December, Christmas Jollies Time

Wednesday December 18th. 'Ast sin mi Dad?' Remembering the 344. 14 miles. Leader: Hilary Scott.


A dozen hardy walkers and 2 dogs met on a cold and misty December morning. Was it like that for the 344 miners who were killed in a mining disaster on 21st December 1910? Leaving the car park we made our way over to the first memorial sited just off Broadway where the names and ages of all the miners are recorded. The youngest was just 13 and it was his first day down the pit. Up into the woods where the capped shafts are and along to Hall Lee Park in Westhoughton. A stop outside the closed library where the picture 'Ast sin mi Dad?' is hung and to another memorial park for morning coffee. Past a new memorial bench to Tony Berry of the Houghton Weavers and into the Churchyard where 141 miners were buried including a mass grave for the unidentified.

Over to Westhoughton Golf club and as we made our way to Borsdane Wood we saw a deer making a graceful jump over a fence. Through Borsdane and turning we made our way towards Wingates where lunch was taken in a small park.

Crossing the A6 we looked into the Churchyard where 45 miners are buried including a memorial to the Tyldesley family. Miriam Tyldesley lost her husband, four sons and two brothers in the disaster. Over the Motorway and along to Chulsey Gate, up Lock Lane where Maude left us to go home for a well deserved rest. From Hunger Hill we walked to Top o'th Cow Reservoir and down through the fields to return to Cutacre. The day remained cold with a cutting wind but no rain thank goodness, plenty of mud on the ground though!

Thanks to all who came and remembered. Norman, we had mince pies and sweets!! That'll teach you to miss a walk! A few of us also enjoyed an after walk drink at Pine Tree Farm, we admired the enormous cakes on offer but decided they were just to large to eat!




Sunday December 15th. Cristmas Cracker 2019. 13 miles. Leader: Norman Thomas.


45 walkers and 4 dogs started from Rivington, over to the castle, round by the reservoir then on to Heath Charnock over some muddy fields.  Then on to the Leeds/Liverpool canal tow path to Limbrick and the Black Horse pub at 11:45 for our hot pot lunch.  The pub was warm and the staff friendly, service was great and the food was hot - very good indeed.  I think we all enjoyed it and a big thanks to Margaret and her staff for everything.

After lunch we continued up to Healey Nab where we had a short Christmas carol sing song and a minute silence for absent friends.  Then back to Rivington in the rain. 

Thanks to everybody for making the day complete. 


PS: We raised £114 for the Sally Army local branch in Bolton.


Thank you to Jane for the pictures below.

Hilary's pictures.


Wednesday December 11th. Two Towns and Two Villages. 9.5 mile Plodder Walk. Leader:Mike Lee.


Six walkers and Fudge (but no photographers) met on a sunny, crisp morning to explore two towns and two villages.


We set out along the disused Earby to Skipton railway track to our first village, Thornton-in-Craven. In Thornton we crossed the main A56 road and headed for the Leeds and Liverpool canal, then along the tow path to the parish boundary of Barnoldswick, our first town. We left the tow path and followed the Barnoldswick Beating the Bounds walk around the parish boundary, before returning to the canal on the other side of the town.


After a short distance along the tow path, we left the canal again and headed towards our second village, Sough. The blue sky had persisted through the morning, but now dark clouds on the horizon were threatening rain and we thought it wise to stop for lunch. We were just packing up when the first drops of rain started and it was then back across the main A56 road at Sough Bridge to follow the Pendle Way back to Earby, our second town. Fortunately the rain didn’t last and we finished the walk through the more picturesque part of Earby in dry weather.


Thanks to everyone that came.


Mike Lee


Wednesday December 4th. Parklife. 15 miles. Leaders: Dave and Alma Walsh.


A magnificent 7 (1 lady & 6 gentlemen) gathered at Moses Gate Country Park on a cold but sunny day. After a quick group photo we set off at a brisk pace & crossed the River Croal before climbing through the trees with the river below us.


After emerging from the wood into an open space we re-crossed the river at Wilsons Bridge & then into trees again to follow a path which ran at the side of the Bolton to Manchester railway line passing Kearsley Train Station. We continued past Prestolee & Stoneclough down to our left, passing a man training his brightly coloured parrot, before arriving at Clifton Country Park where we had our morning break overlooking the lake.


Onwards towards Salford & Manchester we passed several fine wooden sculptures & had good views of the River Irwell to our left. We crossed the river again & continued to Agecroft Road where we turned for our return journey. We went through Waterdale Park & then Prestwich Forest Park where we had lunch.


We then turned North East through Phillips Park & after turning off the main path climbed up to pass over the Motorway again. We reached Sedgley Park (Rugby Ground) & walked along a couple of quiet roads, passing the Jewish Cemetery, before following a muddy track to the Irwell Sculpture trail.


We crossed the river yet again & climbed up to the disused canal which we followed to the Meccano Bridge where we had a brief stop. Another short stretch along the canal before we dropped down back into Moses Gate Country Park, back over the Croal to the car park.


Not 'back by 5 dead or alive' but 'back by 3 for afternoon tea'.


Dave & Alma





Sunday December 1st. A Walk in the Park. 20 miles. Leader: Jane Hill.


On a wonderful, crisp sunny morning 21 walkers set off from Chorley town centre on part of the Chorley Circular trail. After crossing over the railway bridge, we walked through the housing estates to the canal near Botany Bay. We followed the towpath under the M61 passing a few residential barges with their smoking chimneys catching the sunlight. At the next bridge we left the canal to go east towards White Coppice. Turning north we were greeted by a very tame Robin who allowed us to take his photo. We followed the easy trail with the river on our right through Brinscall woods before stopping for our morning break in Brinscall park.

From here we walked past Armstrong’s Brinscall Quarry from where sandstone is exported to the unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona called the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. We turned up onto the moors past the house where a Chorley business man, David Wilson was murdered in 1992.  After a short gentle climb, we turned south along Wheelton Moor towards Drinkwaters. The stunning views included Blackpool tower, Heysham power station and Morecambe Bay. After a careful descent due to the ice, we had a leisurely early lunch at White Coppice where another walking group were also having lunch!

We continued south to the road at the top of Anglezarke reservoir. From here we walked up to Healy Nab taking the track to Charnock Back road. After a short stop to buy some homemade pickle from the farm, we turned left and walked to the right turn footpath over the stream and then the M61. Almost straight across the road we continued towards the golf club. The mystery of the blue plaque on the house on the right was solved as the owner told Alma he had put it up himself !  Michael tried the stocks and was nearly left there!

We came to the main road at Fredricks ice cream parlour and resisted the temptation before re-joining the Chorley Circular path through the beautiful Duxbury Woods along the Yarrow river valley. Our afternoon break was at Yarrow Valley Park café with a wonderful coffee and some reindeer Maltesers.  We passed the busy garden centre and crossed two roads to return to the Yarrow Meadows following the circular way marks to Common Bank Lane and on to Southport Road and our third Park of the day…. Astley Park. Astley Hall looked beautiful in the glow from the sunset. Crossing the road back to the car park the Christmas tree in Chorley was twinkling in the distance. A wonderful sight at the end of a glorious day. Thank you to everyone who shared the walk today and to Dave, Alma and Pauline who supported me the week before.


Jane Hill


Click here to see Howard's Pictures.