Added 12th November 2012: Photos from the 2012 season
Saturday, 10 November 2012
The Warburton Souling Gang ready to hit the road
The Warburton Souling Play is a traditional play performed at this time of the year (All Souls) in pubs in the towns and villages in the area.
It’s both fun and interesting. and if my liver is up to it, the last performance of the year will take place this evening at the Saracen’s Head, Warburton, a small town near Lymm, Cheshire.
The year’s final performance is always a good do, attracting an audience from all over the region. The post-Play party is now a firm fixture in the diaries of many singers and musicians – the session doesn’t usually finish until the early hours of Sunday morning. I usually cancel Sunday.
One way of getting a free beer!
Such an ugly bunch I’ve never seen before!
Beelzebub ignoring the dress code
Out to scare the kids
Cheshire Tally-ho! Hare & HoundsMembers of the Cheshire Tally-Ho! all have to take their turn in setting and laying a trail. To do so properly involves some planning and a recce of the route – the route needs to be runnable and have a nice balance of tracks, hills, fetid swamps, bogs…and a good pub at the end.
And so it was that Fast Blackshaw, who had planned this route on behalf of the two of us, drove me north, on a very sunny morning, to Tockholes, near Darwen (‘Darren’ as it’s pronounced locally) in Lancashire.
Parking next to the Royal Arms at Ryal Fold, we walked (no running today!) SE up to Darwen Moor. Autumn colours were still very much in evidence:
Our sometimes muddy route included a brief liaison with the Witton Weavers Way before going over the northern edge of Turton Moor.
The Peak and Northern Footpaths Society have done a good job in signposting many of the paths around here:
We continued east-ish almost as far as the A666 before turning north-ish, skirting Darwen Moor.
There were good views over Darwen and Blackburn, and over to Pendle Hill. Then it was time for lunch and messing about with the camera on my Bat-phone, the poor phone may never recover:
Suitably refreshed, we continued our recce around Darwen Moor in the continuing sunshine.
The Jubilee Tower, Darwen HillThe tower, which dates from 1898, was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The old wooden dome at the top of the tower blew off in high winds and was replaced with a fibreglass in 1971. That dome suffered a similar fate to the old wooden one a couple of years ago. A new powder-coated stainless steel dome was winched into position from a helicopter earlier this year – I wonder how long it with stay put? The winds can be quite strong around here.
Shadows lengthened as we dropped off the moor, the autumn sun colouring the landscape beautifully:
Four hours after setting off on our recce we arrived back at the car to find a huge bonfire being built for the evening’s festivities. Tockholes has hosted a bonfire party for the last ninety years, the very excellent Royal Arms playing a key role in the organisation of the event.
‘Tis a good route, if a little longer than is the general rule for Tally-Ho! trails. The route is highly runnable, even the boggy bits. Hopefully the extra distance won’t be noticed by the hounds.
This is what we did:
Approx 9.5 miles with 1500ft of upness. Ish.
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