Treacletown Trot (26/02/2012)
This was a dull February day, but in spite of that a party of ten willing walkers turned up at the start point of Windmill Street bridge over the Macclesfield Canal. Our party was honoured by a rare visitation from of of our most senior (i.e. long serving) members, Ann Robinson, joining John, Duncan, Frank, Jill & Peter, along with Tony & Pam on their first outing with South Manchester, Jean from the Irregulars and Andy from Stockport Ramblers.
Our walk was to follow, as closely as possible, the boundaries of the Macclesfield township, but fortunately not the Domesday boundaries of 10 leagues by 3 leagues. Then Macclesfield was 'wasta' (waste); now worth a little more (just). John explained that the epithet 'Treacletown' was acquired from the bread & treacle that Macclesfield mill workers (men, women & children) traditionally took to sustain themselves during their long working days, the owners sometimes providing the treacle.
The walk was typical of the delights that John reserves for us in February; yes, he found all the best mud. Danes Moss, next to a landfill site, littered with old beercans and malodorous wiffs, the 'bridges' over its streams of broken planks or submerged corrogated iron provided a classic challenge, though the woodland here is very attractive. The route to New Farm also provided more glutinous gunge. Full marks so far. All (bar John) agreed that John would lick our boots clean at the end of the walk. A path past Broomfield Farm, selected for its closeness to the boundary, is not a right of way but John had acquired a permit from the farmer, just for us. The dome of Henbury Hall was visible among the trees in the distance ahead. Elevenses were taken at the 'tourist facilities' at Henbury.
There then followed the ascent to Whirleybarn, then the descent to Whirley Grove. Skirting Prestbury Golf Course (the path through Dumber Wood was completely swamped by a very large puddle) and a few footballers' mansions, we turned off the main road before Prestbury village centre to cross the Bollin Valley and climb up the other side to pass through another golf course (Tytherington). After crossing the Silk Road by the footbridge, lunch was taken by Astra Zeneca bridge, beside the Macclesfield canal.
Following the towpath past Hurdsfield, we left at Higherfence, climbing past a couple of small reservoirs to cross Buxton Road at Forest Cottage. Teggs Nose is the highest location in Macclesfield, John leaving this high point to the last, bringing complementary remarks from Ann. Here we enjoyed fine views of the Clwydian Hills, the Berwyns and 'my house'.
All eight finishers (yes, that's another South Manchester tradition maintained), enjoyed the walk so thanks John. (We hope Tony & Pam did also, although they had to leave us at Tytherington.)
Distance (my calcs). 18.2 miles. Ascent, 1375 feet (mostly Teggs Nose).
(additional text by John)