Jumping into June

Along the Embankment Ascending Warton Crag At Warton Crag car park Beach at Silverdale Going down Norman convinces us he knows where he is! Toiling up Top of Warton Crag
Leighton Moss Circular Wednesday 2nd June 2011

10 people and 1 dog. 15 miles

Walk Leader – Norman Thomas deputising for Reg Kingston

“Right then with a bit of good navigation today we should be sitting down to lunch by 1pm in Silverdale………..Or Arnside………..Or Carnforth!” Norman’s early morning pep talk inspired us all. In his defence, bless his cotton socks, he had stood in for Reg at the last minute as Reg had got double booked. The turnout was slightly disappointing but a few regulars are still away in Scotland having gone up for The Hundred.

We left the car park behind the George Washington pub in Warton in an eerie mist, hardly typical of a June morning. After a breathless half mile of steady climbing, almost scrambling, Norman announced, “There you are everyone, the summit of Warton Crag.” Our pride in our achievement was dented slightly when Hilary said, “Well why’s that bit over there higher up than what we are?” So we headed for that bit. This time, before basking in our glory, we all peered round looking for a higher point – and found one! So we scaled that height and this time we felt confident we had conquered it. Who would have thought Warton Crag had Three Peaks! One wag was heard to whisper, “The last time he convinced me he knew where we are was on the M6!” Norman got out his compass, “Eeny, meeny, miny,moe”. Descent was somewhat less taxing than ascent but the right path had to be found. Unusually Norman was a little quiet. Then suddenly there it was right in front of us – the track we were seeking. Everyone was pleasantly surprised and no one more so than Our Leader!

We were now on the section that Norman and John had reccied with Reg and it was almost plain sailing for the rest of the day. By now the mist had cleared and the sun beat down, sweaty stuff for walkers but the views were magnificent. Coffee was taken looking down on the splendour of Leighton Hall and lunch on the stunning peak of Arnside Knott, surely one of the most breathtaking views in the North West. We all had a laugh at a young Aberdeen Angus’ rather graphic physical response to the contents of Vi’s butties!

We headed for Far Arnside and in to Silverdale along the rocky beach. Approaching Holgates Caravan Park we restored an old, deaf Jack Russell to it’s bereft and attractive owner. She was upset at losing her dog but not so much that she dropped her guard and gave John her email address and phone number!

We needed an excuse to rest up a few minutes and hopefully lose the company of another temporarily lost dog, a rather bothersome young Staffy. Ice creams where the order of the day as we joked that if the dog was lost it must be called Norman! On we went across Leighton Moss, eagerly and attentively listening out for the Boom of the Bittern and hoping to win the pound coin that Norman had up as reward for the first person to hear it - John’s coin of course. We heard the Boom of the Virgin North Western and the Boom of the Budgie Breeder but sadly not that of the Bittern.

Our search for the Black Dyke proved fruitless but we did see the most beautiful lemon butterfly, thought to be Clouded Yellow, and a ten strong litter of piglets. Amazingly we somehow found our way back to our cars and enjoyed a swift and well deserved pint in the George W before heading home after a superb day out.

Well done Norman yet again!

Musbury Meander. Tuesday June 8th, evening stroll. 30 people and 9 dogs. Leader Chris Greene

There was a doubt that people would travel to the wilds of Rossendale for an evening stroll. This proved unfounded with another good turnout even after an inclement day. From the carpark at Helmshore museum Musbury Tor loomed above us. There was only one way to go and that was up and up eventually reaching the quarries above the Grane valley. Here we paused to admire the view, then turned through the quarry to circuit Musbury valley.

This valley is quite hidden and it was a peaceful meander around the sides, passing several ruined farmsteads with only a few sheep as company. The path was fairly dry, unusual for here, with only a few places needing to use the stepping stones provided. We approached Musbury Tor from the back and then made our way through the old Government experimental farm and down to the valley passing some superb housing on the way.

We were back at the carpark for 9.30pm and several people went to finish the evening with a drink at the nearby pub. Thanks to Chris for a great walk and to Doug (a former East Lancs member) for stepping in as back marker.
A good turnout. Circuiting Musbury Valley Looking over Grane Valley Lovely Buttercup field