Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 19 – Radcliffe To The Crescent – 23 September 2016

Or from the Roch to the Crescent, as my walk starts at Blackford Bridge just before the Roch flows into the Irwell near Bury. Doubled back on myself a bit this morning, because I missed a bit of the river last time with the broken bridge.

There are some ruins here, this may be Springwater House or its associated bleachworks. However, there’s not a lot about it, and I am concentrating on big houses in the Heatons when I am not walking, so I will just leave the picture.


After the ruins, I follow the path further and get into Springwater Park, which is far away from the bustling town which surrounds it.


That’s the beauty of these walks, how you can suddenly find yourself away from the bustle, in places that the passing motorists don’t even dream exists.

Back in Radcliffe, the river reverted to industrial once more.


The next part of the day involved following the Outwood trail, which was originally the Accrington Bury and Manchester Railway line, it follows the river for a few miles, and passes through more sculptures on the Irwell sculpture trail.

and abandoned platforms and railwayana (if that is a word)…

Again, this is a hidden gem in the middle of the town, a walk to near the centre, and yet miles from the urban sprawl.


From time to time, I did get a reminder of the busy town life, as I passed over the M60


and passed the now abandoned Clifton Viaduct (known as 13 arches for fairly obvious reasons) which was built in 1846


and the earlier Clifton Acqueduct, built in 1791 for the Manchester, Bolton and Bury canal. As you can see it is dry, but there are plans to reopen it in 2020.


I was now walking very near the Irwell, as opposed to along a line high above it, and passed a couple out walking their baby.


Now the Irwell has become a rural idyll again. It surprises me how much it changes as we go along the route.


However, Manchester is now startng to come into view, and I am in Broughton, passing along through Agecroft, and can see the Beetham tower in the distance. It used to be the CIS building which dominated the landscape, but that is now demoted to second highest building in town, soon to drop further if plans go ahead.

Still CIS did pop up a little further on as I neared the end. I have a soft spot for the place, having spent nearly 30 years of my life in and around it, and remember my grandad taking me to see it as a little boy of 4 years old, and us both standing at the base and being amazed. Strangely as with my memory of going to New Brighton with him , that memory is in black and white and remains so, yet he took me to the circus, and that memory is in colour always.

I had been wanting to see this part of the Irwell, because its another memory thing. Every Sunday we used to travel by bus from Ladybarn or Heaton Mersey, to see my grandparents in Irlams O’Th’Height. We passed the Crescent, and it always entranced me, it was also always full of pollution. I remember it being full of suds several times, it never looked clean, yet nowadays it has been cleaned up, and it is no longer the dirty water of my childhood.


I then passed the Manchester Racecourse pub, somewhat controversially named as it so clearly sits in Salford.


Although closed when I passed, it has now been renovated and reopened. Manchester racecourse, which never stood in Manchester in any of its locations, was on Barlow Moor Kersal Moor Castle Irwell and Weaste, and the earliest records of horseracing in “Manchester” date from 1647.

Broughton itself was best left quickly, not the friendliest of places..

Walking further down the river, its hard to imagine that scenes like this are a so close to the city centre.


At this point the path left the river, but with enticing steps like this, how can you refuse to accept the invitation?


I came out at Higher Broughton which was very different from Lower Broughton, it looked like it had not been touched since Victorian times. Even down to the Gas Lamps!

Salford citizens were clearly proud of their bridgebuilding skills, and every bridge I crisscrossed seemed to celebrate its builders (or at least the Aldermen who commissioned the works)

Now I entered Peel Park, one of the first public parks opened in Salford (and England) on 22 August 1846, to provide for Public Walks or Open Spaces, fitted to afford means of exercise or amusement to the middle or humbler classes

The University Of Salford now owns the grounds, but it is another little pleasant escape from urban sprawl.

I could now just see the buildings of the Crescent through the trees.


And here they are close up, I always did like these houses as I passed them on the bus to my grandparents’ house, I still think they are fine. The Crescent pub however, although open when I passed it, and where Marx and Engels supped beer as they played revolutionaries, is now closed, as was the Black Horse hotel a little further down.

A last glimpse of the river before I left it to catch the tram back home. I really enjoyed the walk today it never seemed like I was walking into a city centre, yet, that’s just what I did. I also managed to cover a good 12 miles.


Copyright 2019 Allan Russell

Author: allanprussell

Big houses in the Heatons and others that take my interest.

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