Will yo’ come o’ Sunday mornin?

CampaignerKate

A few swallows were flying low over the heather as we emerged in bright sunlight onto Winter Hill from the top of Coalpit Road in Bolton. We were one thousand strong, about one tenth of the numbers said to have poured over the hill on 6 September 1896. They broke down Colonel Richard Henry Ainsworth’s locked gate across the path, ignored the minatory notices, and dodged the game keepers.

We were there on Sunday 5 September to celebrate the 125th anniversary of that mass trespass, when the people of Bolton defied the wealthy landowner and asserted their rights to use the road. Outrageously, Ainsworth took the leaders of the trespass to court which found in his favour and issued heavy fines. As a result, formal trespassing ceased, and the matter did not start to be resolved until the Ainsworth family sold the estate to Bolton Corporation in 1938 and access…

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Published by John Bainbridge

Rambler, hillwalker, stravaiger and trespasser, access campaigner. Novelist writing historical and period crime fiction.

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