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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Inspiration - A J Brown’s Moorland Tramping

ComeRambling
I discovered a copy of Arthur J Brown’s 1931 walkers guide to the “West Yorkshire” moors in the banqueting hall at Knipe Towers, “Moorland Tramping.”  By “West Yorkshire”, by the way, this chap means, of course, the West Riding of Yorkshire – the county which once stretched from Doncaster to The Calf, and includes a great lump of the Forest of Bowland, too. So, there’s plenty of moors.
Mr Brown says that as the roads are getting very busy and quite dangerous due to the spread of the motor car, that walkers, or “trampers” are going to have to find somewhere a bit safer to walk – and he’s come up with the suggestion that the moors hold lots of tracks that go from one place to another and which make ideal routes away from all that nasty traffic.  Hmmmm…. I think he’s got something here….
tramping 002
And so, after going on about equipment for a bit, in which he decries the use of boots as being too heavy, he suggests saving up and paying a cobbler the princely sum of £3 to have some proper shoes made. He also suggests supervising the cobbler whilst he spends long candle-lit nights in his cobbling shop cobbling your shoes.  These shoes can be expected to last for years and years although they may have to be bailed out occasionally. If its snowing or raining very heavily, then some chunky boots may be allowed.
On rucksacks, he recommends the lightest available. Inside the pack should be a roast beef sandwich and an apple and a waterproof cape. Other essential things such as your guidebook, map, compass, volume of poetry, pipe, tobacco, matches and railway tickets, can be stored in the pockets of your tweed jacket. He does, however, have some reservations about maps and compasses because people who use them are “forever stopping en route to consult their instruments”, although he does concede that a person of a scientific mind may well derive some enjoyment from studying maps and, perhaps, taking an observation every hour or so…. (all good clean fun this, eh?)
On “ultra lightweight”, Mr Brown suggests staying in a pub overnight. Your accommodation should be your very last economy. Far too much lumber is carried by the youth of today.
You should also consider using a stout staff or pole. This should be a straight piece of ash. This can be used to persuade cattle or to test the depth of snowdrifts.
tramping
Mr Brown then goes on to describe some routes, and in doing this, I am immediately reminded of Alf Wainwright and his Pennine Journey, for one of the first routes to appear is a “Yorkshire Rivers” walk from Malham (Aire) to High Force (Tees)  The south bank of the river Tees is firmly in Yorkshire, as every true Yorkshireman will attest. This route can then be extended to Hadrian’s Wall if a longer holiday is required. Justaminnit…..  this was 1931 – just half a decade before Alf had the same idea….  I wonder if Alf had a copy of “Moorland Tramping”? Was it, I wonder, available in the public library in Blackburn?
No matter.
The there’s the “Three Peaks in One Day” route. Hello?
Two routes are suggested.
The first starts at the Hill Inn at Chapel le Dale and the tramper is recommended to climb Whernside first, returning to the Inn for breakfast. A walk over Ingleborough to the Crown at Horton in Ribblesdale follows where light refreshments may be taken before bagging Penyghent and returning to Horton for more refreshments and the train home.
Route two starts at the Sun Inn in Dent at 07:00
then the following timetable applies:
Whernside Pikes 08:10
Whernside 09:00 to 09:30
Hill in Chapel le Dale 10:30 to 10:45
Ingleborough 12:00 to 12:15
Crown Inn Horton in Riblesdale 14:00 to 15:00 (lunch)
Hull Pot 15:45
Penyghent 16:50
Hesleden Gill Bridge 17:15
Litton 18:15 to 18:45
Kilnsey 21:15
Presumably a night at the hotel at Kilnsey follows.
This is quite a timetable.
Anyway, the point is that I’m Inspired to have a go at these routes – Malham to High Force in a pretty straight line – and the Three Peaks from Dent to Wharfedale (probably go to Grassington) – though, one day may seem like a punishment, but Dent – Horton and Horton – Grassington may be more like fun – that is to say, two days.
So, this year, at some point, I’ll be doing some Moorland Tramping.

18 comments:

Laura said...

Very interesting find, Mike.

Does this make us all tramps then?

James Boulter said...

Walking away from the roads? Nah I don't think that will catch on.

Phil said...

Spiffing post Mike.

Mr Brown suggests staying in a pub overnight. Your accommodation should be your very last economy.

Now that's what I call sound advice.

John Davis said...

An entertaining post. As far as sandwiches are concerned, I find stilton, decent bread and a pear to go with it power me best.

Mike Knipe said...

yes, Laura - tramps - The TGO Tramp would be a fine thing.
James - ya think so eh? I'm not so sure. You'd have to be pretty adventurous, though, obviously. I may try to get one of these compass things...though its an artificial aid, it seems to me.
Phil - This is obviously where the lightweight movement is going wrong. Take heed...
Very nice, John. See Teddy tours for similar delights...

Mark said...

Looks like a corking book Mike. (Or should that be spiffing?) Top walks too. When I've climbed Whernside from Dent before I've felt like I'd found a 'secret route' because I've had it to myself. Now you've let the cat out of the bag...

Mike Knipe said...

Its OK, Mark, not many people take much notice of this blog - if we don't mention it again, it'll be quietly forgotten...
Cracking view over Dentdale from the cairn on the edge, though...

QDanT said...

Hi Mike the illustration looks like an idyllic Britain that would feature in the soon to be War propaganda posters,[IMG]http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j274/QDanT/yourbrit.jpg[/IMG]
Is that You and the Dawg ?
cheers Danny

Mike Knipe said...

I have to admit that the pic I used has nothing to do with the book, which doesn't have any pictures at all, apart from maps.
It is a bit hitler youth, though. They're very clean now, but you should see them after they've been out all day.

The Odyssee said...

When you tackle this challenge walk will you be dressing the same as the picture?
And is that Kylie holding hands.

Thats a nice find Mike and it makes you wonder if this inspired AW.

Mike Knipe said...

Alan - Note the traffic jam in the background and the fact that they're not wearing stout boots.
Kylie? - He should be so lucky. Lucky lucky lucky....

The Odyssee said...

I found a good article here (you may already have read it) which i thought was interesting and includes your Mr Brown. http://www.benchmarked.co.uk/walks/tripsdale/

Mike Knipe said...

Hmm - interestink -
I must have a walk at Tripsdale.
I don't believe the explanation of the origin of the place name, though - doesn;t make any sense, and "Badger" stone is next to an old road junction, which is significant. A "Badger" was not an animal but a licensed itinerant trader or peddlar - with a badge. This protected him from accusations of being a vagrant, which could have dire consequences at one time, including deportation to a home parish - not good if you're trying to sell pegs or cutlery or something.... So, its the badger's stone - a meeting place or landmark for peddlars.

The Odyssee said...

Mike you are indeed a mind of worthy information.

Word: skintr meaning a person who buys backpacking gear.

Serin said...

You have to agree also that these new fangled trousers or 'cargo pants' are just down right "cylindrical monstrosities."

Mike Knipe said...

Chic cargo pants - see what I did there.... chic cargo chic cargo, my kinda pants....

Mike Knipe said...

I'll get me coat by the way....

Serin said...

Leave your coat where it is. That was funny...I nearly wet my cyclindrical monstrosities. By the way I love northern pies.