View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Hayfield & New Mills Running, Saturday 23rd March 2019

Well Dear Readers, spring has officially commenced as we assembled at the Lantern Pike at Little Hayfield. 

Spring was definitely some way in the past, however, for the majority of the assemblees, and few of those could even run to a spring in their step. 

It was a fine spring day with plenty of warm sun although a cool breeze. Skint Wilson and Doggie Burston had devised a suburban route to the surprise of the hounds, interspaced with patches of the normal farmland.

The route headed down the road from the hostelry then crossed to Primrose Lane which we followed across Hollingworth Clough then the first part of our wilderness experience led us uphill to pass below Uppercliffe Farm. It then dropped back down to the road, along a bit then down to pass the sewage works and cross the River Sett. 

Just past the reservoir we turned right on the Sett ValleyTrail. This led us along a disused railway all the way to New Mills. Here we entered the Urban part of the run.

At Torr Top we left the trail just after the railway headed through the hill in a closed off tunnel. A brief sojourn through the streets and we arrived back in the river valley just above the confluence of the Goyt and Sett.
It’s an area of industrial history with mills still standing and viaducts across the gorge. It was very picturesque in the sunshine.

We followed the River Goyt for a while, sparkling in the sunshine, then turned left to Goytside Farm. 

It then headed to Beard Hall Farm.
This one was memorable because it was a little dirty and my
new boots suffered a baptism of cow shit. Oh well.

It then led us along an infrequently used path to Brownhill Farm, along the road before starting a long climb up towards Moor Lodge. We were back in the countryside and on normal TallyHo territory.

There were wonderful views of Kinder in the distance and other hills I didn’t recognise as I approached the summit of the run which was marked by a TV mast. It was then downhill, apart from the climb up to Ridge Top, then a sharp descent into Hayfield.

The trail led us through the urban jungle of Hayfield to emerge on the far side and follow Bank Vale Road. It then led us along the track of Middle Fields to emerge on Primrose Lane to then follow the out trail the short way back to the pub.

 Catching up with the hares, Doggie Burston and Skint Wislon

Wells the Elder had walked the route due to a damaged toe and was only overtaken by the fast boys and Potter, who looked very trim after his retirement. 

Shortly after my arrival the rest showed up. Bakewell Brown was in the pub having cycled over after getting the time wrong and not making it to the start in time to do the run.

We purchased refreshments and sat down around the tables allotted to us, but the food was some time arriving due to an organisational cock up (we didn’t ask for it) so more refreshments had to be ordered.

Bread arrived and disappeared then a large plate of hotpot. Very good it was too. Potter and Park and Phil had to leave before the Apple Pie arrived. 

The refreshments were consumed, although some had taken the opportunity to refill more often and then we left. 

15 sat for the meal and all left very happily.

Late Taylor Had taken a trip to India in the space between this and the last run and had only arrived back earlier in the morning, but he didn’t let that stop him being on hand to collect the dues.

Where we went:

8.3 miles (ish) with around 1200ft of ascent (and descent).

Words by Wells
Pics by JJ

Monday, 1 April 2019

Walking with(out) Wainwright 8th March 2019

What the LDWA website says:
'Wainwright's Way is a journey on foot through Alfred Wainwright's life from Lancashire to the Lakes. This walking guide charts a 126 mile long-distance route linking the place where he was born - a Victorian terraced house in Audley Range, Blackburn - with his final resting place on Haystacks, his heavenly corner of Lakeland.'

What the Long Suffering Rick said:
'Fancy a walk?'

The answer was obvious, so at 7.30am on a gloomy Friday morning Rick and I headed north to Whalley to meet up with Bella, Stuart and Pete. We five jumped on the train to Blackburn and then walked back to Whalley to where we'd left our cars. 

It took a bit of mucking about with maps and things to find our way out of Blackburn train station to get to Alf's house but we eventually managed it.

This first bit of the walk was very disappointing. The town was filthy, rubbish and excess apostrophe's were littered all over the place. 'Mucky' doesn't come close.

We stopped outside Alf's old house for a quick photo-shoot but Bella was a bit camera-shy.

 L>R: Pete, Long Suffering, Bella, Stuart

Examples of Blackburn's muckiness:

 Interesting use (or lack of use) of Blackburns apostrophe's:


After a couple of miles of walking the streets of Blackburn we escaped the muckiness and headed north-ish along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath. The path led us past old and new industries: dilapidated mills and modern offices - probably call-centres.

Bella...with part of a tree:

Leaving the towpath around Rishton, we continued north-ishly, following a mix of muddy paths, muddier farm tracks and bits of tarmac.

I spotted this sign on the side of a large farm shed, it brought back memories of my G2CSR and G3 Matchlesses from years ago.

Up until now we'd managed to walk without waterproofs but darkening skies and mizzling rain (the sort that soaks you through) had us digging out our overtrousers.    

 On the Lancashire Way, close to Dean Clough Reservoir

A few lumpy bits of ground presented themselves, some through woodland, others on tarmac.

Descending to cross the River Calder, we were soon back amongst the busy-ness of modern life.

The River Calder

 The weather and the lack of anywhere to sit meant that we were back in Whalley having not eaten. We wandered through the town and the churchyard, searching in vain for shelter.

What I did find were some doors that Rob might find interesting:

Rob has a thing about doors. He's famous for his photographs of them. Really.

All of this wasn't helping us find somewhere to eat.

A bus shelter, with those horrible seats that have you sliding off, was the only shelter we could find - it had to suffice. Butties and fresh scones (made that morning) were scoffed, all washed down with coffee. Fortunately no buses came by.

Unusually, we didn't bother with a pub stop. It was Friday afternoon and the traffic would be quite daft so we (damply) headed off home.

It had been a pleasant day of gentle walking. It was very sad to see the poor state of Blackburn - it certainly didn't encourage you to tarry.

Whalley, on the other hand, just up the road, is a charming village, filled with historic buildings, characterful shops and lovely cafes and restaurants. And pubs. Obv.

Chalk and cheese. Such a shame.

Where we went (south to north):

Around 11 miles. It was good. Apart from Blackburn. and not going to the pub.

We're now plotting the next section, it's looks like it's going to be a long-ish one.

Another test 1st April 2019 – not a joke

There’s supposed to be a piccy here…but it won’t upload

Blue plaque on Alf’s old house.

There’s probably a decent toothpaste to deal with it.

Fireworks Avoidance, Bonfire Night 2019

…or Five go Adventuring Again Lucky The Dog really doesn’t like fireworks, not one little bit. It didn’t take a huge amount of badgering t...