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Midge Walkers

Walk  No.79

Lancashire Coastal Way Walk

According to the weather forecasters this Sunday was designated as likely to be the hottest day of the year so far. (They just didn’t say where). Seven of the regular team met at 10.45 at the car park in Freckleton and initially took a detour to view a memorial in the cemetery funded by American donations to remember those who lost their lives when a U.S. Liberator bomber landed on the local school on the 23rd August 1944, killing 2 teachers, 38 scholars and 7 civilians and of course flattening the school.

Resuming our route through the village we turned right passing the Ship Inn, at one time known for its catering, and continued to a footpath skirting Naze Lane. This eventually opened out to a boatyard on which hung a sign “No Bicycles- No Alcohol- No Guns” to which someone had suitably added “No Fun”. Continuing along the path and crossing a series of footbridges with occasional views to our left of the surrounding flatlands across the river valley and as far as Winter Hill and Darwen Tower. To our right we were flanked with the site of BAE at Warton. Not to disappoint, a couple of stiles brought us in due course to the edge of the marsh land adjacent to the river course and directly across from the entrance to the River Douglas.

From here the route became more of an obstacle course and certainly no place for new boots, with cattle having suitably minced the ground previously and the wind buffeting us,  made progress a little less than easy and certainly not the temperature we were expecting. The presence of muddy potholes and soft ground soon engulfed several of the walker’s boots and our leader took quite a bit of flack for suggesting such a tortuous route, predominantly from his wife. (No one else would have dared!!)

Finding a suitable sheltered spot we stopped to revive ourselves with the lunch we had brought and a nice cup of warm coffee. From this position we could clearly see Southport across the bay and happily the sun decided to shine. Being encouraged to face further exertion our leader devised a game, probably as a suitable distraction. “Spot the Tyre or Wheel”. It certainly wasn’t long before several such were keenly being pointed out and by the end of our journey no less than 68 had been counted strewn along the bank.

After a further short break and intake of coffee at around 2.00 p.m. the route brought us to the main road at a position of the Lytham boundary and opposite Stanway’s Garage. From here we again took a route skirting the Lytham boatyard and re-emerged to the main road at a position near to the traffic lights at Dock Rd.

Our goal was to have been the Windmill on the green but the presence of a bus stop and the waning enthusiasm got the better of us, so we hopped on a bus and returned to our starting point. Notwithstanding we had completed around 6 miles and despite the forecasters getting the weather predictions wrong, we had enjoyed some magnificent views and certainly enjoyed each others company.