This is a personal blog mainly to do with hillwalking things but with other stuff as well.....maybe the odd rant..
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Inspiration - A J Brown’s Moorland Tramping
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…. 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. 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.
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.