From our ‘Rough Stuff Fellowship’ correspondent.


Well just four of us, all RSF members, met at Burrs Country Park almost due North of Bury for a 10.00 am set off. We delayed slightly (but not much) because of the rain, hoping it might clear up, when it became evident it wasn’t going to we set off.

The first leg of our journey was up (and I mean up) to Affetside via Tottington and NCN Route 6 then along to the Post Office at Edgeworth (open even on a Sunday) where we had elevenses of bacon barm cakes and various tea and coffees all excellent. One of our number told us that he had been to see The British Ukulele Orchestra earlier in the week so as I had my smartphone and a good 4G signal I looked them up and played their version of the ‘March of the Valkyries’ over my speakers as we ate and drank – a bizarre experience.

We left and cycled onto The Military firing range at Holcombe Brook via Crowthorn where the old school (long since derelict) has been converted into some very nice up market apartments. Round the range (no firing today) to Holcombe where we had a pint in the Holcombe Arms without musical accompaniment this time. Then another cycle up over Holcombe Moor to the cafe at Musbury Fabrics for tea and afternoon coffee and some cakes, one of our number, me, actually had a bowl of Blackberry and Apple crumble with Custard – excellent.

We also noted that the Helmshore Textile Museum is closed every day except for school visits by prior arrangements, this according to one of our number (The Guardian reader) is due to “Tory Cuts” but then again he says everything that is bad nowadays is due to “Tory Cuts”.

After this the plan was to cycle along Route 6 back to the start via a couple of cobbled detours. Remember the title of this piece “Trainspotting” well we knew that the Flying Scotsman would be making an appearance on the East Lancs railway that afternoon, in fact that was the purpose of our jaunt (as if we needed a purpose) so we saw the assembled throng at Irwell Vale Station and we didn’t have long to wait, the phone came into its own as a camera this time as I had left mine in the car but we were rewarded with this:



Then as we carried on towards our start/finish point we saw another assembled throng at Sumerseat Station and I was rewarded with a decent photo of another “steamer”. So all in all not a bad day at all, good company, a bit wet at times and we got to see the train – result.


Words & pictures – Geoff Smith.

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