Clowbridge linear 16-11-2016 – Leader Dougie

Clowbridge linear 16-11-2016 – Leader Dougie

Ten jolly ramblers met in Rawtenstall at the later than usual time of 9.30, ready to catch the bus over to Clowbridge.  We were met at our destination by Francis, so eleven jolly ramblers set off on the Burnley Way on the Hameldon side of the road.  We passed the bear mentioned in the walk title, went along the bottom edge of Nutshaw Hill, with a steepish climb to the Radar and Met Office Weather stations on Hameldon, where we stopped for a short time to catch our breath.  The stations are jointly managed by CCUK (a communications company) and the Met Office, so are valuable in providing telecommunications to the area and being the background to our local weather forecasts.   

The vehicle left at the site was clearly not going to provide us with a reasonable mode of transport, so we walked off the Burnley Way and traversed the side of Great Hameldon for a banana break at May Road Well.  The flagstone calls it Mary’s Holy Well, but it is indicated differently on the Ordnance Survey map.  Even the web link calls it something different.  Anyway, it provided the perfect snack stop and yours truly took the opportunity to try some arty shots!  We had fantastic views of Accrington in the valley and Blackburn on the skyline to the west.  And the sun was shining! 

Turning south fleetingly, with good views over Mitchell’s House Reservoirs (apparently they are upland lakes).  And how confusing!  Where is Mitchell’s House?  Who is Mitchell?  In September this year permission was granted to install a wind turbine so it will be interesting to see this in future.  We headed to Hen Heads Farm (I think) and then picked up the Rossendale Way into Stone Ford, where we stopped for lunch outside Croft Top Equestrian Centre.  We did hope that Georgia would wave to us, as she was working there today, but there must have been a rush on in the café! 

The lunch was most welcome, but the weather was not….turning colder with a drop of rain in the air, so we hurried on towards Sherfin.  Note that the thermometer outside Sherfin Nook shows just less than 40 degrees ….that’s Fahrenheit…and is about 3 degrees Celsius.  We had excellent views of the new traffic lights at the Rising Bridge junction near Winfields.  It was about this point that Roy commented that Dougie must have a trick up his sleeve because it was only about half an hour back to Rawtenstall, and that would mean an early finish. 

From Sherfin, we had a slight uphill climb to a footbridge across a small stream and a pause for the obligatory bridge shot.  Later, another pause to put Judy and Roy in the stocks!  Skirting the edge of Cribden, we dropped down to Top o’ Slate, where the majority of the group peeled off to view the Halo, but yours truly and Roy stopped to find the site of the race course at Laund Hey. Gathering his flock, Dougie led us along the Shoe Trail to Whitaker Park and thence to Rawtenstall, teasing us with possible tea stops en route.  He did indeed have a trick up his sleeve, but not an extension to the misleage (9.5 miles clocked by Judy), but a stop at the Temperance Bar and an early finish, as the bar was staying open especially for us. 

Thanks to Dougie for a lovely and informative walk.  During the day, he regaled us with the tales of medieval routes, quarries for brick works, felt and cotton mills and names such as Whitaker and Whitehead.  Such a mine of information!  However, I couldn’t remember much so I’ve mined Google.  It’s worth checking out the Haslingden blog for more information about Top o’ Slate, a 20th Century murder, the incredible amount of nature found up there, and much, much more. 

A quick puzzle from my mining: what is/are madapollams  and dosfrizas?

(Pics & write up Gill)

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


  1. carol jakar

    Great walk Dougie and great photos Gill……

  2. Gee, G – I didn’t think you would ever take a picture of a horse! Arty shots not bad, though – I can feel you breathing down my neck (in a good way!). Re your queries, see for the first. The second looks like a misspelling of a Spanish word meaning disguises or dressing up.

    • I’d already looked up both and then gone to the Oracle (my dad, who used to work in a cotton mill). Both are types of material, madapollam is fine and soft, and dosfrizas is ….dad didn’t know, but he’d heard of it….. Like you, I feel it is Spanish but got nowhere. I suspect it’ll be a corruption for use in Lancashire. Anyway, both types of cloth were made in Rawtenstall.

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