Members of the Long Walking group decided to reward themselves for the effort they have expended in the last year to combat mud, steep slopes, stiles, barbed wire, stony footpaths, farm animals, wind, rain, fog, prickly hedges, dog bites and cake shortages. They chose that temple of culinary restraint – The Legs of Man – for their post-Christmas meal. They all dressed up so nicely that the usual reserve on walks was dropped, resulting in an outbreak of festive handshakes and kissing. This familiarity combined with the excellent food to make the members want to go out in 2018 to combat the hazards listed above all over again.
Ralph was on hand to propose a vote of thanks to Kath and Elaine for organising the lunch in the face of reluctant cooperation from the members. He took some pictures to keep his hand in before the walks start again and, had there been a competition for best tie, would have been a contender for the top slot. He did miss a prize shot by failing to include a picture of the sweet trolley. Weight watchers beware!
17 Jan 2018 Styal Walk Leaders: Kath & Elaine, Length of walk: 8 miles , Driving Distance: 19 miles, Number walking: 25
Starting from the Styal Mill car park the party wandered through Styal woods where older members of the group marvelled at how the paths had been altered to improve access. The rocky outcrop of Giants Castle provided the site of the first of three bridge pictures during the walk.
We passed the Airport Inn and crossed the Altrincham Road to reach Burleyhurst Wood, which led on to Ross Mere. This is a recycled sand quarry, now used by anglers but it is either too new or too insignificant to justify its name appearing on the Ordnance Survey map. In spite of that it offered a suitable site for lunch which was only partially blighted by a sharp hail shower.
The walk continued to Lindow Common passing Lindow Moss where the body of a young man from the Iron Age (55BC) was found in 1984. The year before that the head of a woman had been found which prompted a Wilmslow resident, whose house backed on to the Moss, to confess to killing his wife and dumping her in there. The guilt obviously got to him because the head was assessed as being 1500 years old.
After circling Black Lake on the common, we crossed a sports ground and went down to the River Bollin. At this point in Wilmslow there is an area of greenery where the well-heeled local dogs take their exercise. Our party exercised their way back to the National Trust car park along the River Bollin.
Kath and Elaine first walked this route last November when the autumn colours were on display and liked it so much that they thought it would be good for a spring walk embellished by flowers. Since it was brought forward to fill a gap in the schedule, there were few flowers visible in the mud. Nonetheless the walkers enjoyed it and will no doubt look forward to its return in the schedule.
In spite of the party reaching the critical number of 25, there were no reports of people going missing or calls for recounts. These things can be so stressful.