This is a personal blog mainly to do with hillwalking things but with other stuff as well.....maybe the odd rant..
Friday, 16 July 2010
A Pennine Journey Worrif
I should explain what a “worrif” is before I begin. Worrif the sky fell in. Worrif one morning we all woke up and we’d turned into Chinese. (This doesn’t apply to those people who are already Chinese…) Worrif God made a mistake… Worrif I did this Pennine Journey thing? But first, a short debate. For those who don’t know, which , no doubt will include many of my colonial readers and those who aren’t English, there is a chap in English hillwalking called Alfred Wainwright (dec’d). AW, as he is often known, wrote and illustrated a fine set of guidebooks to the English Lake District which became very popular. He also did a guide to the Pennine Way and he made up a Coast to Coast walk which many people follow. He did the same thing for the Howgills and for the Yorkshire dales limestone country and, when he got famous, there were TV programmes and glossy coffee table books. He seems to have kept himself mainly to the North of England as far as walking is concerned, which is why I referred to him in terms of “English” hillwalking. He seems to have had no impact at all on Scottish or Welsh walking. After Alf died, a group of people formed the “Wainwright Society” who’s aims seem to be to worship and promote “The Great Man”. This is the bit I have a problem with, not that it will bother anybody in the Wainwright Society. I suspect that one or two may be making a bit of money out of links with “The Great Man”, but mainly, they seem to be raising money for charity – which is good. Now then. In 1938 AW walked to Hadrian’s Wall from Settle. the he walked back again by a different route. Then he wrote a book about it and, in true AW style, put it away and there it lay till he got a bit more famous at which point it was published. I got a copy for my birthday in 1987. Its an interesting book and the first half is well written. The second half seems a bit rushed to me….. But anyway, it was , perhaps, inevitable, that somebody at some point would make up a modernised version of the walk. In this case David and Heather Pitt designed the walk and members of the Wainwright Society drew maps, walked the walk, and so on and now there’s a guide. Proceeds from the guide will go towards waymarking the route and the Great North Air Ambulance. But what of the route? I couldn’t order a copy of the book because the order form from the website is gibberish, but there’s enough information on the website to determine how the route goes. Its not rocket science and much use is made of existing LDPs. But you can look at the website and determine the route for yourselves. Walkers will find some parts of it horrendously busy – specially the Yorkshire Dales bits and Hadrian’s Wall. The Pennine way, which is used quite a lot, isn’t what it used to be as far as traffic is concerned and some parts – e.g. Weardale and the Western scarp of the Pennines could do with a few more pedestrian tourists. I expect that some small businesses along the route will feel the benefit, and this seems to be one of the stated aims of the producers, though why this should animate them escapes me for the moment. And - the aims of the WS have apparently been amended to include the following:
“To foster and enhance AW’s standing on the field of long distance footpath walking.” This strikes me as very odd indeed. It begs the “why?” question…. I really don’t get this. But I’ll leave that there – its nothing to do with me, really. But, despite my reservations – as above, plus the places on the route which are busy enough already, and you could find better ways than those chosen in some places, and it doesn’t really follow AW’s route, but it gets fairly close….. I’m strangely drawn to the idea and , well, worrif I had a go at it… I might just do a local section. I could drink beer at the Hare and Hounds at half time. Maybe have me tea there…. Thats the worrif. Worrif I get hooked….. Worrif I find myself applying for membership of the Wainwright Society and start smoking a pipe and grumbling at women…… nah……
I am a retired NHS Personnel person. All I do nowadays is walk about.
I used to have my pet dog Bruno with me (in the front page pic). he was Superdawg but he died. Now I have Lucky the pup. He's a bit like Bruno, only smaller and more suspicious.