December Drenchings




Eighteen hardy souls and three dogs turned out on a wet Wednesday, no doubt spurred on by the promise of the rain passing over in the morning – it didn’t! No matter – at least I appear to hold the record for the wettest walk of the year.

The walk was designed by Glenys Bucknell on behalf of the Rural Sub Group of Colne Connected, and covers a little over 11 miles, linking the villages of Foulridge, Trawden and Laneshaw Bridge. A leaflet of the route is produced, and the route is also available as a GPX file and other formats on the LDWA website.

The route heads to Trawden via Foulridge Upper Reservoir, picking up a fast flowing Colne Water along the way. Various connections with the Hartley family can be made on this stretch, firstly when looking over to the cemetery where Wallace Hartley, bandmaster of the Titanic, is buried. Next up is the burial place of William Pickles Hartley, famous jam manufacturer born in Colne, just outside Trawden, though I couldn’t establish a connection between the two families.

In Trawden we had a brief stop at the ‘Jam Pan’, also known as ‘Poetry Corner’, round the corner from the war memorial (which has a Hartley listed on it). The plaque says ‘Jam pan, possibly Hartley’s, circa 1900’ and was found in a farmers field near Wycoller. The Lancashire dialect poems are worth a look too. We did a quick quiz question here, and the prize – a jar of Hartley’s jam – was won by Ken.

Then it was onwards and upwards to Wycoller, when normally you would get fine views of Pendle Hill and Boulsworth Hill (but not today), to discover that the café was shut! Still a picturesque place for lunch though, and there was shelter to be had in the inglenook of the ruined hall. The Hartley connection came up again, as the hall was built on the site of a house occupied by Piers Hartley.

We then picked up Wycoller Beck to Laneshaw Bridge, headed on up to Colne golf course and across the footbridge at one end of the appropriately named Watery Lane which was a fast flowing stream that day. Sensibly (and because I didn’t want to lose more brownie points) we then opted for the lanes rather than the field paths, to get to Noyna Bottom and back into Foulridge via the village green.

The New Inn provided a cheery welcome at the end, with four Thwaites beers, including two seasonal ones, and a blazing fire where we gently steamed away for a while before heading off.

Many thanks to Viv Lee and Heather Massie for help on the recce and on the day.

Barbara Shelton


Please click on the link below to see Barbara's pictures.  We were very pleased to see the fire in the pub!




 Here are some more pictures.





Norman's 19th walk of his Christmas Cracker series started at Rivington Barn on a cool but dry morning. (this was welcome after the persistent rain of the day before.)

The route took us uphill towards the Pigeon Tower on the slopes of Winter Hill, before a short climb to the highest point of the day at Rivington Pike. After a short break it was downhill before an ascent to the Cairn known as "Two Lads."

Onwards now, going downhill all the way through Wilderswood and passing Rivington High School to reach Lever Castle, built by Lord Leverhulme. (more history of the building can be found online.)

We then walked alongside Lower Rivington Reservoir, over several boggy fields, before our lunch stop came into view.

As we reached the Bay Horse Hotel, panic set in. The pub was not open!
After Norman gave a secret knock, the door swing open which started the usual stampede to the bar. (the author was ok, he was second in!)
The Hot Pot was excellent. Some members of the group must have been rehearsing for an Oliver Twist play because they went back for more and more.

On leaving the pub the promised rain had arrived and waterproofs were put on.
All points awarded to Norman for the lunch were quickly lost as we crossed Chorley Golf Club and many waterlogged fields. Several in the party must have thought we were really lost as I heard the word "Somme" mentioned.

After a short spell walking alongside the canal, the route took us uphill and over the motorway and more muddy fields before arriving at Bibby's Farm which is a Scout Activity Centre.

Onwards we marched, passing through Rivington Village before arriving back at our cars around 3.20.

Another "cracker" from Norman. Lets see what number 20 brings next year.

Chris Langabeer

Mike and his tree

 .Chat on the hillGathering together