Tottington 19-02-2017 – Leader Arnold

Tottington 19-02-2017 – Leader Arnold

We had a very pleasing turnout of 17 people on this short Sunday walk today, including Zoe, who joined Rossie Ramblers in December, but who has had to wait until today to walk with us.  I think another first today was Fred, husband of Jan, friends of Judy/Joe & Linda/David.  It was also nice to see Alan again, for the first time in a while.  The weather was very mild, but a bit drizzly with low cloud, meaning that we didn’t have the pleasant views that this walk would normally afford.  Nevertheless, there was plenty of interest on the walk, starting with the interestingly-designed Tower Farm, which is described here.

A little later, I pointed out a plaque on the wall of a house on Holcombe Road, where a chap called Henry Wood was born, who later founded Woodbury, New Jersey, now twinned with Bury – hence the Woodbury building in Bury College.  He was a remarkable man, as you can read here.  We then walked pleasantly along the side of Greenmount Golf Club, where Joe & Fred play, to reach Holly Mount RC Primary School, which has an interesting history.  We noted the conversion of the convent’s chapel to apartments, before turning down into a community orchard (including beehives), where free scrumping is allowed – but not today, of course.

Leaving the orchard, we dropped into a valley and across a stream to reach the highlight of the walk – the cottage where Hansel & Gretel were incarcerated!  Of course this is not the real cottage – that only exists in a fairy tale – but it is a cottage that was built last year for a film to be called Harry & Grace, by a 13 year old Manchester filmmaker called Holly Jacobson.  Seeing the photo of Glyn’s devilish burning eyes, you can imagine that life in the cottage was not very pleasant!  You can read more about Holly and her film here, where you can also watch a video about the disastrous fire in the cottage before filming was over.  After marvelling at the cottage – built from straw bales – we took a short break there, before moving on past a small flock of pretty little goats, to cross the B6213, where eagle-eyed Judy spotted the first daffodils of the year.  Then it was south through Stormer Hill Closes to Harwood Road and Gorsey Clough, turning east as we reached a huge and very well done carving of a brown bear.

Continuing south across the fields – some quite muddy – we came out onto Bentley Hall Road in Walshaw, which we followed east to Walshaw village itself.  Here we made a short diversion to take lunch in the grounds of Walshaw Church, which explains the slight excess mileage and time today!  Then it was back on the planned route to cross the fields to Owler Barrow and past the brand new Elton High School building.  By now we were heading north, and followed a field edge path that skirted the Bolholt Hotel area, before cutting across a claggy field to cross the B6213 Tottington Road and thence to ‘Totty Lines’, the old railway track between Bury and Greenmount.

After a short stretch on the lines, we turned off into the pleasant woods of the Kirklees Valley Local Nature Reserve, meandering past mill lodges, seeing the back of the Greenmount Wild Bird Hospital, and hearing the hounds of the Holcombe Hunt, whose kennels are near the Hospital.  Roy limbered up with a bit of yoga on a bench installed by one of my grandsons, before telling us about the history of the printworks, the main employer in the valley.  It was then only 5 minutes or so before we were back at our starting point.  Thanks are due to Judy for taking excellent photos once again, and to her and David for kindly carrying my gear, saving me from struggling with a rucksack – shoulder and all (aah!).  Finally, thanks to all for coming to find out more about terrific Totty!

(Pics Judy, 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 Comment

  1. Thanks Arnold for a lovely walk full of interest – how we’ve missed you!

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