Settling into September

Wednesday September 25th. Three courses and the 19th hole. 13 miles. Leader: Peter Ault.


On what turned out to be a dry day after the deluge of the day before, 19 optimistic walkers and 3 dogs set off on the walk. The first challenge was crossing George’s Lane with out any casualties due to the traffic thundering past! Thankfully this was a success and after this it was onwards and upwards to Two Lads, then on to the mast to join the Lancashire Way. The morning break was taken at a small reservoir known to some as Bolton Beach.

From here the route led us through the fields to arrive at Barrow Bridge. The next leg took us across Old Links and then Bolton golf courses, and then finally through Regents Park. Having visited the three courses it was now time to make it to the 19th hole at the Jolly Crofters pub, and the just rewards for our effort!! 




Sunday September 22nd. The Burnley Way Part 2. 23 miles. Leader: Michael Bushby.


Sunday morning dawned grim in its soggiest form.   Donning my boots, gaiters and waterproofs at the start of the walk I thought of a John Cooper Clarke poem about the town:  


I'll tell you now and I'll tell you firmly

I don't never want to go to Burnley

What they do there don't concern me

Why would anybody make the journey?


Well, thankfully 5 others besides me didn't share these sentiments.


After skirting Ightenhill and Whittlefield the route picked up the Leeds and Liverpool canal past the Weavers' Triangle and along the sublime straight mile - 60 feet above the town centre with Burnley bus station on the left, Turf Moor on the right.  We briefly walked along the River Brun, the lea of which provides the origin of the town's name, then headed through Heasandford and Houghton Hag Woods.  Off the Burnley Way via stepping stones to Worsthorne (splitting the 40-mile loop) and back on it to Towneley Hall for lunch against a classy backdrop.  The rain had eased but the fine views were shrouded in grey pretty much all day.  


The main uphill stretch of the day bisected the deserted golf course and took us over Crown Point Road, close to Clowbridge Reservoir, then up Hambledon Hill.  We decided to deviate slightly from an unpleasant section of path to reach the summit, which although boggy was worthwhile.  Downhill to Hapton and Padiham, disturbing a barn owl in a tree just above a stile on the way (we got on that BarnOwl'sWick - very good, Ron!) and along the Calder valley with views of two grand establishments: Gawthorpe Hall and Burnley FC's training ground.  Finally, up t'lane (Ightenhill Park ____) to a brew and cake chez mum and dad Bushby.


2800' ascent, a smidge under 23 miles.  The weather couldn't detract from a smashing walk, though it's a lot better when there are views to be had.  Thanks a bunch to those that made the journey.




Click here to see Michael's pictures.


Thanks to Jane for the pictures below.



Wednesday September 18th. Broughton Hall and Elslack Reservoir. 13 miles. Leader: Chris Langabeer.



17 walkers left the Tempest Arms car park on an overcast day with no rain in the forecast. The route took us over Elslack Bridge, past the grade 1 listed building of All saints Church to reach the ornate Lodge at the entrance to Broughton Hall, the home of the Tempest Family for 800 years. We continued over undulating country side to arrive at the village of Carleton in Craven. (here one hawk eyed member of the group saw a £5 note floating in a stream and duly fished it out!)

Next came some uphill walking to pass the Carlton Park shooting lodge. The uphill theme continued over Carlton Biggin to reach a height of 294m. Lunch was taken here with great views of the Yorkshire Dales.

The route took us over meadow and moorland to reach Elslack Reservoir. Then after a short woodland stretch a narrow road was taken, (all downhill, the marble really did roll back to the cars)

After a change of footwear 16 walkers sampled the delights of the Tempest Arms.

Thanks to every one for coming, hope you all enjoyed the walk.




Wednesday September 11th. Rooley Moor Merry Dance. 9 miles. Leader: Peter Steckles.


Three dogs and eleven hardy souls met at Healey Corner for a 9+ mile walk in what was forecast to be less than favourable conditions. Rain was forecast until after noon.

Don, who had recced the walk with Peter came to see us off, but was unable to join us. Don took the group photo then wished us luck as we set off.

Dropping down to the Dell, we climbed the steps and crossed the magnificent railway viaduct, where we met a couple of Green Volunteer chaps who were replacing a gate which had previously been destroyed by a ne'r do well who stole a 5 ton dumper truck and drove it through three metal farm gates before abandoning it in Shawclough. Some people know how to have fun...

So do we, and by this time the forecast rain had completely stopped, so we climbed Knacks Lane and crossed Rooley Moor Road to reach the information board at the top of Woodhouse Lane. This board showed the series of 4 x 3 mile walks which have been commissioned by the Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum in the form of 4 booklets. This walk uses 3 of the four loops which meander all over Rooley Moor like a demented hill walker... Link to RMNF for some history of the Moors.

Dropping down past Greenbooth Reservoir (now obscured for most of the way by a plantation of trees to protect the valley side), we turned left to re-cross Woodhouse Lane where morning coffee was taken.

We set off again and after a short climb up the fields, it was noticed that the back marker was missing. So we stopped and sent search parties looking for him, and after thirty minutes, could find no trace. Having searched all likely spots, and as many of the group were feeling the cold, we reluctantly set off on the walk. Several phone calls went unanswered, but we knew the back-marker was a resourceful chap and we decided he would make his way back to the cars. I guess the moral of the story is to tell the walk leader if you have to go back to retrieve your lost Tilley Hat... And always have your phone with you in your pocket - not in the car. 

