WANDER the fields and lanes of Turton Manor you come across pretty villages, traditional cottages, but look more carefully you will see the remains of a truly stunning industrial heritage ­— a legacy as strong her as anywhere across Lancashire's manufacturing heartlands.

And it is Turton where Bolton-based arts and heritage organisation Live from Worktown has set its latest guided walk, the third of its free online series, which follows on from Cotton, Culture and Characters, launched last year and more recently, Edwardian Bolton: Drinkers, Swindlers, Hangmen and Suffragettes.

The Bolton News: 11 - Chapeltown from above the Wayoh Dam - Photo Credit - Brad B Wood (1)

(Chapeltown from above the Wayoh Dam - Photo Credit - Brad B Wood)

Entitled Turton: The Kays, The Barlows, Football and Nuclear Walk, it takes in the countryside around the ancient district of Turton, three villages, a reservoir and woodland.

It is where the Kays, the Barlows, the Horrocks and Thomassons turned cottage workshops into commercial empires, transforming Turton's landscape with mills, chimneys and bleachworks - creating a landscape laden with soot and grime as Bolton and Blackburn. And as such the walk combines the delights of woodland glades and bracing moors with the emerging knowledge of a history which featured the grit and labour Lancashire is known for.’ 
Local historian, Dave Burnham has led many walks around Bolton over the years.

However, when the pandemic struck these in-person guided walks were no longer possible. Undaunted, the Worktown Walks team set about reimagining them, producing downloadable directions and commentary instead.

The Bolton News: 9 - Dave Burnham - Photo Credit - Brad B Wood

(Dave Burnham - Photo Credit - Brad B Wood)

He said: “Turton has a fascinating past which I hope people will enjoy discovering while taking a great opportunity for a scenic walk in this beautiful and historically important area.”

Along with Dave, who researches and writes the walks, Brad B. Wood voices them, organises the project and takes care of the technical side.

The Bolton News:

(Eco-Houses on the site of Turton and Entwistle Station - Photo Credit - Brad B Wood)

The team is completed by Peter Firth and Dave Bryce who trial the walks, feedback improvements and compose and perform the music.

Additional voices are provided by Emily Cooke and two of Brad’s fellow Bolton FM presenters, Andy Openshaw and Tony Bridge.
Subsequent Worktown Walks will offer further comprehensive narratives woven around specific, local themes, as well as featuring introductions to places that even locals may not know about. The fourth walk is being produced in collaboration with the Woodland Trust and has been written by Tony Greenwood.

It will concentrate on the Winter Hill Trespass of 125 years ago and will be released later in the summer.

Visit livefromworktown.bandcamp.com, to download all the walks with maps, directions and audio commentary.