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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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, 4 January 2020


Thursday walk with Pete -  3rd January 2020 - Halton,  River Lune north

Walking down the south side of the River Lune last week we noticed imposing period houses on the north side which I was pleased to note aroused Pete's curiosity; as a born nosy-parker mine can be aroused by even less conspicuous sightings. We had agreed to explore on our visit today.

I was reluctant to drive over the strange bridge, so I parked again on the south side. The Bridge is wide enough, only just, for one car with a generous footpath, and at intervals concrete posts make the car space even narrower and one is grateful for folding mirrors - there are many scrapes and scratches and although I have driven over several times before I saw no point in unnecessarily risking damage to my precious Kia.

What I thought was a large group of birds a few hundred yards upstream from the bridge settled in an eddy had me taking a zoom shot. Back home I saw most of my "birds" were rocks in shallow water with only a few seagulls perched, presumably "snappers up of unconsidered trifles?"

Over the bridge we turned left on the road which follows the river downstream. We were looking for any opportunity to find footpath access to the river side but none occurred until we passed under the M6 bridge to find a public footpath leading us down and under the new M6/Lancaster link motorway  bridge. I expected to see the ubiquitous graffiti here. The ingenious graffiti artists have some respect from me when they produce quality work, but my respect is increased by their derring-do antics in placing their works in locations to cause observers to wonder, and hopefully to gain kudos from their mates in what I suppose is a competitive pursuit. Most of these bridges are constructed with huge RSJs with a capital I profile which provide a ledge come graffiti artist's footway perhaps eighteen inches wide and being up there wielding spray cans at height, without protection must be pretty scary to say nothing of getting up there in the first place. Surprisingly these opportunists have not linked up their efforts from the south side of the river on this bridge and for the moment it is a blank canvass - it will be interesting to see how long it takes.

Further on run down playing fields, large storage sheds and a helicopter landing pad lead to the army encampment of Halton Army Training Camp with many barrack buildings and workshops and an assault course all surrounded by barbed wire. A tarmac path went off at one point leading to an enclosure the size of a football pitch divided into large tarmac squares. My nosey-parker senses were aroused and I went to investigate. There were two fourteen foot high barbed wire fences set ten yards apart reminiscent of Stalag Luft 111 but no other apparent reason for such security - perhaps it was where the soldiers actually practice being in a prison camp?

I took a couple of photos and then on the way back I was hailed by a civilian dressed guy on the other side of the fencing for the barracks. The barracks looked like vintage National Service units from the Fifties, all shabby and neglected. I imagined some pretty depressing training sessions for the soldiers in this antediluvian spot. Mr Civilian cautioned me politely about this being MOD property and photography not allowed. We continued in polite vain and I was allowed to depart without confiscation of camera or the summoning of the military police - this was hardly on a par with some location for producing enriched uranium. I have jibbed at showing any of the photos of the camp here on the grounds that my next post could come from another of Her Majesty's institutions.

The good track had ended here and a muddy footpath continued alongside the river but Pete was reluctant to continue and we trudged back to the car.

Of course we had not found the houses which was the objective of our three mile there and back expedition but no matter - we had had our usual enjoyable get together with decent weather and of course our visit to Café Ambio where this time we were joined by Pete's wife Liz.

I usually take photos of Victorian (or earlier) post boxes but I am not nerdy about this. If you want to know more see:
I wonder how many coats of paint this one has had, its surface has the consitency of porridge
St. Wilfrid's Church, Halton.
I Googled Wilfrid - he seems to have spent much of his life being "expelled" by his various church employers then beetling-off to get reinstatement from the Pope

No graffiti (yet) on these girders

Blue route starting on south side of river


  1. As the images of the training camp haven't been blurred out either on Google's satellite imagery nor on StreetView, it seems that the 'no photos' chap, whilst technically correct, may have been a bit of a jobsworth!

  2. I remember that narrow bridge and would not be keen to drive across it.
    So Halton Training Camp is added to the list of 'no photography' which now includes beaches [maybe nudes], airports [obviously], anywhere near schools [maybe children], pubs and restaurants [maybe illicit meetings], streets [maybe potential criminal activity who will smash your camera and probably you] and any other populated area [probably children]. You are lucky to escape prosecution.

