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  • sgoff - Sunday 1 October 2017 20:37
    O.C.O.T. Minutes

    16th June 2017

    Morecambe/Lancaster

    Present: Dave Bates, Robert Brown, Steve Carey, David Burrows, Dave Dalton, Andy Fildes, Trevor Heywood, Robert Holmes, Larry Johnson, Kevin Jordan, Alan Larsen, Colin Larsen, Sylvia Larsen, Kevin McDonough, Barry McGuinness, Mike Melia, John Nelson, Noel O’Toole, Bob Rial, Elsa Sawczuk, Steve Sawczuk, Linda Staunton, Dave Whittle, Mike Whittle, Mike Worthington


    From a meteorological viewpoint, we had mistimed our inaugural foray into Morecambe by twenty-four hours. We were cruelly denied the eagerly anticipated commanding views of the Furness Peninsula, the Lake District fells and Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales. Nonetheless, it was a dry day albeit heavily overcast. Emerging from Morecambe station, we initially headed down the town’s promenade in the direction of Alan’s Lakeland retreat, Bare. The local authority had recently identified funding to reinvigorate a hitherto tired looking coastal front. We all agreed that it had made a decent fist of the work. For those in the group unfamiliar with Alan’s background, one could easily have been forgiven for believing that he was contracted to Morecambe Town Council and the local tourist board in light of the justified promotion that he was giving to the area. We soon came across one of the principal tourist sites of the area: Eric and Ernie looking rather resplendent on the sea front, so much so, that they prompted several members to begin pointing their cameras for some group photography. The local lore has it that the Art Deco Midland Hotel, a grade II listed building built by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway company in 1933, once provided a love nest for one, Anthony Statham. An unverified sighting by one member of a brass plaque located in the hotel testified to the historic significance of Tony’s past connection. Verification would also be required to determine whether this was also the venue where Tony recited Shakepeare’s fourth sonnet to his lady wife: “Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend, upon thyself thy beauty's legacy? ..............................”

    In due course we duly arrived at Alan’s manor, Bare and we were promptly shepherded into The Owl’s Nest pub, located in the village.

    Following some liquid refreshment, we continued on to Happy Mount Park, and made our way over some fields towards the Lancaster Canal. A walk along the Lancaster canal preceded our eventual arrival into Lancaster city centre. However, shortly before we departed from the canal, we were subjected to a sharp shock when we read a fingerpost sign quoting the remaining mileage into the city centre. We were led to believe from our leader that it was a mile or two into the city centre. The sign however conflicted with Alan’s estimation by quoting three or four miles. Alan ameliorated our shock by stating that the fingerpost was incorrect regarding the route that we had selected.

    Our arrival into Lancaster took us into The White Cross where we stayed for a few drinks. From there, we went on to the Waterwitch. Members then began to disperse as we had varying departure times for our return to Preston/Manchester.

    Everybody extended their gratitude to Alan for his memorable Morecambe and Lancaster excursion.










    A well trodden destination greeted us as we stepped off the train at Edale. The weather proved to be ideal for our tour around the vicinity, which took us around Hollins Cross, Back Tor, Lose Hill and into Hope.

    An early afternoon break was taken in the Cheshire Cheese in the village of Hope where many memories were resurrected from earlier visits going back as far as the 1990’s.

    Following our departure from the Cheshire Cheese, our route took us towards Edale End, Jagger’s Clough and Nether Booth for our return to Edale.

    Arriving in Edale village, we headed towards the Nag’s Head where some members opted for meals whilst others elected to visit the local fish and chip shop. Members opting for the latter initially had worries about an early evening closure so your correspondent made a pre-emptory visit to confirm the closing time with the proprietor. It turned out that the time was around 20:00 so that gave us adequate time to finish our drinks in the Nag’s Head.

    Later, several members left the Nag’s and made their way to the shop. Upon inspection of the price list, our earlier concerns about the shop’s closing time quickly paled into insignificance when we began to digest the prices of the food: fish and chips £7, standard portion of chips £2.50, large £4.

