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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Ordnance Survey northing line 38 (2) Singleton to Inskip

Sunday 20th January 2019 - Singleton to Inskip (west)

Walking with a friend who also writes their own blog risks repetition for people who are followers of both. As we walk we tend to take similar photos of the same  points of interest, and our posts will inevitably include similar accounts of incidents.

Today's walk was covered by Bowland Climber in his post which conveys a vivid account of the whole walk and I recommend this to my readers here, and also use it as an excuse to omit an inferior detailed account myself.


My thoughts on this trip major on the number of stiles. I am sure I don't exaggerate if I say there were more than twenty. With my twin knee replacements stiles are more of a challenge coupled with a heightened fear of slipping or falling. Many stiles today were in bad repair with wobbly planks, often coated with green slippery mould, ergonomically too high to conquer with comfort, and in perhaps a majority of cases doubled due to stream or ditch crossings. BC is very patient when I tackle these obstacles, taking more time than sprightly, less than seventy year olds.

For  a couple of years now I have walked in Gortex or similar lined waterproof trail shoes rather than boots only using the latter if I anticipate pathless, rough, moorland terrain, and I have  rarely suffered wet feet. It is surprising how that can be achieved with a  little care. Today we had several gloopy sections and one in particular where you may see a photo of of me on BC's post looking as though I am on the point of sinking up to my waist, but despite appearances on the photo my feet remained dry in my Mountain Warehouse trail shoes.

Despite my grumpy stile comments and the muddy conditions the walk was enjoyable in good company and the route is improving as we move further east.

Old fire station in Singleton from the days when the village was part of the Miller family  estate.

The Millers were wealthy cotton mill owners

The white panels were decorated in an embossed fashion. Here I have altered the lighting to  try and enhance that feature (click photo to enlarge)

You had to be jack-of-all-trades to be a fireman in those days.
I wouldn't fancy my chances of catching the horse before the house had burned down.

Singleton church. The congregation were just emerging from Sunday service as we passed

BC negotiates one of the old parish gates - a welcome relief from the more frequent stiles

This less than attractive modern house was built next to what could have been  a pleasantly restored seventeenth century period thatched cottage. The cottage had been bodged about with awful modern windows and a lot of amateurish repair work, then apparently abandoned. What the plans are we could only guess but at the moment the combination of the two produced an unsightly mess.

One of the many rickety double stile/bridges encountered on this walk

Blue line is our "straight line" - pink is the one mile north parameter

Friday, 18 January 2019

Mill Side and Strava

Thursday walk with Pete - 17th January 2019 - Mill Side/Witherslack

We returned to do a variation on last week's walk around Mill Side and Witherslack. I mentioned previously sbout hsving the Strava app recommended to me and I had another go with it.

 Strava measured at 4.4 miles. Back home I measured carefully with Memory Map on OS 1:25000 which gave 4.04 miles. That is an 8.9%  increase. I am reasonably confident, from years of experience that MM gives a pretty accurate result

Below is a much enlarged shot of part of our there and back route that Strava plotted so you see two intertwined  routes caused I suppose, by our deviations from one side of the road to the other. BUT some of those lines go well off the road into surrounding countryside which we certainly didn’t do. At the end of the walk Strava has also plotted a long straight line into the countryside from our stopping point which is inexplicable. The only reason I can think of for the other exaggerated diversions is the fluctuating measure of accuracy from GPS. Whatever the reasons I suggest you would be living in Fools Paradise if you were seriously/competitively comparing your times against established records or the times of others using different technology to measure their performance.


I Googled the name on the nameplate of this smaller machine. Some kind of drill. The firm are still going but taken over by a Japanese company. I also found this You Tube video from somebody finding one of these in a shed

Monday, 14 January 2019


I  have almost no knowledge of music technology so what I write here must rely, perhaps more interestingly, on my own naive descriptions.

I have enjoyed Shostakovich for many years but never quite got round seriously to his quartets. I put the Borodin Quartet version on my Christmas wish list. I would add that I have read The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes, and am well acquainted with S’s background. That is  a book that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone regardless of taste in music.

