Sun 21st Nov, 1999

Walk, Southern Pennines

Members:Jim and Sandy Gregson, Lester Payne, Alan Peck, Iain McCallum, Pete Walker, Brian Taylor, Margaret Baldock, Sue Brooke, Dave Wylie, Alan Wylie, Derek Seddon, Alan (Liverpool) Jones, Frank and Margaret Williams.

Guests:Richard Walker, Paul Dewhirst, John McKenzie, Peter and Denise Blythe, Roy Blackburn, Arthur and Gloria Deary.


A satisfactory turnout from the KMC was supplemented by a substantial group of Mike Graves' Trafford Walkers though Mike himself had an appointment in a Bulgarian umbrella factory and had sent his troops on their own. The introductory road section was dismissed briskly and the first easy patch of turks heads soon encountered on the approach to Redmonds Edge. The Gritstone Carpet quickly led us towards Great Hill but the Mid-Morning Butty Men insisted on their statutory break before the sweeping views from the top could be sampled. The Lakes and Welsh hills were both clear but this was as near as we were going to get to "proper mountains" especially as a deterioration in the weather was creeping in.

The drop down to the Belmont road was followed by an examination on the ample ruins of Birtenshaw Hall with its well of life-giving waters which were so effective that the Butty Men turned down an offer of a lunch stop in the shelter of Roddlesworth woods and in stead pressed on to Darwen's very own stone spaceship. Here we ate in the bitter chill with several thousand others through which throng mountain bikers insisted on pressing their machines and obliterating the fine view of post-industrial Lancashire . . .

The move south managed to raise body temperatures a little and other temperatures were raised when the meet leader hesitated/prevaricated about using a short stretch of private track. When he indicated a wrong turning above Belmont reservoir some people were getting even warmer and the party went critical by the time we reached the dam. Fissile in fact, with most of the guests opting for the direct approach to Hordern Stoops while the remainder, mindful of their carrot-eating youth pressed onward and upwards to the hoary heights of Winter Hill.

A steep corner-cutting descent of this in failing light led to the second encounter with turks heads only this time they were vicious, as were some of the responses to them. However, a "mere" 200m later we were on the the Rivington road and before long the final leg down to Alance bridge and the car park as dark finally descended. Who'd 'a thowt such a simple little walk could be so exciting?

Keith Williams

Meet Promo:

Anglezarke, Turton and Winter Hill

Meet 09.15 to depart 09.30 at Leicester Mill quarry car park (SD 621161) overlooking Anglezarke Reservoir. (This is best approached from the south by leaving the M61 at J6 then north on the A6 into Adlington. Turn R at a mini-roundabout into Railway Rd., straight cross the A673 at traffic lights and up to Traveller's Rest pub. Bearing R, cross over M61 then immediately L. Follow this lane past The Yewtree after 1km, over dam then along east side of reservoir until fork is reached. Keep L, then L again after 100m into entrance to CP which at the top of a steep drive.)

The proposed route approaches Anglezarke Moor via Leadmines Clough which is followed on to Redmond's Edge then north to Gt. Hill. Dropping east down to the Belmont road then briefly up the Tockholes road to sharp L turn. Short and longer alternative routes are possible here to reach Belmont (Dog Inn for lunch?) then south off the A675 past Spring Res. on to the top of Winter Hill. From the trig point descend north to Hordern Stoops then descend back to Leadmines Clough via the Hempshaw's and Simms farms.

Distance: 12/15 miles depending on route variation. Alternatively, there is climbing at Leicester Mill and Wilton quarries nearby or a little further afield, Hoghton (Tower) Quarry and even a wall at Cliff's Barn in Mawdesley east of Chorley.

Keith Williams

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