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My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Saturday, 17 November 2018

Not a good day

Thursday walk with Pete - 15th November 2018 - Preston Guild Wheel

This must rank as the worst, or at least most unsuccessful walk I have ever done.

Back in 1980 when I was a young forty one I was moving in my job from Teesside to Preston. I had visited a dentist in Darlington who said he wanted to remove all my teeth. I opted to  think about that. A few days later in Preston, prior to my family removal I sought a second opinion. How I found Barry N. I can’t remember, but he was positive and offered to perform various procedures to save my teeth. I have now been going to Barry for thirty eight years and I can’t speak too highly of the attention he has given me.  I never thought twice in 2000 of changing when I moved to Arnside an hour’s drive away. I later found out that the Darlington dentist ended up in prison for some misdemeanour, the details of which now escape me.

Today I had an appointment at 3:00 pm which coincided with Pete’s walk day.

Pete and I decided to walk in the locale of the dentist, then go to Booth’s café for our natter, and tea and cake before my appointment.

That only left us half an hour each way to walk on a linear section of that splendid cycle/walking circumnavigation of Preston: The Preston Guild Wheel.

I drove to Nog Tow ( no comments please RR on this odd name - it’s not my fault) and had to park on the other side of a busy roundabout several hundred yards from access to the Guild Wheel. We risked life dodging across the roundabout, and then I became disorientated and didn’t have a proper map showing the new footpaths created and we ended up backtracking to such an extent that by the time I had us on the recognised path our first half hour was up. We  trudged gloomily back and braved the roundabout again to get back to the car. Pete was understanding (I think), but I felt humiliated. It is eighteen years since I lived in Preston and my confidence was now so dented I was having doubts about navigating my way to Booths, but I did manage this, but it was not without a bit of good luck thrown in.

At the dentist Barry told me he is retiring in five weeks time. The whole of this day left me reflective and a little depressed at the realisation of the rapid passing of time in human terms; I had an end of era feeling.

Best get get on with life and make the most of it. 


There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Click to enlarge if you want.
 I don't think you could follow our wanderings if you tried,
 but it gives the general idea


  1. Nog Tow - that puts me in mind of Mow Cop, which in my mind has always been Cow Mop.

  2. Gayle - I knew somebody would be tempted to take up on that. I did a search in Memory Map and found three references to Mow Cop: a village in Staffordshire north of Stoke-on-Trent, a trail with the same name, and a farm north of Newport, Staffs. I walked within 3.5km of the farm on the final day of my third stab of my Berwick-upon-Tweed to Castle Carey walk as I walked into Newport.

    1. It's the Staffordshire one with which I am familiar. Whilst I know Newport (Shrops), I didn't know that it also has a Cow Mop in its vicinity.

  3. I've had a similar feeling a few times recently following the question: 'Did you teach my Mum?". I also taught several of my own colleagues which makes my current students convinced that I must be immeasurably ancient.

  4. Mark - not as ancient as me I reckon.

  5. As asked for, no comments is what you'll get.

  6. RR - can't you spot a bit of humour? I didn't detect any on your response.

  7. Sir Hugh: If it needs to be spotted perhaps it's not apparent.

  8. Thought I'd commented from my phone over the weekend but apparently not.
    I was staying down south with my old school friend,Mel,and we tried to remember/identify that dentist. There was a dentist who played a burley centre forward for Darlington FC, but that was in the 60's. No names but he would have been happy to extract your teeth probably bare handed, I suspect he had no teeth himself.
    As for getting disorientated in Preston you have my sympathy - all new roads and housing estates with no recognition of the pedestrian.

  9. BC - I reckon your Darlington dentist got a lot of business from his team mates. I expected more from The Preston Guild Wheel but I’m still not inclined to write it off - it must be better than that, and it was partly my fault, I think through being under time pressure to make everything fit for the dental appointment.

  10. i knew a few Darlington dentists through local politics - any one would have been capable of a mere misdemeanour - one of rather more than that ! Sleightly handy was how he was known. Irredeemably vulgar was my verdict. But a reliable vote and 'subscriber', so all was forgiven or overlooked ! Those were the days. To say nothing of local builders trying to get on the Development Committee and complaining plaintively when we kept them off it.

  11. gimmer - My friend and commenter bowlandclimber spent his earlier life in theTteesside area and wonders if your dates coincide, what were the dates of your sojourn on Darlington council?

  12. Have you ever thought of sending your retiring dentist a bottle of champagne in late celebration of your toothfulness? The great thing about champagne (as a gift) is that although a surprising number of people don't care for it, they recognise its festive associations. And are pleased. That's why some brands come in those decorative boxes. More particularly, it sounds as if your guy deserves it. Guess what I give V at Christmas.

  13. RR - Yes, I fully intended do make some gesture and that sounds a good idea.

  14. That’s probably an accurate representation of a ‘bimble’. Perhaps you should have hired a couple of wheelchairs to enable you to take the weight of your feet?

  15. Phreerunner - I've never been sure what a bimble was, but was pretty certain it was something I would not be enthusiastic about. The dictionary says "A leisurely walk or journey." There's nothing wrong with that then. To me it sounds as though it would be also somewhat aimless. A showroom/shop opened in Arnside over a year ago selling mobility scooters - you can get a 4 x4 one for just under £2000. They are buzzing about all over our domain and look very vulnerable on the roads, but I'm not debunking them, come the day...