The walking group met at St John with St Mark Hall on Saturday 13th August for another go at the Bury to Heaton Park walk that we had previously undertaken 18 months earlier. The reason we chose to do this again was owing to the previous encounter being so extremely muddy in places that we were up to our ankles.
As the heat wave had just finished we suspected things may be considerably different.
Ralph was our leader for this one and, after a detour to St. Pauls’ vicarage to collect Gill, we met Ralph at St. Thomas’. We then continued through Openshaw Park before picking up the banks of the River Roch.
Our walk took us through Hollins and then towards St. George, Unsworth. The last time we did this walk we enjoyed morning coffee here. But due to us clashing with their Summer barbecue that could not happen this time. So we carried on through Unsworth Pole past the cricket club and then crossing the M66 motorway bridge.
Unsworth Pole was apparently named after the pitch pole fixed by the Earl of Derby which was greased each year for the Unsworth fair. This was last held over a century ago. The challenge was to climb the greased pole to claim the prize!
After a brief few minutes, we were pleased to leave the noise of the motorway behind to pick up the more peaceful and scenic Egypt Lane & Egypt Farm, where we had a refreshment break.
Continuing through Simister we arrived at our troublesome spot from last time and the surroundings were much more pleasant. However, it was easy to see the effects of the hot Summer with overgrown trees and parched footpaths.
Pope John Paul II
We arrived at Heaton Park around 12.30pm where we had lunch and stayed for a short while to watch the fun runners and other activities. There was a lot going on in the park that day and we also paused for a minute at the Papal monument to Pope John Paul II. The Pope had visited Heaton Park back in 1982 and used his famous ‘Popemobile’. It’s said he conducted mass there for between 200,000 and 250,000 people!
Our journey ended on the tram back to Bury. Paul advised it was also the St. Stephens’ barbecue that afternoon, so could not stay for liquid refreshment at the Clarence.
Thanks to Ralph for taking us on this much less muddy encounter of Bury to Heaton Park. You’re very welcome to join us for our next walk on Saturday October 6th. We’ll update the calendar once we settle on the details but we’ll meet at St John’s Hall at 9am.