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12th August 2016
Present: Dave Bates, Syd Bennett, Andy Fildes, Graham Fildes, Adi Hammond, Trevor Heywood, Robert Holmes, Larry Johnson, Kevin Jordan, Dave Lamb, Alan Larsen, Colin Larsen, Sylvia Larsen, Barry McGuinness, Mike Melia, John Nelson (evening), Dave Nichols, Noel O’Toole, Bob Rial, Steve Sawczuk, Neil Shortland (evening), Roger Wallace, Dave Whittle, Mike Whittle
Your correspondent, having elected to travel to Frodsham from Wigan’s North Western station was beginning to regret his choice of route upon discovering that the Glasgow Central to London Euston Virgin service was delayed by ten minutes upon his arrival. Ordinarily, a delay of ten minutes would have been considered trifling had the transfer time at Warrington Bank Quay, between his Virgin and your Arriva service, been greater than ten minutes. It turned out that the actual arrival time at Warrington Bank Quay was 11:26 – the time that the Manchester Piccadilly Arriva service to Frodsham was due to depart: but from which platform? His relief therefore was palpable as he stepped in panic onto the platform and caught the soothing sight of organiser Alan stood waiting rather forlornly further along the platform. Thankfully, the London Virgin service had been prioritised over the Arriva service and, fortuitously, both services were using a common platform at the Bank Quay. Your correspondent being in a rather mischievous mood decided to test Alan’s mettle by asking him to give due consideration regarding changing the date of the October outing by delaying it for a week. He was somewhat taken aback at Alan’s terse response and abject refusal to do so. Why?
We duly boarded the Frodsham service and were most fortunate for each of us to obtain a seat. The twenty, seated members were certainly not assisting we two to gain access to any seats but the underlying problem appeared to be the swollen number of day trippers heading out to North Wales. Your correspondent certainly wasn’t relishing the prospect of sitting on the carriage floor for the remainder of the journey signalling in Corbynesque fashion, his distaste for private investment in UK rail operation.
The weather was near perfect as we gathered outside Frodsham station. It most certainly played a fundamental part in flushing out a sizeable number of members. We departed from Frodsham station and headed up to Beacon Hill along the Sandstone Trail. We progressed towards Woodhouse Hill followed by Helsby Hill and returned to the Sandstone Trail past Snidley Moor Wood along the back of Beacon Hill for our return to Frodsham and the award winning pub of the day: The Helter Skelter.
Approximately three quarters the way through the trek, we ventured into the Belle Mont Hotel for liquid refreshment by way of pints of Samuel Smith’s bitters and ciders. The beer prices, as expected, did not disappoint us.
Upon our arrival in the Helter Skelter, we met up with Messrs Nelson and Shortland. It was a fine evening and with limited seating accommodation inside the pub, we decided to congregate in an adjacent alleyway.
From the Helter Skelter the group began to dissipate for the return journey home.
The group thanked Alan for a splendid Cheshire outing