For newcomers

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


Wednesday, 4 August 2021

OS Sheet 103 trigs - Stanhill plus 3

Tuesday 3rd. August 2021

Stanhill                    SD  724 280   203m

Small Shaw Height    SD  860 248  409m

Standing Stone Hill  SD  951 303   398m

Bride Stones             SD  932 267   437m 

It is a problem finding somewhere to rest or stop to refresh on walks. I have plodded miles vowing to stop at the next place I may find to sit in reasonable comfort. If I sit down on the grass I find it difficult to get back up with my two bionic knees and in any case it is not comfortable. 

I  bought a folding chair. Today it was tested.

Weighing in at 1.1kg that extra weight is worth it for me on day walks. For multi day backpacking I think it would have to be left out especially if a tent etc. was also being carried. It is easy to assemble - the tubings are interconnected with shot cord and it  self-snaps into shape, you then attach the fabric at four points. It seems to be well made but being lightweight it will need to be handled with care and it remains to be seen how durable it is, but I used it twice today with no problem and I am looking forward to more comfortable munchy stops in future.

I was continuing my campaign to visit all 76 trig points on OS sheet 1:25 Blackburn and Burnley. Where I can group a number together to make a circular walk so be it but others that are isolated and those not too far from the road can be accessed by driving in between so I was able to visit these four today with a fair bit of driving. 

Stanhill was in the middle of a field adjacent to a public footpath. There was a gate with a "Private - keep out" sign but the it was just a grass field with no crop and I sneaked through. Views of the surrounding Pennine Hills and industrialised Lancashire in the valleys made the visit worthwhile. I was there and back in less than hour.

A tedious drive took me to a very minor road with a track leading off into the moors for Small Shaw Height. A decent path through sheep pasture was followed by a section of reeds and marsh. The trig had an isolated atmosphere overgrown with high reeds and I guessed this remote spot is rarely visited. I set up the chair and had a coffee from my flask and then a local guy came by with two dogs on his daily walk - he said he was surprised to meet somebody here.

Back at the car I continued down the lane which became steep and overgrown with rosebay willow herb which I ploughed through with that shrubbery obscuring my windscreen every so often. There were also cobbled drainage channels diagonally every fifty yards and I had to take care with the car as the road descended ever more steeply.  I was glad not to meet anybody coming the other way.

The sat nav took me to the start for Standing Stone Hill by another suspense filled narrow road climbing and descending with hairpin bends and no passing places. At Colden there is a farm shop and I asked permission to park and sat in the sunshine on the wall with a coffee. Here I met an elderly guy with his daughter three days out on the Pennine Way and another know-it-all guy anxious to let us know of his walking and climbing achievements (sounds a bit like me). This cul-de-sac road carries the Pennine Bridleway. I planned to walk to the end of the tarmac and then take a path to my trig but I found an inviting lane branching off the road leading more directly to my trig. I met a chap metal detecting and we chatted - I had to ask the obvious question, "have you found anything" the reply was negative and we parted as he continued in the hope of finding his golden hoard.

The trig was surrounded by a mind blowing extensive expanse of Pennine moorland with ranges of hills at all points of the compass  one after another fading to ever lighter colours. The chair was  deployed. One likely outcome of my new luxury is that my lunch stops may be much longer in future.

I carried on to the east to pick up the Pennine Way proper. A quarter mile stretch across some marshy terrain was paved with those huge flag pavings taken it would seem from the old mills. I was once again impressed by the quality of the walking on the Pennine Way which I find myself encountering again in various locations since I walked it back in 1987. I branched off the PW to descend steeply back down to the farm shop on the Pennine Bridleway meeting another Pennine Way venturer heading north for Ickornshaw - made me feel quite envious. A short drive followed  to investigate Bride Stones. There is a bonus in having a trig point or similar project when it takes you to places that are unexpectedly rewarding and so much the better for being discovered for oneself rather than being told about them by others. Bride Stones proved to be a fascinating gritstone edge with the trig plonked on top of weird looking lumps of gritstone looking like so many Tele Tubbies mingled with other bizarre shapes.  At one time Ordnance survey allowed people to "adopt" their trigs - from what I have seen not many were so adopted but I always look and here I was rewarded - see photo below.I was able to take a circular route to observe most of what was on offer here

All four of these trigs were worth visits in their own right. The chair, as far as it goes,  was a success, so all in all 'twas a good day out in the summer sunshine.

Stanhill trig. Quite pleased with this photo.

A complex bit of walling - note the wooden wedge holding the chain

The start of the track into the wilds for Small Shaw Height

Sheep pasture to start with then...


Lonely wild and atmospheric Small Shaw Height succumbing to the reeds

Battling through the rosebay. 

