SKELMERSDALE RAMBLING CLUB

Web site: www.skemramblers.org.uk

FRODSHAM, CHESHIRE

SUNDAY 20th JANUARY 2019

Coach Leader: Dave Hatchard Coach Leaves at 4.30 pm

Happy New Year Everyone!

The coach will drop off in the town centre. The coach then usually goes to Lady Heyes Farm to park up and this is where the easy group will start their linear walk. We will be picked up in the town centre. There will probably be no problem for the coach to park in the town centre for a while as the road is quite wide there and it will be quiet on a Sunday.

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 : Jimmy Need Distance : 10.00 miles

We head out of Frodsham to Frodsham Hill Wood which will eventually bring us to Beacon Hill. This leads us onto the Sandstone Trail and on to Woodhouse Hill. From here we make our way to the outskirts of Helsby. We then head over to and around Frodsham Marsh where we meander around a bit before heading back to Frodsham.

Moderate leisurely Leader: Dave Hatchard Distance : 8.00 miles

We start with a climb up the main road to join the Sandstone trail. After passing St Lawrence’s Church we go a further 150 yds to join a woodland path in Hill Wood to take us up to the top for an earned rest. We cross the golf course heading to Woodhouse Hill, probably a good place to have lunch and enjoy the views. We then head towards Newton and Five Crosses before heading back to Frodsham.

During the walk we will be using woodland tracks, footpaths and paved pavement. There is only one gate to go through but no stiles.

Easy Leaders : Hazel Anderton & Ruth Melling Distance 5.25 miles

Today’s walk is a linear one starting up at Lady Heyes Farm which is a camping site and a children’s activity centre. There is a good café, which makes great bacon butties, and a few shops to look at. From here we make our way gradually down to Frodsham firstly along lanes, a few fields, across the golf course, looking out for flying balls, and around the sandstone ridge on the Sandstone Trail at first, and then part of the North Cheshire Trail before going down to town. Although we are mainly making our way down, in the woods there are some ups and downs but mainly short lived. There are good views on the way. We have not recceed the whole walk as we had to do a circular route to get back to the car, but we have done most of it. It is mainly the last part down roads into town, and the few fields, that we have not done so please bear with us while we consult the map.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Frodsham lies 3 miles south of Runcorn and 16 miles south of Liverpool with the river Weaver on one side and the Mersey to the west. The presence of iron age hill forts on the hills behind the town, and its position on the likely route from Deva (Chester) to Wilderspool, suggests that Frodsham's origins may be very old indeed. The town was important to the Norman Earls of Chester who built a castle here.

Frodsham became an important staging post in the stagecoach era, and the Bear's Paw (named after the bear-baiting which used to take place nearby) and Queen's Head recall those days. Both inns are on the broad High Street, one of the most attractive features of the town. St Lawrence's church, off Church Street, has Norman remains. Today it is on the railway line to Chester and has the M56 passing nearby.

It has been important since medieval times and today a market is still held every week, and to reflect its importance, until recently there were several building societies and branches of the main five banks. Today there is a lot of modernisation with many bars, restaurants, takeaways, pubs and numerous small businesses.

Where the Weaver meets the Mersey became an important port for trade especially for salt. Large locks and swing bridges mean that boats up to 130 ft long and 35 ft wide can use the Weaver, and so there is always a variety of shipping to be seen, particularly in the section between Northwich and the Mersey. For the last four miles the Weaver is tidal, and so it has been bypassed by a canalised section that takes boats to Weston Point Docks, where there is a connection with the Manchester Ship Canal and the Mersey estuary.

South of Frodsham is Helsby, overlooked by the hill of the same name, and Alvanley, a very pretty village with quaint cottages. On the top of Helsby Hill lies an iron age promontory hill fort on National Trust land and enclosing an area of 3.5 acres. Artificial defences were provided on the south and east sides and remains of the banks can be seen today behind the triangulation point. These may seem a little disappointing after the climb to the top of the hill, but the superb views from the woodland paths that gradually reach the summit make the effort well worthwhile. There was also another hill fort on nearby Woodhouse Hill.

The Sandstone Trail, 32 miles in length, bisects the county of Cheshire, and follows a ridge of sandstone created in some geological upheaval aeons ago. This backbone makes a fine ridge walk and is a continuous viewing platform for the surrounding countryside, and at one point there is a superb view over the Mersey estuary and towards Liverpool. On a clear day planes can be seen taking off from Speke Airport. The starting point is on Beacon Hill outside Frodsham. A steep descent into Dunsdale Hollow gives the geologically minded a chance to make a closer study of the weathered sandstone. Down here there are such features as Jacob's Ladder - a very steep, very red and very rocky stairway to the skies. The trail takes us up Abrahams Leap - but no leaping is necessary, just some mildly challenging rock 'steps'. Other features to be found along the length of the trail include sandstone outcrops and caves, heathland, forests, meres and marl pits, hillforts and canals. This sandstone area is quite prosperous with big houses, a golf course and a large hotel.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

NEXT RAMBLE

Sunday 24th February, Rivington, Lancashire

Leaders Strenuous - Paul Hogan, Moderate/Leisurely - Dave Hatchard, Easy - No one yet.

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

Jackie will no longer be taking bookings. Jackie is recovering well from her knee operation and she will probably come to Frodsham but will be doing her own walk.

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.

Contact via the website or tel if you have the number.

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 February, Skipton, Yorkshire

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.

January - Sunday 27th, 13.30, 5 mls, Bescar Lane from Bescar Lane Methodist Church.

February - Sunday 3rd, 11.00, 8mls, Avenham Park and the River Ribble from Cemetery Hill Road, Penwortham.

Wednesday 13th, 13.30, 5mls, Longton, from Longton Brickcroft Nature Reserve and lead by Jean and Leo.

SEFTON STROLLERS & DINERS

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 than Jackie will collect whatever is left behind.

A pair of over trousers were left in the boot last time and Hazel has them at the moment.

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY

We have a new membership secretary, Cynthia Prescott. Contact her 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

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 via the website.