Despite the cold weather a group of intrepid field walkers met at The Corner Café for refreshments and discussion of the walk.
We then drove to Bury Rd Rawtenstall, parking near The Whitchaff. We walked along Bury Rd and turned down a footpath which crossed the railway and led to a grassy area with items from the Irwell Sculpture trail. Crossing over the river we then admired the chimney of Hardman’s mill, on the way to the railway station.
Many people were congregating as The Flying Scotsman was due to arrive. We picked a vantage point and he came in, only 20 minutes late, backwards. After taking many photos we walked along the river and then into Hall Carr estate, pausing for lunch in a field overlooking Lambet Howarth’s mill and chimney, with a good view of Rawtenstall below.
After lunch we passed several old farms and a very snorty black pig and made our way along Lomas Lane towards Balladen. After looking at Balladen Old Hall (1687), and unusual sheep, Zwartbles, we negotiated a treacherous stile, made worse by ice, discussed the remains of Balladen Mill by the brook, and then walked across the field to Higher Clowes and then Lower Clowes, a picturesque hamlet.
We think we have found the Newhallhey vaccary winter pasture, now covered by housing. Report to follow.
We collected our cars. 15 minutes later it started to snow!