Misspent Youth: Rural Playgrounds - Growing up in Lancashire England - Part 3: Trying to find the Quarry.
We start todays journey at the top of Lomas Lane.
A Pinmapple location has been embedded in the post.
This area has changed a lot since my childhood, the surrounding buildings used to be wrecks or literally pigsty's, they are now wonderfully restored buildings consisting of houses, stables, dog kennels and farm out buildings.
This regeneration is most likely explained by the construction of the M66, a motorway stretching from Rawtenstall to Manchester. The whole area has benefitted from this link to a major UK city.
As we get to this beautiful flower bush we can take the dirt track to the right going up a steep hill or the mud track (that's a dirt track with copiously added amounts of rain) to the left.
My purpose on this journey was to find the old Shale Quarry, which was abandoned and then used as a landfill site, to throw every ones rubbish into. In my youth it was still landfill, but has now been covered over and turfed I expect.
Little did I know how much my memory would fail me and how difficult it would be to find my destination.
I initially took the steep dirt road to the right.
After reaching the top I turned and took a picture, just so you could see how steep it was. This also allowed me to get my breath back.
My memory included this road and crossing it, the path I had just climbed is to the right of the picture. I recall crossing straight over the road and climbing the grassy hill to the left. This proved to be an exhausting experience.
The climb seemed to go on forever and I had the take a couple of rest stops
But it was worth it, turning and taking two photos of the horizon, left to right.
Cresting the hill we see another road, which was not what I expected.
After meeting a couple of ramblers and embarrassingly asking directions I setoff beck to the gravel track to take the left hand route from the top of Lomas Lane.
Back at the start.
I move left up the muddy track, staying out of the furrows, trying to keep out of the mud.
The mud just goes on and on and on.
Finally we leave the mud behind and get onto the grassy fields.
After climbing to the top of a very steep field, I Found no Styles and didn't much fancy my chances climbing the electric fence with addedbarbed wire.
I also noticed that the bottom of this field ran parallel to the road I was on before. I decided to return to the road and proceed to the farm in the distance.
The road running though the farm was a public right of way and had a chicken coop, home to this splendid fellow.
He was a little flustered at my presence and went in to full display mode to defend his brood.
After moving through the farm yard I was faced with another long and desolate road, but I had spent hours wandering now and was getting tired, it was time to head home and come back another day.
On reflection this could have been seen a a wasted journey, however the exercise (which I sorely need) combined with the sights and sounds of the open countryside still made this a worthwhile trip.
On the way home I found another empty eggshell lying on the grass, a reassuring sign that there are places where nature still thrives.
I hope you enjoyed my little soiree through Lancashire's hills, I will be going back, I have the Quarry to find.
All the best,
All photos were taken by myself.