March ing On


Two Rivers. Monday March 28th. 16 miles. Leader: Norman Thomas.

Bank Holiday Monday, weather very mixed, rain, wind, hailstone and sunshine.  23 brave souls and 3 dogs started the walk from Top Barn, Rivington.

We made our way to Lead Mines Clough and up to Bomber Memorial and onto the open moors.  Then over to the burial mound (round loaf) and onwards towards Drinkwater’s Farm (this is where Alison left us to make her way back home).  We walked at the side of Great Hill over Spitlers Edge then up to Winter Hill.  At the trig point we let Noble Ken have his photo taken at the side of Lancashire Red Rose trig.  Well done Mr Noble, he took part in a 30 mile walk yesterday and he was not up to speed today, but he did it!

Onwards over open moors to Egg Hillock and Whimberry Hill then to Bolton Beach where the tide was in.  Then to Winter Hill again, onto the Two Lads hill and over to Rivington Pike, through the Japanese Gardens, back to base in sunshine.

On the walk we came to the source of the Yarrow and the Douglas.  I think most people enjoyed and at several places on the walk we burst into song (room for improvement!).

Thanks to all the walkers and the well behaved dogs for a jolly good day. 

Thanks Norman T, a very responsible leader again.

Jemma's pictures below

Hilary's pictures below

There Won't be Mud. Wednesday March 23rd. 14 miles. Leader: John Thompson.

19 rebellious walkers, 2 dogs and myself set off from Turton and Entwistle res.

Up to Three Lowes; over the top to Dimple and on to Delph res. Down the side of the res and crossing Longworth Rd and down into Longworth Clough ( cries of "where is the mud, we want mud" were heard) but they died away as we climbed out of the Clough on a ticker tester hill. It was then onto Longworth plantation and our first stop of the day.
We then joined the Witton Weavers Way passing Longworth Moor and Old Mans Hill. On then to Hollinshead Hall (ruin) for our lunch break leaving the w.w.w .to go right up to and around Cartridge Hill. We then crossed Darwen Moor (with the tower on our left) to rejoin the w.w.w. and turning right passing Black Hill and Wives Hill. On downwards to Cadshaw (leaving the w.w.w.) turning right on the A666 and just before Green Arms Rd turning left on a track past a quarry (dis) down to the weir and Entwistle res where we stopped for Hilary and Barbara to hand out Easter eggs. A nice end to the walk (thank you) and so to the car park where I lost points for there being little mud.
Then for some a beer and a chat in the Strawbury Duck, the end to a great day with lots of laughs and new friends made.
Thanks to all for coming.


The photos below are from John

The photos below are from Hilary





Ashworth Amble. Sunday March 13th. 21 miles. Leader: Peter Steckles.


15 warriors set off at 8.30 from the car park near Owd Betts Pub on Edenfield Road between Edenfield and Rochdale. It was a bit cloudy and although shorts were contemplated by several walkers, they all stayed in the car. (The shorts, not the walkers)
A gentle warm up over Knowl Hill, dropping down to the dam over Middle Naden Reservoir, (Wagtails spotted) then over to Prickshaw Hamlet, and down to Broadley Station platform (long since retired) for a quick drink.
The group set off, up to Healey Corner, where the toilets were available for the needy.
Ending Rake led us to Lobden Golf Club, and it was here that two of the group had to return to the car due to one walker's very sore feet. Then we were 13. I was given a first written warning.
By this time the cloud had abated, and the sun was starting to shine. A rare treat for the walking community this year, and folks were heard to say that this could be the first spring like weather. It really was good to be out on such a day.
We passed Brown Wardle, and Middle Hill, and we followed the Pennine Bridleway (PBW) down to the head of Watergrove reservoir, and over the rickety bridge, and up to Ramsden Road.
Having turned down Ramsden Road, we arrived at the sailing boating centre, where the toilets have been out of order for at least two years now. Reportedly, because United Utilities can't get a water feed to flush the loos. You couldn't make it up. Despite the reservoir being twenty feet deep with a capacity of 1,500,000 gallons, and just a hundred yards away, UU cant get the toilets to flush. Austerity Eh...!!!?
Leaving the reser, we turned up the bridleway (PBW) that passes Life for Life, the trees planted in memory of loved ones. I looked for my memorial, but I am pleased to note it isn't there yet.
We left the PBW at Stansfield Hill, dropping down Long Clough, through the hamlet of Clough and into Littleborough Village where we took luncheon in the Village Square. Pete Balshaw disappeared, and unable to find a bacon butty, he returned with a bag of chips which he duly shared with the group.
Sadly, another of the group was struggling with new boots, and as he had taken skin off several areas of his feet, he decided that rather than risk not being able to take part in the Two Crosses next week, he did the honourable thing and took the bus back to his car. Then there were 12.
By this time, my attrition rate was starting to attract attention of the Senior Members of the club... (80% I was informed...) and I was sent a final written warning.

