Monthly Archives: April 2014

A LANCASHIRE BACKWATER.

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                                                                  The elusive Trowbarrow Quarry.

My trip up to the north to walk St. Cuthbert’s Way with my old schoolmate has been cancelled unfortunately due to a family bereavement. Have had a hectic week and was glad of the opportunity to join three good friends for a walk on Sunday in the Silverdale area. My walks in this beautiful area in the past have usually involved the coast and Arnside Knott. Phil today had organised something different.

A mediocre start along a busy road lead to a bridleway through old coppiced woods onto Wharton Fell.  When we were lost a meeting with a lady and two Corgi dogs put us right – sadly  she wasn’t the queen. The top of Wharton Fell has a trig point and a beacon, used in the millennium celebrations. We passed it several times as we searched for the correct path – so technically we were never lost.

The morning disappeared and soon we were lunching next to an old lime kiln, common in this upland limestone area. Blueberry muffins from ‘Sainsbury’s bit bin’  were particularly enjoyed. Phil’s meanderings then turned into brilliance as he took us down into the hidden world of a mossy dell, Deepdale Pond.  Bluebells, Wood Anemones and Early Purple Orchids were in abundance. Magnificent!!!  Go there.

More meanderings led us to the more popular Hawes water. A wooden seat overlooking the tarn proved a wonderful resting place for a late coffee. We saw a few ducks and a heron.

We were now close to Trowbarrow Quarry, the venue of many happy climbing days in the past. Despite its size and close proximity it was not easy to access. Eventually we found ourselves below the main wall, looking more unstable than ever! Teams were climbing ‘Cracked Actor’ and ‘A Touch of Class’ for our entertainment. Nobody on the classic Jean Jeanie. Seem to have lost most of the photos for this walk so here are a couple. [See next post for lost images which have turned up on the system!]

Main wall Trowbarrow.

                                                                           Main wall Trowbarrow.

Memories of climbing Major Tom after a torrential downpour and my second swinging away across the face when he lost contact. Memories of taking my ‘old’ climbing partner up Jean Jeanie on her last climb and celebrating in the pub afterwards  [?The New Inn] at Yealand Conyers.  Memories of climbing Sleeping Sickness with a young, light, second belaying!  Brilliant.

The geologist in our party spent some, unsuccessful, time looking for a one inch coal seam in the upended limestone strata. The track out of the quarry featured an unusual gate mimicking a climbing carabiner.

A detour through the edge of Leighton Moss nature reserve made  us feel inadequate without extra large binoculars. This is an extremely popular venue compared to the footpaths we have been following.  NATURE, in capital letters, is the name of the game around here.

Bugingham Palace.

                                                                                Bugingham Palace.

A relaxing pint in the Black Bull  [sorry  – The George Washington – one should not be allowed to change old pub names!] completed a great day with old friends in some unusual and unfrequented scenery. Here is the map—

My toe coped with the 9 miles and the disappointment of the cancelled walking holiday was partially forgotten.

Back to the dark world of solicitors and undertakers tomorrow.

For more photos see my next post – Lost images.

 

 

 

EPISODE TWO – ON ROUTE 622, PRESTON GUILD WHEEL.

On the spur of the moment decided to cycle the Preston Guild Wheel again after my last rather troublesome trip. [ see  post  https://bowlandclimber.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/preston-guild-wheel-practice-circuit/  ], Having replaced all my brake and gear cables as a precaution and having a few more miles under my wheels I set off with confidence. To ring the changes I cycled anti clockwise this time which gave a different perspective to the scenery and of course different hills to climb.

The weather was forecast to be bright and breezy, that’s always good for walking but on a bike I’ve re-realised  you have to take account of the wind strength and direction. Today it was from the west so got that out of the way early on as I rode out through Cottam and towards Blackpool before following the River Ribble back through Preston.

The route was very busy with cyclists, of all shapes and sizes, coming past me in the more popular clockwise direction. Cheery greetings to all. For a while I made a mental number, into the hundreds, of those passing until I realised  I was encountering people from earlier in the day for the second time. I don’t know how much Preston spent on this project but judging from it’s popularity it must be one of the more successful endeavors with our council tax.

The dockland railway was in operation and I was able to have a ‘race’ alongside the steam train as it cruised into Preston.                                                                                                                                                                                       The parks were all looking spic and span in the Spring sunshine.

 

 

MILLER PARK.

                                                                                 MILLER PARK.

The cherry trees were still blooming and in the woods there was the first flush of bluebell blue.

                                                                                                                                                                           By the end of my trip I was flushed with the exercise as I climbed the last steep hill in the hinterland of Fulwood. Must have a closer look at the map to see exactly where I’ve been.             Some interesting place names were encountered – Lightfoot Green, Nog Tow, Frenchwood, Midgery Lane. Will look into their derivations.

Have a walking trip planned for the end of the month so will keep cycling to get fit and hope my foot copes with the actual walking then.

KEEPING IT LOCAL — THE REELERS TRAIL.

WAKE UP CALL.

This little chap woke me up this morning with his cheerful chirping. Time to get going.               As part of my rehabilitation, sorry to bore you again, yesterday I managed 5 miles in the boggy fields around Goosnargh and today met up with a mate to walk 8 miles on The Reelers Trail. The location was a convenient half way meeting point between us. This is one of four varied circular walks in Lancashire on The Witton Weavers Way – a 32mile route around Blackburn using historic tracks and visiting many industrial sites and period settlements.

Look for your self at — http://www.blackburn.gov.uk/Pages/Witton-Weavers-Way.aspx

The mist was just clearing as we left Abbey Village on a lane down to the Roddlesworth Reservoirs.

RODDLESTONE RESERVOIR, DARWEN TOWER IN THE BACKGROUND.

It was relatively early due to the clocks leaping forward. a calm section through woods led to a steep field path up towards the picturesque village of Tockholes with many 17th century buildings. We passed several listed buildings of this period including Higher Hill Farm, a small room jutting out of the first floor was the en-suite toilet of the age.

HIGHER HILL FARM.

HIGHER HILL FARM.

 

Apparently the track we were on was a Saxon bridleway connecting Rossendale to Preston.  One interesting site was an old intact parish pinfold  [pound] for stray animals.

Many of the cottages we passed were old hand weavers’ dwellings, now in great demand for semi-rural living. One small holding was using a llama to guard the poultry. Unusual sight in these parts!

Before long we were walking in close to proximity to the M65 motorway and into urban housing estates in Feniscowles.

NOT IDEAL WALKING.

NOT IDEAL WALKING.

The sun was out and the day took on a more friendly nature with leisurely canal-side walking, along with family cycling groups,

LEEDS LIVERPOOL CANAL.

LEEDS LIVERPOOL CANAL.

A steep climb up towards Stanworth Farm and then we ducked back down under the rumbling motorway bridge.

UNDERNEATH THE ARCHES.

From here we entered a  deep incut, almost secret, valley clothed in ancient woodland, rich in wild life. Soon we were in a different world to the motorway.

This valley, which seems to be tributary of the River Darwen, is a delight to follow and eventually brought us back to Abbey Village, the Hare and Hounds pub and a welcome pint outside in the warm Spring sunshine.

Simple short day but satisfying with lots of chat and not too much of a problem with the foot. Though I think I’ll be back on the bike this week!