Midge Walkers

Walk  No. 115

Ribbleton Walk 25-03-18

Palm Sunday and the 1st day of British Summer Time was a suitable basis for probably the best day of the year so far, with sunshine and a temperature of 11 degrees c.

Previously undertaken in January 2016, this walk, was known to be predominantly on good pathways, with no stiles and table top flat. The 14 adults and two children set off from the Morrisons store on Blackpool Rd, Ribbleton at 2.00 p.m. and took the route previously occupied by the rail line towards Longridge. This line, completed in 1839, had been erected primarily for transporting stone quarried around Longridge to Preston. Initially the wagons were horse-drawn from Preston to Longridge and returned by gravity as far as Ribbleton. The line closed to passengers in 1930 and to goods in 1967.

One of the few remaining remnants of the line was the house situated at Gammull Lane, which when originally erected, started as a railway station. Here we paused whilst Jack shared with us his bag of sweets, which spurred us to further action, and crossing the road at this point we continued along the path to ultimately pass over the M6 via a bridge and onwards to subsequently cross Bluebell Way to the rear of the Booths distribution centre.

After a short distance, we branched right following the Guild Wheel sign to arrive at the main Longridge Rd where we turned left, and at a suitable point crossed to follow the drive towards the Crematorium. Angling right, through the trees, and still following the Guild Wheel sign, we could see to our left the meandering route of the River Ribble in the valley below. After a short distance a suitable stopping point allowed us to partake of the refreshments which some had brought to assist their journey.

Continuing across open fields which had one time been the original Grange Park, we again crossed the M6 to emerge in to a housing area which led us into the new Grange Park. This area had been developed from the grounds of Ribbleton Hall, a Victorian manor house built in 1865 for Thomas Birchall, a local solicitor and one time Mayor of Preston. After Birchalls death the Hall had various occupants including a boy’s prep school in the 1920’s and the ATS and US troops during World War II. The building was demolished in 1955 .

From the Park, we took a path over open ground to emerge into a housing area adjacent to Ribbleton Hall Drive and crossed the main road in to Chatburn Rd, passing the former Greenlands Labour Club on our right, and regaining the converted rail route to our starting point.

The weather had played an important part in the enjoyment of this walk, although our leader must take every credit for picking the date. With new and more accurate measuring equipment we were surprised to find that the distance covered was 5.4 miles and we had spent a very pleasant 2 1/2 hours in each other’s company. Thanks, are recorded to all for their participation.

Contents page