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Monday, 15 February 2016

Three more Marilyns

Shining Tor          SJ 994 737

The Cloud            SJ 904 637

Gun                      SJ 970 615

Sunday 14th February

"After a day's walk everything has twice its value"
                                                  George Macauley Trevelyan

I came across this quote and Googled finding this scorching appraisal of Trevelyan:

Historian Roy Jenkins argues:
"Trevelyan's reputation as an historian barely survived his death in 1962. He is now amongst the great unread, widely regarded by the professionals of a later generation as a pontificating old windbag, as short on cutting edge as on reliable facts."

Well perhaps that was his only perceptive uttering, and not very profound at that, but whatever, I go along with it.

Not really "a day's walk", more two hundred miles of motoring and three short ascents, but a satisfying day indeed. An early start had me back home by four in the afternoon to partake of added value rewards. A hot bath, home-made curry (with great presence of mind, taken from the freezer before departure), a home-made fruit salad, filter coffee, and later, to accompany my on-going journey through Shakespeare, a cheap, but remarkably good value bottle of Chilean merlot with cheese and Stockans thin oatcakes.

My newly discovered sat-nav attribute, the ability to enter a latitude and longitude destination, saw me arrive precisely at the Peak View Café on the Cat and Fiddle road. It was 9:30 am. The café didn't open until 10:00 but no matter, Shining Tor was evident, standing out above the roof half an hour's walk away. It was bitterly cold and I donned an extra layer before setting off. There were unusually for that early hour numerous people about.  Thankfully the well trodden muddy paths were frozen solid. I had the summit and extensive views to myself.

The café rated eight out of ten for coffee, and nine-point-five for the coffee and walnut cake compared with one out of ten for a bacon and omelette bap and cardboard carton of tea from Greggs at a motorway services earlier. 

Sat-nav steered me to The Cloud, and a climb up some steps and another few hundred yards had me at this popular summit. There were quite a few folk about and a sort of holiday atmosphere, well it is half-term. Views were again superb, and in particular distant Jodrell Bank telescope.

The finaL summit, Gun, was accessed by a muddy path rising only a few metres in less than a kilometre to the trig point. Here were the best views of the day looking across to The Roaches, and Hen Cloud, well known climbing venues, and way to the south the Wrekin just visible - another unclimbed English Marilyn on my list. I met a lone, local lady walker and she pointed out various landmarks and took a photo for me.

Back home it was Henry 6 Part 2 - bloodthirsty and full of megalomaniacs. Trevor Peacock as Cade was genuinely scary leaving you in no doubt about his abilities as a crazy dangerous rabble rouser - he also played a wild and energetic Talbot in Part 1, but by now Talbot was long gone as with many others by the end of this play, including Cade himself - shame, Trevor doesn't seem to feature in Part 3.

Peak View café and Shining Tor

Frozen muddy path up to Shining Tor

Shining Tor summit

The Cloud summit

Jodrell Bank telescope

Gun trig on horizon with a party of ramblers 

Hen Cloud

The Roaches

Just the added value rewards to come now (after the hundred mile return journey)


afootinthehills said...

I may have said it before, but you have style Sir Hugh. Chilean merlot (I don't recall ever having a bad one, expensive or cheap), cheese and Stockans oat cakes. Sounds just perfect after a satisfying day out.

Anonymous said...

Conrad, your at it again with that zoom! It did however show up lots of cars under the Roaches was there anyone climbing in the cold? Did you get chance to revisit the Roaches Tea Rooms below Hen Cloud which we frequented with Tony when climbing at the Roaches?

John J said...

That's a nice little expedition - a pity I didn't know you were coming dahn sarf, it would have been good to catch up.
Lovely photographs, even that one of the strange-looking character posing by the trig point 😉

Sir Hugh said...

Afoot - I have tried various brands of oatcakes, but Stockans are way out there the best. Maybe you have some other favourite?


BC - If you look at the final photo of me at the trig The Roaches and Hen cloud are in the background so you can tell how far away they are. I didn't get anywhere near them. I do remember climbing there twice at least. Once with Pete when I had a hard time following Valkyrie (1st. Nov. 1992), and another much more pleasant day with Tony and perhaps you but I can't remember exactly - do you remember being there with me and Tony?

Sir Hugh said...

JJ - I will bear that in mind in future. I have booked my caravan on a site near Ludlow for the second week of Easter so I can do a number of Marilyns in the surrounding area, but that is even further "sarf" and perhaps out of your range, but you would be welcome to join me for a day out then if you wanted. Any arrangements would be best by email -

afootinthehills said...

Sir Hugh - Stockans are lovely although I like Patterson's rough oatcakes as well. Indispensable on a backpacking trip, long or short.

afootinthehills said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
afootinthehills said...

Sorry, 'Paterson's'. Oh dear, a mistake in the first comment followed by a mistake in the first correction.

Sir Hugh said...

Afoot - As one who enjoys writing, I admire your pursuit of perfection. Anyway, you are doing wonders for my comments statistics.

Anonymous said...

June 18th 2002 at the Roaches on a windy day.I remember sitting in the cafe later to warm up.

Sir Hugh said...

BC - Thanks for that. I remember the climbing but not the café

gimmer said...

not a slothful weekend at all, then !

Roderick Robinson said...

Roy Jenkins (known as Woy because of a slight speech impediment) was rather more prominently Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour government. That sounds like a comment (about GMT) made long after leaving the House of Commons. I have actually read GMT (even owned one of his histories); it's always pleasing to find one has read someone who is now "unread"; one can't be accused of simply following fashion.

Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - an interesting simile is looming here. I reckon my erstwhile climbing activities may have been classified as slothful: slow and cumbersome.


RR - Yes. I was aware of Woy's more well known career. In a blur moment, some years ago, I bought the thirteen hardback, second-hand volumes of The Oxford History of England and actually ploughed through them. I am getting a much better grasp now of regal English history from Shakespeare compared with the academics, albeit perhaps not a hundred percent accurate. I've just watched Pt 3 of Henry 6 (Richard 3 next). My goodness, what bloodthirsty plays they are. Some of the death scenes are enough to promote nightmares.

Did you watch the Le Carré episode last night? When Pine found the girl his reaction to all that bloody mess was brilliantly done, with his brave but feeble action, forcing himself, halfheartedly to try and do something.

I bet that made your day when you were able to say you had read GMT - bravo!

Roderick Robinson said...

I'd take WS's accuracy as a historian very gingerly; don't forget he was writing in the shade of one of the most powerful British monarchs ever and couldn't let himself go free and easy with her ancestors. The test case is however Richard III where he does go the other way and seems to have got that wrong too. Obviously he never projected himself half a millenium forwards to imagine The Boar's bones being laid to rest in hallowed ground, with representatives of the 21st century's great and good in attendance.

However I take your point. WS at least helps us get the kings in the right order although I'm nearly always forced to do a final check with VR: "Remind me, John Of Gaunt is Boudicca's nephew, isn't he? No? Oh dear."

As to Henry VI what surprised me was the story fully deserved three episodes, the outstanding characterisation of Margaret and the final moving decision of Talbot's son to rejoin his father in the hopeless and eventually fatal situation which the stay-at-homes had pushed Talbot into: Trevor Peacock's finest hour.

As to my boasting ("made your day") I'm not grumbling about your pointing it out but you really should distinguish: this is high grade boasting with value added - boasting that almost seems like self-abnegation. Almost.