May Marauding

At Sawley Abbey Barbara nearly flies away at Pendle trig Break at Pendle Trig Descending to Downham Gentleman John helps with an awkward stile Glorious countryside Keep to the edge now! Oh why are we waiting??? Barley carpark Start at Downham The climb up from Barley
Downham Dipper. Sunday May 2nd 2011

18 people. 19 miles. Ldr : John Watson

Here’s a tip for walk leaders – “Get Cramp”. It happened to John on the descent of Pendle Hill mid afternoon. The poor chap had to lay full length on the grass with a pretty lady on one side holding his hand and feeding him grapes, another on the other side holding his other hand and lavishing chocolates on him and one behind him mopping his brow! He had to persevere with this treatment for about 35 to 40 minutes and it was only when John Bullen offered to rub his legs that he miraculously got better!! The cynics amongst us suspected “a dive” worthy of one of Norman’s yellow cards but on this occasion he got away with it.

Let’s not let this play-acting detract from the superb walk that John laid on for us. We had two debutantes on the day, Joan and Helen, and what good fun they were. Hopefully we’ll be seeing both of these lovely ladies again. Michelle also made a welcome return after her ankle problems.

Starting in the beautiful village of Downham we were soon at Sawley Abbey and had a few moments to look around the stunning ruins of what must have been an incredible edifice. Passing the two Mills of Downham and Twiston we had our brew stop at Higher Higson. We worked up an appetite for lunch climbing Stang Top Moor and Brown Hill with its stunning views of Nelson and Blacko Tower before dropping down through White Hough Woods to the superb facilities and café at Barley. John and Paul partook of the café’s famous cheese on toast, several had ice creams and it was with some reluctance that we set off again knowing that Pendle Hill awaited us. What an experience this was as the blazing sunshine was tempered by a gusty and powerful wind. Several caps had to be retrieved as they were blown across the moor. Our afternoon break was taken lying down for shelter from the wind at the trig point before we headed for home by Two Cairns, Burnt Clough and Worsaw Hill into Downham.

Right I’d better get off now. I’m going to Google “How to get cramp!”

Pendle Way Pt 4 – Reedley to Barley. Wednesday May 4th 2011.

18 people . 12 miles . Ldr : Commander John Pickton.

You would have to be very hard of hearing to have been on recent walks and not know that Norman has been suffering with his knee and that it hurts most when he is walking down hills. The problem has finally been diagnosed – no permanent damage but the pain might be alleviated if, when descending, he were to “clench his buttocks”. ………… Yes that’s what we thought! Was this a mischievous caretaker masquerading as a doctor or a competition amongst specialists as to who could get their patients doing the daftest exercise? Norman even had to practice the technique during his consultation! Well he had no time for us sceptics and he reckons it is working. He even had the rest of us doing it and at the coffee stop we had a team clench!

Suffice to say as usual he had us in tucks of laughter throughout this excellent walk. It was a beautiful day with a cooling breeze to temper the sunshine along 12 miles of rolling Ribble Valley countryside. Our coach driver showed his usual smiling patience as he waited for latecomers at Barley. If there is one person who walks with us who can forever and a day be forgiven tardiness it is Tracie who jumped out of her car and announced “I’ve made twenty four scones with jam and cream!” Well done Trace!

Highlights on this memorable day were the little graveyard opposite the Four Alls Inn at Higham with its puzzling massive “Wesleyan Chapel” stone which we all sat on for our morning coffee. We then headed for Newchurch and had lunch alongside the famous Pendle Witches gravestone of Alice Nutter. John has planned this walk to perfection and what more fitting way to finish than to climb and traverse the magnificent edifice of Pendle Hill. The downward descent saw us practising our “clenching techniques” to perfection – to the accompaniment of much laughter!

We finished with a pint in the impressive Pendle Inn.

Well that’s it - The Pendle Way completed. Well Done Commander Pickton. It was superb. Or as Norman would say “We have clenched it”
At Pendle trig East Lancs mobile Tea shop Tracy leads the way