Sunday, 30 December 2012

Lostock AC: Haggis Run – 30 December

In contrast to yesterday’s rain Winter Hill provided an overcast but more or less dry morning for the annual Lostock AC Haggis Run. This year the haggis was in the form of pasties baked by Paul Speed and pretty good they were too. The Haggis Run a very sociable outing calling at Rivington Pike, the Two Lads and Winter Hill summit with frequent photo calls.

20121230-winterhill-52-EditSillage Bales (1)

20121230-winterhill-105-EditSillage Bales (2)

20121230-winterhill-1First Photo Call

20121230-winterhill-2Second Photo Call

20121230-winterhill-3Getting ready for another photo call

20121230-winterhill-5Almost sunshine

20121230-winterhill-15Pastie Tasting

20121230-winterhill-8-EditCyclist by the Pike

20121230-winterhill-13-EditLooking back to the Pike

20121230-winterhill-10-EditSouth towards Staffordshire

20121230-winterhill-109Recovering in the Top Barn afterwards

Winter Hill – 29 December

Two and half hours running in the rain, much of it in rain and inside a cloud. Perhaps, it will be better tomorrow.

20121229-winterhill-10-EditFrom the mast building

20121229-winterhill-13-EditThe mast road

Friday, 28 December 2012

Strawberry Duck – 27 December

Delaying Christmas Day until the 26th because a couple of our nephews were working on the 25th meant delaying Boxing Day too and with it our traditional walk to The Strawberry Duck with our good friends, Steve & Eileen. The morning started very wet indeed and a long moorland walk over very wet ground in pouring rain was, somehow, losing its appeal. The rain relented and we resorted to a stretch of tarmac to avoid the worst of the peat bogs which meant arriving at the pub dry and early enough to get a table.

20121227-Belmont-33-EditA duck in the pub even if it isn’t a Strawberry Duck

Retracing our steps across the edge of Turton Heights took us back to the tarmac and for a moment we were tempted to go back over the moor to Belmont – this must have been the beer because this part of the moor is never dry and just now it must be a morass. Just enough common sense prevailed and we followed the tarmac.

20121227-Belmont-36-EditLone Shoe

The gathering gloom over Winter Hill ahead of us suggested we might not make before the rain arrived but in fact the storm clouds didn’t stray far from the top of the masts and we stayed dry. Great to catch up and although the pub appears to have changed hands again the food is as good and the service is excellent.

20121227-Belmont-38-EditWinter Hill

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Merrry_XmasVery best wishes to you and yours

Xmas Eve Run – 24 December

Joined Preston Harriers for their traditional Xmas Eve run from White Coppice on a cool, wet morning. So wet that my camera stayed in the car unlike the glorious conditions in 2012. Refreshments afterwards in the Top Lock pub were very welcome indeed.


20121224-XmasEve-4-EditGrand Sausage Buttie

Monday, 24 December 2012

Sunday Morning Run – 23 December

Tired legs and terribly soft ground made for a painful(ly) slow run on Sunday morning. Pauline, however, seemed pleased that I had to struggle to keep up, when I could. The weather was a bit better than yesterday and I was able to get a camera out.

20121223-aspull-12-EditLooking west over the recently ploughed field with Fiddler’s Ferry power station just visible in the distance

20121223-aspull-20-EditLooking east passed Borsdane Farm with Winter Hill in the distance

20121223-aspull-16-EditFollowing Pauline

20121223-aspull-21-EditCrow Nest Junction

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Tour de Helvellyn – 22 December

The worst of the weather forecasts was almost intimidating (heavy sustained rain, 50 mph wind gusting to over 80 mph) but it didn’t turn out quite that bad. The strong wind didn’t materialise but the rain was sustained and heavy for almost the entire day. It didn’t clear out by late morning – perhaps it need the strong wind to do that? Consequently it turned out to be a very long, very wet day. I carried a camera but it remained in a dry bag for the entire 38 miles and 8500 feet of the race.








These are all taken in the Community Centre as runners begin to finish their preparations. There isn’t a mass start so runners drift in, register, get sorted and start their race which all sounds very laid back and relaxing but it wasn’t yesterday. This was a pretty tense place because everyone was aware of the weather forecasts and how wet and soft the ground was going to be.

