Eastham Bromborough 28/04/2022

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On a grey but dry day, eighteen walkers met at Bromborough Rake station. We walked along The Rake to Bromborough Village where Anne pointed out the Bromborough Cross, and told us that the steps of the cross date from 1278 with the cross itself a later reproduction. Bromborough Village Road took us to the busy A41 New Chester Road, which we crossed with care and followed it to reach Green Lane. The lane led us past the Leverhulme sports ground to Eastham Country Park. Bluebell Wood had little evidence of the flowers that gave it its name, but a sign told that these make their appearance in late May. Another sign for a Bear Pit seemed incongruous, but Anne told us that in 1874, a bear pit was one of the “attractions” in the gardens of the Eastham Hotel. We had a refreshment break at the quaint Mimosa Tea Garden with half our contingent using the Bear Pit Café at The Tap pub as the toilets at the Mimosa were closed. After our break we had good, but grey, views across the Mersey to Liverpool and to the entrance to the Manchester Ship Canal. Unfortunately, the river was devoid of any shipping interest to grab the attention. Here was the site of the paddle steamer operated Eastham Ferry which was discontinued in 1929. Although the sandstone Ticket Office remains standing, it’s now a food outlet. Planes flew over us, low enough for us to see their wheels lowered for landing at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. We took the riverside path through the Country Park until building work forced us to head inland through the industrial estate to Stadium Road. A path took us down and under the road and along a disused railway track bed. The tranquil track led between tall trees on one side and a sheer sandstone wall on the other. It passed under the A41 New Chester Road – a much easier way to cross this road! The track emerged on to Bromborough Road where we entered Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve. We followed the path largely along the bank of Dibbinsdale Brook, crossing several wooden bridges and a tunnel under the railway. We had been warned to take torches for the tunnel as it can get muddy underfoot. Safely negotiated. Bats roost in this tunnel but they slept through our walk. A heron flew across our path as we crossed more wooden bridges and we then made our way up a steeply stepped path to exit the woods at Bromborough Rake station for the train back to Liverpool.

Thanks to Anne and Shirley for organising and leading the walk.

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