The morning of Sunday 11th had been decidedly wet, but by the afternoon it had bucked up considerably and my temperature gauge recorded 13 degrees, notwithstanding a cool breeze blowing. Despite some confusion with directions, 14 people turned up and we set off at 13.55p.m. It had been noted that one of our number was sporting a brand-new pair of shinny boots. How posh!!

Leaving the car park, we veered left around a pond where fishermen were seated, and followed a fenced route over a muddy path. It was obvious from signage that the fenced area was clearly designated for house building. We soon emerged onto a lane and branched right towards a development of new housing, and by passing through a gate emerged into the estate, which took us towards the A49 Preston Rd. Turning left, we soon viewed a few engraved stones in front of some open ground, stating that this was a Friends (Quakers) Burial Ground of 1709, and a gravestone of John Haydock who was one of the founders of the movement in the Coppull/ Standish area in 1660, with his brother Roger. (We will hear more of these later)

Crossing into Langtree Lane and past a children’s playground we continued into open fields with views of Winter Hill clearly visible ahead. A guy with a drone appeared to be tracking us as it buzzed backwards and forwards overhead. Entering a newly planted field, which displayed a series of intermittently placed tubes, we were advised these were vent pipes from the former underground colliery of Chisnall Hall. Skirting the perimeter of farm outbuildings, we crossed another couple of fields to take a path up to Hic Bibby Nature Reserve. This 8-hectare site was a former clay quarry and brickworks and the Latin derivation of the name is “Here Drink”. History links Oliver Cromwell with the site. Betty told us that she used to play in this area when somewhat younger. Some of our number crossed a stile into the site whilst others, less able, took an outer perimeter route.

Following around a field, we crossed a lane and further field to enter the farm yard, originally Bogburn Hall, built in 1663, a Grade II listed building and the home of the Haydock family, mentioned earlier. In its time this was used for Quaker Meetings prior to the creation of the worship centre on the aforementioned site. The present owner took great delight in telling us about his barn conversion which was still in the process of construction.

From the farm, the lane led into Bogburn Lane and subsequently by turning left into Coppull Moor Lane to its junction with the A49 and a convenient bench provided a suitable place for our coffee break. As we were conscious of the failing light, we hastened along the road in the direction of Wigan, passing the gates to the former Chisnall Hall Pit No1, arriving at the what had been the New 7 Stars pub, now the Olive Garden, where we turned right down the drive towards Langtree Farm Shop.

Following around the perimeter of the farm, we turned left, crossing a footbridge and took a route leading to an extensive field of solar panels, which we skirted, and along a pathway passing Thompson House Equestrian Centre and views of Jack and Eileen’ daughter’s, “My Life” charity centre, supporting people of all ages who are in need.

Emerging onto the drive we turned left to exit the site, crossing Pepper Lane into Robin Hood Lane and took a path to return to our starting point. We had covered 4.7 miles and taken just over 2.5 hours.

The results of the new boots, was 9 out of 10, but they certainly weren’t as shinny as at the start. The temperature during the walk had dropped considerably and everyone was glad to enjoy the benefits of their cars heating system.

Our thanks are recorded to the organisers for another opportunity to enjoy the outdoor.

Midge Walkers

Walk  No. 124

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