Eighteen of us set off through the mist from Trencherfield Mill on The Sankey Valley History Trail Ride with John S leading. Dave L. joined us as a guest for his first ride. The route took us by canal towpath to Hawkley Hall and then up to Landgate. We continued to North Ashton and on to Garswood where we had our first incident. We lost Frank who had been covering a corner and was accidentally left behind. We realised as we regathered that Frank was missing and Dave P. cycled back but could not find him. We, therefore, continued to Carr Mill and on the journey made contact with Frank who had found his way to Carr Mill before us on an alternative route.
The full group then joined the Sankey Valley Trail stopping at the magnificent Sankey Viaduct where John S gave us a brief talk on the history of the viaduct and the railway crossing it. We followed the Valley Trail to Newton where we were given information about the Mucky Mountains. Onwards then to eventually leave the trail and take a circular around Burtonwood before reaching our lunch stop at the Vulcan Inn. After basking in the sunshine for a while, John S gave us a history lesson on Vulcan Village and the Vulcan Ironworks before we departed.
We then visited the memorial to Private Norman Harvey V.C. On our return route through Wargrave and into Newton-le-Willows where Alan C discovered that he had a slow puncture on his rear wheel. Steve T gave him a lift pumping it up and we were soon off. Unfortunately, we had to stop a few times with the puncture as we crossed Haydock Park and passed though Golborne and Stubshaw Cross. Alan finally gave up and with assistance from Clive and Jim H changed the inner tube and removed the piece of glass that had caused the problem. The group, meanwhile, had continued back to our start point at Trencherfield Mill without incident. Jim H, Clive and Doreen followed behind soon after. We didn’t avoid a small shower at the end of the ride but overall the weather had been pretty favourable. Thanks to John S for leading the informative ride, Jim H for backmarking and others who helped deal with the puncture, covering corners etc throughout the route.