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23rd September 2016
Present: Dave Dalton, Andy Fildes, Steve Goff, Robert Holmes, Larry Johnson, Kevin Jordan, Mike Melia, Aidan Moy, Noel O’Toole, Bob Rial, Tony Statham, Dave Whittle
Following the previous Monday’s return from an excursion to Vienna, the number of attendees arriving for today’s outing was severely depleted. Those having travelled to Vienna appeared, albeit somewhat superficially, to have made a remarkable recovery from their hedonistic three day break. Many of today’s absentees had attended a walk organised by Alan the previous Friday that had shadowed today’s walk.
Our luck was in today from a meteorological perspective: a temporary ridge of high pressure had moved over the United Kingdom from the Azores resulting in fine sunny weather for much of the day until later in the afternoon when a cold front sucked in a layer of cloud.
Robert’s walk incorporated some pain inducing ascents that were inflicted upon us and helped to sow within us the seeds of regret nurtured from a diet of alcoholic largesse over in Vienna.
The route to Sowerby Bridge took us by the Calderdale Way over Crow Hill and to the stone monument Churn Milk Joan and on to Luddenden Dean.
We arrived at the Cat i’th Well – a Timothy Taylor abode at around 14:15 and we took the opportunity of a well earned rest. Shortly before our arrival, we had completed yet another harrowing Holmes’ ascent and sauntered into the best room of the Cat to be greeted by a roaring open fire. Your correspondent wondered whether it was just he who was feeling a tad warm around the collar. A cursory glance over at Dave, whose face was drenched in rivulets of perspiration, provided the necessary evidence that others too were feeling the heat in more ways than one. After being served with pints of Golden best and Strongbow, we quickly headed outside into the beer garden.
We continued on a high level route for our return to Sowerby Bridge.
We arrived in Sowerby Bridge at 16:45 and made a beeline for the Hog’s Head Brew House where we enjoyed some fine ales and ciders.
Our final port of call was the Bull On The Bridge Hotel and Sowerby Taps. It was during our visit to the Sowerby Taps that we came within a whisker of suffering our first group fatality. Your correspondent had sought advice from Robert regarding directions to the station for his return journey back to Manchester. Robert stepped out side of the basement bar to ascend the steps to ground level to give directions whereupon a full pint of bitter came crashing down from the entrance above to the Bull hotel. If not for Robert’s remarkable agility in sidestepping the beer filled Exocet, it surely would have made near lethal contact with his head. For all his fleet footedness, he nevertheless suffered the inevitable heavy drenching from a beer shampoo. He vented his palpable anger by verbally cursing those thoughtless beer- drinking smokers stood above who were responsible for kicking over the glass. Profuse apologies descended from above, which had the desired effect of removing the wind from livid Robert’s sails.
The group thanked Robert for a classic Yorkshire outing.