Midge Walkers

Walk  No. 96

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A Walk from Longton Brickcroft Nature Reserve.

Without realising it our walk took us back into the 1950/1960’s as well providing plenty of autumnal scenery of 2016. Our start point at the Brickcroft immediately highlighted this contrast for us, what once was a thriving industrial area of clay pits, the brickworks, a pottery, a jam factory and coal yards, supported by a busy railway station and sidings have since the late 1960’s been progressively replaced by the nature reserve. Moving on into Longton Village we noted that the ATCO lawnmower factory and the Alty Family Home is now parkland, the Maltings Brewery is a housing estate. The Bank and old Post Office are cottages. Working our way to Back Lane we sighted a relic from the cold war era, a Nuclear Observation Bunker! As we approached the Ribble Way our landmark was Pilot’s Cottage, the need for the River Pilot disappeared with the closure of Preston Dock. On reaching Longton Marsh another flash back to 1965 came, as this is the area that was the 2nd option for the Nuclear Power Station that is sited at Heysham.

The contrast continued as we walked along the Ribble Way which is a banking constructed to prevent the flooding of earlier years. We left the Ribble Way and joined Hall Carr Lane passing the old stone railway bridge supports, before entering a field then crossing the old Preston to Southport railway line (closed in 1964) and eventually to Hall Lane and more bridge structure from the disused railway. Our final ‘throwback’ came as we arrived back at the Nature Reserve which is situated on Liverpool Old Road, which of course was the main traffic route before being replaced by the Longton by pass, which has taken the name Liverpool Road.

The 4.9mile flat walk, with few stiles, on a cold but clear day revealed some marvellous views of today’s surrounding areas as well as giving a look into what used to be.