In the late Fifties and early Sixties a loose gang of us assembled at weekends in Langdale and later at Keswick to climb and carouse. At other times Bradford based members frequented pubs and clubs where live jazz reigned - Elvis and the Beetles were rubbish. Pete was a notable member, and in 1960 he and I had a holiday in the Jotunheim in Norway wandering over glaciers and making a good ascent of Galdhopiggen by a non-tourist route.
As to be expected we all eventually went our different ways. Forty years later I had moved to Arnside (2000) after losing my wife to Motor Neuron Disease. I joined the gym at the very upmarket Holgates static caravan leisure park at Silverdale. I was supposedly training for my forthcoming GR10 walk (the Pyrenees from Atlantic to Mediterranean).
Working on a rowing machine I started talking to a little guy on the next machine:
"Do you do some running?"
"No, but I've done a lot of climbing and walking"
"Where do you come from?'
"Were you in the Yorkshire Mountaineering Club?"
"Yes, What's your name?"
"Conrad. Conrad Robinson"
"Bloody hell, stop rowing! Put your hand there mate. It's Pete. Pete Mansbridge!"
And so, not recognising each other we had re-met - the conversation was heard by other gym members creating a major talking point for ages afterwards.
Pete and his wife Liz had a static holiday caravan on the site, but shortly after they bought a house in Arnside and Pete and I have climbed twenty eight Munros together, walked the Lancaster canal and had our Thursday walks now running into hundreds I reckon. I also learned from Pete that another member of the original gang was living in Arnside, Pete Hindle and his wife Linda, and Pete H. joins us from time to time on our walks as he did yesterday on a pleasant road walk starting at Docker with snow covered Lakeland, Shap and Howgill fells in the various backgrounds as our route circled.
|The two Petes and Docker viaduct - not far from the Grayrigg derailment disaster in 2007|
|Distant Whinfell Beacon|
|Zoom to the Howgills. A bright start had turned into a dull day|
|Me and Pete somewhere in Wales circa 1960. Pete was renowned for his beret, his long super quality Norwegian stockings and immaculately maintained Italian boots, all contrasting with my generally sloppy appearance.|