Albert, Tony (immediately above, Albert looking at the camera), Hopey and I ran round together finishing in just under nine and half hours.

The Results are here and huge thanks are due to Joe and his team for making this race happen.

Stu Stoddart’s photos are here.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Rob’s 6,000th Non-Pillar Flush Bracket – 15 December

An early run over Winter Hill in the dark and/or rain and/or clag meant no photos until later in the day. Seventeen of us gathered in Haggate where Rob visited his 6,000 Non-Pillar Flush Bracket to compliment his 6,000+ tally of Pillar Flush Brackets. It is always great fun to meet other, slightly obsessive, “collectors” and Saturday was no exception.

20121215-Haggage-3-EditRob examining the Flush Bracket on the side of the Sun Inn

The Flush Bracket details are recorded here and after the photo shoot we retired to the Hare & Hounds across the road for a very convivial lunch.


20121215-Haggage-5-EditThe Photo Shoot

20121215-Haggage-6-EditTerrace Houses across the road – built in 1861

20121215-Haggage-7-EditAnother view of the terrace whose inhabitants seem a little more recent than the building

20121215-Haggage-8-EditThe Festive Hare above the bar

Something like normal service will be resumed next weekend on the Tour de Helvellyn, if the weather improves on the forecast.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

South Lancs Xmas Charity Walk – 09 December

A very local, short event run by the South Lancs LDWA Group to raise money for charity that is a pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning running 12 miles through the muddiest fields this side of the main rice growing areas of the world. At least this year the rain stopped before we set off, unlike last year. A bit of eating has to be done too.


20121209-haigh-14-EditGulls and Cormorants chilling

20121209-haigh-17-EditAway from the first checkpoint

20121209-haigh-19-EditEating at Blackrod

20121209-haigh-20-EditDropping down from the Balcarres Arms

20121209-haigh-21-EditMiniature Railway in Haigh Hall grounds 


20121209-haigh-5-EditHaigh Hall entrance

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Winter Hill – 08 December

Winter Hill today and almost early enough to catch the very best of the morning sunshine. Having run from home and wandered through Blackrod and Horwich before climbing out of the low lying haze I was fortunate to catch the last of the sunshine before the clouds started building. Like last weekend, the snow had a crust but not one capable of carrying any weight and even on the mast road the snow was tedious rather than fun and the ice was always threatening.

20121208-winterhill-2-EditFields on the edge of Aspull

20121208-winterhill-4-EditFields on the edge of Aspull (ii)

20121208-winterhill-29-EditOne of the masts on Winter Hill summit

20121208-winterhill-37-EditThe Mast with steam from Fiddlers Ferry Power Station in the distance

20121208-winterhill-32-EditMore Masts

20121208-winterhill-34-EditEven more masts

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Winter Hill fell race 2013 (10th Feb)


20101204-Winter Hill 027Winter Hill summit kissing gate – 4th December 2010


Short post to confirm United Utilities have now given permission to run the 2013 race over the tradition route. Huge thanks are due to Colin Jones (HRMI), race organiser, for persisting with his original request that the new fences are not permitted interfere with the race route.

Earlier today he confirmed the above and as always asks that no recces are carried on the race route – part of the route is on land which is only open for the race, on the day. This year, in particular, Colin makes this request to ensure that nothing happens between now and the day that might jeopardise the race in the future.

Look forward to seeing you there in February 2013 and wouldn’t it be fantastic if we had conditions like the above?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge Leg 1 – 02 December

Out from Askham ( so that we could see the start & finish of the Tour de Helvellyn) to have a look at the first part of the “Joss” Leg1. I managed to mis-remember part of it so it was definitely worth going to have a look when it didn’t matter and we managed to find, and explore, a number of places where we could go wrong at the end of the TdH in a few weeks’ time. Albert has a “Joss” attempt planned for Spring and I have a second one planned for mid-summer so we have plenty of excuses to go and have another look or two at the route.


20121202-askham-116-EditHelvellyn Ridge

20121202-askham-118-EditLooking south near Red Crag

20121202-askham-114-EditLooking south to High Raise


20121202-askham-130-EditStraits of Riggindale and much more from Kidsty Pike

20121202-askham-127-EditKidsty Pike

20121202-askham-110-EditSkiddaw and Blencathra