Sunday, 30 January 2011
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
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?
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
Hesleden Gill Bridge 17:15
Litton 18:15 to 18:45
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.
Sunday, 23 January 2011
Saturday, 22 January 2011
Some time ago, I seem to have somehow acquired a Facebook account. I don’t recollect how this happened, but it did. And then, for a long time, nothing happened. Then, suddenly, on the tail of an atlantic storm, a message arrived in my email saying that Philip Werner wanted to be my friend.
Philip may well have bought me a beer in Montrose last may, which does seem like a friendly thing to do, so, I thought – why not….?
The I looked on facebook and did nothing else much for a couple of weeks.
Then, a bit later, I edited my profile a bit and there were all these messages about people who knew Philip Werner – some of whom I knew – and, well, one thing lead to another, and suddenly, I’ve asked all these people to be my friend (I’m normally fairly shy… no, really…) and people who knew the people whom I asked, and there were messages and pictures – a nice one from Ron Reynolds for instance… and I need to get away to make the tea……
A message to anybody who has sent me a message or commented on a picture – I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. Apologies if you don’t get a reply straight away, or you get a reply which doesn’t male sense. it won’t make sense because its for somebody else.
Tea time now, anyway….
The picture is irrelevant by the way – I just liked it…
Thursday, 20 January 2011
This is The Cardiacs. The Kinks/Ray Davies originated the song and the version is on Youtube and well worth a listen. But I like this too, for it's psychoticness.
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
When the weather girl announces an anti-cyclone and sunny intervals, it’s always best to take advantage straight away with a nice walk, followed by an enormous tea of fine aberdeen angus steak mixed with gravy and dog biscuits followed by a long a snooze on the settee till its time for supper, according to Bruno.
And so, we turned up on the Cumbria/Northumberland border just above West Allendale and sploshed off over the soggy moor in the general direction of The Dodd. The Dodd is a boggy Pennine just over 2000 feet high and, as the cloud base was around 1800 feet, it was a tad murky on the top. I had to navigate to find the summit cairn. This failed. So I switched on the yellow GPS thingy and put in the grid reference. This failed as well There was no cairn where it said the top was. So, instead I wandered off to the East in search of the bridleway that runs down Middle Rigg – and, found the summit cairn. Bruno took the opportunity of each pause for navigation to eat the remaining patch of snow/ice. He and his kind may well be responsible for the retreat of arctic ice. Has anybody checked the pack for teeth marks, I wonder?
Note the maximum speed on the screen, though. I can be quite quick when I want to be…. (maybe its been switched on in the car…dhuhh)
And so we romped and sploshed just a bit down the lovely broad and grassy ridge till we popped out below the fog. It brightened up a bit and I found a rectangular enclosure with high walls, ideal for scoffing an egg and tomato butty in, out of the wind.
I was a bit puzzled by the enclosure, which I thought was an old sheepfold, except that sheepfolds are usually round, or have compartments which can be used to put the animals through some kind of process…. like shearing or washing. Its next to some old mineworkings, so I wondered if it was a temporary shelter for ponies, perhaps….
Anyway, we followed the ridge downhill with good views of West Allendale and, where the path meets the road, we turned back up another path which runs along the intake wall for a couple of miles. Eventually it arrives at Carrshield (where the cheeky gnome/elf can be found guarding a gateway. I believe he’s having his prostate checked…).
Carrshield has some extensive derelict mineworkings and the destruction around River West Allen is remarkable. And interesting. There’s some old mine buildings, about to be restored/converted into houses, which contain peculiar arches and what appears to be a large stone oven?? I’ve no idea to be honest.
A plod up the main road brought us back, through the hamlet of Coalcleugh (coal cluff), an interestingly cold and draughty place, to the border and the car. We repaired to Brian’s at Nenthead for coffee and catfood. I had the coffee. I’m not sure Brian’s cat will be too happy about this…
We did 9 miles and, as we started at nearly 2000 feet , just over 1000 feet of ascent.