  3. Gayle - the chap was quite polite and laid back and in no way aggressive or insistent. I suppose there is a difference between Street View and Google Earth compared with taking close up photos of security gates, security cameras and communications infrastructure and from what he saw of me I reckon he wouldn't have been able to tell exactly what I was at and the resulting conversation I suppose just confirmed for him that I was just a nutty old gent up to no harm.


    BC - I wonder if there is any actual law relating to this other than relating to high sucurity installations?

  4. Happy New Year Sir Hugh. If there are laws governing who you can include in photos then I think just about everyone who owns a smart phone will be guilty of several offences. Maybe posting photos of people online without their permission is against some privacy legislation. I definitely wouldn’t do that but I’m sure few people think very much about it.

  5. afoot - I applaud your principles but have to admit to transgressing myself - I remember at least one occasion - see my post - link below:é+Ambio&updated-max=2016-03-14T10:29:00Z&max-results=20&start=8&by-date=false

  6. For Steve -

    Just in case you don't see it I have replied to your comment on my post "80" on that post.

  7. Half a lifetime ago, emerging one day from a crowded Piccadilly line train at Hammersmith station, having just come from Heathrow with a large suitcase filled with contraband after months in the east (the cognoscenti will recognise that one needs to bend quite low to leave these trains and then step up quite high to alight on this platform), to be met by an impertinent, self-righteous photographer wielding a large protuberant lensed reflex camera snapping uninvited at all the poor prisoners rushing to be released, without even the slightest courtesy of stepping back to let them out, or a word or glance of enquiry or for acceptance, let alone permission, somehow forced me to bodily obscure his lens and urge him backwards - his surprise and outrage at thus being interrupted in his arrogant invasion of everyone's privacy and self-respect was a perfect remedy for the lack of sleep and jet lag - with a few fellow passengers thanking me silently. Never saw him again despite using the line and station at the same time of day for years. So 'stick it' to the usurpers of one's privacy and right to anonymity - anyone caught posting images taken without permission should be taken out and . . . - chose your punishment(s) . . .

  8. Gimmer - I suppose I have, contrary to my comment above, posted photographs taken at the Braemar Gathering where the bands expect this - how they could mitigate against it I can’t imagine.

  9. afoot (if i may) - I think public performers like bands, sportsmen and so on both want and welcome it - like politicians and film stars: spectators caught up in the images would, presumably, be incidental and not themselves subjects (maybe nowadays one would have to be a bit more careful about that than in the '70's):
    I think the difference is in the intent - this guy was clearly making the suffering on the identifiable faces of the huddled masses his subject (why else a longish focus lens and flash when he was only a few feet from us): it was instantly, instinctively, and repellently obvious he was doing it for exploitation and gain: everybody looked uncomfortable but were too inhibited and rushed to act - whereas, as is well known, tiredness and jet lag makes one less inhibited and easily roused: as you can tell, I've never forgotten the impudence, the behaviour . . . it probably shaped my views on privacy and confidentiality more than any other event: use cash, don't use social media, etc etc - but still accept that the xxxx xxxxx of several xxxx have you on xxxx xxxx for no reason other than xxxxx and xxxxx in xxxx places at xxxx times - who knows?
    For us, we hope, to quote - 'in the mountains, there you feel free' - at present - but compulsory gps will one day find you out.
    Or it might be paranoia - as the old saying goes 'just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they're not watching you' !

  10. Gimmer and Afoot - Gimmer, you say "in the mountains, there you feel free" well not always - it wasn't exactly the mountains but halfway across the Two Moors Way is near enough:

    From my post - 14th September 2014 - Widdecombe to Chagford

    "I came across the massive stone circle marked as Grimspound on the map. A party of school children were being shown around and I took a quick snap. I was then questioned politely by one of the leaders who wanted assurance that I wasn't going to publish the pic. I never thought about the implications thinking it would make an interesting point for various people who read this blog who have an interest in education. What a sad changed world we live in. I have deleted the pic."

  11. I love old post-boxes / pillar boxes, GR & VR - I've not come across any earlier examples. I wonder how many folk realise the age of some of them.

  12. JJ - aplogies for delay in replying - I've been off with BC walking for three days across our OS 38 straight line route. I have another Edwardian post box photo somewhere but can't find it. A long time ago I used the "labels" facility on Blogger then became too lazy to continue so that one is left in the archives somewhere - woe is me.