SKELMERSDALE RAMBLING CLUB
Web site: www.skemramblers.org.uk

DOWNHAM, LANCASHIRE

SUNDAY 25th NOVEMBER 2018

Coach Leader: Steve Balenski                                                    Coach Leaves at 4.30pm

The coach will drop us off by the river, and there are toilets nearby. We might have a problem with post walk refreshments. There is supposed to be a tea room but it was not open when Steve did his reccee. The Assheton Arms serves hot drinks as well as alcoholic refreshment, but it is not very big and might not be able to accommodate us as well as its other customers. There is a garden centre a short ride away. We’ll decide on the day.

The usual message about choosing a walk suitable for you. Please read these coach notes carefully as they will help you to decide which walk will be the most suitable for you. For the safety and enjoyment of yourself and others, please try not to join a walk which is beyond your capabilities.  If you are struggling, please inform the walk leader so that he or she can make the decision to amend the walk by shortening it or having some rest etc.

PLEASE RESPECT THE WISHES OF THE GROUP LEADER.  Please do not wander away from the group, or leave the group, for whatever reason, without first discussing it with the leader or back marker.

 WALKS TODAY

Strenuous Leader: Rob Rose                                                                       Distance:  10.00 miles

If it is a nice Winters day we will walk up Pendle Hill.

If not, we will walk from Downham to Worston passing Longlands Woods, Worsaw Hill and walk alongside Worston Brook. From Worston we walk to Chatburn then alongside the River Ribble on to Sawley. Then back to Downham passing the remains of an abbey along the way.                                              

Moderate / Leisurely Leader: Steve Balenski                                                    Distance: 6.70 miles

We head north climbing slightly on field paths and then drop down, crossing Rimington lane, Swanside Beck and the A59 to Sawley. We stop for lunch at the Abbey and then follow the River Ribble, partly on the lane, past Bowland High School and partly on the Ribble Way to Chatburn. We then loop round for our return climb to Downham at the Assheton Arms. We encounter step stiles, squeeze gates, kissing gates and cattle in some pastures. Paths were good on the recce. The only refreshment place open in Downham is the Assheton Arms which can provide tea and coffee for those who don’t want an alcoholic drink. It is open from 8am for breakfast and coffee etc.

Easy Leaders: Hazel Anderton & Ruth Melling                                               Distance: 5.00 miles

The area around Downham has mainly fields, and lots of fields usually mean many stiles.  So, to avoid too many stiles we will sometimes go along little lanes and good tracks, as well as fields. There were only 8 stiles, which were mainly stone ones, as we walked to the east and south of Downham, passing Worsaw Hill on the way back. There are some very nice views, and it was good underfoot on the reccee despite heavy rain the night before. We came across just one muddy patch, and no cattle, only sheep. There are a couple of places when we walk uphill. It is a bit steep but not strenuous or tricky underfoot.

NOTES ON THE AREA

It is often claimed that Downham is the prettiest village in Lancashire, and it is both undeniably picturesque and remarkably unspoilt. From the church, inn and group of old stone cottages at the top of the village, a road descends to a stream, bridge and a green, lined by more old cottages. The whole scene is presided over by the unmistakable profile of Pendle Hill which rises to 1900 ft. The village has remained unchanged since the early 18th century and has no road markings, overhead cables, TV aerials or Sky dishes to spoil the view. Its claim to fame is that it was used for the location of the film Whistle Down the Wind and, also has been used by the BBC for a television series. It is surrounded by lovely countryside, rich farmland hidden behind quiet lanes and has very contented cattle and sheep.

It lies close to an old Roman road and is in an area said to be the haunt of the Pendle Witches.

Apart from the fifteenth century tower, the church was almost entirely rebuilt around 1909-10, despite its medieval appearance. It contains memorials to the Assheton family, whose home is at Downham Hall next to the church. The Asshetons were the Lords of Downham from 1558 when they bought the manor and Whalley Abbey. Downham Hall is a repository of old books and family records, Nicholas Assheton the diarist being among the company surrounding James I at Houghton Tower in 1617. The Assheton coat of arms are painted on the inn sign. The Assheton family has been very generous to the village including paying for the school.