Seen on the Pennine Bridleway near the farm shop just out of Colden

The alternative lane and track leading more directly to Standing Stone Hill

Pennine Way millstones. I don't think they were there in 1987 when I came from the other direction

Bride Stones

Zoom to Stoodley Pike

Pennine Way = green diamonds

Monday, 26 July 2021

Bond, a Javelin, an Enquiry, and a Tree

 Monday 26th July 2021

I recently decided to re-read some James Bond. I read them all as they were published from 1955 onwards. I decided to start at the beginning with Casino Royale

My memory, probably now coloured by the more extravagant films, was of a swashbuckling hard man with many technical and physical attributes enabling him to fight and escape and generally to be the consummate action man and successful lover.

The first shock came when I read “Bond lit his seventieth cigarette of the day…” Many characters smoke which is used to portray an image of macho-sophistication.

In this book Bond is a loser.

Bond looses to Le Chiffre at Baccarat and is only rescued from  disaster when the American secret service bung him a huge amount of money to continue.

Bond's beloved vintage Bentley is wrecked in a car chase where Bond is the loser and is captured.and   tortured. He is only rescued by outside agencies rather than using his own skills. He has to spend several weeks in hospital recuperating from serious injury.

Bond's attitude to women was unacceptable for me, and especially in the context of more enlightened attitudes today. In the first part Bond talks of women lasciviously and carnally as items to be used and discarded as and when needed, and elaborates on their propensity, in his opinion, to get in the way of men’s doings, and thus demanding time to be safeguarded and/or rescued. That becomes tempered later in the second half of the book when he falls for Vesper and his thoughts are turning to marriage, but again he loses when that relationship is doomed.

There is a fair bit of introspection and character building and philosophising in the second half of the book which majors on his relationship with Vesper after all the action has taken place in the first half.

“Today we are fighting Communism. Okay. If I'd been alive fifty years ago, the brand of Conservatism we have today would have been damn near called Communism and we should have been told to go and fight that. History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.”

Perhaps Fleming could have continued portraying his character as the incompetent secret service agent, but from memory I reckon the later books did the opposite.


Government enquiries.

I have lampooned the absurdity of Government enquiries (instituted by all political parties) a few times recently. I haven't researched the detailed  progress of the enquiry into the Croydon Tram Crash. But just the fact that it happened in November 2016 and the enquiry only reported a few days ago after four and a half years at a cost of goodness how much to the taxpayer is cause for concern and some explanation of why it takes so long. After all, I guess it was known at the outset what happened in broad terms and the enquiry should only need to confirm detail and assess for blame and make recommendations for the future. Surely that shouldn't take over four years?


Media jargon

A new one is creeping in. When an athlete or team  has just made some specific move commentators are saying they have "pulled the trigger." Such things I find quite witty the first time I hear them but become  irritating thereafter. Copycats.


Gloster Javelin - finished

Photo below. I was puzzled about the spelling of the manufacturer's name but Wikipedia came to the rescue:

"Founded as the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company Limited during the First World War, with the aircraft construction activities of H H Martyn & Co Ltd of Cheltenham, England it produced fighters during the war. It was renamed later as foreigners found 'Gloucestershire' difficult to pronounce. It later became part of the Hawker Siddeley group and the Gloster name disappeared in 1963."


Katie granddaughter update ( now 9yrs.)

This little painting looks naive but the composition and colouring are I think complex and satisfying. I can sense the movement of those falling leaves.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Trigs OS 103 - Airton

Tuesday 20th July 2021 from Aurton

Calton          SD  917 598       274m.

Haw Crag    SD 913 564        206m.

It's 9:15 am. I step out of the car at Airton. My feet stick to the melted tar on the road.

Airton derives its name from the River Aire which was the closest large river during my early childhood in West Yorkshire.  Memory recalls a semi-industrialised  scene as it wandered trough the Bradford area.

Today I walk steeply down the road to a stone bridge spanning my river running fresh from its source less than five miles upstream. The river Aire was mysterious in those teenage days when I spent much of my time  walking, climbing and caving in the Yorkshire Dales. The river stems from Malham Tarn where at its southern end Ordnance Survey have put a unique label telling us "Water sinks."  Having thus been left in suspense my immediate reaction  was "where the heck does it go to?"

Expectant speleologists in the early days were hopeful that it emerged at the foot of Malham Cove with the possibility of a meaningful caving system behind that massive cliff of overhanging limestone. Not so. Dyeing the water at the source proved the river emerged at Aire Head just south of Malham village. As far as I know there has been no substantial caving discovery behind Malham Cove.

With the present intense spell of heat and no rain the water was low. I had noticed "waterfall" marked on the OS map in Foss Gill which I hoped to visit on my way to the first trig. I branched off the track to cross the gill and find the waterfall, but the bed of the gill was totally dry. I scrambled very steeply up the far bank using tree roots as handholds to emerge at a barbed wire fence bordering access land leading to my trig. At some risk of laceration I strode over a lower section and toiled up close cropped sheep pasture steeply to my trig, the key being two gates in close proximity enabling the crossing of another barbed wire boundary. Views were rewarding.

