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


Thursday, 29 April 2021

Three no-names

 Wednesday 28th April 2021 -  two unnamed summits and an unnamed tarn south of Ings 

I suppose it is a bit selfish when I am annoyed when the media publish "the 10 quietest secret places for a walk" or something similar. I have my own such gems and on the whole I'm not particularly keen to broadcast them, but this is one I hope I will be sharing with my readers who are, I believe, mainly like minded souls.

My first ever visit discovered the little hill (spot height 249m on the map below.) The spiky rocky  summit is only ten minutes from the  minor minor-road but for me it qualifies as a mountain with a character of its own. That narrow, steep road from the A591 at Ings involved opening four gates which is no problem if you have a companion, but drivers more indolent may not think it is worth that effort for such a miniature reward - I think those gates go a long way to preserving the peace of this little area.

The last time I visited was in July 2019 -  one of my most pleasurable outings, especially being in the company of granddaughter Katie - the post with the included walk is worth a read supported by jolly photos.


From my first ever visit I had spotted an extensive and pretty tarn down below the other side of my mini mountain. Looking at the map there are no footpaths or public rights of way over an extensive area surrounding the tarn. Neither my hill nor the tarn have names even on the OS 1:25 map, another reason perhaps for their continued tranquility. On another visit I met an angler just setting off to angle in the tarn and we chatted and I realised there must be a way round the shoulder of my hill though the various field boundaries. Today I ascended the peak, dropped down the other side and walked round the tarn, ascended another high point to the north, spot height 222m. and returned by the aforementioned angler's path. That second peak was the third unnamed feature visited and much understated its standing when I had a whole new view of the A591 winding far down below with the backdrop of the Kentmere hills behind.

This less than two mile outing belied its apparent value and long may it continue to do so.

From the 249m summit with the surprise view of the tarn in a good sized area with, supposedly, no public access

Looking back to 249m from the far side of the tarn

Number three unnamed is at the peak of the route furthest north

Research tells me angling rights on the tarn are held by the Windermere and Ambleside Angling Association - membership waiting list with subs of £185.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Clougha and a bit of culture.

 Monday 26th April 2021 - Clougha Pike - Grit Fell

The objective today: Andy Goldsworthy's installation near (supposedly) Clougha Pike. Andy is a British sculptor who has created many drystone wall works of art scattered around the globe and other varied artwork. Have a look at Wikipedia if you want to learn more of his metaphysical rationales for his works and his biography.

With Lockdown at bay and spring on the march I wore shorts for the first time this year.

Four years ago I ascended Clougha Pike with full knowledge of a dire forecast for a foul day with persistent rain and limited visibility. That could only have been indulgent masochism. I had already walked a couple of miles before seeing these cyclists at the Jubilee Tower from where I launched off into peat bog and swamp.  Click here if you want to know more.

Today was complete contrast with blue sky and in company with BC. We were on old tracks including an old cobbled lane where we found the "relic of all relics" for my photo file of abandoned and decaying items in the countryside. At a farm we chatted and learnt of the arduous efforts made in the early days of industrial revolution  to divert water for wheel powered mills. We crossed the path of the aqueduct that runs by gravity only from Haweswater to supply Manchester. The line is dotted with the unique waterboard iron gates, often stood alone in the middle of fields.

Rather than cross pathless moorland from Clougha summit to Andy's installation we went by Grit Fell and then onto a proper road scarring across the moorland for the grouse shooters. Grouse were evident frequently and unusually tame, probably because all their predators have been exterminated.

Andy's triple thingy was impressive, and even more so when viewed from inside where the drystone structure is  skilfully corbelled so that one seemed to be inside an egg. Andy Goldsworthy's features are certainly worth a visit. I have been to others and they are not always easy to access.

As we marched on the long descending grouse road BC was reminded of a climbing quarry which he had helped to pioneer many years ago. We only located this after having passed by and a chance look back after being distracted by crossing an aqueduct for the aforementioned pipeline from Haweswater. This was a substantial multi-arch affair demonstrating the amount of effort expended just to cross a tiny stream in a deep ravine, and that along with many other similar engineering endeavours over the 70 miles or so distance.  Construction took place between 1933 and 1955. 

We retraced to the quarry to find a couple of climbers in situ and BC was able to have a good old reminisce.

Another fifteen minutes on a good path had us back to our parking at Rigg Lane.

Onto tracks after half a mile walking down the road from the car parking

Old cobbled lane - atmospheric Industrial Revolution stuff

What a gem of a relic. Note also the old barn behind

With the help of the Chrysler badge on the bonnet I was able to identify the model back at home

Avenger, early/mid seventies. It was a good rally car in its day but not much good otherwise.

Good going on the way to Clougha

Why do they use this stuff.? I suspect it is some kind of subconscious protest

Clougha summit

I've become as bit carried away recently putting rondels on my model aircraft - it must be catching

A lonely pine. Pining for the The Two Blondes to come and decorate at Christmas?

Conspiracy theorists may say they are Stone Age beam-me-up-machines?

The Haweswater pipeline aqueduct. The quarry is behind my left shoulder

Monday, 19 April 2021

East from Galgate

Saturday 17th April 2021 - Lanes and tracks east of Galgate

The priority today was to avoid a repeat of the 20th November 2020.  That was the last "walk" I didn't have with Bowland Climber since the last Lockdown. I had left the engine running on my car at home to defrost, and then came back inside, then setting off leaving the car keys in the house. Arriving and parking at Hoddlesden I  found I couldn't re-start the car without the magic key. The walk was aborted. I arrived back home several hours later on the back of a Green Flag transporter. See the link below if you want  more detail.

