Midge Walkers

Walk  No. 81

Riley Green 16-08-15


A very healthy party of 18 and 2 dogs met at the Boat Yard pub in Riley Green for what was promised a very nice, easy walk. Parking had been a problem as lots of people had decided to have lunch at the pub and enjoy an afternoon at the side of the canal.


Leaving the car park, we went over the canal and walked down the far bank enjoying looking at the various barges moored along the tow path. We spent the first part of the walk dodging bikes as cyclists also wanted to use the tow path. Eventually, we turned off the path and made our way down-hill to find a large open space which were informed was the remains of The Sun Paper Mill. Behind us was the still working Star Paper Mill and also nearby used to be the Moon and Eclipse Paper Mills. Making our way downhill, we came to the River Darwen which we followed and came to a weir which provided energy for the local mills.


Walking along a road for a short distance, we came to two signs about 5mtrs apart which said Lancashire and Chorley §with also 2 roadside grids on either side of the road which the two authorities were independently responsible for. (a bit over the top)


So Far, there had been no stiles but lots of “kissing gates” but we were promised some later. Turning off the road, we went downhill a way and across some fields before encountering mud, which we were assured wasn’t there last week. I am not sure about that. Following the river again, we walked under a railway bridge which was 116mtrs high with some strange markings on the stonework which we were told were the Stonemasons marks which meant they could get paid for their work. There were frequent calls for a coffee break which Rodney eventually responded to and we spent a pleasant 10 minutes chatting and drinking.


So far it had been downhill and now we were to pay for that as we made our way behind some pretty cottages and uphill. At the top of the hill we turned off the track and carefully crossed the railway line and followed the wall around Houghton Towers. As we came to the driveway to the house entrance, we were related the stories around the knighting of the Beef in 1641, when King James 1 stayed there and almost bankrupted the DeHoughton family as he over stayed his visit.


Just a straightforward return walk now with, at last, some stiles, but Rodney did insist that some were gates. A very pleasant 4.5 mile walk in the sunshine with some lovely company. We look forward to hearing about the next walk, hopefully in September.


J.W.


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