Has spring sprung?

At the Start Back towards Gargrave By the canal Enjoying the sun Famous Double Bridge Heading towards Skipton Lots of lambs More track work Track to Elslack Wandering along
Gargrave Circular. Wednesday March 10th 2010

Leader : Jim Ogden, 14 miles

21 attendees and two dogs!

Days do not come more enjoyable than this. Yet again we enjoyed a superb walk, stunning scenery, great company and beautiful weather. Centred around the splendid little Yorkshire town of Gargrave, we started by crossing the River Aire to pick up the Pennine Way. Our whole day was blessed with the sight of snowdrops in full bloom, soaring curlews and the sound of early season lambs bleating away.

From Thornton-in-Craven we headed for the beautiful hamlet of Elslack and enjoyed our lunch sat around the village “green”. Jim had to crack the whip to get us going again but pretty soon we were on the old Roman road heading down to Carlton and subsequently back into Gargrave. Even Norman could not find one single thing today on which he could possibly have deducted Jim a point! It was superb. And what better place to mull over the delights of the day than the Hesketh Arms just off the A59?


Several individuals incurred the Wrath Of Hilary (not for nothing is that in capital letters!) The poor, cursed souls who are now on her “hit list” are – Norman, Jim, June, Pete, Geoff, Allan and Bill. Their crime? They wouldn’t do this write-up. So John “carpe diemed” (seized the day) and stepped in!!!!

To finish, Well Done Jim – what a debut walk! And welcome to debutants Carol and Anthony along with Mike and Heather who were “auditioning the group”.

PS Can someone please make a note that Bill’s birthday is in February so we don’t miss it in future. Then he won’t go on and on and on and on and on about it!!

RED ROSE WALK Part 1 – Uppermill to Wardle

Wednesday March 24th 2010

Leader : Ian Pickup 16 miles

24 slightly windswept, muddy but very happy attendees!!!

101 miles to go of the Red Rose Walk but if the first 16 are anything to go by we are in for a real walker’s treat. The route is divided into eight sections and is designed to show what a splendid county Lancashire is to walk. No arguments on that score from this first stage.

Traffic problems for a few people saw a delayed start but the coach driver was patience itself. We were still under way before ten o’clock from the delightful little town of Uppermill near Oldham. It was market day and the place was buzzing – or maybe people had just come along to see us on our way. We joined the Rochdale Narrow Canal towpath with the River Tame alongside and soon we were passing under the quite breathtaking Saddleworth railway viaduct. After a quick toilet stop at the splendid tourist information centre we were soon struggling up our first incline of the day, Lark Hill and Harrop Edge.

We dropped down into Delph to follow Castleshaw Valley but Ian soon had us climbing again to Castleshaw Moor and Broad Greave Hill. We were surrounded by reservoirs, inspired by the moorland views and deafened by the roar of the M62 as we traipsed along the peculiar named Rapes Highway, once a major packhorse route over the Pennines. Just as we had been lulled into thinking his twisted knee would give us a day off from Norman we came to…..Norman Hill Reservoir. Fittingly it was nearly empty!

It was well after four when we arrived back in Wardle, legs stretched and muddy, spirits enlivened and as always ready for a “swift one!! The highlight of a day of many delights was undoubtedly Tracy’s scones with jam and cream! Special guests on the day were East Lancs debutante, Deb Garfield, and the new LDWA Local Groups Secretary John Phillips. Both were excellent company. So get well Norman and Reg – we can’t wait for the next stage, Wardle to Holcombe Brook Wednesday April 21st.
Snap time Spectacular Viaduct in Uppermill Towards the Motorway Up the hill we go Viaduct again What lovely flowers