'Ast sin me dad?

Walk leader:           Jean Bobker

Number on walk:     7 then 8

Distance:                14.25 miles

Weather:                Dry but quite windy

'Ast sin me dad? On December 21st 1910 there would have been many families asking that question. On that date, at 7.50 am there was a terrible explosion at Pretoria Pit near Over Hulton (in Lancashire then) that claimed the lives of 344 men and boys. The explosion was caused by an accumulation of gas from a roof collapse the previous day and was the second worst mine disaster in England at that time. A relief fund was set up for families and dependants which raised £145,000 and in 1911 these were given compensation and annuities.

Jean led today's walk from Cutacre Country park which visited the site and memorial of the disaster and took in Westhoughton Church where 171 miners were buried and St. John's Church at Wingates where another 45 miners were buried. The remaining miners were buried at various churches in the area.

The walk took us through the country park, fields and the attractive woods of Hall Lee Bank park into Westhoughton where Jean treated us all to take-away coffees which we had in Ditchfield Gardens for our coffee stop.We contiued on through the Golf course to Borsdane Woods where we were met by John Evenden  and onwards to Wingates for our lunch stop. The remainder of the walk continued on the north side of the motorway through lanes and fields before arriving back at our cars abaout 3.30pm.