Back in Rochdale for a meeting

What a chaotic weekend that was! Exhausting, too. There was a meeting of the Rochdale Heritage Society on Saturday, so we travelled to Rochdale on Friday and planned to stay at Leaches Farm B&B until Sunday. On Friday evening we had dinner at Owd Bett’s (Edenfield Road, opposite Ashworth Resevoir). The pub is very nice, the manager is Portuguese and the chef is French, and the food was delicious. It’s popular and well-known locally, and deservedly so – I would certainly like to go there again.

View from our room at Leaches Farm

View from our room at Leaches Farm

After dinner, we decided to go back and get an early night because breakfast at the B&B is at 8.30am. On the way back to the B&B we passed through the same huge puddle in the road that we did on the way out (at a dip in Ashworth Road between Wind Hill Farm and Copped Hill Farm). Then, just as we were turning into the track for Leaches Farm, the car conked out and would not start!

Apparently, this was because the air intake is in the wrong place, so that water got into the engine, and not because the driver gleefully drove through the water at sufficient speed to cause a tsunami-like wave across south Lancashire! Anyway, the car still wouldn’t start 15 minutes later, so we called the breakdown recovery people (the Environmental Transport Association) and they sent someone who tried to fix the problem, but couldn’t. By the time he’d hitched the car up to his truck (having left the handbrake off, so that the car rolled back into the hedge!) and towed us up the track at 5mph, it was gone midnight and the poor lady at the B&B (we had let her know what was happening) had waited up for us and seemed very weary.


In the morning, we had delicious full breakfast and chatted to Jane, who runs the B&B. After breakfast we tried again to start the car, but no luck. We had to get a taxi into Rochdale for the meeting. The meeting went well and some interesting topics were raised:

  • The need to establish a website was noted, and it was agreed that the group will decide how to do this by the end of the next meeting.
  • St Edmund’s Church, which is Grade II* listed (but threatened), was discussed. The church closed in February 2008 due to declining attendance, and it’s future is uncertain. There are some stunning photos of its interior on flickr (a photo-sharing website).
  • The ‘Cotton Famine Road’ (Rooley Moor Road) is threatened by proposals to re-open Ding Quarry. More information about the campaign against re-opening the quarry is at the Ding Quarry Action Group website.
  • The next meeting of Rochdale Heritage Society is at 10.30am on Saturday 16th August 2008, at Touchstones Rochdale.

After the meeting, I waited in Touchstones cafe (good tea and scones!), while ethics boy went to Halfords for bits to fix the car with. Then we had a walk round Rochdale, saw the ‘black box‘ (“the beginning of the end for Rochdale”, according to Jane at Leaches Farm), walked around the indoor market, then on to the first ever ‘co-op’ store: the Rochdale Pioneers Museum. We had late lunch (roasted veg & mozzarella ciabatta – could have done with more mozzarella) at The Baum Wine Bar near the museum.

Rochdale Town Hall

Rochdale Town Hall

The Black Box, Rochdale

The 'Black Box', Rochdale

Rochdale Pioneers' Museum, Toad Lane, Rochdale

Rochdale Pioneers' Museum, Toad Lane, Rochdale

After lots of running backwards and forwards for the bus (we missed it first time, then got given the wrong time for the next one!), we got the bus up Edenfield Road to the White Lion, where we had a meal. It’s a fairly ordinary pub, with fairly ordinary pub food at reasonable prices. We got a taxi back to the B&B and enjoyed a cup of tea and a chat with Jane, and her daughter Deborah.

Evening view from Leaches Farm

Evening view from Leaches Farm


On Sunday morning, at breakfast, we were chatting with Deborah and she said something that has to be my favourite quote this weekend, along the lines of: “I hate sheep, they are maliciously stupid”! Deborah went on to back up her claims, but I have forgotten what else she said. I like sheep, although I tend to agree that they do seem to have some malice in their stupidity!

After breakfast (and now with the help of Deborah and her van, and a set of jump leads), the car would still not start. We changed the distributor cap and rotor arm (suggested by the breakdown man), and had all the spark plugs out, but nothing – so we’d definitely have to stay an extra night. We both felt tired and dispirited by early afternoon, and couldn’t decide what to do. I didn’t have the energy or enthusiasm for a walk, especially as the weather looked dodgy, so sat daydreaming in the rocking chair!

Later on, Deborah offered us a lift up the road on her way home, so we gladly accepted and went to Bangla Fusion (just along the road from Owd Betts) for their ‘all you can eat’ buffet lunch (as recommended by Deborah earlier). The food there was delicious – a nice mild lamb curry, and a slightly spicier chicken curry, preceded by several onion bhajis! We walked to Owd Bett’s for some of their Lemon Tart for dessert, and a glass of good red wine, then back along the road and across the fields to the B&B for a cup of tea and a chat with Jane and Deborah.

Bangla Fusion, Edenfield Road, Rochdale

Bangla Fusion, Edenfield Road, Rochdale


At last, after breakfast when we try the car again, it starts firing and eventually starts. We set-out to give it a good run on the motorway, fill-up with petrol and then go and meet ethics boy’s cousin and his mate at the Three Arrows, near Heaton Park. We were disappointed with the food there – ethics boy’s roast beef was tough, but the chef insisted it was okay – fine, we just won’t eat there again!

After lunch we headed to Ogden, where there used to be a good tea room and craft shop at a group of nicely-renovated buildings in this small village. Unfortunately, the tea room closed down a couple of years ago and is now a private house. We chatted to the owner of one of the properties there (who said that sadly some people come and steal the flagstones), and took some photos, then set-out on a search for a good cafe. We headed to Hollingworth Lake, which was very busy in the fine weather, and found Charlotte’s Cafe, where I had a delicious maple syrup pancake with ice cream – hmmm a great end to a weird weekend.

Nice old house at Ogden

Nice old house at Ogden (yes, sunshine and bright blue sky on the day we had to leave - typical!)


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