The Vault Regulars

Thursday, March 23, 2023

A photo trip to Hebden Bridge.

 Wednesday 22nd March 2023.

On this sunny day Sheila decided we should have a train trip to Hebden Bridge. It's not far from us, just half an hours journey. Hebden Bridge is now a quirky market town in the Calder Valley. It grew up as a town due to it's involvement in wool weaving. It's steep sided position giving plenty of access to fast flowing water which provided power.

During the 15th and 16th centuries this area made more millionaires than the rest of the world combined. Their legacies and buildings can still be found today.

The Rochdale canal, opened in 1804 passes through Hebden as well as the Rivers Hebden and Calder. The canal being the major transport for wool until the  Manchester to Leeds railway was built and opened in 1841.

Designer Lucy Casson's cast iron horse bench can be found on the canal towpath. Located in 2013 it represents the horses that once pulled the narrow boats. The seating is made from the same wood as the Black Pit Lock Gates.

The tourist street runs parallel to the River Hebden and is prone to flooding after heavy rain.

This weir on the Hebden is located next to an Archimedes screw turbine and a water wheel. I didn't photograph it as there was a picnic table sited over the grating. It was built in 2013 after the bad floods of 2012. It provides power for the attached building.

Looking North from the ancient pack horse bridge.

This is the "Ancient" pack horse bridge. It replaced an old wooden bridge. This one was built in 1510. The current bridge has been repaired a number of times and was the pack horse route between Halifax and Burnley. The pack horse section between Hebden and Heptonstall is called the Buttress. It is still a cobbled path and opens up great views of the town.

Start of the Buttress route.

The camera tells lies. It was much steeper than it looks.

I had to clean out this OS Bench Mark but it does not exist in the OS benchmark data sheets. It is shown on the 1894 map of the area. 

View of the town-1

View of the town-2

Part of the steep staircase from Heptonstall down to Hebden.

Back on the Rochdale Canal.

The narrow boat dry dock. (cannot be used very often).

Monday, February 13, 2023

The Singing Ringing Tree. A quick visit.


After an overnight trip into Burnley we decided to go up to the Singing Ringing Tree located at SD8512 2894 on the way home. We hadn't been to it in the past and it is located very close to the car park. It only takes a few minutes to walk and on a decent path to get to it. 

The "Tree" is a wind powered orchestra of tubes, sculptured into a wind blown shape of a mountain tree.

It was erected in 2006 and is one of four sculptures created by the East Lancashire Environmental Arts Network. Desiged by Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu.

The singing ringing tree.

It was a good day to stand under the tree as the wind was relatively strong. The sounds were fantastic. It was bitterly cold and we didn't stay too long. At the car park a man had a flat tyre so I volunteered to change it for him. My fingers felt like they were about to fall off it was freezing.

It was an enjoyable 1/2 hr.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Boxing Day circular around Askam In Furness

 Our long time friends who have lived in Seathwaite, Duddon Valley for best part of 30yrs decided that age was catching up and they needed to be nearer to public services etc etc. 

After searching high and low for a new property they bought a new build in Askam in Furness. At first we thought they had made a mistake as the life style between Seathwaite and Askam is so different. Cutting a long story short we have been proved wrong, they made the right decision and they are very happy with their new life.

We have been staying with them and even did some work for them on Christmas Day. This brought out the old rhyme, "It was Christmas Day in the workhouse, the snow was raining fast, a bare footed made with clogs on.......... etc" anyway we had a lovely Christmas Day which included a quick walk down to the beach at Askam Pier before the heavens opened.

The area has yet to be explored for walking routes by our friends, so on Boxing Day I put together a circular walk. Alan (not me) was up for it but Tina who had a sore foot decided to stay at home. 

Here is the route I picked.

Starting at the kite mark in Askam, the red line is the walk we did which ended at the flag.

"A" is where the decision was taken to turn back.

The black line was part of the planned route which we didn't get to do.

It wasn't long after leaving the house that we found our way through the streets and onto well used tracks. Passing playing fields and a park we came to a corrugated iron city. I'm not sure what these enclosures were originally used for but to be honest, today, they look a mess, full of junk, rusted panels, old tat of all descriptions. It is known locally as The Lotts.

