Report and pictures by Raymond Lamb
Around Wymott & Garth Prisons 14-05-23
Not many weeks ago, on the 22nd January, we set off from this same starting point when the temperature barely reached 3 degrees. Today our 16 participants, which included 2 new arrivals. Dave a friend of Maggie and Steve’s sister in law Sharon, who was visiting for the weekend, basked in the balmy clime at 15 degrees. Setting off on time at 1.45 along Moss Side Way to turn left through the kissing gate, we took the path leading into Malt Kiln Wood. Crossing Ulnes Walton Lane, we entered further woodland around the outer perimeter of the housing estate on the right, to emerge on to Pump House Lane where we turned left along an unmade sector of the road. Reaching a gate which prohibited further progress we turned left, continuing along the track. Bends to the right and left along the route, allowed us to see bunkers in the fields, used during the war as an alternative to the Royal Ordnance Factory at Euxton for the unloading and storage of munitions, suitably protected by concrete blast walls.
At the first junction on the right we turned, following the track with trees to our left arriving at a point where the prison wall could clearly be seen. On the opposite side a series of ponds provided private fishing for those seeking the solace of their own pleasure without expending too much energy. At the road junction with Ridley Lane, we branched left, continuing to a point where the road bent left. Taking a gate through to the side of the rail line, we stopped for our refreshment break.
On resumption, we followed the road to a metal gate on the left leading us onto a path through a heavily wooded route with marsh ground to the left to arrive in an open area and continued around to the front of the prison and on to the perimeter road. Turning left brought us to a junction with Moss Lane where we turned right to the main road and then left. Unfortunately, Ulnes Walton Lane has no pavements, so we had to keep close to the grass verge, which we did until arriving at a little lane on the right with Norris Farm on the corner with its date plaque of 1755. Following this lane led us to Calvert’s Farm.
Passing along the drive to the rear of the property, a gate gave us access through a wall and across a section of land to a stile where we turned sharp left. Heading in a northerly direction we crossed a series of fields all interlinked by bridge stiles, and generally aiming for the spire of St James Church. At the corner of a coppice a plank bridge over a stream gave us access to woodland surrounding the Warriors playing field. Branching left took us on to the path skirting the ground and led us back to the car park which we had left two and a half hours earlier.
Apart from the initial section this had been an area previously unexplored and added to the knowledge of our immediate locality. We had covered a distance of about 5.3miles and enjoyed a higher turnout than was expected. The weather had remained favourable right to the end, and as soon as we returned to the car park those tell-tail spots of rain emerged. As they say the sun shines on the righteous.
Take a look back on previous walks - click on this link - www.midgewalkers.co.uk