The longest walk so far from Glossop to Swinton Moorside, around 20 miles, started in glorious sunshine from North Road at 6am!
By 6:45 I’d made it up a very quiet Mottram moor to the lights, around 5k and took a quick breather alongside the statue of famous artist LS Lowry, a former resident of the village. It was also warm enough to lose the hoodie and carry on in just t-shirt.
Moving along quickly in the warm and friendly conditions I passed through an almost deserted Hyde town centre and onalong the A57 to Morrisons at Denton by 8:30 for a quick coffee break. After catching a helpful car park attendent for a photo it was back on towards Manchester
Continuing along the A57 I passed Showcase Cinema at Bellve Vue, seems a long time since I first visited here, playing with Glossop Old Band in the Spring Festival with the sounds of the fun fair and the zoo mingling with the bands!
By 10:30 I’d arrived at Manchester’s Piccadilly Station and two perplexed foreign tourists acted as photographer. I’m sure they thought I was mad when they finally understood what I was doing. Four hours in now with at last another 2 to go and I could have been here in 35 minutes on the train!
Walking on from the station and through central Manchester took me through Albert Square, down John Daltonm Street and on past Salford Station to the Crescent. Walking along here was very strange seeing close up the old buildings being updated and the massive development around the University. Much changed since I used to travel this way with my parents to visit my grandparents in Swinton in the 1970s and 1980s, and I ‘d never realised how deep the drop was over the railings to the Irwell below.
Carrying on from Salford Museum it was now approaching 11:30 and there was still a way to go and only a little over an hour before I needed to be on the ground. The last push took me past Salford’s fortress-like police station and onwards down the East Lancs Road, before diverting through various housing estates old and new to end up in Swinton Town centre with the iconic clock tower in front of me showing 12:35 and the matches starts at 1pm. No time to lose and weaving through the last few streets I came upon the ground at 12:45.
Time for a quick drink, acknowledge the players and meet the opposition scorer and on with the game.Six hours 2 minutes of walking and a 6 hour 45 minute journey that was the longest so far by about half a mile.
Match report here