14th August 2015
Present: Robert Holmes, Larry Johnson, Kevin Jordan, Alan Larsen, Colin Larsen, Sylvia Larsen, Mike Melia, John Nelson, Noel O’Toole, Elsa Sawczuk, Steve Sawczuk, Neil Shortland, Dave Whittle, Mike Whittle
It was an unmitigated shock for the fourteen attendees departing Greenfield station that soggy morning following their arrival from Manchester’s Victoria station. Why should inclement weather impact so severely on attendee numbers? Such was the question circulating around the group.
There was, however, no denying the air of depression that hung over the group as it made its way towards Ladcastle Road. The route initially took us towards the Huddersfield Narrow Canal which we walked along towards Diggle - our intended destination. On arrival, our mood began to lift as we decided to capitalise upon the opportunity of a lunch stop at the Diggle Hotel only to be cruelly denied entry when we arrived at the door. It was a bitter disappointment after learning that it had ceased to open at lunchtimes. We had a prolonged discussion with a member of the hotel’s cleaning staff with a view to gaining access but sadly it was to no avail. Shortly afterwards, we were joined by Messrs Johnson and Melia. Earlier in the day prior to their arrival, we were the recipients of some sad news which we discovered later was the reason behind the pair’s delay. Unfortunately, Larry had mislaid his wallet and a sum of cash on his way to Greenfield. The most likely place where the loss occurred was on his initial bus journey which was where he last recollected having saw it. We were informed later, following his contact with First Manchester’s lost property department, that he was unsuccessful in reuniting himself with his wallet.
Following our rendezvous with Larry and Mike and our unfortunate fruitless visit to the Diggle Hotel, we decided to take a lunch break at Grandpa Green’s, a local café which was situated on the canal side. The seating area was situated outside and thus many of the chairs and tables were saturated with rainwater. We eventually managed to identify some drier furniture and took our seats. Members were very impressed the with portion size and culinary quality of the café’s offerings. There were collective gasps at the size of Mike Melia’s sandwich and enormity of Sylvia’s chocolate sponge dessert.
When everybody had been suitably sated, we returned to the canal and headed towards the Pennine Bridleway. By this time the rain had ceased and the group’s mood began to lift. In due course, we arrived at the Standedge Trail which was to take us to our final destination of Marsden.
Upon our arrival at Marsden, we wasted no time in making a beeline for the Riverhead Brewery Tap which was to be our sole hostelry for the evening as it was adjudged unanimously to be the only venue worthy of our patronage in the vicinity. The beers on offer provided conclusive evidence in support of our reasoned judgment: Redbrook Premium, March haigh, Butterley and Brendica which were part of the stable of the Riverhead Brewery; Wentworth Black Diamond, Silver King, Jenning’s Cumberland, Rudgate Battleaxe, Brass Castle and Northern Blonde.
During the evening’s proceedings, Elsa advised everybody that her stock of sticking plasters had now been replenished in anticipation of Kevin Maximus joining us for the day. Unfortunately, he had been unavoidably detained by a prior commitment.
Thanks once again from everybody to Alan for his deft organisation and execution of the walk.