View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Quarry Bank Mill History – advanced warning

If you're remotely interested in the history of the cotton industry, enjoy fine song and music, then this is for you.

Trebuchet are terrific - superb performers....and thoroughly nice guys.

Highly recommended.

Saturday 12th March 2022

Rainow Institute,

Stocks Ln, Rainow, Macclesfield SK10 5XR


Saturday, 4 December 2021

Tally-Ho! The Black Bull, Edgworth 4/12/2021

The weather was more than a bit dire.

Driving (crawling) around the M60 and then the A666 to eventually get to Edgworth, I was having serious thoughts about the wisdom of ‘running’ 8 miles in such cold, windy, sleety conditions. My car was buffeted more than once on the journey, I deliberately kept my speed down – visibility wasn’t brilliant.

Hon Pres Park was found sheltering in his car when I arrived in the car park of the Black Bull in Edgworth. We reported to the pub, ticked our names off the list, and away we went. Well away Joe went, I was 10 minutes behind him, a time difference maintained throughout the route.

My feet were soaked within a few minutes of running, it wasn’t that long before the rest of me was wet-through too, such were the conditions.

I teamed up with Mssrs Wells and Brown as we searched for in indication as to which direction we should be headed in a waterlogged field. We stuck together for the rest of the trail.

Trail was a little eratic, but it was initially relatively easy to follow from the pub – better than last time anyway. The route led through the Holcombe Moor Firing Range, thankfully bullets weren’t flying today – too wet probably.

Continuing eastwards and upwards I began to suspect that the sawdust trail was going to lead us up to Peel Tower, but at almost the last minute we turned north, along a good, if rather flooded track. 

We turned west and downhill (for a while anyway) along a river of a footpath. Me feet were so cold that I couldn’t feel my toes – good encouragement to keep moving.

Hon Pres Park’s distinctive bright running top could be seen bobbing up and down in the distance – a good clue for where we had to go next. Ish.

For Dawn and AlanR

We only spotted the two tractors after we'd missed trail, we shouldn't have gone that way at all. 

Eventually back at the pub, it was clear that the trail layers had decided that conditions were bad enough to have shortened the route, I think everyone was very grateful – including me.

In spite of running in a good waterproof jacket and hat, I was completeley wet through and a bit too cold. I sat in my car for 10 – 15 minutes with the heater on and drank a mug of hot coffee. As the feeling returned to my bits I legged it into the pub, the sleet was being driven hard by the hoolie of a gale.

A good and warming meal of steak pie & chips, followed by apple pie and custard, all washed down with a pint TT Landlord, really hit the spot.

Then, looking forward to hopefully better conditions in a fortnight, we all went home – some via another pub.

Not me: I went straight home and soaked in a hot bath. Bliss!

Where we went:

Around 6.5 miles, with around 950’ of up and down.

PS: You should go to the Black Bull, it’s really excellent: good beer, good food, and lovely people. Norralot to dislike.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Preston Guild Wheel Walk 28th Nov 2021

An East Lancs LDWA production

I collected After Eights Walker Kay from Handforth at 7.30am (the one in the morning) to drive north to Preston and to go for a bit of a walk.

It was very cold, –4degC, and with sleet & snow forecast for later in the morning I was glad to be wearing my Buffalo top.

15 walkers and two doggies gathered at Preston’s Marriott Hotel, Broughton, in time for a good talking-to by Hilary, the walk leader.

After a quick photo-shoot we shot off (this is the LDWA) to walk the Preston Guild Wheel, described as:  A 21 mile circular route that can be ridden or walked in any direction for as far as you want. You can join the route at any point on the way.

The route is mainly off-road and traffic free, providing a scenic and safe cycling and walking route for all the family to use. Use the map to help plan your route around the entire Guild Wheel or to create shorter cycling and walking routes to suit your location and ability.’

I chose to walk in Salomon walking / trail shoes, Kay wore boots – she suffered sore feet after a while, but being a bit of a tough ‘un, she soldiered on to the end.

The route is generally on a good surface, tarmac etc, although there were a few muddy bits.

This was the day after Storm Arwen the cause of a huge amount of damage up and down the country, but mainly up. It wasn’t long before we came across one of the storm’s casualties.

As we started following the banks of the River Ribble it started to sleet & snow, not much at first, but the sky suggested we’d be under attack from the white stuff for a while yet.

Preston Dock is no longer a working dock, but it’s now home to all manner of pleasure craft, and has been renamed Preston Marina. This wasn’t the best day to see it, even so it’s quite impressive.

Remains of the long-since vanished ship building industry are still visible if you look hard:


Hilary was expecting the cafe at Avenham Park to be open, but the place was in darkness – daft really, the park was full of visitors, the weather poor, I’m sure it would have done good business.

We snuck under a shelter and sat on the ground to eat our butties and drink our coffee. In true LDWA fashion we were off again after 20 minutes, again following the course of the River Ribble...which had a lot of bridges crossing it:



It was really great to see Julie after 3 years - almost to the day!


We spent a lot of the walk catching up and comparing notes.....a lot has happened in three years!


I'm not sure where or what this magnificent building is, other than being located before Brockholes, but I just had to photograph it.


Kay with Peter




Mud!We continued following the meandering river until we had passed through Brockholes Nature Reserve when we walked NNW to a cafe where tea and coffee were quickly gulped down…..not quickly enough though, the two minute warning of impending departure came very quickly.

It was now getting cold. Ice formed on the well surfaced paths and many were skidding, slipping and sliding all over the show, I don’t think anyone actually hit the deck, but it was a close run thing.

We were marched through Hindley Hill Woods and on (apparently) passing Broughton Hall and Cromwell’s Mound. I didn’t see them, I was concentrating on staying upright on the ice-rink of a path.

We were now on final approach to The End. It was quite dark and getting very misty by the time we got back to our iced-up cars.

We bade our farewells to Hilary and the rest of the group, some of whom decided the hotel bar would be a good place for a debrief….and a beer no doubt.

We, on the other hand, sat in the car with the heater on and had a nice hot coffee before hitting the road home.

Thanks to Hilary for leading, and to the other walkers who came along – it was great to see you all again, it’s been too long!

Where we went:

21.8 miles (according to my GPS), with 1000’ of up and downery. Hmmm, not sure about that.

Whatever, the GPS reckoned we’d been on the go for just under 8 hours, 40 minutes of which was spent on breaks. That bit was about right.

Conrad’s Jet Provost

Reading Conrad’s impressive efforts at putting together various model aircraft kits in his blog entry here, brought to mind a Burns Night Ceilidh I played at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in January 2019.

Accommodation was provided for the band on the base, described as a major flying training centre – well it was until 2020 when all training was transferred to RAF Valley.

Hanging on the walls of the officer’s mess were a number of rather nice pictures, illustrating some of the station’s history.

Photos from the evening:

The station is now closed, last I heard it was being put up for sale.

That is all.

Quarry Bank Mill History – advanced warning

If you're remotely interested in the history of the cotton industry, enjoy fine song and music, then this is for you. Trebuchet are te...