method of posting photographs that works (for now), here are some more:

My Tarte Santiago – thanks to Rita for the recipe 

6th October: Cheshire Hare & Hounds Tally-Ho! trail run from Sparrowpit. A cracking route but a not-very-good venue:

The Hounds…well, some of them

Wells & Injured Wislon returning to base

Only a couple of photos (and a Whinge Warning) from my bike ride to Lymm:

Car parking problems are becoming, er, more problematic. The TransPennine Trail car park in Broadheath is used by those working in the nearby offices and factories. There simply isn’t enough car parking space available, nor is there anything like a decent public transport system in place. Ironically the TransPennine Trail, at this point, follows the course of the railway line that was ripped up as part of the Beeching cuts.

Another sad sight (site?), a matter of a hundred yards or so from the car park above. The Bay Malton pub, once frequented by workers from the adjacent Broadheath industrial area, is now closed.

October is Warburton Souling Play preparation time. We always have a rehearsal, just to make sure that we remember the words and actions from the previous years. And then we retire to to Saracen’s Head in Warburton to compare notes….and drink beer. I couldn’t perform in the play this time round – I had to go to Florida. Again.

The Gang with a potential Souler on his first Play outing

Three generations of Soulers…probably.

And now for something completely different, a quick and tasty dinner of chicken and roast vegetables:

Another trip to Florida:

When it it rains in Florida it gets very wet:

I bought a couple of these filters from Walmart in Clearwater – I didn’t realise that Sawyer are based about 3 miles from our Florida apartment.

Some photos to remind me of our Florida apartment, prior to it being sold. Dad was never happier when he was here, he looked forward to his annual 6 month stays. It was good to see him so happy. I’ll miss the apartment for that.

Ho hum.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Hayfield & New Mills Running, Saturday 23rd March 2019

Well Dear Readers, spring has officially commenced as we assembled at the Lantern Pike at Little Hayfield. 

Spring was definitely some way in the past, however, for the majority of the assemblees, and few of those could even run to a spring in their step. 

It was a fine spring day with plenty of warm sun although a cool breeze. Skint Wilson and Doggie Burston had devised a suburban route to the surprise of the hounds, interspaced with patches of the normal farmland.

The route headed down the road from the hostelry then crossed to Primrose Lane which we followed across Hollingworth Clough then the first part of our wilderness experience led us uphill to pass below Uppercliffe Farm. It then dropped back down to the road, along a bit then down to pass the sewage works and cross the River Sett. 

Just past the reservoir we turned right on the Sett ValleyTrail. This led us along a disused railway all the way to New Mills. Here we entered the Urban part of the run.

At Torr Top we left the trail just after the railway headed through the hill in a closed off tunnel. A brief sojourn through the streets and we arrived back in the river valley just above the confluence of the Goyt and Sett.
It’s an area of industrial history with mills still standing and viaducts across the gorge. It was very picturesque in the sunshine.

We followed the River Goyt for a while, sparkling in the sunshine, then turned left to Goytside Farm. 

It then headed to Beard Hall Farm.
This one was memorable because it was a little dirty and my
new boots suffered a baptism of cow shit. Oh well.

It then led us along an infrequently used path to Brownhill Farm, along the road before starting a long climb up towards Moor Lodge. We were back in the countryside and on normal TallyHo territory.

There were wonderful views of Kinder in the distance and other hills I didn’t recognise as I approached the summit of the run which was marked by a TV mast. It was then downhill, apart from the climb up to Ridge Top, then a sharp descent into Hayfield.

The trail led us through the urban jungle of Hayfield to emerge on the far side and follow Bank Vale Road. It then led us along the track of Middle Fields to emerge on Primrose Lane to then follow the out trail the short way back to the pub.

 Catching up with the hares, Doggie Burston and Skint Wislon

Wells the Elder had walked the route due to a damaged toe and was only overtaken by the fast boys and Potter, who looked very trim after his retirement. 

Shortly after my arrival the rest showed up. Bakewell Brown was in the pub having cycled over after getting the time wrong and not making it to the start in time to do the run.

We purchased refreshments and sat down around the tables allotted to us, but the food was some time arriving due to an organisational cock up (we didn’t ask for it) so more refreshments had to be ordered.

Bread arrived and disappeared then a large plate of hotpot. Very good it was too. Potter and Park and Phil had to leave before the Apple Pie arrived. 

The refreshments were consumed, although some had taken the opportunity to refill more often and then we left. 

15 sat for the meal and all left very happily.

Late Taylor Had taken a trip to India in the space between this and the last run and had only arrived back earlier in the morning, but he didn’t let that stop him being on hand to collect the dues.

Where we went:

8.3 miles (ish) with around 1200ft of ascent (and descent).

Words by Wells
Pics by JJ

Socially distanced music session. 24th June 2020

…with cake! Ed kindly offered the use of his back garden to sit and play music whilst maintaining a safe and sensible distance from one...