Post: You get a taste of Cheshire in the summer in this pottering day, its innate beauty, the lush vegetation, the flowers at their best, what more could one reasonably wish for. And the piece de resistance, throwing cinders at fish in a pond. As they say in dialect in Wigan 2
Sunday, July 5 Abbots Moss
I had promised to see Tom at dinner-time, Mrs Wade’s, today. We have neglected the place lately, and felt that it was up to us to see how they were going on. I started at 8.30am, determined to potter all the way, but as soon as I left the industrialism behind, I started at the old ding-dong pace across Chat Moss. From Warburton, however, I did potter, uphill to High Legh, then – in the open country – I could not help it. It was a beautiful morning, the lane was quiet, the birds overhead were trilling their song, the sun made a leafy pattern through the trees, the scent of flowers, the humming bees – it made one feel a great contentment come over, made one feel as one apart from the sordid bustle of towns – the curse of man. Here was Great Budworth, quiet and peaceful, here Budworth Mere, a sheet of reflecting silver, Comberbach, drowsy, quaint, the lanes to Little Leigh, and a ‘back road’ that lurches downhill, skirting a shady wood. Uphill, and Acton Station, downhill – and Mrs Wade’s.
Tom had not arrived, so I waited, wandering in the garden. Mr Wade has spared no effort here, and now, for a brief period his labour is rewarded. What can be more beautiful than a garden full of flowers, where can one find the same rest and peace than amongst the tranquillity of flowers, nodding their heads in the mid-day heat, what can one learn if he but take the trouble to watch and think – he will marvel at what he sees, and marvel still more at his own ignorance.
When Tom came we rolled in. Mrs Wade was pleased to see us; she thought something had happened, so long had we been away. I showed Tom some photo’s, which set us talking about our beloved Wales, and planning future runs into that delectable land. We already have decided on something that will prove a great ‘stunt’ if we have the necessary cash – a New Year tour, making Capel Curig as the centre, and doing a bit of climbing for a change. I long to see those peaks under snow.
We lounged about for a bit – one has to lounge after one of Mrs Wade’s lunches – then Tom suddenly remembered that he would like to take some photos around Beeston, and we bolted by a ‘back way’, that is, a footpath. In endeavouring to find our way through a maze of lanes to the Tarporley road, we got mixed up as usual, but a map scrutiny took us across the Chester road to a Delamere Forest byway, straight as a die with a rotten surface. My front tyre gave up the ghost and we invaded a half-built bungalow in search of water. We found some contaminated with lime, but we failed to detect any leakage, so we put a new piece of valve tubing on and replaced it. It never troubled me again.
We had got lazy, fooling about on the grassy banks, until we realised that if we went round Beeston we should only have to start ‘blinding’ on the homeward run, and the weather was too hot for that, so we elected to do the very opposite – potter. As soon as we reached the Tarporley road, one and a half miles from Cotebrook, we turned back towards Cuddington for about a hundred yards, then went through a gate into the wood on the right.
It was only a cart track, and rather awkward for riding, but it took us through wonderful woodlands, across open patches ablaze with gorse and deep in bracken, until, after over a mile of fairyland, we emerged near Whitegate on the Little Budworth road. So into Whitegate, then by a cinder path to the River Weaver, uphill to Moulton, and through Davenham to Northwich. We stopped between Witton Flashes, and spent a lazy twenty minutes throwing cinders at fish we saw in the water. It was but a short run now to Great Budworth, but as the excellent tea-place there was full, we pushed on, entering the beautiful Arley Park to the Village, then by footpath to Arley Green, for tea in the quiet, old-world place there.
It seems strange that we should drop in here just at the end of the Bolton Annual Holidays for the second year in succession! The homeward run was by Arley Mill and Mere, High Legh, then we chatted the time away at Broomedge. My way lay once more over Warburton Bridge and across Chat Moss.
For once in a way, we have had a real, short potter, and a very acceptable change it has been too, more so on a day like this. At Mrs Wade’s I swopped saddles with Tom, for a B 19, and the fourth so far on my 1925 steed. I’ll get one to suit yet ! 74 miles