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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Cumbria Coastal Way in sections - 3

Friday 30th December '16

Apart from waiting one hour and thirteen minutes for a train at Roose station this was a great improvement on the previous section of the CCW. I had walked 14.03 miles according to Memory Map and the GPX CCW route, setting off at 8:15 am from Ulverston and arriving at 2:15pm Roose - average speed including a stop for coffee and a sandwich - 2.34mph. Stopping after a six hour walk, especially when the temperature has dropped, soon has one chilled and I walked up and down the platform worrying whether I had misread the timetable -  that had taken some time to interpret; my record in that department is not good - no eletronic signage here as at Cark.  Ominously, underlining my worst fears, nobody else turned up to board the 13.28. A bad sign. Anyway the rackety diesel did come at last conveying me back home to a hot bath and watching The Rack Pack on iPlayer.

The film told the story of how Barry Hearn, the snooker promoter, adopted his players and groomed them into marketable personalities, but spurning to take on Alex Higgins (too much of a loose cannon - no pun intended), whose tragic story was intertwined along the way. The characters were depicted in what I would call cartoon fashion, but it was all entertaining stuff with comedy and sadness at the self destruction of Higgins. Star for me was Kevin Bishop as the natural extrovert  businessman Barry Hearn.

Back to the walk. Alighting at Ulverston it was just about light and I had a suburban march back down to near Canal Foot to resume on the CCW. A track and then muddy fields and stiles passing a strange, lone-standing chimney in the middle of a field eventually brought me onto the pebbly, bouldery, beach of Morecambe Bay. The light was still poor but interesting with sun striving to get through, and fairly distant views out to the open bay and across to Chapel Island. Going on the beach varied from softish fine shingle to dodging larger boulders, but not too difficult to cause frustration, and the bewitching light was a bonus only gained from winter walking.

From Newbiggin there was a long section of sea wall down to Rampside with the main road on the right, but the sea on the left - I had been watching the incoming tide all the way and it was now fully in making the familiar modest  crashing of waves on the concave rampart of the sea wall below me. I seem to have an inherent satisfaction from the sound and sight of the sea.

Rampside had a spectacular lighthouse stuck in the middle of the beach - how it has survived since 1875 is remarkable.

I was now following a Tarmac cycle track for the rest of the way with views across Roosecote Sands to the massive buildings where the nuclear submarines ar constructed at Barrow, and to my right the monster chemical plant sporting a bewildering complexity of pipework and gantries where gas is processed from the Morecambe Bay gas fields. How have human beings got themselves to the stage of developing stuff like this?

I left the CCW and as I climbed a field to get me to to the forlorn, cold and inhospitable Roose station, a distant non-stop siren started coming from the direction of the nuclear submarine buildings, and I wondered if I had managed to get myself into the wrong place at the wrong time, and envisaging people bolting from their houses to board the train that I was also now a little more eager to board.

The lone chimney  I later found it had been left over from a demolished brickorks to serve as a guide for ships coming to Canal foot. 

At last, back to the sea, Cartmell and Hampsfell hills in the distance

Out into Morecambe Bay

Chapel Island

The sun never quite made it

Wadhead Point

Zoom to Heysham power station

Note the slightly troublesome walking surface, and below...

...dodging the boulders

Rampside lighthouseFrom Wikipedia:
Rampside Lighthouse, also known as "The Needle", is a leading light (navigation beacon) located in the Rampside area of Barrow-in-FurnessCumbria, England.[2] Built in 1875, it is the only surviving example of 13 such beacons built around Barrow during the late 19th century to aid vessels into the town's port.[3] It stands 20 metres (66 ft) tall and is constructed from red and yellow bricks. Rampside Lighthouse was designated a Grade II listed building by English Heritage in 1991.[2]

The nuclear submarine buildings - Barrow

Gas treatment works on the way to Barrow

Click to enlarge - the blue routes are my start and finish connections to the stations


Roderick Robinson said...

I have spotted a problem with these urban or near-urban walks. Surely they inhibit you from going the whole hog with all that bought-in equipment. I mean it's one thing to struggle up the Great Gable ridge with the aid of ski-sticks; quite another to pass along Wisteria Avenue, Stainton-with-Adgarley, furtively trying to hide the aforesaid sticks down your trousers. And while the machete was an OK device when hacking your way through the sugar plantations of Crieff, it becomes an embarrassment (for which you could be arrested) when entering the train at Cark - a name I don't think you quite made the most of. Plus the weird hat and the things that dangle from your belt. Isn't there a grave risk that you might be mistaken for a man sent by the government to warn citizens in the north-west that WW3 has broken out but who, in struggling with bus timetables, has somehow forgotten the message he was asked to convey.

"Should we take him in and offer him a night's rest in the garage?" the neighbours whisper.

And on you go, lurching.

Alan Rayner said...

Onwards and upwards. Just a reminder, don't forget some stations on this line are request stops only.

bowlandclimber said...

Having to get the maps out to follow your progress, it all seems unfamiliar and I've never heard of Roose. Are you able to keep using the train from home right up the coast - it must go on for miles?

Sir Hugh said...

bc - I am just plotting the walks day by day but it looks as though I will be able to use the railway right up to Maryport. You can download the route as a gpx from LDWA if you want. the walk seems to be a mixed bag but interesting and worthwhile I think.