It's still cold out there

Are they thumbing a lift? Gathering together John points the way? Regrouping at Darwen Tower Up we go! What's in the bottle?
DARWEN DELIGHT. Sun 9th Jan. 20 miles.

26 intrepid walkers turned out to brave the biting wind on a day that started with some sleet but fortunately did not last.

A brisk pace was kept to beat off the effects of the wind. The start from Tockholes car park took us S.E.towards Belmont and then Delph reservoir, before crossing the A666 at Dimple,heading up to Turton Heights.

From here there was a steady rise to the remains of the prehistoric stone circle at Cheetham, followed closely by the trig point. On descending from here an appropriate place was found out of the wind for elevens's.

Bradshaw brook was then followed to take us around the Wayoh,Turton and Entwistle reservoirs, bringing us out at the Strawbury Duck public house (duty & commitment prevented the use of same!).

Shortly afterwards one young lady (Ann Oliver) had to withdraw with a knee injury. Brought on by excess running not the walk may I add! To Ann's relief assistance was at hand with a swift pick up from Cadshaw farm on the A666 by John Crook's wife Marilyn.

After the lunch break in the ruins above Cadshaw farm, progress was made towards Darwen tower; where time was taken to regroup and take in the views. Dropping down to Tockholes visitors centre the walk was completed via Roddlesworth back to the car park.

Many thanks to Jean Lyon & Norman(occasionally)for back marking.

Neil Smith.

Weds Jan 19th. Trouble at t'mill. 25 walkers and 2 dogs. 14 miles from Adlington.

At last Norman has managed to break through that “fifty” barrier!! The last two Crackers have seen him agonisingly close with 49 turning out. It has to be assessed on how many people set out from the Top Barn at 9.00am, so people coming late or joining late don’t count. Today he did it – 63 people. Is that a record for any East Lancs walk? We didn’t just break the record – we smashed it!

How Mother Nature smiled on us today with perfect winter walking conditions, perhaps as consolation for the enforced cancellation on the original date of December 19th due to the snow and ice. There can be no doubt now that the decision to postpone was correct.

Yet again Norman managed to come up with a new route that was as interesting and testing for old members as much as new.

Okay, sorry, so that is the write up from Norman's last walk, but as Norman thinks I stole 80% of one of his walks today, I thought I might as well steal his write up as well!!

But seriously folks, on a foggy but dry morning 25 people and 2 dogs left the Elephant and Castle in the centre of Adlington. The recently refurbished Millstone with its white carpets and no real ales no longer seemed a good option. Appropriate as the walk was titled Trouble At Mill!

The Leeds Liverpool canal was taken before exiting at bridge 74 to follow the tree lined banks of the River Yarrow towards Coppull. A few boggy fields, a small hare and a large fox later we passed through the hamlet of Worthington before heading for lunch on the banks of Worthington Lakes. By now the fog had lifted and the sun was shining allowing Norman to see the route being taken and claim copyright from his Two Rivers walk.

Rising through Arley Wood we briefly stopped to enjoy Arley Hall with its 12th century moat before heading for Aberdeen Farm and then across below Blackrod to Douglas Valley driving range. From here it was back to Adlington, diverting only to walk through The Shawes and view the building site that will shortly the des res of yours truly, (surely Norman could not claim copyright on this part of the walk or even as part of the Thirlmere Way?).

Back at the Elephant and Castle, Norman was at least happy with the real fire and £2 a pint Bombardier.

Apologies to Norman but I know he will take this in the spirit in which it is meant and also to the 2 dog owners for the hassle they encountered at Worthington Lakes.

At Worthington Lakes Captain Thomas Homeward bound up the field Maude in the mist Over the stile Start at Elephant and Castle Still going up Through the woods Worthington Lakes Zigzagging up