Cheesden Valley 20-11-2016 – Leader Judy

Cheesden Valley 20-11-2016 – Leader Judy

Today Judy led a superbly scenic, seriously squelchy, short Sunday stroll – the last of the season.  Amongst the 11 who came was Bill Cottam, a friend of Derek, who (Bill, that is) has extensive knowledge of the area, being one of the group that produced ‘The Forgotten Valley’ – a book about Cheesden Valley.  He told us lots of interesting bits and pieces about the area, including that the mill cottages were rented out as holiday cottages after the mills closed.  You can buy the book online or from Bury Central Library.

We headed up Elbut Lane a little before taking the group photo, with your editor realising that he had pressed one button too many on his camera – oh dear!!  As it happened, I had pressed the ‘creative’ button, where the camera takes 5 different pics of the same scene, with one being normal and the others being ‘creative’.  I have left one of the creative pics of the group in the slideshow, as I think it may appeal to artist Jacquie.

After this, we turned off to the east, very soon enjoying excellent views on what had fortunately turned out to be a dry and bright morning.  We could see snow on Scout Moor, and soon had bits of it underfoot, together with some autumn colour still in the trees.  Talking about trees, someone spotted a hole in a tree, thought to have been made by a woodpecker.  Soon after, we had a slightly precarious crossing of a stream, before continuing north to Cleggs Wood, above Cheesden Brook, with splendid holly trees alongside the path.  Around this point, we looked back across Rochdale to a distant tower, with various guesses about what it was – Wainhouse Tower, Elmley Tower, Holme Moss, etc.  Eagle-eyed Jacquie believed that it was not a solid structure – and the very zoomed-in photo supports this view.  Answers on a postcard, please.  Whatever, we now headed along Birtle Edge, with beautiful views along and across Cheesden Valley.  Bill told us something of the industrial history of the area, and we saw Washwheel Mill chimney, from the last of 15 mills in the valley, which together employed some 2000 people.

Dropping into Deeply Vale itself, we had our break amidst the ruins of one of these mills, alongside a very scenic mill lodge.  Then it was out of the mud to the tarmac of Croston Close Road, on which we headed south along the edge of Walmersley Golf Club, with snowy views of Holcombe Hill and Peel Tower.  We soon reached Birtle Edge House, where Bill told us that Victoria Wood lived as a youngster.  He encouraged the ladies to sing ‘Let’s Do It’ – and they did it!!  Shortly after, Roy disgraced himself, as only he can, so we hurried on back to Birtle/Bircle, spotting two rather strangely marooned boats near the converted 1873 parish school.  The final stretch took us above the Pavilion Restaurant lodge, and then along Elbut Lane, where the owner of the Pavilion has built a block of retirement apartments.  This brought to an end a lovely walk, thanks to Judy.

(Pics & write up Arnold.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.)

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


  1. Jenny Bruffell

    Some little boys never grow up!!! Great pics Arnold.

  2. Love the creative start pic, Arnold. Like Judy, I’ll not comment on the other creative one. Looks like a lovely walk, Judy. I bet it was cold though.

  3. Thanks very much Arnold for write up and some spectacular photos. Thanks also to Bill for all his interesting contributions. The creative photo appeals to me too, and I don’t think I”ll even try for a suitable comment for the pic of Roy!

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