Monday, December 10 – Mouldsworth

A drizzling rain and thick fog made a dirty morning as I started today at 9am, inside my cape.  I took the usual road via Atherton, the lanes to Butts Bridge and on to Glazebury.  Just past here the rain ceased, the fog cleared, and before Cadishead was reached the sun was shining.  But the roads were horribly dirty, and after crossing Warburton Bridge, I was an oozing slimy mess.  Keeping straight on through Heatley, I came to Broomedge, then High Legh.  The Warrington-Knutsford road brought me to the Poplar Farm near Lymm, where I ordered lunch.  An hour later, I became immersed in the muddy bylanes again, on a road that wound round and about indifferently, passing a beautiful 17th century mansion, wide moated and isolated except for the bridge.  Once I drew a blank, and had to turn back, eventually reaching Arley by means of a cart track.

On the Budworth road, the surface was a little drier, and I felt a little cleaner by the time I reached ‘Big’ Budworth.  The usual route then, to Comberbach, Little Leigh, a sudden swoop into the Weaver valley, and then a steep climb brought me to Acton Bridge.  Then on to Crowton along the old familiar route to Norley, Cuddington, and a beautiful run through the ever glorious realm of Delamere Forest, to Mouldsworth.  Manley reached, I made a sharp swing right, and commenced the long ascent of Frodsham Hill.  It was hot work, for the day was warm, and dusk was gathering.  Swooping downhill, I soon came to Overton, and having no great love for the time-worn Chester road, I made for Bradley, a little village by the Weaver, and ‘off the beaten track’.  I traversed private roads, public footpaths, farmyards and cinder paths, until I emerged triumphant and very dirty at …..             [Sorry for the suspense, but Charlie never did remember to complete that sentence – Ed]. 

A straight road brought me – to my surprise – to Crowton again, and lighting up at Acton Bridge, I took the clean, fast, Tarporley-Warrington highway, and eventually reached Stretton, where I turned for Appleton.  It is a queer sensation, dropping downhill on an inky black night, with only the light of a ‘two bob Lucas’, and the mud almost hub deep.  Without incident however, I came to Grappenhall, and inside ten minutes was comfortably ensconced in the bungalow at Thelwall Brook.  At 7pm I started back via Lymm, Heatley and Warburton Bridge.  Thinking I would try the Liverpool-Manchester road, which has been recently widened and repaired, I kept along through Irlam to Patricroft, on a moderately good road.  Worsley, then Walkden, encountering a thick fog before I got home.  Later I learned that the weather had been dirty, rain and fog combined all day in Bolton, but happily I had experienced entirely the opposite.

92 miles, 12.5 hours