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ARTICLE: Crag Notes: The Ghosts of Bolton Wall

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 UKC Articles 29 Jul 2020
Ian 'Squawk' Dunn climbing on the Bolton Tech Wall, with L-R John Hartley, Mick Lovatt, John Monks and Jerry Peel below

This month's Crag Note doesn't actually feature a crag, it features a climbing wall. 



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 plyometrics 29 Jul 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Cracking bit of nostalgia. 

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 David Bennett 29 Jul 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

I remember that well.... And those nicknames bring back some memories of old acquaintances and partners too. Good job.

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 Lankyman 29 Jul 2020
In reply to David Bennett:

> I remember that well.... And those nicknames bring back some memories of old acquaintances and partners too. Good job.


I never knew Geoff Hibbert's nickname was 'Wendy'. He kept that one hidden. When I knew him in the Lancs I was more of a caver and we knew him as Headbutt. The cavers generally regarded the climbers as wimps until Geoff did the Eiger then he got some grudging respect.

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 Mikeb 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Lankyman:quite right. Geoff was Sasquatch or Head Butt. I don’t like to admit it but I was Wendy! Well not go into the reasons for the name.

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 ElArt 29 Jul 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

I think it was Dennis that taught me to climb there when I was a kid - 16.  He even took me to Stanage and the Wilton.
If your still out there - Thanks!
Great Wall. I remember the Bachar ladder. That’d be a great addition to any wall now. The long brick wall traverse was only for the really good climbers but I remember working it. 
great memories of a great place. Thanks for the article. 

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In reply to UKC Articles:

Lovely article; reminds me a little of the old Mile End. I expect it's the same today for a new generation - except that it's not; they all moan if the greens haven't been changed for a month, and making up your own problems is a thing of the past.

Off topic, really, but did Maggie do anything particularly nasty to Bolton?

jcm

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 neilh 30 Jul 2020
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Surrounding areas had coalmines ( Wigan etc).

Also trains built near by, which were shut down.

But it was not like Irlam/Urmston which had steel mills.

Textiles big in Bolton. But really it was a mixed industrial town with no over reliance

I loved the article.I lived on the Suth side of Manchester then. Going to the wall at Abraham Moss or the concrete one in Leigh was our thing. Went to Bolton once and it was pretty intimidating.

What people now fail to inderstand is that there were no mats, just concrete or wooden floors.You could seriously hurt yourself.

Altrincham was the first wall which really upped the game, even then it had not mats at first. From what I rember they put down gym ones about an inch thick after a year.

All these wall had certain redeeming features, they were in leisure centres, so you used the other facilities as well.

Loved the article.... excellent.

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 Lankyman 30 Jul 2020
In reply to Mikeb:

> quite right. Geoff was Sasquatch or Head Butt. I don’t like to admit it but I was Wendy! Well not go into the reasons for the name.


'Head-the-ball' was another of Geoff's monikers coined by (I think) Mike Jay or Ken Tebay (did the Eiger with him). Never heard the Sasquatch one but I can see how it would work for him. I won't press you any further about Wendy.

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 SteveX 30 Jul 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

A thing that I have always puzzled over is the Peg in Shivers Arete, I bet one of these lot saw it placed, I bet thats an interesting story.

Post edited at 13:58
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 Dave Cundy 30 Jul 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

The Fylde lads used to go down to the Bolton wall, must have been about '85.  I remember :

1) the brick edges trashed your fingertips,

2) Paul P with ponytail, sitting on a concrete ledge until his mates got near him (at which point PP monkeyed over to a new ledge)  and finally,

3) the night it was Mick Lovatt's birthday.  A kissogram came into the sports hall (big lass she was) and Mick hightailed it up one of the ropes hanging down from the roof.  I can remember his mates taunting him

Happy days for a year, then we changed allegiance and started going up to the new wall (with REAL rock) at Charlotte Mason in Ambleside.

Post edited at 21:08
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 Enty 31 Jul 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

One night we all stayed on after the climbing and TPM and Henry did a Smith Rock slide show. I'd only been climbing about 18 months, thought it was ace.

E

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 baron 31 Jul 2020
In reply to Enty:

I went to a Mark Leach slide show followed by a visit to the Bolton wall.

I came away convinced that these people weren’t engaged in the same activity that I was  - no EB’s or red socks for those boys!  

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 Ceiriog Chris 31 Jul 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

lovely read, I went once with a couple of friends from Accrington Climbing Club, I remember watching Dave K cruising everything, and teasing one of the guys because he was the same age as Dave  but looked 20 yrs older 

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 Simon 02 Aug 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

I was a Bolton Wall regular when I was a student there in 1994 and we kick-started the Bolton Uni climbing club. Paul, Jamie, Gary, Simon, Peckerhead, Seth, Lynn and Mitch and I planned wall nights on the same night as the female volleyball team in the hall and we often had to dodge several wayward balls at some velocity.

The low level traverse was still there, but had faded green paint markers on and so was known as the Green Traverse and it was probably harder than the one at Stanage. I managed it once, whilst training for the Lancashire Climbing comp that year, which included the glorious wooden roof at the roof apex, which we'd all lead, but never with proper route setters. Paul Dewhurst (father of Adam) brought the wall into the 90's with some better holds for the comp and it was fun to use the old mortar chippings that you blew away the cement dust before crimping.

In my final year, the wall became semi-modernised with some panels and to keep the character cemented in rocks we had found. I managed to get through the quali's to the final in that comp, and experienced isolation for the first time, walking out to and climbing along with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, glorious days indeed. Thanks Paul for the article & Pics.

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