Saturday, 27 September 1924 Parker’s Tunnel

Two of us, (my friend being a rather new and untutored cyclist), started at 2.15. this afternoon, along Belmont road.  I intended showing him a little of the delightful district nearer home, which he did not know.  From Belmont I led him over the top of the moors towards Anglezarke.  From the summit, which is well over 1,000 ft – 1,162 ft to be precise – we caught an excellent view of the country towards Preston, and sweeping round to Liverpool, with the great smoky blotches of big industrial towns, and nearer, the maze of streets, gaunt mill chimneys and the neighbouring giant-like factories of Bolton and district.  Tumbling breathlessly downhill, we traversed a very pretty maze of autumn tinted bylanes, coming later to Upper Anglezarke Reservoir.  From here, we took a track which led us over a low moor, by many ruined farmhouses, and landing us on the White Coppice road.  Behind us, the gently swelling moorlands, a blaze of colour, terminated in the rusty-brown ridge of Winter Hill (1,550 ft).  A sharp drop, then we ran round the foliage bedecked corner of Lower Anglezarke Reservoir, up again, and a rough bylane to White Coppice.  After a stop in the village, we carried on to Heapey, then via Pippin Street, along a road of rough setts, and into the open country again.

With the gradient in our favour, we flew down to Bamber Bridge, then a few minutes later we reached the ‘Unicorn’ at Walton-le-Dale for tea.  Here were many Bolton cyclists, all of which I knew well, and we had an interesting talk together.  Six of us started on the return journey, including a tandem, and we made good progress to Bamber Bridge, where we were delayed a long time at the level crossing.  Then we joined Wigan road, and started a hunt for the entrance to Parker’s Tunnel.  The night was pitch black, the road was under repair, and we had a long hunt before we found it.  The entrance being extremely narrow and high, with an awkward twist in it, it was something of a problem to get the tandem through.  When we at last managed it, we had an oozy walk for a mile between high walls and beneath dense foliage, until we reached the long, dismal, slimy tunnel, our objective.  It is said that a murder was once committed here, and it has the evil reputation of being haunted.  When a road was reached again, we spent a long time cleaning the slime off the bikes.  Wigan road was again reached, then a fast run to Chorley, and we blinded home via Horwich and Deane.                                             60 miles

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