June 24th. 2022.
Crawling out from under my rock I wonder where a week has gone. It went in a haze of Covid fever, headache, cough and abdominal pains which laid me lower than expected. I could hardly read others posts never mind complete my own. I’m not at my best.
June 14th. 2022.
Where was I?
Ah, yes. Parking up at Halton Station in preparation for a cycle ride around Morecambe Bay. Post coffee I’m off, so good to be out again feeling free as a bird. Into Lancaster, over the Millennium Bridge and out to Morecambe. I take a bit of detour past the football ground to arrive at the coast in the West End near the site of a former pier. The view out over the bay is clear, but everything seems at a great distance. I soon pass the Midland Hotel, one day I will call in for tea, and continue up the promenade without stopping at the various attractions.
I’ve been this way so many times before, I even know the way from the end of the prom to reach the Lancaster Canal. Normally I turn south here but today to vary my route I head north alongside the canal. This is a delightful stretch with the canal elevated above the surrounding countryside. Below are Hest Bank and Bolton-le-Sands, and father out are the treacherous sands of the 2004 cockling disaster when 21 illegal Chinese immigrants lost their lives. We still don’t know how to manage the flow of immigrants into our country.
I have to be careful to leave the towpath at the correct spot, not signed, to pick up the 700 cycle route which could eventually take me, if I wished, all the way around Morecambe Bay to Ulverston and Walney Island, Barrow. Today I only went as far as the River Keer and its eponymous bridge. Whenever I’m here I can’t help thinking of The Bridge on the River Kwai and start whistling Colonel Bogey. Obviously the name of the bridge and its wooden structure set my mind into action. So much so that I paused my writing here a couple of hours ago to watch the 1957 film starring William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins on Vimeo. I had forgotten how good it was, building up the tension and reflecting on the British character and psychology in times of war. Directed by David Lean, arguably his best film was a few years later – Lawrence of Arabia. We will shortly come across his name once more. It is worth your time to watch again and revaluate https://ok.ru/video/2090020047523
Where was I?
Ah, yes. Coming alongside the diminutive River Keer into the railway town of Carnforth. The railway station is on the main west coast line with branches to the Cumbrian Coast and inland to Skipton, a busy junction. Most of the main line expresses cruise through at speeds unimaginable at the time of the fictional ‘Milford Junction’ just pre-WWII. It was here that David Lean directed much of the romance of Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter. Carnforth has capitalised on the ongoing success of the film and a Heritage Centre has been created on the platform – all things railway and cinema. Here I go again – diverted to watching a tormented Celia Johnson and a rather wooden Trevor Howard in Brief Encounter on the computer. I’m now an emotional mess, must have been the Rachmaninoff. I’ll never finish this post.
Where was I?
Ah, yes. Enjoying a cup of tea at the famous waiting room. I had time to drift back in time as the pot of tea took an age to arrive. On my way again I now followed the 90 (Lancashire Cycleway) up to sleepy Nether Kellet now high in this range of unnamed low hills. Views back to the Bay with the Lakeland Hills behind and ahead over Lancaster and the Bowland Hills. Whizzing down I missed my turn and ended up alongside a military training centre above the Lune. All barbed wire, locked gates and grey paint. Halton village had some old properties previously related to a now demolished Halton Hall, worth a more detailed visit. Back over the Lune I was the last car in the car park and drove home tired but contented not knowing what was ahead.
More variations and suggestions on cycling Morecambe Bay, very satisfying. Shame about the ensuing Covid.
Further to some comments below on this post, here are a couple of phone photos taken by my son on the canal in Stretford. Bee Orchids.
”Not knowing what was ahead” sounds rather ominous to me – I look forward to the next instalment.
It took me over a week to complete the post.
Glad to hear you’re coming out of it. Sounds like it was a bad do.
Worse than I expected but one the mend. Walked to the shop today.
All very familiar territory! Glad to hear you are recovering. When I had it, back in October, I went back to work and, then three weeks after first testing positive, went for a short local walk, by the end of which I was virtually on my hands and knees! Look after yourself.
Thought I was tired on that bike ride, positive the next morning. Was it from a ‘Brief Encounter’?
Walked to nearby shops yesterday – far enough.
Wishing you a speedy recovery
On the mend slowly, Thanks John.
Sorry you have been so zapped of energy.
Saw 2 bee orchids yesterday in the little quarry at crosshill nature reserve in Clitheroe.
Thanks. Over the worst.
I’ll try and get across to Clitheroe to look for the bee orchids this week.
My son was walking along the canal in Stretford this weekend, he sent me a photo of some flowers he didn’t recognise. Guess what? A patch of Bee Orchids on the towpath.
Wow, that’s amazing. How fantastic. 🙂
I’ve uploaded pictures onto the above post of the Bee Orchids. Hope I see some this week.
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