    The group thanked Robert for another enjoyable return to one of our ancestral destinations.
  • sgoff - Sunday 1 October 2017 20:34
    O.C.O.T. Minutes

    19th May 2017

    Edale

    Present: Dave Bates, Dave Dalton (evening), Andy Fildes, Adi Hammond, Trevor Heywood, Robert Holmes, Larry Johnson, Kevin Jordan, David Lamb, Barry McGuinness, Alan Larsen, Colin Larsen, Keith Mayoh, Aiden Moy (evening) John Nelson, Noel O’Toole, Elsa Sawczuk, Steve Sawczuk, Tony Statham, Dave Whittle, Mike Whittle, Mike Worthington


    A well trodden destination greeted us as we stepped off the train at Edale. The weather proved to be ideal for our tour around the vicinity, which took us around Hollins Cross, Back Tor, Lose Hill and into Hope.

    An early afternoon break was taken in the Cheshire Cheese in the village of Hope where many memories were resurrected from earlier visits going back as far as the 1990’s.

    Following our departure from the Cheshire Cheese, our route took us towards Edale End, Jagger’s Clough and Nether Booth for our return to Edale.

    Arriving in Edale village, we headed towards the Nag’s Head where some members opted for meals whilst others elected to visit the local fish and chip shop. Members opting for the latter initially had worries about an early evening closure so your correspondent made a pre-emptory visit to confirm the closing time with the proprietor. It turned out that the time was around 20:00 so that gave us adequate time to finish our drinks in the Nag’s Head.

    Later, several members left the Nag’s and made their way to the shop. Upon inspection of the price list, our earlier concerns about the shop’s closing time quickly paled into insignificance when we began to digest the prices of the food: fish and chips £7, standard portion of chips £2.50, large £4.

    The group thanked Robert for another enjoyable return to one of our ancestral destinations.
  • sgoff - Sunday 1 October 2017 19:50
    O.C.O.T. Minutes

    13th April 2017

    Leyland / Worden Park

    Present: Dave Bates, Dave Dalton, John Guest, Adrian Hammond, Robert Holmes, Larry Johnson, Kevin Jordan, Alan Larsen, Keith Mayoh, John Nelson, Noel O’Toole, Elsa Sawczuk, Steve Sawczuk, Linda Staunton, Dave Whittle, Mike Whittle, Mike Worthington

    In complete contrast to the March outing, we were greeted with dry, pleasant weather for our circumnavigation of Leyland and Worden.

    Upon our return to Leyland, we visited several of the local hostelries including the Withy Arms, The Market Tavern, The Leyland Lion (Wetherspoons) and the Golden Tap Ale House micro pub near the station.

    Our thanks to Alan for another great production.
  • sgoff - Tuesday 26 September 2017 17:25
    Dear All

    This months walk is an 9/10 mile moderate walk from Longridge up to Longridge Fell and onto Jeffrey Hill, after absorbing breathtaking views of the Bleasdale Fells and if clear the Yorkshire 3 peaks, we then drop down and walk field paths and bridleways in the Ribble Valley and arrive back into the small town of Longridge. In general the tracks are good but there is one short wet section on Jeffrey Hill so boots are the order of the day.

    The pub(s) of the day are The Corporation Arms (three quarters of way round), Hoppy Days and Tap and Vent both excellent micro pubs so hopefully a good choice of ale. The group if they so wish might have a last pint in The Guild Ale House once we return to Preston.

    There is also a chippy in Longridge and a pub Towneley Arms that does cheapish pub food up to 7pm.

    Travel Details, train to Preston then bus up to Longridge. From Manchester £9:90 from Bolton £10:20. Wayfarers go as far as Wigan or Chorley on the Bolton line.

    Please meet at Manchester Piccadilly at 10am in order to catch the 10:16am train to Preston arrive 10:57am. Please note this train calls off at Manchester Oxford Road at 10:19am.

    For those that are travelling from Bolton there is a train at 10:25am arrive Preston 10:58am.

    The group will then walk briskly across town to the bus stop, bus every ten minutes.

    The return train is 20:48 to Manchester Piccadilly arriving 21:30

    The return train to Bolton is 21:05 arrive Bolton 21:34.

    Can someone volunteer to lead the Manchester crew, I will meet you at Preston.

