Saturday, 18 August 2018 (Group: Manchester Weekend Walkers)
Meeting time 9:20,
Start time 10:45
7.5 miles / 12.1 km
Bus-based walk 7.5 miles 450 metres ascent - Leader: Kate L, joining at Walk Start
Description: The walk starts from the quiet village of Helmshore skirting Holden Wood and Ogden Reservoirs then over hilltops, through valleys and over moorland before reaching one of the Rossendale Valley's tallest hills to enjoy fantastic views.
Meet Point: Chorlton Street bus station (stand EZ) for the bus at 09:40.
Suggested Ticket: (X41 Red Express) Day Saver £6.70. The bus also calls at Prestwich's Premier Inn at 10:06.
Walk Start: Helmshore village Post Office(Broadway/Helmshore Road junction) at 10:45.
Waypoints: Gregory Fold, Disused Railway, Quarry, Holden Wood Reservoir, Rossendale Way, Ogden Reservoir, Chimney, Rushy Leach, Causeway End, Rossendale Way, Tor Hill, Carr Lane, Station Road (Bowl Alley).
Return Services: 17:12, then x:22 until 22:22.
Extra: No toilets at Walk Start. Expect hard tracks, fields, grass hillsides, stiles and mud. It could be boggy on areas of the moor top. We usually visit a pub close to the station at the end of the walk, and everybody is very welcome to come along. You may want to make a note of the return bus times as people return home at different times.
Local Information: Helmshore is a village in the Rossendale Valley, south of Haslingden. The village sits beside and includes the old township of Musbury, part of Haslingden and part of Tottington Higher End. The name 'Helmshore' is said to mean 'shelter on the steep slope' and the spectacular, flat-topped Musbury Tor dominates the area. At 338 metres, it is one of the tallest hills in the Rossendale Valley and was once at the centre of a deer park, created in the 1300s by the Earl of Lincoln. Industry expanded as time went on and larger mills were built in Helmshore, closer to the railway, roads and the housing where the workers lived, making these mills much more practical than the outlying smaller ones. By the latter half of the 19th century, the small mills had disappeared and a focus on farming returned to the valley, while Helmshore became a mill workers settlement, with woollen and reservoirs were built in the 19th century, Haslingden Grane had a population of around 1,300 and the remains of some buildings can still be seen. This area was thinly populated until the Industrial Revolution, which transformed the whole of East Lancashire into a hub for textiles. Small mills were built on the river valleys, with a number appearing in Alden Valley in particular. At the end of the 18th century, Midge Hole Mill and Sunnybank Mill were built and by the 1830s, there was also a small bleach works – Alden Old Mill – at the head of the valley, as well as the additions of Clough, Higher and Lower Alden Mills. Higher Alden was the cotton mills and workers housing along the River Ogden. On the north west side of Musbury Valley is Musbury Heights, which was once a quarry but is now disused. The ruins of several structures remain here, including a chimney, spoil heaps and old workings.