2014 04 05 Oldham Way



Our normal walks are of around 20 miles duration but we do like to call ourselves Long Distance Walkers, so it was felt by some that we should try something a little longer. To make life easier, it was suggested that we travel light and have support at a couple of places on the route. 

Anne, being treasurer at Dovestone Sailing Club, was able to secure premises for the start and finish of the walk so an attempt at doing the Oldham Way in a day fitted perfectly with the available facilities. This route was launched by the council in 1990 and is officially 40 miles in length and does a circuit of the Oldham borough. A couple of volunteers were found to provide support and facilities were available in Dunwood Park, Shaw and Park Bridge. 

22 of us and 1 dog  set off in an anti-clockwise direction just after 6.30am fortified by tea and toast. A pace of 3mph had to be maintained if we were to stay on schedule so the pressure was on. Although dry there had been heavy rain during the week and the ground was wetter than expected, delaying progress. 

At Dunwood Park, Sue Boardman has prepared a feast for us with 3 choices of sandwich, Rice Pudding and Malt Loaf. We were ready for it having done 18 miles and already climbed 3500ft, and very little remained of the feast by the time we had all indulged. Regretfully Julie and Martin called it a day due to a migraine. 

After Tandle Hill we descended to join the Rochdale Canal for a few miles, then into the Medlock Valley and through Daisy Nook to Park Bridge. Anne had baked and warm Sausage Rolls certainly hit the spot. A few more casualties at this point and Helen very kindly offered to take the retirees back to Dovestones. 

Now came the sting in the tail with 3 stiff climbs. First Hartshead Pike, then Quick Edge and finally Shadsworth Lane (after stopping off and feeding Anne's cat, Snowy) in the dark. A few were flagging by now, including yours truly. Back at the sailing club by 9.45pm having recorded 43 miles and 6000ft ascent. For a couple of folk, today represented a personal best in terms of distance and congratulations to them. The bar was opened and several duly induged. 

Finally a very big thanks to all the helpers: Anne, Sue, Pauline, Teresa, Mags and Nathan. Also Helen for providing transport. Without you the event would have been a lot harder and nowhere near as enjoyable.


Photos from John Gillatt: 

Photos from Julie Spencer: