Will June walks never end?

At the Pike Cool woods Down the hill East Lancs rescue team in action Nearly dry stream Shady rest Under the railway Up we go, leaving Rivington
FOUR PIKES PART 1. June 27th

23 Miles Leaders : Paul Allen & John Watson

15 sweaty, dehydrated, but happy attendees!

Hands up – who in our club ever thought they would be absolutely delighted to see Mike Harrington? No I thought not. Well we have to admit that we were on Sunday. This walk on just about the hottest day of the year was a toughie. It was a welcome relief at the end of a long hot haul to see Mike and his minibus all set to run us back to our cars and then off to the refuge of a bath, water, food and home. Even his typical Mike greeting of “what the hell do you lot want?” was sweet music to our ears! We almost kissed him, well nearly. No let’s not be silly.

At 9.00am we met on the approach road to the top Barn and within thirty minutes had scaled our first Pike of the four, Rivington. It was then off on the old Roman Road to Belmont and the marvel of Blue Lagoon reservoir being nearly empty. No wonder a hosepipe ban is imminent. We now picked up the Witton Weavers Way to Tockholes and then on to the Two Crosses circuit. We left this at a nearly empty Turton and Entwistle Reservoir but at Wayoh Farm it became clear that Paul, our leader, was beginning to suffer severe effects of the heat. We had lunch at the ruins of a farm near Whittlestone Head and things took a turn for the worse with Paul as it was now quite clear that he was unwell. After a rest he decided to try and soldier on.

As we headed down towards Clough Head we came across a black and white calf in severe distress. It looked at first as though its rear leg was caught in wire trailing from a broken fence and gate. It panicked as we approached, worsening the problem. However we managed to almost corner it and settle it down a little. Only then did the true seriousness of its predicament become clear. In addition to being wrapped around its rear legs the thick wire was wound three times round its neck and each time it struggled it came closer to being garrotted as the wire tightened. All of us set about doing what we could and somehow we untangled it, Kim cutting her finger quite badly in the process. Finally the calf was safe and free and the ungrateful little so-and-so didn’t even stop to pose for a photograph!

We continued down towards Ogden Reservoir but here it became clear that it would be foolhardy for Paul to continue. Only Hazel had a signal on her phone and we managed to get hold of John Watson’s son, Gordon, who sacrificed watching the England v Germany World Cup game to come out for Paul. Andy Hayhurst took over the map and leadership and made the wise decision to head for Clough Head information centre and the café. We nearly emptied the drinks fridge and it was ice creams all round! The 30 minute delay with the calf and everything else had seen us drop behind schedule and the decision was democratically made to curtail the day’s walk from 23 miles to just over 20. Mike was phoned and he picked us up at Rising Bridge.

As we got back to our cars Paul and John were there and what a relief it was to see he was almost fully recovered. It was one of those days which will stick in the memory for how everyone mucked in and did their bit when it was needed. Typical East Lancs camaraderie. Well done everyone!


Leader : John Picton (his first ever) Wed June 30th 2010.

15 persons

What a debut from Mr Picton! A cracking walk in all respects and the weather was beautiful. Even Norman had to begrudgingly admit that he had done well. The start and finish was his house situated in a lovely little spot just on the outskirts of Adlington.

We went off down the canal, across to Rivington up to the Pike and back in. The “Spot the Pike” competition turned out to be the obvious one, Rivington and a big sign which said “No Pike Fishing”. Bit of a cheat that John. But he regained all his points, and more, with an ice cream stop and then back at this house, drinks on the patio and slices of Betty’s “keeps you regular” cake!!!

Well done John.
Group start outside John's house Where now John?