Another traditional ‘date for a walk’. For the second year, Richard and Jenny joined The Dishy Pharmacist and me, and my Mum, for a walk around Lymm. Last year’s walk has become the stuff of legend. I chose a ‘new’ route and when faced by a boggy field I decided to lead my victims a slightly easier way down a farm track. It was overcast, with poor light. The track had become deeply muddy but we could all see the glossy shiny concrete surface ahead. Pleased to be out of the mud, Mother (81) stepped onto the concrete only to find that it was actually ankle deep slurry. She splashed along for about 50 metres before escaping to higher ground. The rest of us had no option but to follow – we had already come through deep mud and weren’t inclined to either return that way or abandon Mother. Needless to say, our car – used for this trip – took some time to recover. The whiff in our kitchen where the footwear etc had been dealt with cast an odour over our Xmas menu, which appeared to come from an area of muck spreading.
So this year we returned to park outside the Church Hall, off Crouchley Lane. But today we were sensible and headed off in the mizzle to Lymm Dam, where a medley of Mallards and Coots clamoured for food. The light conditions are noticeable from my photos – all blurred. It’s a shame as the birds were so dense in the water that the picture could have made a pleasing patterned or textured image.
Ah well, here it is anyway.
Across the main road, a narrow pathway leads down steps then into the centre of the village. Quite safe, no slurry. From here the street leads to a bridge over the Bridgewater Canal, from where the towpath is easily accessed. We headed east, towards the unseen (and hardly heard) Thelwall Viaduct which provides a conduit for the M6 over The Manchester Ship Canal.
After about 1 km we turned away from the frozen canal, down a short ginnel to reach the disused course of the Warrington to Altrincham railway line, depicted in today’s postcard. This line was opened in 1853 and enjoyed a happy existence before being axed by Beeching in 1962. It continued to be used for freight up until 1985, when the prohibitive cost of maintaining a bridge over the Ship Canal led to its final closure.Happily, much of the route has been preserved as part of the 215 mile ‘multi-user’ Trans Pennine Trail from Southport to Hornsea. It would be a pretty boring walk, but is enjoyed by many as a cycle trail. I often encounter folk with panniers pedalling gently along, probably taking 3 to 4 days to cover the route. I may try it sometime. Anyway, we turned to the east and headed all of 3 km along the pleasantly slurry free track to the junction with the A6144 by the Farmer’s Arms. Passing the pub with some difficulty we turned left to shortly regain the canal towpath for a pleasant stroll back to Lymm centre and the ‘fleshpot’ known as Sexton’s Tea Rooms. The 8 km walk had provided much appreciated fresh (if rather dull) air before the onset of the annual gluttony, thankfully not tainted this year by anything ‘slurry’.