    As always the above details are the suggested return journey times there are other trains / buses that you might wish to travel home on.

    As always please buy a ticket that suits your own personal requirements. I would advise you to buy a Preston plus bus ticket when purchasing your train ticket as you save money rather than paying on the bus and it speeds up boarding.

    As always my mobile number is 07949550751 if you have any queries.

    Look forward to meeting you all on the day.

    Cheers

    Alan
  • sgoff - Tuesday 26 September 2017 17:14
    Good evening all,

    Never was the phrase 'from one extreme to another' so relevant !

    Last weekend's deadline came and went with 9 people committed to the trip, so we are a smaller and more exclusive group than last year but no matter, it will be a great trip. The group consists of Dave Whittle, Larry Johnson, Steve Carey, Robert Brown, Steve Goff, Linda Staunton, Bob Rial, Roger Wallace and myself.

    Everything has been booked up this week and the advantage of us being a smaller number meant that I was able to do it all myself on the net, the result being that we are quids in ! When you book with an agent you have to pay a mark up for the agent itself, for each sector of the booking (in our case flights, hotel and transfer) and probably even a local agent if that's the way they operate. If each of those stages takes an 8-10% fee then you are looking at a pretty big mark up, so it's obviously a lot cheaper to book yourself on the net and 'cut out the middle man'. That said, it would be impossible for anyone to book everything through the net for a group of 30 people - hotels generally do not release 20+ rooms for booking online, so having a smaller number and not having to rely on an agent worked to our advantage.

    Anyway, we are done and costings are as follows ...

    Flights
    £113.98 per person all fully booked

    Transfers
    £10 per person booked

    Hotel
    £224 approx. for a twin room (£112 approx. each) and £211 approx. for a single room all booked.

    I've had to pay out for the flights and transfers in full (a total of £124 per person).
    The hotel rooms are secured by credit card but we do not have to pay until we arrive. I have given approximate sterling prices because the bookings are actually in euros (125.56 euros each for a twin and 236 euros for a single).

    Total cost for the trip then comes to £236 approx. for those sharing a twin room and £335 approx. for those with a single room. Huge savings !

    The flights are those which we were quoted in the first place, that is with Ryanair leaving Manchester T3 Wed 6 September at 18.30, arriving Bratislava 22.00 local time (flight no. FR 34). The return leaves Bratislava Sunday 10 September at 16.35, arriving Manchester T3 18.05 (flight no. FR 35).

    I've booked 9 seats in a minibus for our transfers in Bratislava with a local firm. They've already emailed the relevant vouchers to me.

    The hotel is also the one which we were originally quoted, that is the 4* Hotel Tatra in Bratislava Old Town, and the internet rates are on a bed and breakfast basis. The rooms are all en-suite and include minibar, safe, phone, TV and all the usual towels and toiletries. Based on expressed and previous preference I've booked 2 twin rooms (Larry and myself in one with Dave and Steve G in the other) and 5 single rooms (Steve C, Robert, Linda, Bob and Roger).

    As I stated earlier, I have paid out £124 per person so I'll let everybody have a cheque for £76 back when I see you as I had already banked the deposit cheques of £200 each.

    I hope that's all ok for everyone. It remains to be seen if any other codgers will be joining us by booking at the cheaper rates, that will be up to them. We're all sorted and we can sit back and research between now and September.

    See you soon, DD
  • sgoff - Tuesday 26 September 2017 16:56
    Hi Dave

    Will you please mail this out to all Codgers.

    SHORT BREAK TO ROSS ON WYE
    SUNDAY 26 MARCH TO WEDNESDAY 29 MARCH 2017

    I have reserved 6 twin rooms initially for the above break at:

    The Chase Hotel - 3 Star - in the centre of Ross on Wye
    Gloucester Road
    Ross on Wye
    HR9 5LH

    3 nights bed and breakfast
    £342 per twin room
    £171 per person for 3 nights

    TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE, PLEASE EMAIL COLIN LARSEN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AS ACCOMMODATION IN THE AREA IS GETTING BOOKED UP QUICKLY.