Tonight, after a drop of red and and shot (or two) of Aberdour, in a darkened room, I listened to disc number three. I  had earlier listened to number four. If you hanker after something more modern than the Beethoven quartets or similar, for which I have great affection,, and you can’t stand the really modern stuff that sounds like a mixture of squeaky chalk on the blackboard and people hurling pots and pans in the kitchen go for Shosta. The music is endlessly inventive, and in the more orchestral works many instruments rarely heard with other composers get a good “blow.” There is nearly always melody or at least a hint of that, and mostly there is an appealing beat, often reminiscent of the swinging Basie. There are wild passages where I found myself imagining the patterns on my tartan carpet merging, synching, and interacting, and others where I felt as though I was pleasantly inside my fast revolving tumble dryer. All that is mixed with slow movements of delicious romantic quartet stuff and moving solos. You may think I was on something harder than a drop of single malt?

I have not researched interpretation of the individual works - to me that doesn’t seem to matter, and I am not particularly interested in pretentious guesswork from so called experts, but I suppose that is my loss and I know I am missing subtleties that would be more apparent to those with technical knowledge, but sometimes less knowledge can leave one with a more valuable sense of wonderment.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Ordnance Survey Northing line 38 (1)

Saturday 12th January 2019 Day One - Blackpool North Shore to Singleton

A new project is underway with my friend Bowland Climber. We have identified the OS northing line 38 which goes from North Shore Blackpool to East Newton (TA 268 378) on the east coast.

We are not too sure whether we will ever complete it but we have made a start.

Two cars were left at Singleton. and with BC's command of bus timetables and the like we were on a bus into Blackpool just after 9:30 (after the 9:0am deadline for bus pass use).

Ten minutes walking in blustery wind had us on the front at North Shore. I recently had an Internet blur moment (click to buy with one click) and bought a new Tilley hat. It was undergoing its first trial. Within minutes it had blown off resulting in what might have been the record for shortest time for new hat ownership, but retrieval was happily achieved. I will now need to sort out the complicated tightening and double chin strap system - for today it was stuffed into my rucksack and replaced by a serendipitously carried beanie.

We walked past depressing down market guest houses poignantly matching the mood of the dismal windy weather.

Further on we were having slight navigation problems walking through second rate industrial estates until we eventually emerged onto a short bit of footpath. That initially ran alongside a housing estate with a drainage stream between our path and the houses. The residents had used the ditch as a rubbish dump chucking mattresses and broken furniture and all kinds of other rubbish over their own garden fences - what a mess,  and how anybody could create such unpleasantness actually adjacent to their own home I can't comprehend.

Whilst crossing the hinterland between Blackpool and Poulton we met a dog walker with two German Shepherd type dogs - they were both rescue animals, one had cigarette burns on it when he went to take it over. He was a pleasant guy.

The housing quality kept improving as we came into the suburbs of Poulton-le-Fylde. As we were rounding a residential street corner on a footpath with a blind bend to the right I discovered a new way of getting an offer of a tea brew - take note from hereon Gayle and Mick. I stepped off the kerb whilst trying to see round the corner for oncoming traffic and went full length onto the road banging and slightly cutting my head, spraining my thumb, and knocking a lens out of my glasses.

Football fans who have absorbed the clandestine procedure for "diving" without self injury may be able to put this technique to good use?

We were immediately surrounded by helpers and a young couple who lived in the house on the corner were just driving in through their massive security gates in their large four-by-four and insisted we should go into their garden and sit down and be plied with tea. As it happened we had just been looking for somewhere to stop for lunch so there we were in comfortable chairs lunching sway.

Thanks to the kindness of my rescuers.

We had bit more track and footpath after this to get back to our cars at Singleton. I stopped taking photos after the fall.

Wild and windy weather going north up the front at Blackpool

North Shore - we went inland from here past many dreary guest houses

A rather strange memorial for members of the various emergency services

Beauford sold these as kit cars. I think they have now re-grouped to just providing these for wedding hire. Not the most attractive of kit cars I have come across 

Crossing the railway near Layton station. I Googled The Rt. Hon. Earl but found little of interest - I was just hoping he may have later been involved n some scandal or other

One of the short sections of footpath on this urban day

Rubbish obviously chucked over the fences from the houses - and below...

I don't look very happy about my free brew. I think I was pulling a face at the same time as chewing on my paté sandwich

We are now allowing ourselves one mile either side of our line giving us a bit more freedom to plot the route

Friday, 11 January 2019

Mill Side

Thursday walk with Pete - 10th January 2018 -  Mill Side circular.

