Radcliffe 08-11-2017 – Leader Roy

Radcliffe 08-11-2017 – Leader Roy

On a gloriously sunny winter morning, 29 ramblers turned up at Bradley Fold, including Phil, a friend of Paul & John, for his first walk with us.  With 29 walkers, with Jean dishing out notes to walk leaders about next year, and with the toilets inside the huge garden centre being difficult to find, it was 10 o’clock when we set off broadly eastward and across the fields to reach Moss Shaw Farm and then across the B6292 near Barry’s house.  After skirting Withins Reservoir under big blue skies, the inevitable mud (inevitable at this time of year, NOT inevitable on one of Roy’s walks), became more apparent, especially when we were in a field full of Highland-type cattle.  Maybe they had been crossed with longhorns, because certainly I have never seen such large horns outside a bull ring.  For some reason, Derek took a different route from the rest of us, and ended up being corralled in a corner of the field by all of the beasts.  Being convinced that this breed is docile, Derek tiptoed through them to safety; whew!  We soon arrived at Elton Reservoir for our first break, in perfectly still conditions, and by now as warm as toast, leading to some layers coming off.

This reservoir is very popular with local birders, and also has a sailing club, but eagle-eyed photographer Steve spotted that a couple of young anglers had a bite, which turned out to be a decent-sized pike.  You can see all of the action in the photos below.  After this excitement, we continued round the top of the reservoir, before heading west through some more mud towards Cockey Moor, then through Ainsworth to Knowsley, where we took lunch, in slightly cooler weather as the sun hid a little.  We all must have eaten a large lunch, because a few minutes after setting off, none of us could squeeze through a very tight stile without the assistance of Mark, almost lifting us off our feet to get through!  This took us to Barrack Fold Farm, named for the place where Lord Derby assembled his army for an attack on Bolton in the first English Civil War.

We then described a loop around through Arthur Lane Farm, now on the Rotary Way, and across Breightmet golf course to Bury Old Road, where we spotted Roy’s promised Austin 7 in a garden, and a lovely sight it was.  By this time, through exercising great photographic creativity, Steve had exhausted our new camera’s battery, but his pictures show that it was all worthwhile.  (Note to the Treasurer – may I indent for an additional camera battery, please?)  On another mode of transport, Mary later showed that one actually CAN forget how to ride a bike, with disastrous consequences! Then it was through Dearden Fold Farm to cross the busy A58 Bolton Road, and back to the Garden Centre, skirting yet more reservoirs, with beautiful reflections of the sunny skies.  Refreshments – once we found the café – were pleasantly taken in the Garden Centre, to end an interesting rural ramble, thanks to Roy.

(Write up Arnold, pics Steve.  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 Comment

  1. Graeme Adlum

    Once again a lovely walk on a glorious day – thank you Roy.

    Also on my first visit to Bradley Fold Garden Centre I did enjoy the cake.

    Some excellent photos by Steve – definitely captured the day / walk.

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