    Cheers Colin
  • sgoff - Tuesday 26 September 2017 16:44
    O.C.O.T. Minutes

    17th March 2017

    Marsden / Slaithwaite

    Present: Adrian Hammond, Syd Bennett, David Burrows, Andy Fildes, Steve Goff, Adi Hammond, Trevor Heywood, Robert Holmes, Larry Johnson, Kevin Jordan, Alan Larsen, Colin Larsen, John Nelson, Noel O’Toole, Tony Statham, Dave Whittle, Mike Whittle

    The expectation of inclement weather had come to fruition as we stepped onto Marsden station’s platform disembarking from the 10.57 Manchester Victoria service. The previous evening’s forecast had warned of a driving 30 mph headwind although at our elevation it was more likely to have been somewhere between 40 and 50 mph.

    Our moderate nine miles walk today would take us, to use local vernacular, to the village of Slawit. The route would be in the main over the moors following the Kirklees way and passing Scammonden water.

    The weather began to deteriorate rapidly as we headed along the Kirklees Way and, partly as a consequence of this, we were to suffer the day’s first casualty: Steve. He apparently began to feel unwell and found it necessary to curtail the walk prematurely. He was joined with one or two others who acted as aides whilst he was shepherded towards Marsden.

    The remaining stalwart members steadfastly continued the walk. However, shortly after the earlier incident, Alan acknowledged the rapidly deteriorating weather and, during a brief soggy lunch break, took the opportunity of offering the rain sodden individuals an alternative exit strategy by outlining an abridged return route to Slawit. A few members seized the opportunity with some eagerness. They were though left in no doubt from the remainder of the group that this behaviour was regarded as unbecoming and that it fell short of the standard expected from professional walkers!

    Following the group schism, the courageous remainder, undeterred and heads bowed, continued with unflinching stoicism. Sometime later, we stumbled upon some semblance of civilisation and began to descend from the moors and headed towards the Rose and Crown inn located in Cop Hill, on the periphery of Slawit. The final part of the descent took us down a rain drenched, lichen covered cobbled lane. The near lethal combination of the greasy, wet lichen covered surface offered negligible traction between boot soles and the cobbles. The collective looks of concentration, on members’ faces, as they navigated their way over the cobbles was a sight to behold.

    Upon arrival at the inn, the group had become fragmented and the leading few members were the first to enter the bar. After several minutes of divestment and undressing of rain soaked outerwear, drinks were bought from the bar. It seemed to be some time later when the next group of members arrived and at which point we were appraised of the calamity that had befallen one member. In fact, the member in question was none other than the illustrious Secretary Larsen. He had suffered the misfortune and ignominy of having lost his footing on the wet cobbles. It turned out that his accident had occurred on an incline. His fall had resulted in his right hand temple area of his head having borne and absorbed almost the entire impact of his fall. The huge, ovoid shaped lump on his head was surely testament to the severity of the impact. Colin entered the bar area, looking slightly dazed and giving the impression of not being entirely compos mentis, immediately sat down. Concerned members began to insist that he ought to visit the local accident and emergency ward of the local infirmary. Almost unbelievably, he was able to hold a lucid and coherent conversation, which, later in the evening we all agreed was something of a novelty! Following a period of reflection over his injurious predicament, Colin demurred regarding a visit to the local hospital that evening and that he would assess his injury the following morning and decide upon his course of action at that point.

    Our departure from the Rose and Crown saw several members avail themselves of transport to the centre of Slawit whilst others decided to walk. The ever enterprising Adrian, as he was about to leave the inn, caught the attention of a concerned female customer and received an offer of a lift into the town centre.

    Our final two hostelry visits included the Commercial and the Shoulder of Mutton.