The good bit and small section of corrugated city.

Askam's history is the iron ore pits and the brick works. In years past the area was very industrial with large Blast Furnaces, tram ways of which lots of social archeology can still be found if you know where to look. (I don't as yet but I am so looking forward to finding out more).

We soon came to what was part of the Iron Ore works. Signs there told us to keep out, which we did. I guess it's because of the danger to kids swimming in the deep lake which remains or it is a sign from the past. The lake was where Chapmans Lot pit was worked. The actual trail we was walking on was originally the Mineral Railway Line. The old rails have been re-cycled as fencing which can be found along the route.

We passed a large solar farm which was a bit of a shock as we were just saying what lovely countryside we were in. That will be a huge re-cycle cost at some point in the future.

There was a track signposted Roanhead Cottages which looked promising to get down to the beach but to no avail. It was private and anyhow there didn't seem to be a route through.

We carried on, and on, I started to get a little worried because Alan is 82yrs old and has suffered a bleed on the brain, his balance is not good and I thought Tina might be getting a little worried as to why we were out so long. We rang her and said we had not found a way down to the beach but not to worry.

Checking the map the only route was to go to the road down to Roanhead and then back along the beach. 

Once at the beach we noticed the tide was in. One of the things I never thought of "Tides". We tried our best over a very pebbly beach, it was difficult walking and extremely windy. Alan was getting tired.

Black Combe across the bay.

Would we be able to get around the headland? Who knows, none of us had been here before. Alan started to falter, his balance and energy gone. What do I do now? We were at the furthest point from home. Do we carry on along the beach and maybe get caught by the tide or do we walk back from where we had come, which would be the longest route. 

Keeping hold of Alan so that he stayed on his feet Sheila ran to a dog walker to ask if we could get around the headland. Answer..... No. It was a high tide.

Sheila jogging down the beach to ask a dog walker for advise.

Shingle and pebble beach made for hard walking.

No choice then we had to go backwards. We both struggled getting Alan back along the shingle and large pebbles which slid away with every step. But we got back to the car park before the tide cut us off.

It was very cold and windy when we stopped at the car park and the information centre was shut. It was starting to rain. There was only one thing for it.

I gave Sheila my coat and camera and said I would run back to the house to get the car and pick them up. There was no shelter at the car park but the WC's were open so they sheltered there and I set off.

I hadn't  run for a while, since I had achilles problems but I never thought about it as I yomped my way back the 6km. I did the run surprisingly quick considering. It must have been the adrenaline. 

I picked them both up and fortunately Alan was ok. He got a bit of a telling off when we got home but we can laugh about it now.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

A photo blog post of our short walk along the beach at Walney Island.

Christmas Eve, 2022.🎅🎄


I think these were Stint.
WW2 relic of a large gun emplacement. (Many of these still to be seen).
View North from just before Shope Tree Scar

Long range shot of Stonechat with iPhone 11.

A lovely route to walk or cycle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Jubilee Tower, Darwen Hill and Darwen Moor,

 Walked on Tuesday 25th October 2022.

Well here we are again heading North from home, fighting the traffic on the M60 circular to get onto the A666 which will take us through Bolton and to our start point for this walk at Ryal Fold. The 4 lanes on the smart motorway have not made the slightest bit of difference to traffic congestion whatsoever. Except the motorway is a far more dangerous place.

Arriving at the free car park I already feel shattered from the amount of traffic encountered. I hate driving.

Today I have planned a 10/12Km walk which will take in reservoirs, a grand viewpoint, open moorland and a river walk through forestry. Weather wise it isn't a grand day like we had last Tuesday, but hey, it isn't raining and I can see the tops.

More or less straight away I took a wrong turn but realised within a hundred metres. I turned right on the path which goes towards Stepback Brook instead of going left through Ryal Farm which is a listed building. 

Looking at the building I'm not 100% certain that listing ensures the best treatment. In this case I would have my doubts. The building dates from the mid 1600 and belonged to the Walmsley family.

