On Sunday 18th August 12 members enjoyed the latest of “Frank’s Calderdale (History) Walks”. We started near Todmorden walking up the beautiful Gorpley Clough to the reservoir, then across the moor and down another beautiful glen with a coffee stop at an old mill dam, and into Walsden. Then turning south along the peaceful Rochdale Canal we headed for Warland Farm near Summit. This valley shows all the industrial and transport history of the industrial revolution. At Warland farm the owner David provided a cuppa with our lunch, and told us the stories of the farm and the nearby Summit railway tunnel, then gave us a tour of the eco-cooperative farm he is developing.
After lunch, climbing up steeply out of the valley to the Warland reservoir on the Pennine Way, we enjoyed stunning views and loads of fresh air (=wind!). Then down a bit to Gaddings Dam, and a chance to paddle on the highest sand beach in England. Kev even bought a folding deckchair. Far too cool/windy for a swim though.
Then the walk dropped steeply down to Gauxholme near Tod, via the basin stone, a key point in the Chartist movement of the 1840’s. Frank told us about the gathering of 11,000 people who came there to hear the weaver Ben Rushton on August 18th 1842. He convinced the striking workers to turn away from violence and to put all their efforts into the great reform charters. If you can all vote today, partly it is because of that meeting at the basin stone exactly 177 years ago. Suitably radicalised, we followed an old pack horse track into the valley, along the canal, and up the other side to finish the walk through lovely woods on the way back to the cars.
If you have never walked in Calderdale, you have missed one of the best walking areas of the country, packed with paths, full of interest, and with stunning views. Just pick a good day! Thanks to Frank for a great days walk.