Midge Walkers

Walk  129

Bamber Bridge Walk

On a day, which had seen rain, snow and sleet in the morning, with temperatures of 3 degrees and finished with rain again in the evening, at the time of our scheduled walk it was fine, although a blustery wind made it feel quite cold. The 9 adults and young Jack wearing his new boots, assembled on the car park of Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre. Setting off at 1.55, we crossed Withy Grove Park to enter Sergeant St and continued to Station Rd where we turned left, soon passing over the level crossing and continuing to the Hob Inn with its thatched roof, which was clearly undergoing repairs. The listed building, in excess of 400 years old had suffered a fire in September 2018, believed to have started in a chimney and spreading into the roof and had involved in excess of 30 fire fighters to contain it.

Turning right down Havelock Rd and over the River Lostock, which was in full flow, we joined Holme Rd to the rear of some LCC buildings, to emerge adjacent to Matalan. Here we turned right, following the perimeter fence on to a footpath. We passed the rear of what had been Horsley Smiths timber store, now a reclamation yard, and continued under a short tunnel. Further progress brought us past Bamber Bridge Football Club on to Brownedge Rd where we turned left under the A6 London Way and subsequently forked right to enter a path leading us through Preston Junction Nature Reserve. In years past this route had been a rail line and on continuing to cross Todd Lane South, we viewed what had been the site of a rail station and the adjoining house.

Continuing along the path brought us to the site of the old gas works, now demolished, with housing springing up at an alarming rate. A new fly-over crossed our path and will in due course link the housing on Leyland Rd to those on Walton Park. Further along the derelict site of the Vernon Carus factory still stands and at a 5-way junction of paths, we stopped for our coffee break and once again Jack produced his never-ending bag of sweets to share.

Turning back along Old Tram Rd towards Walton Park and crossing a couple of roads, we subsequently turned left, bringing us out opposite the end of Hennel Lane. Taking the road past what is now Hunters Tavern (formerly the Welcome Inn), at the end of which a footpath to the left, took us over a bridge spanning the A6 London Way to emerge onto the other section of Hennel Lane. Here we took a route between the houses, leaving the firm ground and crossing a stile to enter Dog Kennel Wood and what proved to be a very muddy and tortuous route, surprisingly much to the delight of one of the group, who having taken the trouble to wear gaiters, was pleased to paddle through every puddle along the way.

Arriving back on firm ground at Masefield Place lead us to Selkirk Drive, Severn Drive and ultimately Duddle Lane where we turned right on to Brownedge Lane, passing the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary’s Priory, and continuing past the former Baxi site, to regain Station Rd, turning right to retrace our steps across the Park to our starting point.

The walk had taken us minutes short of 3 hours and covered in excess of 5.5 miles, but we had avoided any adverse weather. Whilst not being the most picturesque scenery, we had nevertheless seen areas that most of us had not seen before and seen changes that are constantly ongoing, so our thanks are recorded to the organiser, and we look forward to our next outing on the 24th March.

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