    Everybody thanked Alan for our safe deliverance to Slaithwaite following an abysmal wet walk. It was with some regret that we were unable to enjoy what ought to have been a scenic hike across the Kirklees moors.
  • sgoff - Tuesday 26 September 2017 16:43
    O.C.O.T. Minutes

    17th March 2017

    Marsden / Slaithwaite

    Present: Adrian Hammond, Syd Bennett, David Burrows, Andy Fildes, Steve Goff, Adi Hammond, Trevor Heywood, Robert Holmes, Larry Johnson, Kevin Jordan, Alan Larsen, Colin Larsen, John Nelson, Noel O’Toole, Tony Statham, Dave Whittle, Mike Whittle

    The expectation of inclement weather had come to fruition as we stepped onto Marsden station’s platform disembarking from the 10.57 Manchester Victoria service. The previous evening’s forecast had warned of a driving 30 mph headwind although at our elevation it was more likely to have been somewhere between 40 and 50 mph.

    Our moderate nine miles walk today would take us, to use local vernacular, to the village of Slawit. The route would be in the main over the moors following the Kirklees way and passing Scammonden water.

    The weather began to deteriorate rapidly as we headed along the Kirklees Way and, partly as a consequence of this, we were to suffer the day’s first casualty: Steve. He apparently began to feel unwell and found it necessary to curtail the walk prematurely. He was joined with one or two others who acted as aides whilst he was shepherded towards Marsden.

    The remaining stalwart members steadfastly continued the walk. However, shortly after the earlier incident, Alan acknowledged the rapidly deteriorating weather and, during a brief soggy lunch break, took the opportunity of offering the rain sodden individuals an alternative exit strategy by outlining an abridged return route to Slawit. A few members seized the opportunity with some eagerness. They were though left in no doubt from the remainder of the group that this behaviour was regarded as unbecoming and that it fell short of the standard expected from professional walkers!

    Following the group schism, the courageous remainder, undeterred and heads bowed, continued with unflinching stoicism. Sometime later, we stumbled upon some semblance of civilisation and began to descend from the moors and headed towards the Rose and Crown inn located in Cop Hill, on the periphery of Slawit. The final part of the descent took us down a rain drenched, lichen covered cobbled lane. The near lethal combination of the greasy, wet lichen covered surface offered negligible traction between boot soles and the cobbles. The collective looks of concentration, on members’ faces, as they navigated their way over the cobbles was a sight to behold.

    Upon arrival at the inn, the group had become fragmented and the leading few members were the first to enter the bar. After several minutes of divestment and undressing of rain soaked outerwear, drinks were bought from the bar. It seemed to be some time later when the next group of members arrived and at which point we were appraised of the calamity that had befallen one member. In fact, the member in question was none other than the illustrious Secretary Larsen. He had suffered the misfortune and ignominy of having lost his footing on the wet cobbles. It turned out that his accident had occurred on an incline. His fall had resulted in his right hand temple area of his head having borne and absorbed almost the entire impact of his fall. The huge, ovoid shaped lump on his head was surely testament to the severity of the impact. Colin entered the bar area, looking slightly dazed and giving the impression of not being entirely compos mentis, immediately sat down. Concerned members began to insist that he ought to visit the local accident and emergency ward of the local infirmary. Almost unbelievably, he was able to hold a lucid and coherent conversation, which, later in the evening we all agreed was something of a novelty! Following a period of reflection over his injurious predicament, Colin demurred regarding a visit to the local hospital that evening and that he would assess his injury the following morning and decide upon his course of action at that point.

    Our departure from the Rose and Crown saw several members avail themselves of transport to the centre of Slawit whilst others decided to walk. The ever enterprising Adrian, as he was about to leave the inn, caught the attention of a concerned female customer and received an offer of a lift into the town centre.

    Our final two hostelry visits included the Commercial and the Shoulder of Mutton.

    Everybody thanked Alan for our safe deliverance to Slaithwaite following an abysmal wet walk. It was with some regret that we were unable to enjoy what ought to have been a scenic hike across the Kirklees moors.
  • sgoff - Tuesday 26 September 2017 16:41
    Dear All

    This months walk is a moderate 9 mile walk from Marsden to Slaithwaite the walk will mostly follow the Kirklees Way over the moors to Scammonden Water. Please note there are some muddy boggy sections but equally there are some good hard surfaces, the walk may be shortened if the weather turns bad. You never know we might enjoy a dry spell over the next two weeks! Please wear suitable gear though.

