A great walk up Great Hill

Even though I’ve lived in Bolton since 1988, I’ve never ventured up Great Hill.   There is a Wiki article about it here…

On Saturday 11 April 2015 I got up nice and early, packed my rucksack and set off for White Coppice, which is about 12 miles from my house.

Once I walked through the cricket ground, I crossed The Goit and started the easy ascent.

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The views East were fabulous…

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It was a lovely fresh day, not too hot, not too cold, a ‘Goldilocks’ day…it was great to hear the Skylarks as I meandered along…

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Before long, I was at ‘Drinkwaters’

Drinkwaters Farm was so named because of a nearby spring which still flows, rather gently, just below the path from the summit of Great Hill. Not far from the farm ruins is a small, discrete memorial to a local fell runner, Joe Whitter (1939-1991).

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Joe, a member of Wigan Phoenix, was one of Lancashire’s true fell running characters well known for his ultra-distance runs over these moors. The spring at Drinkwaters was used regularly by Joe and his companions on Sunday morning runs. The February 1992 Fellrunner magazine contained an obituary where it was observed

“Joe Whitter was one of those essential characters that make fell running what it is. The Anglezarke Moors will be a poorer place without him and he will be sadly missed. Typically, Joe requested his ashes be scattered on the moors he loved, and there are many fell runners who will now be unable to run past Drinkwaters on Great Hill without remembering him.”

Why “Joe’s Cup”?…if you carefully remove a stone or two, all will be revealed!

The path to Great Hill and the summit were easily visible from here…

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And before long I was on the top!

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The views all around were fantastic!  There was a bit of wind chill which made the temperature drop a bit…but the walk was very enjoyable all the same.

One of my photographs taken on this trip was used as a backdrop for the Granada Weather Reports on Monday 13 April 2015.

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Fame at last eh?

All in all, a great little walk up Great Hill

Rocky! Rocky!

I think it was about 1982 when a friend recommended a movie to me. That movie was ‘First Blood’. This was my first introduction to the character John Rambo and the actor Sylvester Stallone.

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I was soon hooked on the ‘Rocky’ movies. I watched 3 first then 1 and 2.
At that time I was just getting into weight training and had a home gym, this was the poster I had on my wall.

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In 1988 I moved to Bolton and started training in a commercial gym. It’s now called J.R.’s Fitness Centre but was originally called Physiques.
It’s ‘Old School’, no saunas or jacuzzis here please!

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I use to go in and before I commenced training I’d put a cassette on which had the Rocky tunes on, it always started off with ‘Eye Of The Tiger’.
It wasn’t long before I was given the nickname ‘Rocky’.

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I still train there, 26 years later, albeit with a little less enthusiasm. (And I’m still called Rocky).

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And…tonight…I’m going to see the guy that has motivated me for over thirty years, they say never meet your heroes, hope I’m not disappointed!

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Update:
Well, I finally got to see my hero. He was a bit late but worth it! He’s a great raconteur!

Seven Acres Country Park, Bolton

Had a trip to Seven Acres Country Park in Bolton on Saturday 3rd August. My son Frank wanted to go as he’d been earlier in the week with his schools holiday club and had found lots of caterpillars and frogs which quite excited him!

We parked up and it was evident quite quickly I wasn’t going to enjoy the walk when I saw an overweight tattooed middle aged woman wearing a skimpy vest shouting over the top of her push up bra at one of her two trophy pit bulls “Go get him Buster, go on son” as she encouraged her two dogs to fight and basically run around out of control.

We negotiated our way down the narrow path, carefully avoiding the many dog turds when we came across two bodybuilder / MMA types with a huge fighting dog. A woman was coming the other way with a Pit Bull and she asked one of the knuckleheads who appeared to have the IQ of a fence post if his dog bit. He replied his dog didn’t start fights but always finished them…

We continued on passing two spotty teenagers who in aggregate probably weighed about 9 stone. One of them stopped swigging from his can of cider, wiped his hands on his tracky bottoms and barked at me “I bet you think you’re handy don’t you”. I had my son with me so showed restraint and ignored the ignorant loser.

We shortly reached a pond and had a good look round for frogs.
There were none to be found…

We eventually made our way back to the car park just off Thicketford Road.

As we were sorting ourselves out the young couple in the car next to us ejected a carrier bag full of their lunch detritus, the bin was literally 3 metres away.

Anyway, saw plenty of butterflies, caterpillars and Herons etc.

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More information about Seven Acres