BB1019 : Winter in Springtime

Thursday 14th May 2010

It’s celebration time!  

No, not the ousting of Gordon Brown (I can mention his name now!!).  The outcome reminds me of the proverb “beware of what you wish in case it comes true” although I can’t say that I exactly wished for what appears to have come true in that regard!

No, I refer to the advent of a new generation in the family:

Luca, the BOOTbaby

His delayed emergence, coupled with another outpouring of volcanic ash, conspired to keep Margaret and me longer in Germany than anticipated, hence the dearth of reports lately.  

However, I am delighted to report that Luca, Emma and Scott are all doing well.

Luca, the BOOTbaby.

Now safely back in Blighty, normal service could be resumed.

When I looked out of the window at 7 a.m. to see frost on the lawn in May, today’s target seemed unseasonably appropriate- Winter Hill.  For over fifty years I have travelled the main road north from Manchester, past Bolton and seen the mass looming to the east of the road with its radio masts.  I recall from my childhood the terrible plane crash there. But until recently, it had not occurred to me that it was actually worth climbing. However, Bryan had run fell races over it and spoke of its fine views and Tony favourably recalled venturing up once during his time in Bolton so it seemed a good mid way point to meet up with Pete who would be travelling up from Cheshire.

Our rendezvous was at Rivington Hall Barn where Tony announced he had been just a week or so before on his motorbike.  As he presumably knew the way around Lord Leverhulme’s former country seat, he was allowed to lead us.  It turned out that his detailed knowledge didn’t extend much beyond the tea rooms so we had to resort to more traditional means of navigation.

Tony leads the way

Rivington Hall

Through the grounds we strode, past Rivington Hall and up the hill to his lordship’s summer house, the Pigeon Tower.  

The Pigeon Tower through the Park

The Pigeon Tower

Beyond that, stood Rivington Pike Tower.  

Steps leading to Rivington Pike Tower

Comitibus: Rivington Pike Tower steps

As we climbed, the views become more open over the Lancashire plain.  

The view opens out

The Reebok stadium could be clearly seen.

The Reebok Stadium

From the Pike, the view across the moor is dominated by the TV and several other masts but our first objective was Two Lads’ Hill.  

Rivington Pike Tower from Two Lads' Hill

Three BOOTboys at Two Lads' Cairns

Opinions vary as to the source of its name.  Was it the scene of the murder of two lads in the early twentieth century, now marked with one large and two lesser cairns which are not in the pristine condition they once might have been?  Or are these actually ancient monuments, as one website suggests, possibly marking the site of a Saxon burial?

Whichever, it now seems to be a popular place for ashes to be scattered and memorials to be etched.

From here we crossed to Winter Hill with its multiple masts and other monuments.

The base of the main mast stands at 1,400 feet above sea level and its top a further 1,035 feet higher.  It pumps out the TV signal to an estimated 6.5 million viewers.

Winter Hill masts

A closer view

The hill has been the scene of several aeroplane crashes but the worst happened in 1958, a couple of years after the mast was erected.  Due to a navigational error, a Silver City Bristol 170 on its way from the Isle of Man hit the hill in poor weather, killing 35 people. The weather was so bad that the people working at the mast didn't know anything had happened.  

That they are not forgotten was evidenced by a fresh wreath and two memorial plaques, one erected on the 50th anniversary.

Also nearby is Scotsman’s Stump, a strange device commemorating 20 year old George Henderson of Annan who was barbarously murdered there in 1838.

Comitibus: Scotsman's Stump

Tony's lunchtime repose

We took a very long leisurely lunch close to the Stump before finding the trig point that marks the summit of Winter Hill.

Lunchtime view over Belmont and Delph reservoirs

The descent to Hordern Stoops was steep.  There we found a sign to say that Chorley Rivington was twinned not just with Székesfehévár, wherever that is, but also the North Pole !!  Actually Székesfehévár is in Hungary.

Comitibus: Scotsman's Stump

Looking back to Winter Hill!!

Our path followed the embryonic River Yarrow across lower moorlands (in a short but vicious shower) before crossing farmland to the Deanwood Nature Reserve.

On the moors near the River Yarrow

Winter Hill

This led past the Yarrow Reservoir, where I could not work out how they had mowed the steep grassy dam banking to produce horizontal stripes,

The beautifully mown Yarrow Reservoir Dam

Winter Hill with Mast, Pike and Tower

The final stretch was by the Rivington Reservoir and through pleasant parkland back to the Barn where many bikers were now gathered en masse causing Tony great excitement as they throbbed and vroomed around.

The parkland path....

... by the reservoir


  • Winter Hill is an interesting place to visit and open our eyes to the possibility of other stretches of Lancashire moorland.
  • Rivington Hall itself is worthy of being the focus of a day out.  Not necessarily on motorbike.  As Bryan says (he is imminently awaiting membership of the granddad club) somewhere to take the grandchildren!

Don, 14th May 2010


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14th May 2010

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Winter Hill, Rivington Hall

Wainwright Countdown:

Don & Stan: 23     Bryan: 7 (all unchanged)


Bryan, Don, Pete, Tony

If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1019.

Steve G advises: "For those who like to look at your meanderings but use Tracklogs or other software then your logs can be converted using the freeware utility GPS Babel."

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!





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BOOT boys

This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear but is in memory of Big Josie, the erstwhile landlady of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!

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Home Page










2010 Outings

BB1001 :
The Most Perfect
 Winter Day
Thursday 7th January

BB1002 :
 Potter Fell
Thursday 14th January

BB1003 :
A Snowy Equipment Test

Thursday 21st January

BB1004 :
Leave It To The Professionals

Thursday 28th January

BB1005 :
That's A Lyth Record
Sunday 31st January 

BB1006 :
Reasons To Be Cheerful
One, Two, Three
Thursday 11th February

BB1007 :
Can You See Clearly Now?
Thursday 18th February

BB1008 :
In Memory Of
Thomas Williamson
Thursday 25th February

BB1009 :
Almost a Mountaineer!
Wednessday 3rd March

BB1010 :
The Beginning Of The End
Thursday 11th March

BB1011 :
The Free Men on Tuesday
Tuesday 16th March

BB1012 :
We'll Get Them In Singles,
Thursday 25th March

BB1013 :
The Fools on the Hill
Thursday 1st April

BB1014 :
The Windmills on the Moor
Wednesday 7th April

BB1015 :
By Lake, Ridge and Wainwright
Sunday 11th April

BB1016 :
The Ten Lake Tour (+5Ws)
Thursday 15th April

BB1017 :
The BessyBOOT
Thursday 22nd April

BB1018 :
The Kentmere Challenge
Saturday 24th April

BB1019 :
Winter in Springtime
Thursday 14th May

BB1020 :
Red Screes and Sausages
Thursday 20th May

BB1021 :
The Mile High Club
Thursday 27th May

BB1022 :
What A Difference A Day Makes
Thursday 3rd June



BSB2010 :
boys in Zillertal
Saturday 30th January
to Saturday 6th February

 Click on the photos
for an enlargement
or related large picture.






To download a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys click on Wainwrights

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!