Cricket is still played on the Barley Field, so called because barley was planted there in 1812, in response to a shortage of food locally.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

NEXT RAMBLE.

Sunday 20th January, Frodsham, Cheshire

Leaders Strenuous - Jimmy Need, Moderate/Leisurely - Dave Hatchard, Easy - no one yet

Bookings. With our new booking officer at the coach, Evelyn Carrigan, email via website.

Jackie will no longer be taking bookings by telephone or email.  Jackie will not be walking with us for a while as she has now had her knee replacement operation. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope that is it not too long before she is with us again.

Cheques made payable to Skelmersdale Rambling Club.   It would be helpful if you would tell the booking officer if you do not intend to book for the next coach.

Coach pick-up times:

Junction Lane Burscough 8.20am

Ormskirk bus station 8.40am

Prince Albert pub Westhead 8.45am

Skelmersdale War Memorial 8.50am

Skelmersdale Baths car park 9.00am.

Please will walk leaders let Hazel have details of their walks as least TEN DAYS before the walk.

SKELMERSDALE CHURCHES RAMBLING CLUB

Would you like a walk in the country with a friendly rambling club based in Skelmersdale? We travel by coach, picking up in Burscough, Ormskirk and Skelmersdale. There are four walks on most coach trips, depending on the availability of leaders, so there is usually something to suit most abilities.

We have trips on the second Saturday of each month throughout the year, and we are actively looking for new members. The club is run very much on the same lines as Skelmersdale Ramblers.

Our next ramble is

Saturday 8th December, Chorley, Lancashire

Coach leaves

Ormskirk Bus Station 8.30 am

Skelmersdale War Memorial 8.40 am,

Skelmersdale Baths Car Park 8.50 am

Upholland Labour Club 9.00 am.  

Bookings are with Jackie Gudgeon.

RAMBLERS ASSOCIATION WEST LANCS GROUP

For more information look at the website. 

DECEMBER

Sunday 2nd, 13.00, 5 mls, Upholland, from Pimbo Garden Centre.

Wednesday 12th, 13.00, 5 mls Beacon Country Park from the Visitor Centre.

Boxing Day, 13.00, 5mls, Parbold, from Bramble Way car park.

Sunday 30th. 13.00, 7mls, Rainford, from the Bottle and Glass pub St. Helens Road, Rainford.

JANUARY

New Years Day, 13.00, 5mls, the traditional New Year walk from Christ Church, Holborn Hill over Clieves Hills.

Sunday 6th, 13.00, 5mls, Formby, from St Lukes Church, Church Road, Formby.

Wednesday 16th, 13.30, 5mls, Standish, from the Red Rock, Standish.

SEFTON STROLLERS & DINERS

Informal friendly walks held on the 2nd Sunday of each month at 1.30 pm. 5 to 6 miles. Tel Clare on 01695 579197, email: william@westbrow.plus.com.  The walks are being suspended for a while due to low turnout.                                                                                         

CLUB NOTES

LOST PROPERTY 

Please remember to take everything with you, walking poles, flasks, crisp packets, drinks bottles and include coach notes.  Check all around including your seat, the floor, the rack, the boot and the net on the back of the seat in front.  The coach is always checked at Ormskirk, but it makes life easier if you make sure that you have not left anything.  If you realise that you have left something behind please do not contact the coach company. For the time being someone else other that Jackie will collect whatever is left behind.

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY

We have a new membership secretary, Cynthia Prescott.  Contact via the website.

FIRST AID KITS

Please continue to leave the first aid kits at the front of the coach on your return from your walk.

The kits have been revamped to make them lighter, and only items needed for more serious cuts and grazes and emergency situations will be carried. Please inform Hazel if any item has been used so that the kit can be replenished.  Any leaders using their own kits must carry one that is comparable to the club kits.

O/S MAPS

Please do not peel off the name labels as it helps to show who has returned the maps.  Please leave them at the front of the coach with the first aid kits. Thanks.

CHRISTMAS MEAL

The date will be Sunday 9th December. The venue will be The Farmers Arms at Bispham, near Parbold. See Pam for bookings.

NEW MEMBERS

We are looking to recruit quite a few new members so if you know anyone who might like to join us please ask them to try us out and book on a walk with our new booking officer Evelyn.

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