Astley Green 08-04-2018 – Leader Roy

Astley Green 08-04-2018  – Leader Roy

The Astley Colliery Museum had kindly let us park on their land, although the mud the cars sat on should have given us an inkling of what Roy was letting us in for!  7 met up for this very different flat walk on regenerated agricultural land with evidence of our Industrial heritage all around. We saw some unique machinery and equipment, both restored in the museum, abandoned on the land and acquired by “good life” type establishments. The weather gave us some springlike sunny spells and remained dry throughout, although there was plenty of water around.

The group photo is in front of the only surviving headgear and winding engine in Lancashire – both have scheduled monument and listed building status.  The headgear is 98 feet high, with the Pit closing in 1970.  Derek was busy reminiscing over machinery similar to that he worked with early on in his career.

We set off in an easterly direction across farmland, with Roy avoiding the adjacent Bridgewater Canal, swapping it for field ditches. We turned south crossing the canal with brief glimpses of the reflections and mud free “yellow brick road”!  We went past spoil heaps and opencast workings to Nook Lane.  From here we headed to Astley Moss, passing through a farm with an interesting collection of sculptures and farm animals including (pit) ponies and a bearded horse. Coffee was taken amidst huge stocks of peat, which a local we met after told us goes towards top soil production. We continued westerly to Rindle Road, with Derek drawing our attention to a very old peat bog machine, with wooden caterpillar tracks still largely intact. We continued on farmland with potatoes still in the ground, towards Moss Side and past Netherbarrow Farm. We then went in a southerly direction across muddy fields and had lunch at Windy Bank on the edge of Red Rose Forrest.  We next took the Glazebrook Timberland Trail, with a tantalising look at Hall House Bridge over the canal, which is one of only two standard style bridges still left.  The crane alongside was used to place the stop planks in the slots at the canal edge. The information board told us that the Bridgewater Canal was opened in 1761 with the construction being by pick and shovel, wheelbarrow, horse and cart, men women and children. Roy then immediately whisked us away from the canal in search of more mud and lying water! We went past Marland Green and Bedford Hall, then to Higher Fold, Blackmoor and Lark Hill before returning to the Museum.  I’m in awe of Roy remembering such a complex route.

Roy had arranged a very personalised service of refreshments in their staff room, as their planned cafe doesn’t open until next month.

Write up and pics – Judy

11.36 miles   189 feet ascent (some dispute over gadgets so possibly a little more but not much

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here

.“There is a link to the slideshow here. You may need to click within the black page that opens up to see the show – but at least it is full screen! “

1 Comment

  1. Arnold Sampson

    Lovely pics, with an amusing and informative write up, Judy. Well done.

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