Rufford 04-07-2018 – Leader Paul

Rufford 04-07-2018 – Leader Paul

Paul promised us a shortish flat walk in today’s heat, with delicious refreshments at the end.  This was obviously a winning combination, as 24 ramblers turned out, including Phil’s wife Moyra (pronounced Moya) for her first walk with us.  Had Noel Coward been with us, he might have said ‘Very flat, Rufford’, as the ascent/descent was much less than even the Hilbre Island walk.  The other remarkable thing about today’s walk was the dryness of the fields underfoot, with soil that was simply powder in some parts, reminiscent of the American Dust Bowl period in the 1930s.  This is very evident in some of Diana’s excellent pics, whilst others show thriving crops that have clearly been well watered.

The common description of England as being full did not hold water today, as Paul led along the margin of field after field, with very few houses and even less people in sight, though we did spot a rather large cabbage harvesting machine in one of the fields.  Once we had all assembled after some route-finding difficulties because of the closure of the bridge at Croston, Paul’s route took us east from Rufford along New Reed Brook, then north on Gales Lane across Mawdesley Moss – not so mossy today!  We continued north to Croston, having a couple of water breaks along the way, but with no formal coffee stop.  This turned out to be an excellent plan, as Croston was delightful, and the churchyard where we had our ‘brunch’ was lovely, with lots of benches.  The village well deserves the award it received in 2016 – full of interesting buildings, flowers everywhere, lovely nooks and crannies, and a nicely set out arrangement of painted rocks by the village schoolchildren.

Tearing ourselves away from Croston, we basically followed a single track railway line back south, criss-crossing it several times.  At one point we almost had to fight our way through very tall vegetation – reminiscent of my walk here several years ago.  When we came to the River Douglas, Roger F demonstrated a rather clever water pump that cows could use to get a drink from the river!  They are obviously cleverer than I am, as I had no idea what it was.  Along the way, Andy – whose wife comes from the area – told me that hangman Albert Pierrepoint and ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ – whom he later executed – at one time lived not far from each other around here!

Anyway, walk over, the real business of the day began in great comfort and style at Paul & Irene’s Eco Butty at Fettlers Wharf Marina, with everyone tucking into delicious home-made scones and cakes, with lashings of tea and coffee.  Irene & Paul, plus Paul’s brother-in-law John, worked their socks off to look after us.  In gratitude, a collection was taken for a charity to be nominated by our hosts, with the handsome figure of £84.20 being collected.  Thus ended a really splendid day, with many thanks to Paul and Irene for the walk and their very generous hospitality.

Write up Arnold, pics Diana.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.

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 will need to click within the black page that opens up to see the show.

1 Comment

  1. Jenny

    Thanks Paul for a very pleasant walk in glorious weather. Thank you both for your generous hospitality, chocolate orange cake was delicious. A good sum was raised for charity. A very good day out.

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