Midge Walkers

Walk No.  140

Ashton-Haslam Area 1-12-19

The day started with the somewhat devastating news that the “Apostrophe Protection Society” had announced its intention (that’s without an apostrophe), to disband. Probably having read some of my reports, they possibly decided there’s no point in continuing.

However, Sunday December the 1st, saw 15 adults assemble, at the bottom of Cottam Lane just off Blackpool Rd ready for the off at 2.00p.m. Michael, Deacon Sylvie’s son joined us for the first time. Passing under a subway which supported the main rail line and Tom Benson Way and continuing to a point on the lane where we forked left through the trees along-side Savick Brook, led us to the main road, which we crossed and followed a pathway under another bridge supporting the railway and alongside the partly frozen canal link. This soon brought us to Savick Way where we turned right, taking the route highlighted as part of the Guild Wheel, along a tree lined path, leading to a further rail underpass, to emerge into the UCLAN sports complex.

On arrival at the canal we descended a set of steps to the tow path at Bridge No 17 and followed it until arriving at a large basin leading to the Ribble Link and adjoining locks. Taking advantage of the seating and stopped for a coffee break, we watched the water hens skimming across the semi frozen surface and viewed a large metal statue overlooking the locks, which had been a preplacement for a former wooden one, which had sadly been the subject of vandalism.

Resuming our labours, we crossed over Lock No 1 and followed the banking around the basin, back to the canal and continued until reaching Bridge No 14, where we climbed the steps and followed the sign to enter Haslam Park Nature Reserve. This led us through a tree lined route bringing us into the main Park area at the side of the duck pond. Children were skimming ice across its frozen surface as we passed and exited on to Bristow Ave. This led us to the main gates which we learned were Grade II listed and provide one of the entrances to the area which had been gifted by Mary Haslam, the daughter of a local cotton mill owner, in memory of her father. It opened to the public in 1910 and features a double row avenue of lime trees, linking the South East and South West corners.

It was along this avenue that we continued, to ultimately exit the Park back to our starting point. We had achieved the objective of completing the walk well within daylight hours and the resultant speculation on distance, confirmed the accuracy at 3.5miles. There were those who thought it was perhaps a bit short, so it was suggested that they might like to do it all again. The one thing that everyone did agree, was that it was a very enjoyable walk no stiles, no mud or other distractions and though a little chilly, we anticipated it and dressed appropriately.

Thanks to all who attended and the organisers for their continuing efforts on our behalf.

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