| Tuesday July 12th.
Bent and Bongs Bash. 5 mile evening stroll.
27 walkers and 4 dogs.
Leaders: Lenny and Helen Unsworth.
Another evening stroll, another new pair of walk leaders. Helen and Lenny continued the excellent standard of this year with an interesting and informative stroll around Atherton.
Leaving Howe Bridge we made our way along some well graded paths to the end of a private road which was the back entrance to the now demolished Atherton Hall. Here we were met by John who lives in one of the converted utility buildings for the Old Hall and he showed us round the small hamlet with its interesting styles and features. We could also see the original position of the Old Hall.
Retracing our footsteps we made our way to Lilford Park passing the remains of a lion which once stood on Lions Bridge, again part of the Old Hall landscaping. There had been a crescent lake similar to Blenheim Palace here (the same architect built both). Before entering the park Helen explained about the flood defences which are in the area. Sweetie time was taken in the park with an excellent selection on offer.
As we made our way back to Howe Bridge the past history of the area was picked up in the names of the wood, roads and farms that we passed. The last delight was the award winning miners cottages near the sports centre. There was the opportunity for a drink in the local cricket club for those who wished. Another excellent stroll, well done to the leaders.
NB. Apparently Bent is Atherton and Bong is Tydlesley hence the name of the walk!
Wednesday July 20th.
Bowland Round Part 3. Chipping to Slaidburn. 13 miles.
19 walkers and 2 dogs.
Leader: Chris Langabeer, Deputy: Norman Thomas.
It is quite a journey to Slaidburn and many of us were on minutes to be there for 9am. Our bus was waiting but we had two late arrivals so we were ten minutes late setting off. A pleasant drive to Chipping followed and we were under way by 9.50am. Chorley John couldn't resist an early ice cream which looked delicious. The first photo shoot of the day was on the Church steps where my instruction to Maude to "sit" was obediently followed by some of the group! However my plea for someone else to write this report fell on very deaf ears.
Off we set. Chris explained that Ian was injured and Norman was promoted to deputy leader. Suitable groans all round but to be fair he didn't get us lost once. Maybe because he was back marker and we were in Chris's very capable hands. The route was a fairly low level one but still gave us some lovely views. Of course there was some sticky mud after the recent rains and a few challenging stiles but we were very lucky with the weather. The morning had a few spits and spots but the afternoon turned warm with even a hint of sun.
Morning break was taken by a stream but midges made it a fairly short stay. Lunch was on the green at Dunsop Bridge with a patient crowd of ducks waiting for scraps. Maude managed to escape to try and get us a duck for tea but wasn't quite fast enough. Lots of laughter at me though as I chased after her.
The afternoon was Bowland at its best with rolling views, meadow fields filled with wild flowers, small hamlets of beautiful buildings all mixed with good company. A lovely treat.
We made good time and were back in Slaidburn 45 minutes earlier than the recce. A couple of us enjoyed tea at the cafe, many more went for a pint at the Hark To Bounty. A perfect end to a grand day.