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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Remembrance Service on Castle Crag

castle crag

I stayed at Brian’s last night to try to ensure that we could get to Borrowdale in time for the Remembrance service on Castle Crag

time to scrape

As it happened, it had snowed overnight and this had frozen on the road, so the first couple of miles were driven at a snail’s pace, including a very tricky steep descent into a small  gorge with concrete “things” at the bottom to run into. Nothing fatal at 3mph, but there would be damage….

I discovered that the ABS braking system works but doesn’t stop the car sliding slowly sideways down the hill, and the only way to stop this was to actually drive down the hill.

climbing the spoil heap

The Lake District was marginally warmer and we arrived at Grange, parked badly outside the church (where another Remembrance Service was about to start) and rushed off to Castle Crag, a couple of miles away and 700 feet higher.

Its a steep thrutch up through old spoil heaps from a slate quarry and we arrived suitably out-of-breath about two minutes before the two minute silence.

borrowdale from castle crag

There were about a hundred people on the top, and quite a few dogs, one of whom, a veteran border collie, was in possession of a three-foot stick and was shaking this to death during the  two minute silence. The stick occasionally came into contact with a calf or back-of-a-knee.

at the memorial

But the service was brief and moving and there were prayers and poems and an 89 year-old veteran of Arnhem. I hope that if I ever get to that kind of age that I have the strength to climb up Castle Crag.

Castle Crag has a memorial to about a dozen local men who lost their lives in the Great War. It’s also the site of a hill fort and has a slate quarry which stopped just short of knocking about fifty feet off the top of the hill. It’s a steep, 700 foot nobble which has fine views over Borrowdale

people leaving the summit

Later, Brian chatted to the veteran whilst I was rescued from the summit by a woman who thought I was having trouble getting down the short scrambly bit.

castle crag quarry

And even later, we investigated   the quarry and  after that, a hole near the foot of the crag, discovering a bivi cave complete with banal graffiti and some old towels. A good place for lunch, though.

bivi cave

The weather on the return journey had cooled once more and was just on freezing at Hartside and a bit lower at Killhope Cross. The Pennines here have a thin crusting of icy snow.

More walkies tomorrow.

1 comment:

Martin Rye said...

I see other bloggers where on Gable as well. A great place to remember those who gave all for us. Good post Mike and the well done to the WW2 veterans for getting up there.