Despite all the casualties, the weather continued to improve, and the sunbathing continued uninterrupted until we had taken our fill, and we set off. Under Littleborough Railway Station (replacement buses due to Sunday working) and along Rochdale Canal. The canal saw several walkers shedding top layers, but the tougher members refused to remove coats, preferring instead to struggle in the now tropical heat.

We left the canal at Smithybridge, passing under the railway (not very picturesque...) then up past the old Birch Hill Hospital site, and up Birch Hill itself. The walk up Birch Hill was short but sharp, and several members de-coated, but not Ken!!! Vowing not to cast a clout, 'till August!!!
Here I set Ken a puzzle. He had to guess what interesting feature we would find on top of Birch Hill. Thinking I had him outwitted, I strode on into the sunshine. Next I hear Ken say, “a reservoir.” How did he know...!!!??? You guessed it, he looked on his GPS map...! Undaunted, I pointed to a fir tree in the distance. “Look at that tree” I said, with pride. “That's a phone mast” he replied without blinking. Now I know how upset Ken was when Pete Balshaw solved his USA? Puzzle recently!!! Despite Ken 'knowing' what was on top of Birch Hill, what none of us expected was the Heron that flew off as soon as we appeared on the lip of the reser! That was a pleasant surprise.
We dropped down into Wardle Village, and worked our way over the tops via Rydings Farm, where Ken, having lost two stones due to sweating, FINALLY removed his coat, and all his 'equipment'. It was then that I was informed that his nom de plume was Gadget Man... We continued past Brownhouse Wham Reservoir  to Healey Corner, where fortunately the loos were still open!. We dropped down Dell Road, and climbed up and over the viaduct, then we made our way via Knack Lane, past Hunger Hill back towards Greenbooth Reservoir.
We descended Woodhouse Lane, crossed Greenbooth Reservoir Dam, and climbed up Over Town Lane to the hamlet of Red Lumb.
Back onto Edenfield Road for a short spell and back to the waiting cars. 15 set off. 12 made it back. I hope those who were unable to complete enjoyed the walk they did, and that they are fit and well for the Two Crosses next weekend.
Final part of the report. Note to Norman. We kept a close eye on Ken, and we are pleased to report that he didn't breach the terms of his ASBO. Never once did he sing the praises of Yorkshire over Lancashire on the walk, and Dave and Alma said they would report ant transgressions, should they occur, on the way home in the car.
Thanks to all who turned out. I had slight sunburn on my forehead! That's a first for me for some time!
Peter Steckles
The pictures below are from Peter

Click here for Howard's pictures.




Looking For Guy. Wednesday March 9th. 14 miles. Leaders: Dave and Alma Walsh.


Eleven walkers & Maude the staffie defied the poor weather forecast & set off from the pretty village of Downham. The conditions from the off were very wet & muddy underfoot, but at least it wasn't raining.


We made our way over fields, under a railway line & across the A59 to Sawley passing the Abbey. Following the 100 route we made our way towards Bolton by Bowland. Joint leader Alma reported she had dropped her glasses somewhere along the route, but we pressed on & had a toilet & coffee break in the village. As a punishment for losing her specs Alma was put in the village stocks.


After leaving the village we tramped across even muddier & wetter fields before welcome relief was found on a tarmac road leading us towards Gisburn. We then walked through Gisburn Park where we came across 9 peacocks, passing the hospital before crossing the A59 again for lunch in Gisburn. Guy of Gisburn, Robin Hood's adversary was discussed over lunch with several walkers having already guessed the reason for the walk title.


We then made our way back to Downham passing Gazegill organic farm with piglets, calves & donkeys. Muddy boots were rinsed off in the village stream. 


A drink for some before heading home. 


Our two leaders however drove to Sawley & then a walk back along the Ribble looking for the dropped pair of glasses. These were fortunately located only about a mile from Sawley. We celebrated by having our tea in the Spread Eagle (we did have a change of clothes) taking advantage of the Wednesday Giveaway Fish & Chips at the bargain price of £5 per head.
Thanks to all who came on the walk,
Dave & Alma Walsh.
The photo's below are from Dave.


The photo's below are from Hilary.