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Sunday, 6 September 2009

Pendle Hill revisited

I used to live within sight of Pendle Hill, and, one or two of my immediate female relatives had some rather unusual religious habits, and, some might say, powers...(oooer) - so, after several failed attempts at arranging a meeting due, I finally met up with a Manchester van driver called John in the car park in Barley, at the very foot of Pendle Hill.
John goes by the "user-name" of "Yomper" on and , following my recent policy of enjoying walks with as many different people as possible, it was through this forum that we managed to arrange this little trundle. And worra pleasant little walk it was.
I had last climbed Pendle on halloween 1975, at midnight. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned out to be a really bad idea as it happened. The place was a madhouse of Burnley vs Man Utd fans beating crap out of each other, druggies and drunks laying around the summit and fireworks going off in any direction other than upwards.
I also learned to ski at Pendle ski club and had the unusual experience of having a lesson cancelled due to snow...
Anyway - me and John and superdawg climbed up the slanted path that goes up to the top of Pendle, had a little brew near the top, and came down a slanted stepped path back to the foot.
The views from the top are remarkable.
Afterwards, we repaired top the Pendle Inn for a Pendle Bitter and then I Pendled off to Bleara moor for a bit of a poke around old haunts. It was a bit drizzly by then, so I didn't explore too far - I'll be back here with my brother in a while anyway.
A good day, though - I think we probably walked around 4 miles and climbed about 1100 feet altogether.
Bruno seemed to get on well with Yomper - some people do dogs, and some people don't -and some people would like to but can't get the hang... thats just the way of things with doggies....
It may have been the doggy bix he'd brought. The way to Bruno's heart has always been gastro...
One last thing - when I was about nine years old, my uncle from California visited us in Earby, and brought with him, by ship to Liverpool, an enormous American car. This proved to be disastrous because, one day he took his brothers and sisters (my aunts and uncles) and a partner or two on a drinking day in Skipton, and on the way back he crashed the car into a tree and an "uncle" was killed.
Shortly afterwards, the bend where they'd come adrift was straightened out, but, having seen the wreck of the car in the local garage, complete with family blood and hair, the bend where the crash happened and what had happened to the aunties had haunted me for a long time, possibly years.
And today, I visited the place by taking the old A56. And the tree is still damaged. Remarkable.
Thats more than fifty years. Thats a ghost laid to rest, finally.


Pennine Ranger said...

I went up Pendle Hill for the first time a couple of years ago after a CPC dinner (where remarkably George Clooney happened to be staying that weekend). From the A65 Pendle has the classic shape of the other 3 peaks but from the back side it looks totally different - and is vast. Defintely worth another visit to explore some more.

mike knipe said...

Its a cracking hill, but I find that the amount of hillwalking available on it is a bit limited - but its ideal for a bit of a mooch around and a relaxed bit of aimless rambling. (a bit like this blog, in fact)
I wonder if that was George in the Red Lion?

Pennine Ranger said...

I remember now the dinner was at the Stirk House near Gisburn. The hill seemed big enough but I was hungover. The three peaks kind of look the same from both sides but Pendle seems to have two distinct characters, the clean, suave look from the A65 and the more rambling, dishevilled look on the Lancashire side. I may be talking small round objects of course. I can do that.

Which Red Lion?

mike knipe said...

..Or it could have been the White Lion.. anyway Stirk House? You got too much money!

IckleBigSis said...

Please can you email me the the names of the female relatives ;)

Very interested in know more about them.

Must visit Pendle at some point soon. Maybe in the next 3 months, to give me something to do. :)

mike knipe said...

Done , Rachel. These were very scary women by the way. I think one died recently in Barrowford aged just about 100 - she used to write to your Grandma

Stop press: It was Auntie Nellie - I missed her off the list in the email. She wasn't very scary at all, in fact, she was quite nice.

Pennine Ranger said...

Too much money?! Nay lad. Stirk House is very 'faded opulance'. Still if it's good enough for the Clooney, it's good enough for the Craven!