Still January jollies

De luxe lunchtime stop Girls lead the way John tells a tale Leaving Afternoon teabreak Leaving lunchtime farm Norman keeps Alma amused Pennington Flash Queue for the bridge Returning to the cars Start at Pennington Flash

28 people 18.6 miles Ldr : John Bullen

My biggest worry on the day was that the Countryside Ranger may just have forgotten our arrangement and closed the car park bang on 4.00pm as it says on the notice boards. “Ah well,” I thought. “If I only get a small bunch of people we’ll be back for four easy.” So what happens? 8.45am on a Sunday morning and Pennington Flash car park is busier than Leigh town centre on a Saturday afternoon – all with people on my walk!

Ok so we moved along at a pace a little bit but only Helen complained! Considering this walk goes between Leigh and Cadishead it really is a bit of a delight. It’s ideal for winter – not far from home and plenty to keep the interest levels up.

The waymarked route follows the Glazebrook which flows out of Pennington Flash and runs down to the Manchester Ship Canal near Irlam. After that I had devised a route back to the start along a virtually deserted country lane to the M62 and the amazing “Encounter” statue, between the landfill site and Risley Prison, on to the Culcheth Linear Park , through the golf course and so to The Flash.

Here is what we passed along the way ….


200 hectare country park centred round 70 hectare lake. 230 bird species regularly spotted. Formed as a result of mining subsidence and flooding.


“Carr” is a word of Viking origin meaning “boggy place”.


Built early 17th Century. In 1633 a Catholic priest, Ambrose Barlow, took refuge here but he was later found and executed.


The world’s first passenger railway line, opened in 1830, which ran a regular steam passenger service between the North West’s two major cities. George Stephenson Snr devised the route which at 31 miles is just one mile further than “as the crow flies” but because of this it required 63 bridges and viaducts, two per mile. The major obstacle was Chat Moss. Draining was not possible as it would simply flood again. So Stephenson devised a notion of a floating embankment on brushwood and heather and “spoil” from other sections of the railway. The first train to run was George Junior’s “Rocket”. The line was built by “navvies”, an elite band of workers. They had earlier worked on the canals and they followed work round as a group living together. To remain a Navvy a man had to eat two pounds of beef and consume eight pints of beer a day. It is said it took even a very fit man at least a year to adapt to the hard working, hard living style.


Built in 1610. Still has original beautiful mullioned windows.


In 1895 John Monks started a horse-drawn wagonette service to Astley Hospital. His grandson was later to found Monks World Travel.


Now a housing estate near the M62. In WWII this was the site of the biggest ammunitions factory in Europe. The site was chosen because of the natural mist which hangs over it. It was a good decision as it was never located and bombed even though most surrounding areas were!


Nicknamed “The Angel of the North West”. Tallest piece of sculpture erected since Nelson’s Column, 91 ft high. Created by Stephen Broadbent it symbolises the relationship between business and community. It is also a mobile phone transmitter.


Opened in 1964 as male/female Remand Centre. Female facility went in 1999. July 2010 – capacity 1,050 prisoners – actually had 1,077. It is now a Male Category C Training Prison.

Weds Jan 26th. Ogwen Cottage. 12 miles.

The sun was shining as we drove down with clear blue skies. We got to Porth Penrhyn and found out we were alone, just two of us. We decided to do the walk and got part way round before deciding to make it a circular walk. We ended the day with Fish & Chips which were very good.

Ambleside Weekend Away. Jan 29th - 31st. The Old Vicarage, Ambleside.

Once again John Howarth led 2 stunning walks in the Ambleside area. Saturday was a glorious day with clear skies and sunshine. The walk was a Stoney Pike circular giving superb views of the Langdales. There were some tricky moments due to icy paths though!

Sunday saw a change in the weather to a dull misty day with a chilly wind meaning full winter kit was needed. The walk was a Dove Crag circular with plenty of ups and downs. The hot tub and heated pool at the Old Vicarage were most welcome after a day on the fells. We are returning to this venue again next year, all are welcome to join us.
Alma wraps up warm Barbara waves hello Barbara with a view Lakeland view Outside the Old Vicarage Trio with Ellie