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Thursday, 16 July 2009

Hadrians Wall day 1 part 2






















And so, after nursing a pint of Scruttocks Old Dirigible for a while, subsequent to which it seemed to have evaporated or something, I continued along the very attractive riverside path past the coal staithes where Carter (as in “Get Carter”) started to chase one of the villains around with a shotgun and a bottle of whisky till they got (in the space of a couple of minutes) about 20 miles down the Durham Coast where Carter done him in and dumped the corpse in a coal-hopper.

Then to Elswick, where, apparently, the early 20th century Japanese navy was built and along the Scotswood Road (yer shoulda seen us gannin) through Lemington (welcomes HW walkers to it’s shopping centre) and finally to Newburn, where, exhausted and dehydrated, I was forced, by a deliberate navigation error, to visit a second public bar – The boathouse. (v nice pint by the way)

I sat out in the sun, stroking the landlady’s poodle (ahem) and gazing across the river to ..er.. the other side of the river. This was where, in 1640, which is just was just before teatime in those days, the naughty Scots under the highly experienced General Leslie and his 20,000 enthusiastic soldiers and 100 pieces of artillery, faced a few thousand reluctant, under-equipped, safety-concious, untrained and generally pissed off English defenders and battered them till they ran away. Thus, the Scots outflanked the Northern defences of Newcastle, approached it from the direction of the Metro centre (which was doing special offers in tattie scones and crates of Tennants lager that week) and persuaded it to surrender. The English parliament refused to pay for another army to eject the Scots from the North-East and quite a lot of trouble ensued, during which King Charles went on to lose his head.

General Leslie invented the electric organ and retired to the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

I know a lot about history, me.

And so, refreshed, I continued along the riverbank, which was now unmetalled and had, in fact, unknown to me, been diverted, and then along another old tramway as far as George Stephenson’s birthplace. George Stephenson’s family lived in one room of the cottage and George, of course, went on to invent station announcements, the refreshment trolley service and signal failures. So the lad done well, even if the London bankers took the mickey out of his Northumbrian accent. He’d always had an ambition to visit the train museum in Darlington , so he built a railway to it.
Unfortunatelty his train was delayed and it was closed when he arrived.

As I say, I know a lot about history.

Next there were contours. Aaargh. Eight or nine 10 metre contours are encountered on the walk up to Heddon on the Wall. Some of them are rather too friendly with each other which results in the hill being a bit of a slog at the end of a day and what with the legs being full of amber nectar as well.
West to East walkers should be encouraged that once they get to Heddon, virtually all of any uphill work is behind them. Its downhill or very flat from here and very very easy walking.

As I had missed the bus by approximately minus eight minutes, I went into the Three Tuns pub and bus stop and had a quick three or four pints of the local brew before the next bus came and hour and eight minutes later. The 685 took me swiftly and cheaply (£2.80) back into Newcastle for the train back to Durham.

As the station announcer said “Bing Bong! This is a cuzzmer sevvis annment. Would passger (sound drowned out by passing goods train) contact iz fammly immedittlie on a vey urgent peznal matta. Az I say, this is vey urgent . Fangoo”

“Bing Bong. Pazzgers waity on paffoam four for the ninetin farty chain to Bergam Noo Steee shudd be away that the chain iz now leavin fom paffoam six. Fangoo."
The next Hadrian's Wall day, From Heddon towards Corbridge (notice the careful wording here) is due to happen on 27 July 2009. I can't wait, Day 1 was such good walking.

6 comments:

mike knipe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike knipe said...

Angelina
I rejected your comment, mainly becasue it was in Portuguese and I have no idea what it said. I'm sure you'll agree that there's little point in commenting in Portuguese on an English blog.
If you want to comment in English, though, I'd be happy to consider publishing whatever it was you said.
fangoo (thats not an English word by the way)

Tykelad said...

Get Carter - What a film!! I trust the relevant authorities have fished Ian Hendry out of the water by now?

And you really shoudn't take the pittle out of the railway announcers Mike, I think it's wonderful they give people with cleft palates the chance of a normal working life.

Tykelad
(Most definately NOT Portuguese or even slightly swarthy looking!)

PS - enjoying the reports btw!

mike knipe said...

Y'see, that the way to make comments - in English..
Anyway yes, Ian hendry, worra slimy git he was in that film...
As for the station announcers, one of them was apparently reading some vogon poetry but the babel fish died from exhasperation in the second stanza, so I've no idea what he was on about.
Or maybe he was Portuguese.?

fatdogwalks said...

Foi um verdadeiro prazer! Que bem que se esta aqui.

Onde sao os lavabos?

mike knipe said...

Y'see, I don't mind Welsh, Fatdog.. At least some people will be able to understand that. I myself have picked up a few handy phrases.
eg Dim parkio and Araf.
One day I hope to discover the way to the railway station and point out that my mother's pen is under the table.