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Belmont, Turton Moor, Darwen Jubilee Tower, Tockholes, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Lancashire.
[28.7 km]  Tue 02 Mar 2021

 
OS Grid ref: SD 67225 16581
Lat/Long: 53.644699, -2.497254

I was able to get a lift to the start of my walk at Belmont and was on my way shortly after 8am. For a while I followed the same route as a couple of weeks ago, over the reservoir embankment and on to Valentines Quarry. I continued along the road and down the steep hill to cross Stones Bank Brook then steeply up the other side. I turned left and continued along Stones Bank Road to join the main A666 Blackburn Road.
Belmont Reservoir.
There is nothing to see no but on the left used to be the Turton Moor Sanitary Pipe Co Ltd. After financial problems the ownership changed in 1901 and was renamed Turton Moor Sanitary Pipe Co Ltd and struggled along until 1911 when it closed. I continued north keeping to the grass verge as the traffic was very busy. At the junction with Greens Arms Road I looked over the wall to see a couple of stone posts. The 1909 OS map shows this was the site of the Greens Arms Inn but now nothing remains of the building. Further on the road crosses Cadshaw Brook and there were traffic lights as workmen were on site repairing the northern approach embankment that had subsided. They were using sheet piles to stabilise the embankment. The main bridge structure was fine.

Site of Greens Arms Inn.

Cadshaw Brook Bridge
embankment repairs.
I started walking NW aI soon left the road and turned left to follow a track called Witton Weavers Way up onto the moors. It was good underfoot and easy walking. Before the site of Top o’th’ Brow farm I turned right up on to the moor. The map shows a path but there is no path sign and nothing on the ground. It was rouge rushes at first but the ground improved higher up. Signs of a path appeared higher up but I soon left to head across the moor to the site of the crash of Polish pilot Herbert Noga whos P51-C Mustang crashed on Sunday 29th July 1945.

Crash site.

Memorial to Herbert Noga.

 Memorial to Herbert Noga.
I reached the site and found several pieces of metal fuselage and a memorial cross which is relatively new. The crash happened after the war in Europe had ended and the plane was being transported. Warrant Officer Noga was buried with full military honours at Layton Cemetery, Blackpool. The reason for the crash is a mystery. The P51-C Mustang, built in Dallas, Texas and armed with 4, M2 Browning .50 calibre machine guns. This type of gun has been in use since 1933 and still used today. After the crash young lads reached the wreckage and took one of the guns back to Darwen but the police soon found out and recovered it. I left the crash site on Wives Hill and rejoined the footpath to continue over Black Hill to Duckshaw Brook.

Polish pilot Herbert Noga.

C
P51-C Mustang.

 Darwen Jubilee Tower.

 View from the top.
I was back on the Witton Weavers Way and followed it to Darwen Jubilee Tower. The path was wet and muddy most of the way. I had a quick look up the tower before heading Sw along the main track and steeply down towards Stepback Brook.

Site of Owd Aggie's - Stepback.

Old Aggie's around 1907.

Near the track at the bottom is a flat area and some rubble. This was the site of ‘Stepback’ a property known as Owd Aggie’s which used to be a refreshment room doing teas. The car park at Tockholes Cafe was full and the area crowded with people. The cafe was serving drinks outside.

Refreshment House.

I took the road north to Tockholes then down the track to the fine grade 2 listed building mansion house at Lower Hill. Along the track I headed across fields to Red Lee Farm where ‘Private’ was displayed.

Tockholes Parish Pinfold.

 Lower Hill, Tockholes.
L
There were no footpath signs to help me find the way down towards the river then back up the fields and on the Witton Weavers Way. The route went through the yard of Bradley's Farm and still no path markers. Across a very muddy field I came to a bridge ovcer the old railway then steeply down to the valley bottom and the River Roddlesworth which I crossed by a footbridge. Steeply up the other side through the woods I reached the fields below Stanworth and followed the fence to the M65 motorway underpass.
Bridge support graffiti under the M65.
I was heading for Stanworth bridge over the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and followed the undefined path route up the field then down again. However, I could have followed the contour and reached the same bridge. I saw 2 young ladies probably in their early 20s who were looking for a ‘weir’ and asked me the way. They were looking for the weir/waterfall at Hoghton Bottoms and were miles out of their way.

 Walking under the M65 motorway along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
Withnell Fold Paper Mill chimney in the background.


I walked along the canal with them to Riley Green and pointed them in the direction or Hoghton while I continued along the muddy towpath to Withnell Fold and on to Town lane and home.

Muddy towpath.
 
   
 
 
   
 
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