Burnley and Pendle

Cyclists Touring Club

C.T.C. Notes - If Winter Comes (c 1929)

What of Saturday’s run? That is the question I suspect a few interested readers ask themselves after perusing the usual C.T.C. failure, and finding only Sunday’s happenings related. Now, I think it only my duty to deal with such, considering the number of enjoyable and interesting rides that have taken place. For an example I will endeavour to give a pen-picture of last Saturday’s outing to Pendleton.

"I love Pendle Hill, and from whatever side I view it-——whether from Whalley, where I see it from end to end, from it's lowest point to its highest; from Padiham, where 1t frowns upon me; from Clitheroe, where it smiles; or from Downham, where it rises in full mystery before me—from all points and under all aspects, whether robed in mist or radiant with sunshine, I delight in it" Thus spoke Nicholan Assheton in Harrison Ainsworth's novel "The Lancashire Witches.”

Frequently those words occnrred to me as we pottered along those delectable byways that skirt the foothills of old Pendle, for did we not circumnavigate ; see 1t from every view-point ; frem Whalley where—but then, I am getting too previous ln my narrative, so I will carey voua back to Fence and introduce you to the run in a proper manner.

Green fields all around, mellow suniight, and great, white clouds mounting high in the blue sky. But stayv, what is that drifting out of the west, ohiiterating first the hills in the distance, and then objects mneaver, until T am enveloped in it—a snowstorm. Thus did Fence greet me, and sheltering behind a barn, I patiently waited until, one by one, my clubmates joined me. As quickly as it came, the storm passed over, leaving the country-side clothed in & gdarment of white. So, with prospects of an enchanting ride, we mounted our steeds and rode forward to Whalley. On leaving the aforementioned place we immediately desevted the maing read and followed a byway, labelled by a signpost as narrow and tortuous. It may be narrow, but to a cyclist it is the very opposite to torture, for during its course it passes through = succession of picturesque villages, and from it we obtained fine, panoramic views across the Ribble valley, culminating in Kemple End, the fells of Bowland Forest and Waddington Fell; while in the immediate distance swod Clitheroe Castle, guarding the entrance to Craven. To the south, Pendle predominated the scene, in a wintry aspect, clear cut against a sky of blue, and radiant with sunshine. Passing through "Wissel,” we soon arrived at Pendleton, where we were audibly greeted by a number of ducks that were revelling in
the icy siream that adds greatly to the charm of the village. Continving forward, as the gathering dusk prevented further delay, we passed through Worston, and after considerabie twisting and turning (for the road was still narrow and tortuwous), we finally dropped into Downham for, tes.

And of tea-time, to some cyclists the most important item of fhe run. Picture, if you can, a number of healthy youths seated round a tables, a fire cheerfully blazing away in the grate. A constant flow of banter greets the ear, intercepted. with a tinkle of crockery; "Please pass me tne sugar", "Can I have more tea please?”, °Chase the cow up,", and laughter as some particularly good joke is narrated. And so it goes, waxing merrier and louder as hunger and thirst arve appeased, until, chairs are pushed back, one account settled, and bidding our host “Goodnight,” we sally forth into the open.

The scene has chaaged. All is dark except thie piercing glare of our lamps reflecting from ihe snow coverved road. Occasicnally, the moon peeps out, bathing the whole world in a silvery light. Downham, with its steep main street and illuminated windows is left behind, and we are homeward bound, sheitering when a blizzard overtakes us, and we pause at the summit of each hill to drink in the enchanting views. A hectic descent to Barley, a steep climb out. On looking back we seo Pendle like a hugee white whale, “alternately darend and lightened as clouds move across the face of the moon, and below, in the hollow, twinkle the lights of Barley. Facing south again, we catch a glimpse of the countless lights far helow in the Burnley vallev, and on we go, waiking up hills, and swiftly shooting down them, Occasionally some one bursts forth into song, making the night hideous with his howls, and from behind, a fellow creature (as if one is not enongh, joins in mortal commbat with the originator, giving the whoie countryside the impression that old Mother Demdike upd her compatriots have resumed thewr rituals. All too soon we are amongst those innumerable lights we saw away back in Goodshaw Booth. and with pleasant recollections and a cheery "Good night.” we depart in various directions to our homes. - J.H. 1929


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