Click here

I was looking forward today to being able to walk on new terrain together with a good friend,  but failed in my vow to avoid high drama similar to last November 20th. 

A circular walk just short of eight miles was plotted and I met BC to park just off M6 Jct. 33. Slightly boring fields climbing steadily gave way to more interesting tracks and lanes passing through  a number of isolated farms. The scenery became better and better including  a bonus trig point. We noticed an unfamiliar feature ahead on the OS map showing rows of geometrical squares on either side of a minor road over a two hundred metre distance. We altered the route slightly to investigate. Inspection suggested these were dilapidated remains of brick built ammunition storage units from WW2 erected at supposedly  prudent distances apart, and located in the-middle-of-nowhere.

I have often written about having no problem with my own company, but I have missed walks with good friends and found myself perhaps approaching the limits of enforced isolation.  Today was a massive boost to my wellbeing, apart from the grand finale - read on...  

About half a mile from our finish we took a short footpath to avoid some road walking.

Only having done short walks over the last six months or so with the odd six miler thrown in I think I was tiring a little and just after climbing the umpteenth stile I tripped on a small dead branch which I had noticed and cautioned myself to avoid. I went down with force onto my forehead  driving my neck down into my spine like forcing a  reluctant jack-plug into its hole. I had a huge area of pain all across my left shoulder as though it had been wafted with a  blow-lamp and my neck was pretty painful.  I recovered fairly quickly except for ongoing pain and discomfort and we arrived back at the cars with no further bother. After hot bath and a good meal which thankfully I found  had been prepared by my son I was off to bed by 8:30 leaving unopened an intended bottle of red.

It is now Monday and although my neck is still stiff I am more or less recovered that was a close run thing - I could have been in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. 

Mushroom farm opposite the gate leading into the fields for our proper start.

On the aforementioned gate why had they gone to the trouble of painting the latch yellow? I think many of these gates have been funded by the EEC

After a couple of these mundane fields we had left the roar of the M6 behind to walk on more amenable paths and tracks

BC started chatting to this guy who at first ignored him. He then apologised, explaining that he was counting twenty eight turns on an adjusting handle of his grass sowing machinery

Distant view of Lancaster University

I just liked the look of this

One of several isolated farms we passed through. Here we had chatted to a guy who was re-painting the front fender assembly of a VW van - a project that had been on-going for three years - the progress so far of haphazardly applied primer didn't bode well for the finished result 

One of the better of many many stiles

Typical of the terrain we were covering except to say we were actually off route here - good conversation detracts from careful navigation and I prefer to have it that way round rather than the opposite.

Our bonus trig point with classy dry stone walling to accompany

Here they had a flagpole with the union jack, but see the sign on their gate below.

One could have an odds on go at the meaning but can anybody translate for certain? Surely their word for "dog" doesn't have so many letters?

WW2 ammunition store remains. There were rows of them on either side of the road. See depiction on map below

This and the next two photos were taken on a wrong camera setting. I applied "auto colour correction" in Photoshop Elements to the other two with quite  good results

I don't know how old this is but the inscription reads"Bamords' (sic) Perfect Root Cutter." I guessed
this must relate to JC Bamford of JCB fame but they were only founded just after the war and this item dates back, I think, to the early 1900s.

Here we were off route. The proper path came in from the right over the near stile. We had to do a mini Grand National to get back on course. No, We didn't go through the top two slats on the gate, just my omission with Elements eraser.

Ammunition remains not shown on OS 1:50 - see below on 1OS 1:25

Red dots show our diversion from original plot


Friday, 2 April 2021

Severn Class lifeboat

 Friday 2nd April 2021

Severn class lifeboat - work-in-progress

Airfix were the pioneers of plastic modelling. They arose from producing other items from 1939 and produced the first plastic injection moulded kit in 1949 when they were commissioned by Ferguson Tractors to make a model of the Ferguson TE 20 tractor. In order to make that worthwhile Airfix made this in quantity to retail through Woolworths as a kit to assemble at a cost of two shillings.

Airfix were taken over by Humbrol and then both by Hornby. The history is quite interesting and worth a look on Wiki.

From my re-entry into this hobby I have concluded that the quality of Airfix kits, although pretty good, has been overtaken by the Japanese Tamiya who produce kits of outstanding quality. I have built from both these sources including this current effort from Airfix.

Quality is defined by:

1. Detail and crispness of moulding.

2. The way parts go together. Airfix have a lot of butt joins whereas Tamiya more often engineer proper joints.

3. Clarity and accuracy of instructions. I have found a few wrongly described positioning with Airfix and a scanty colour identification of parts. Even when indicated they just show a colour number which one then has to cross-check with their colour catalogue - Tamiya give you the colour and number on the instructions.

4. The parts come on several "sprues". With Tamiya parts are numbered and the numbers are logically close together on the  sprue in number order. With Airfix they are scattered over four sprues at random on this current kit. It can take lots of time searching for a particular part  - very irritating.

Kits from most manufacturers have highly attractive artwork on the boxes to lure you in, but they are also useful as reference during the build.

With this kit there are four of these sprues. Some parts have already been detached here. From the start the sprues are washed in warm soapy water to remove injection moulding release agents. Most modellers then spray prime all the parts in situ on the sprue

Here the hull parts are held together with masking tape to keep the butt joins in place while glue dries

I bought a set of 1/72 scale figures to paint and add a more lifelike presentation