Ryal Farm, built Circa 1650
We were togged out for a nippy day and it wasn't long before the layers came off. The sun was really strong but it didn't make for good images. Through the fields full of ewe's with the admiring tups in an adjacent field we emerged onto a green lane which was aptly named Donkey Brew. This is a neatly cobbled old road leading down to Earnsdale Reservoir.

The reservoir was built in 1863 and is fed by Stepback Brook.

Easdale reservoir, the path goes across the dam head.

Looking at the map, the track looks like a Land Rover track but we were surprised to find it mettled for quite a way. Approaching the Water House, a lovely York stone house we were greeted by a couple of alpaca. Beyond the house we passed through a gate on the right. Above us but out of sight unfortunately was another reservoir, Sunnyhurst Hey. It wouldn't be until we got to Jubilee Tower that we would get to see it. However, the views north towards Longridge Fell was great.

A few dog walkers were enjoying the weather as we plodded upwards towards the tower. Our fitness or I should say lack of fitness coming to the fore. Darwin down to our left. 

On the way up Darwen Hill to Jubilee Tower.
Still a bit to go yet.
A very pleasant "up" soon brought us to the tower at 372 metres and the OS Trig point osbm S3476. It was surprising that we had the tower to ourselves. I didn't expect that on such a nice day. We did the climb to the top and wow what a view. The tower was built to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee year. It is worth a visit.

After around 20 minutes enjoying the views from the tower I had to check the map to find our onward route. This was simply because there are so many paths heading off in all directions from the tower. As it happens our route followed the Witton Weavers Trail. I've done small sections of this trail but I wouldn't mind doing it all in one go. 

The moorland was a delight and the sound of grouse, which sounds like they were laughing at us could be heard as we disturbed them. The wind was a bit chilly and we needed to keep moving until we got into the lee where we stopped for a few minutes at one of the many benches situated on the tops.

We must have been lucky as around the hills to the east and for long periods on Winter Hill a band of thick white cloud covered the tops. We were now walking west on an extremely wide grassy path which must have been mowed by machine. We were now about halfway. The tower still constantly in our rear view.
Heading west into clear sky. Not a soul around.

Winter Hill starting to clear.
Walking down the motorway track I kept thinking "Thats a good spot to camp, oh and there's running water". Noted in memory bank. 
At the access point into open country the tower looked so close. 

All too soon we head downhill towards the road where looking at the map is a car park and picnic area. We will stop here for lunch and then into the forestry which hold deer and the ruin of Hollinshed Hall.
The car park was there but the barrier was locked up. As for the picnic area, well that was none existent. So we used a decent enough low wall as a table.  The sign in the car park said it was overspill only. Also if you did manage to park and you were not out by 5.30pm, YES, 5.30pm, you would be locked in and that would be that until the barrier was unlocked the next day. Wonderful I thought. Must put a hacksaw in the boot I thought. There was no sign that you couldn't cut the barrier so I presume that it would be ok.

The 2 mini buses were for a children's outing, I presume the driver had his own keys to the barrier. 

The walk through the plantation was an absolute delight. Mixed woodland and obviously the grounds which belonged to the now ruined Hollinshead Hall. The hall was built on the grounds of a former farm in 1776 by John Hollinshead. It eventually feel into disrepair and when the land was purchased by Liverpool Corporation Waterworks in the 1900's it was demolished. Apart from the well house which still stands.

The well house and below a blurry image of the interior. 2 images thanks to Lancashirepast.

Leaving the old hall behind and following a good path through the plantation we spoke to a chap keen to show us the photographs he had taken of a stag and doe. They were taken here and no wonder he was proud of them. 
Also, all around was a plethora of fungi. I so wish I had brought a flash for the camera because there was some beuts.
Numerous times the sound of the river could be heard but not seen and it was quite a while before it came into view. At the bridge over to Roddlesworth I took the photo below.

This walk has been one of my favourites for some time. Scenery so mixed and lots of fungi at this time of year. It was a good outing for both me with my tendonitis and Sheila with her sore hip. What a pair of crocks. But there was quite a lot of up's and downs so it is progress. 

Here's the route, about 11km.

And it wouldn't be a walk without a tractor. An MF265.

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