    Please meet at Manchester Victoria at 10: 40am in order to catch the 10:57 to Marsden, arrive 11:29. a ticket to Slaithwaite is required as we are going to end up there after the walk.Day return to Slaithwaite is £10:50. The last stop for a Wayfarer is Greenfield the stop before Marsden. Please buy a ticket that meets your own personal circumstances. As the Marsden train starts from Preston I will be already on it in the first carriage.

    The return trains are
    18:23 arrive Manchester Victoria 19:06.
    18:33 arrive Manchester Victoria 19:30
    19:22 arrive Manchester Victoria 20:06
    20:22 arrive Manchester Victoria 21:05
    21:22 arrive Manchester Victoria 22:04

    The pubs of the day are

    Rose and Crown , Cop Hill, four hand pumps please note this pub is 3/4 of the way round after approx 6 to 7 miles. The only pub stop on the walk.
    The Commercial and The Shoulder of Mutton both Slaithwaite at least six hand pumps on at each. Please note there is a chippy in Slaithwaite open to 8 pm.

    Please contact me by email or on my mobile 07949550751 if you have any enquiries.

    Cheers

    Alan
  • sgoff - Tuesday 26 September 2017 16:37
    O.C.O.T. Minutes

    17th February 2017

    Disley

    Present: Syd Bennett, Robert Brown, Steve Carey, Kevin Clarke, Dave Dalton, Andy Fildes, Steve Goff, Miklos Gombos, John Guest, Adi Hammond, Trevor Heywood, Robert Holmes, Larry Johnson, Kevin Jordan, Alan Larsen, Colin Larsen, Sylvia Larsen, Keith Mayoh, Kevin McDonough, Barry McGuinness, Mike Melia, Aidan Moy, John Nelson, Noel O’Toole, Bob Rial, Steve Sawczuk, Julie Sprigg, Roger Wallace, Dave Whittle, Mike Worthington

    A swollen group of thirty attendees arrived at Disley on a reasonably fair weather day.

    Today’s walk took in the Peak Forest canal and Middlewood way and then onwards through Lyme Park and ultimately returning to Disley by Green Lane.

    A break was taken around midday at the Bull’s Head public house in Higher Poynton. Following our entry, it took only several minutes for regrets to be audibly voiced by several members in our mistakenly patronising such an unwelcoming hostelry. We assumed that it was a manager who was responsible on the day for house’s operations. Surely, any landlord worthy of the title would never have behaved in such a boorish manner, as we were soon to learn to our cost. The membership had seldom seen over the years the exhibiting of such an inflexible attitude in allowing us to enjoy our drinks before the closure of the premises for the afternoon. It was the breathtaking rigidity of the manager’s attitude and his employment of such unseemly haste that rankled us all as we were shepherded towards the pub’s exit door as we approached closing time. It was almost a welcome relief to be shortly standing outside away from his inhospitable glare.

    Upon our return to Disley, a schism appeared in the group as several members who were leading the party decided to head towards the White Horse whilst others who arrived later entered the hostelry and then immediately performed a volte face and inexplicably headed off towards the next port of call which turned out to be the White Lion.

    It was therefore sometime later in the evening before we were all reunited in the White Lion. Several members ordered meals from the sole, elderly member of the pub’s management team, who processed, procured and purveyed all of the orders. It transpired that his female assistant for the evening had found reason to forsake him at short notice because of personal business. Your correspondent together with others, could not help remarking about his uncanny resemblance to Uncle Albert (Buster Merryfield) from the sitcom Only Fools and Horses. If not Uncle Albert, then surely Captain Birdseye would have would also have been a close contender! The bar service was lamentably slow given that the machinations of ‘Albert’ were being spread way too thinly around the hostelry’s various functions. It was to his assistant’s credit that when she finally returned later to the pub to position herself behind the bar, she sensed which way the wind was blowing regarding herself and “Albert’s” cool reception and initially maintained a safe distance between herself and his self to allow him his ‘cooling off’ period.

    Our final refreshment of the evening was taken at the Ram’s Head adjacent to the station.

    Steve G wished it to be made known that his son, Andy, and coach transport would be made available for the May outing.

    The group thanked Robert once more for an imaginative and scenic but rather testing trek given the estimated distance of around thirteen miles.