Snowdrops catkins and primrose gave us an early promise of  spring.

I forgot to bring my camera so these photos were taken with the iPhone - they have since been messed about a bit with Photoshop Elements. I can see little difference between camera and phone. But, I have become so used to the camera I would be reluctant to change. The iPhone makes it far too easy to use video mode or bursts or whatever by mistake and it is not ergonomically designed to be held comfortably for taking photos, and downloading to my desktop is nothing like as user friendly.

Daughter Jill recently inveigled me into downloading the Strava app onto my iPhone. This purports to measure the distance, time, speed and ascent of a walk and can also interact with other users who you elect to be in your group operating in a similar way to Facebook. I  recorded this walk and Strava said 2.6 miles. I then measured the route on Memory Map 1:25 carefully and came up with 2.22 miles - that is a 12.6% increase. I have always suspected that these tracking devices are not particularly accurate and other users may wish to note. That discrepancy would be the best part of two miles on a fifteen mile walk. I have not checked the other stats recorded by Strava but the above does not fill me with confidence for their accuracy.

My commenter and friend Gimmer may remember this venue

We have walked past here before  when I noted this pleasing little dell and this time took trouble to take a photo

What a gnarly tree

iPhone zoom to Whitbarrow

A tractor beast for Alan

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Barbon and Bull Pot Fsrm

8th January 2019 - Bull Pot Farm and Barbon Low Fell

Bull Pot Farm sparks my imagination because of its remoteness and it being the "hut" of the Red Rose Caving Club giving it a prominent place in the history of Dales caving and potholing.

On 21st February 2004 I was collecting OS sheet 98 trig points. I set out on an over ambitious route from Bull Pot Farm and climbed Crag Hill, Whernside, Blea Moor, Park Fell and Ingleborough. I arrived at SD 704 749 on the minor road north east of Ingleton facing a cross country trek back to Bull Pot Farm and my car. It was too dark to read the map and I had no head torch. I rang for daughter Jill and she and brother William met me at the Wheatsheaf in Ingleton and drove me back to Bull Pot - it had been a strenuous twenty miler and getting back to Bull Pot would have been a step too far under any conditions (a bit of bad judgement on my part.)

Today I wanted to walk down the private track from the Barbon road to get across to the footpath north of the road and river. I went a hundred yards down the track  then heard shooting further on in the woods and I made a hasty retreat back to the road,

A  hundred yards ahead I saw a gaggle of beaters with their Springers milling around, and in clandestine mode took a quick zoom shot, then briefly passed the time of day as I went by noticing them holding a variety of  rough sticks (for beating with) and wearing a strange mixture of ankle high boots and other footwear and clothing of less than orthodox outdoor fashion.

A  bridleway leads from the road over to Bull Pot with great views behind of the steep sides of Middleton Fell in bright sunlit with rusty bracken and clear blue sky above. Not having previously photographed Bull Pot I had a good look round and took some snaps.

A rough track leads off the road taking one in the direction of the unnamed trig on Barbon Low Fell. A barbed wire fence line was encountered not marked on the 1:25 OS map. I found a place where some slight concession had been made to the barbed wire, but it still posed  a threat - thankfully I managed to climb over without ripping my new, expensive Rohan winter trousers.

A vague path lead eventually to a large cairn overlooking Barbon village. There had been magnificent views all round. Shooting in those woods that I had avoided was continuing frenetically as I descended to the car. The noise of what I presume are modern 12 bore cartridges seemed a lot higher pitched than normal, more like the sound of a prolonged high velocity rifle and incredibly loud.

All in all a very pleasant little excursion marred a little by the presence of mindless folk enjoying killing birds. I was back home for just after 2:00pm.

The private track leading to the shooters, and from where I retreated

Zoom to beaters

A pleasing bit of dry-stone walling

Across to Middleton Fell

Bull Pot Farm - The Red Rose Caving Club "hut"

From the rear...

...and in situ - Crag Hill above

Weird fungus on the way to my trig 

The fence not marked on OS map. Barbed wire runs on the wooden rail. I climbed over then leaned back with the camera to take this shot

Barbon village below

Zoom to Bsrbon