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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


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



  1. Excellent.
    Hope you are recovering.

  2. I flinched just reading the account of your fall. I hope you’ve consumed that bottle of red to speed recovery.

  3. The ground seems to get harder as I get older. The shock of hitting the unforgiving ground is not a pleasant one. I'm glad to hear you didn't suffer any long term ill-effects from your tumble.
    Re: the yellow catch on the gate, I spotted a couple in the Peak District last week, they look very pretty....but why?

  4. a/. it's greek
    b/. it is U v d L 's party colours

  5. simply means
    beware of the dog

  6. I'm very glad that the results of you fall weren't any worse. Whilst not falling is obviously preferable, if you are going to have a nasty tumble, then just before the end has got to be better than at the furthest point from the car.

  7. I didn't absorb the news of your fall, being 'waylaid' by turning your rhetorical questions into smart-ass answers:
    as others have said, thank goodness it turned out 'lucky' - but so nearly much nastier than you yourself suggested.
    If you are going to do this again, remember what we have always said
    - 'do it on high' -
    and earn the usual epitaph :- 'he was doing what he loved' . . . !

  8. BC - I replied on your last post with my update
    Afoot - I hope I have no more events to inflict you with further flinching.

    JJ - yellow gate catches? some things are probably better left just to ponder about.
    gimmer - Don't know what party your abbreviation refers to. Are you just guessing at the translation or is mastery of Greek language another of your talents? I tried the "on-high" version years ago when I cut a vein in my leg coming down Nan Bield, but as my presence here indicates, without the glory you refer to; I managed to hobble down and out on my own.
    Gayle - That thought about it occurring only a short distance from the end came to me also. "Always look on the bright side."

  9. Are you a 'diva' or a 'diver'?
    Get well soon, anyway, and don't trip over that paint pot!

  10. Phreerunner -

    Sir Hugh’s friends said he was a diva
    But He preferred to be a diver.
    He took a header into the grass
    Causing his preference to pass,
    And so he became a survivor.

    Sent from my iPhone

    On 22 Apr 2021, at 08:57, Conrad Robinson wrote:


  11. Excellent. Good to know your sense of humour hasn't been blottoed by your header.

  12. I saw several more of those yellow latches on metal gates today, no obvious explanation but obviously the local authorities have bought a batch lot.

  13. Yellow latch strikers
    other then the undesirable political colour , delving deep into a vaguely recalled snippet of info I came across quite by chance some time ago, i'm sure I read somewhere that these yellow components are both that colour and that material (are they metal or plastic) as it is more visible to some body or class of persons or in certain circumstances - maybe partially sighted or colourblind or at night - than if plain galvanised steel - possibly something to do with horses and their riders - or glowing in torch light - something of the sort hums at the back of my mind . . . maybe they dont make a noise is slammed
    a quick search by Duck Duck Go reveals `:

    An alternative gate latch that can be used on footpaths only and is normally used in conjunction with a two way self closing catch.
    As part of the revisions to improve gate accessibility you will note that the latch and catch parts of a gate that need to be operated in order to open it are now painted RAL 1021 Yellow. This colour shade is used to assist in identifying which parts are used to open a gate (especially useful for people that are visually impaired) and also show the options to open the gate using either the handle or being able to lift the auto latch pawl instead.

  14. Agreed - is nothing sacred - that desperate scrabbling for the latch in the half-light of a winter twilight as the dog/bull/crazed ram - or whatever - thunders towards your nxxxx bxx as you try to escape from the effects of too much red triangle Bass . . . near fatal panic to be soothed away by unerring fingers operating the RAL 1021 auto-pawl . What ever next ? Stiles like proximity sensor auto-operational paternoster lifts perhaps (an idea after your own heart, I imagine) ?

  15. gimmer - Why stop there? Let's start painting continuous yellow lines along all the long distance paths in the country and perhaps some sort of flashing "lighthouse" on all the summit cairns, coded of course, so you wouldn't find yourself up the wrong hill by mistake.