Lunch taken just off Rooley Moor Road. Then across Rooley Moor towards the long gone Moorcock pub. I say towards, because a referendum was held and we decided to get out of the wind and return down Rooley Moor Road where it was a bit more sheltered. This would never happen on Stormin Norman's walks...

Returning along Knacks Lane we past Prickshaw Hamlet, down Prickshaw Lane to return via the disused Bacup Branch line to Station Road and the evocative Healey Dell and back to the cars.


Thanks to all for turning out on what promised to be a very wet morning, but turned out to be a blustery 'bracing' day on the moors. A truly Rooley Moor Merry Dance!!!




Click here to see Peter's Pictures




Sunday September 8th. The Burnley Way Part 1. 24 miles. Leader: Michael Bushby.


It was on a social walk earlier this summer that I realised it was 5 years since I'd led The Burnley Way, my first for East Lancs.  I mentioned this to Viv, who said "Well, it's about time you did it again!"  Obedient as ever, I fixed it up for the following set of walks.  Which is how 12 of us came to gather in Worsthorne on a crisp, sunny morning last Sunday.

The 40-mile circuit of Lancashire's finest milltown narrows like a figure of 8 so that by cutting through Worsthorne it's possible to make two similar length loops and avoid linear faff.  This was the eastern portion, in a nutshell as follows:

From the village centre down to stepping stones to join the Way proper in Houghton Hag Wood. Past the sad ruin of Extwistle Hall, up t' Ogglty Gogglty brook (brilliant name) to Harle Syke.  We paused for cultural input at Queen Street Mill, last working steam-powered weaving mill in the world (please visit - only £3/2 for a tour and significant location in Bushby family heritage.

Head east, young man, past the allotment (t' pen) where 50 years ago my grandad would shoo the geese and hens with a "Get airt of it!", through Stephen Hay Wood and along timeless Thursden Brook to climb the road towards Hardcastle Crags.  Watch for the right fork to gently but unevenly ascend above shimmering Widdop Reservoir.  Then with firm Pennine Bridleway track underfoot, back west to Hurstwood Reservoir.

Here we stopped for lunch 'On the rocks'.  The gorgeous setting was enhanced(?) by a Youtube rendition of the unofficial Burnley anthem "The Best Dreams Begin With B", a late-70s ad for the local Building Society.  (Have a listen and brighten your day  Pauline sang along, I boogied, and the crowd bayed for more.  I think.  I do know it was an ear worm for the rest of the walk.

Back to The Way...  Lovely Elizabethan Hurstwood, then Shedden Clough with its piles of grassed-over lime-mining residue, like a city for Teletubbies.  Long Causeway, Paul Clough, down-up-down, to reach Portsmouth and a mid-afternoon break with succulent freshly-picked blackberries.

A bit of a drag up a track to gain height to Heald Moor (not as bad as I remembered from 2014) then the reward of high broad ridge-walking with fabulous 360-degree views across Lancashire and Yorkshire.  From the high-point of Thievely Pike, steeply down to Cliviger and across fields to Worsthorne.

I've banged on about what a belter of a route The Burnley Way is.  Over a well-earned drink in the Crooked Billet my walking acquaintances agreed.  I can hardly wait for Part 2 in a fortnight.

4000'+ ascent and bang on 24 miles, by the way.  




Click here to view Michael's pictures.




Wednesday September 4th. A Breath of Fresh Air. 14 miles. Leader: Norman Thomas.


23 walkers and 3 dogs

What can I say?  East Lancs did me proud.  This was the 11th year of the walk, the weather was very kind to us.  We did the walk anticlockwise with a planned dinner stop at the parachute club.  Unfortunately the club was closed because of high winds but we sat at the picnic benches. 

We then made our way to Cockerham Village, onwards to the Lancaster canal and then Stodday village to the old disused railway track.  Back into Conder Green and the Stork Hotel where Viv did a brilliant job of repairing the signing in book. 

What a wonderful day for my 80th birthday.  I managed 14 ½ miles, the longest I have done since my illness. 

Thanks to all,

Stormin Norman



Sunday September 1st. Norman's Birthday Charabanc trip to Blackpool. 9 miles.


The 80th birthday of Stormin' Norman Thomas got off to a great start with 43 people (and Ellie) making the trip to Blackpool to walk through the lights.

The day started with even more people at Norman's Apartments where tea and coffee was available. There were speeches and a surprise birthday cake before those on the coach (and the one car that went) boarded to make the journey to the Lowther Gardens at Lytham. Here we all enjoyed a meal before making the short trip to St Annes, where the coach with 3 non walkers left us to go on to Norbreck Castle.

The rest of us walked up to Squires Gate arriving at 8pm just as the lights were switched on. We then made our way along the prom up to Norbreck to rejoin the coach for the journey home. A good time was had by all. The weather was a little unkind for the last half an hour but what is Blackpool without a little rain? Thanks to Viv for the idea etc, Alma and Dave for their superb organisation with the money and meals and to all of you for coming and making the day special for Norman.

We did hold a collection on the bus for the Dementia cafe that Norman supports. This raised £116, thank you everyone.


Click here to see Peter's pictures.