Thursday, December 25 – Walton le Dale

Christmas Day!  I was dying to get out this afternoon, but I could not trust myself out until 4pm, on account of the monstrous dinner I had removed.  Even when I did start, my breath was slow and I felt heavy as lead.  Labouring along Chorley New Road, I reached Horwich, and toiled along the rough setts to Chorley, where I lit my lamp.  Past here, I seemed to awaken a little, and with the gradient and wind in favour, I managed to knock out a decent pace via Whittle le Woods to Bamber Bridge.  At Walton le Dale I stopped for tea at the Unicorn, not from need of it so much as from convention.  I found the Blackburn Clarion in here, and spent some time with them, chatting.  It was 7.30 before I left, and being short of carbide, I tried to get some.  I was unsuccessful.  Here was a pretty pass!  My lamp, however, was lit, even though it would not last, so I made a start along the Belmont route.  It is just like me to choose a route where I was least likely to get any!  From Higher Walton the climbing started, and I had a hard grind for some miles.  Just below Hoghton, I called at a little shop for cigarettes, and to my joy, obtained a tin of carbide.  From Hoghton, came a level stretch, then up again.  My light gave out, but I refilled, and all went well.  From Abbey Village the road climbed on to the top of the moors.  It was a grand sight watching the powerful motor headlights sweeping along the road, showing the whole surface in ripples,  Came a grand run to Belmont, then at a good pace I reached Astley Bridge, and so home at 9.30pm.

42 miles