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

    16th June 2017


    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.