This is a personal blog mainly to do with hillwalking things but with other stuff as well.....maybe the odd rant..
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Smearsett, Feizor and Helwith Bridge
Today’s little trundle was a pre-Christmas card-swapping and cuppla pints in a pub walk. Unfortunately, the effect was reduced a bit by the fact that Mrs Pieman had posted the Bro’s card some time earlier… But me and the brother met anyway. We met in the outrageously priced pay and display car park in Stainforth. (Incidentally, there seems to be bad news from Stainforth that the pub is closed at the moment and awaiting a new tenant. This will not be specially good for Christmas celebrations in Stainforth, I shouldn’t wonder) Anyway, we slithered off over the globally warmed black ice and up through Knight Stainforth to attack the mighty ramparts of Smearsett Scar – a carb limestone lump which was likely a reef at some point in it’s 350 million year history. Smearsett Scar has a very obvious craggy South face and this provides a not-very-well-known-but-nevertheless-quite-exciting little scramble on mainly good and spiky holds but which aren’t available at the scariest spot. However, using some frozen rabbit poo, and with a bit of Anglo-Saxon, I managed to teeter up and we were soon at the trig on the top. The scramble is about 25 metres with a ledge half way and is, maybe, Grade 2. It’s also perfumed with wild mountain thyme. And wabbit poo. The walk along to Pot Scar feels like a high level ridge walk in the mountains, but isn’t. We repaired to Feizor to Elaine’s tearoom and cafe for coffee and toasted teacakes. Feizor, incidentally, had a family of Knipes living in it in the 16th Century. they were described in church records as “husbandmen”. this is a farm labourer. There were more Knipes living in villages nearby and they seem to have spent about 300 years marrying people called Metcalfe. Metcalfe is the Yorkshire dales farming name. The Knipes, however, seem to have left the area. Down the lane a bit, we assumed that a Christmas choir was assembling. We wondered about asking for a request. Silent night, maybe or, While Shepherds Washed Their socks By Night, or maybe a bit of Cliff Richards. its lucky we didn’t as it turned out to be a funeral party. we should have known by all the hanging around and smoking they were doing. the old chap’s horse was waiting patiently nearby to transport the coffin to it’s final destination. Nice touch, that. The Holly and the Ivy were perhaps not appropriate. We were informed that the arduous trek to the local shrine dedicated to the Great God Bachus – alias the Helwith Bridge Inn , shouldn’t take us more than forty five minutes. Unwilling to be benighted in Elaine’s tearoom (although, on reflection there are worse places to get stuck) – we marched off, stopping only in a sunny spot behind a barn for lunch for about half an hour. We duly arrived at Helwith Bridge half an hour before the bar opened, which it did twenty minutes later. We worshiped bachus to the tune of two pints of Helwith bridge ale each. It was very nice. They do pie and peas too. Its very civilised around here. A plod down the road brought us back to Stainforth. 8 Miles and 1400 feet, including one short period of excitement.
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.