Saturday, March 25 – Blackpool

The weather promised anything but sunshine today as we pushed our way against a stiff breeze up Chorley New Road at 1.30pm.  We were bound for Blackpool, and consequently it would be a ‘rush’.  Via Chorley, Bamber Bridge and Preston we sped, gaining the Blackpool road – Preston New Road it is called.  Being on an excellent surface, flat and with little traffic, we set a rare pace towards Kirkham.  About two miles from there is an Inn with the unusual sign of a five barred gate – the Highgate Inn, and on the wall is painted this ditty:

This gate hangs high and hinders none,
Refresh yourself and travel on.

Nearby we sat on a gate and ‘refreshed ourselves’.  We were in windmill land, hardly a mile passed but we saw a windmill and once we counted four at the same time – all derelict.  From Kirkham it was only about nine miles, and six of these were covered by ‘hanging on’ to a lorry.  We stopped on the South Shore, and after inhaling sea breeze and cigarette smoke, we had a run along the promenade, the place was quiet, not being in season.  After a drink to warm us up, we started on the return journey at 6.10pm.

Between Kirkham and Preston we had to light up, and at Preston we had another drink.  Downhill we rushed to Walton le Dale, and then Bamber Bridge, where I had to refill my lamp.  About three miles from there we missed our way.  The road seemed good, normally that stretch is notorious for its bad surface, and furthermore we were gliding downwards where we should have been going level, when we did find our mistake we had a nice walk back.  We had been on the Darwen road.  Slipping through Chorley, we soon reached Horwich, and aided by a good road surface we reached home in good time – 10.30pm.

84 miles, 9 hours