I was able to return by a less arduous route and then pick up the Pennine Way  running south. alongside the River Aire. I have intermingled every now and then over the last couple of years with the Pennine Way which I walked in 1987 and have been pleasantly surprised to discover how unspoilt it seems to be and what a super long distance path it is.

More pleasant walking on good surfaces took me to my second trig and then a long bridleway from Bell Busk had me back to Airton.  I noticed cyclists and wondered if they were having problems with the now even more sticky road surface, rather them than me, I much prefer to be on foot.The heat all day was intense and I was flagging towards the end. I had taken a flask of coffee and two 500cl. bottles of water which were life savers. Back home I consumed huge amounts of liquid over the evening and even now, next morning, as I type this I still have some lingering thirst even after my normal multi cups of breakfast tea.

I was impressed by this individual notice just a few yards from the car. I particularly like the cat logo at the top.

Looking north up the river Aire, the bridge is behind camera, see next two photos

Calton village

Typical Yorkshire Dales scenery

A brave attempt to naturalise the obviously man-made water pipe - note the dry gill obviating my need to use the footbridge which crossed here as a ford

Where I crossed the gill higher up - totally dry

Calton trig 

Back down to Airton

On the Pennine Way alongside River Aire, and below, on the way to Newfield Bridge

Newfield Bridge, still on the PW

Haw Crag trig Ingleborough on skyline

Pink at top = Grid line 60 which I am researching, and red line the potential route to follow it, so not relevant to this post. Pennine Way shown by OS green diamonds.

Monday, 12 July 2021

OS Grid 38 (northing) Day16. North Ellerby to THE COAST!

 Saturday 10th July 2020. North Ellerby to the coast - final day - 7.5 miles

There was a modest sea fret from the start today which restricted views but walking temperature was perfect. We drove to Aldbrough from where our Grid 38 line continued another two kilometres to a point on the coast named East Newton. We had researched to find there was a caravan site there and we hoped we would be able to park. On arrival there was nobody about. The site didn't look to be operating and everything was in a run down state. "No parking" and "private"  notices were numerous and we had a bad feeling about parking in any way that may be marginally disapproved of. We drove back up the road to Low Farm where we had a friendly reception and permission to park. I had always thought it would create an anticlimax if we were able to drive to a point where we could  see the finish before we had walked  there so I was  quite pleased about this - we had not been able to see the sea.

We drove back to North Ellerby and set off on quiet lanes. There was not much to report. At one point there was a mountain of chicken manure on the side of the road and BC was all for making the ascent but retreated after a few steps.

Further on a tree was growing in an old bath near a farm. I have been amused by farmers' use of baths as watering troughs in the fields.  I can imagine the farmer telling his wife it's time for a new bath when he finds he has need for yet another in his fields. Seeing the tree in the bath here I wondered if the field baths are eventually allowed to be retired as they often do with horses, and then treated to a planting up of something for them to enjoy?

A couple approached from the other direction with two crazy spaniels. They were locals on a regular walk and we chatted as the two dogs never stopped chasing up and down - spaniels do have an endless capacity for just having fun - great to see.

We walked through Aldbrough where there is an unlikely shop dealing exclusively in second hand lawn mowers. We found the church which has an original tower dating back to the 14th century constructed from rubble that has stood the test of time against the odds. We found a bench in a sheltered corner to have our lunch.

We walked past our farm parking spot to the end of he road but we could see a fisherman walking down on a path from the farm on the cliff top. We took our path from the road and after a few hundred yards we were at last looking out at the North Sea as we stood on the top of a forty foot cliff.

We tracked back to one of the private notices on a gate to try and find where the fisherman must have descended to the shore and we found an excavated trackway leading down to the beach. Using GPS we walked on a couple of hundred yards so we were exactly standing on OS Grid 38. We drew a line in the sand  and took photos then went off and dabbled in the sea.

Walking back up we chatted with the fisherman and got the lowdown on the dubious run down caravan site owner. He has a bad reputation for being unpleasant, uncooperative, and fanatical about trespassers, and we had just walked through his gate with all the notices. We found the clifftop path back to our farm and our car. We had a long friendly chat with the farmer and his father and his young son. Dad had set the four year old up with a lot of free range hens and the lad was said to be already earning over £20 a week -  not a bad start in life. We both bought eggs and then went off to retrieve the other car at North Ellerby and face the two and a half hour drive home. I arrived home about 7:45 with a good bottle of red, some artisan bread and some paté in time to chill out and reflect on a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying completion of this project.

Taken in the morning. BC talking with the farmer after we had obtained permission to park.

It was no go without crampons.

Farmer's bath in retirement enjoying its planting.

Two crazy spaniels and their owners go on their way.

Going into Aldbrough - not sure what this was lost in the sea fret. 

Perhaps the only lawn mower shop in Aldbrough?


Aldbrough church and below, the rubble construction.

Our  exclusive luncheon corner

The North Sea - first sight.

Down to the beach

OS Grid 38

Just saw this much more dimly in the distance - zoom combined with Photoshop reveals only mystery. The hulk was on the water's edge.

Bye bye.