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


Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Trigs OS 103 - east of Burnley

 Monday 23rd. August 2021

Marsden Height           SD 861 361.  270m

Walton's Monument     SD 894 373.  338m

Extwistle Hill               SD 874 339.  242m

Delf Hill                        SD 899 337.  378m

Many trig points have little to offer other than the likelihood of  visiting some obscure location that you wouldn't have done otherwise. Today all four gave me a bit extra.

For Marsden Height I was able to park exactly opposite the short footpath leading to the trig. It was a narrow, dark passageway needing care with large stones strewn underfoot difficult to see  and threatening an ankle twist. Emerging into a rough field the trig was as nondescript as they come. Looking more closely I saw someone had tried to remove the bronze mounting for the surveyor's theodolite but without success - it was so well embedded. That summed up much of what I have read about the history of the making of our best in the world OS maps and the thoroughness and attention to detail that was employed at a time when the Empire was at its height and we saw ourselves as invincible, but the trig point only appeared from 1936 onwards when a re-triangulation of GB was started, but the traditions had lived on.

For more info on trig history CLICK HERE

A drive on narrow roads took me to a lane end I had researched on Google Earth for parking to visit Walton's Monument. I had not taken into account the steep drop off the road taken by this lane end and its rough bouldery surface and I wasn't risking damaging the car. I eventually parked partly up onto the grass verge  with some vulnerability opposite a gate leading to the trig. I was there and back in twenty minutes.

The bonus monument was erected by an eccentric land owner in 1830 for a purpose that is not all that clear if you click on the link below. In so doing he managed to trash a much more ancient menhir to stand his monument upon - goodness knows what was in this guy's mind. Anyway it provided me with quite a good photo with Pendle Hill topped with cloud looking down at all this from the horizon. Pendle is similar to Ingleborough being visible from so many points - I reckon Bowland Climber and to some extent myself have a plethora of photos including this  worthy hill.

CLICK HERE for link re W's Mon.

The next two trigs involved another drive but then a pleasurable four mile walk linking them together. For Extwistle Hill I had to trespass a little and if you look carefully at the OS map (very carefully - see map below) the trig is not located in the only field I could access within reason - it was just over the wall in the next field.  That demonstrates how precise these OS maps are. I  was able to poke the trig with my walking pole and honour was satisfied. I held the camera high and pointed it down to get as much of the trig in the photo as possible. From where I parked the car this had been a westward there and back walk,  then continuing eastwards to take in Delf Hill.

Part of that walk coincided with the Brontë Way which Bowland Climber and I completed in sections  in 2018. Again this trig was plonked in the middle of some moorland with old quarry workings surrounding and little else to say, but I wasn't there long because the trig was home to a wasps nest and they were buzzing all around my head as I took a hurried photo and plodded off to descend a little to get out of the cool breeze and erect my chair for my elevenses, I spent longer than normal enjoying the luxury of this newly discovered piece of furniture - I am sure now that this is going to be a winner on future day walks.

I descended further through the quarry workings watching some youths on trail bikes performing suicidal ascents and descents that their mothers would not have approved of. I returned by a private water board  grassy track providing impeccable walking, entered and exited by padlocked gates which I had to climb.

Trig points rule!

The rocky path on the way to Marsden Height

Marsden Height

Hammer and chisel defeated. I think the casting has a long tube going down into the concrete - it had of course to be ultra stable for the accuracy of measurements required.

Some interesting moss/lichen accumulated on one side of the pillar

Walton's Monument and distant Pendle Hill

Walton's Mon. trig

On the way to Extwistle Hill - perhaps beyond the point of no return - pity.

Pokeable distance with my walking pole

Looking back on part of the walk coinciding with the Brontë Way

Delf Hill - home to wasps. I didn't stay long

The dot of the trig is on the other side of the wall. My exact route entered the field at the buildings bottom left and then diagonally to the corner of the adjacent field.

Red route is the Brontē Way and/or Blackpool to Sea 

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Trigs 103 - Singing Tree plus three

Wednesday 18th  August 2021

Thieveley Pike      SD 872 271     449m.
Merrill Head          SD 884 297    329m
Black Hameldon    SD 914291     479m

I'm sure you'll all be thrilled to read that I've ticked off another three of the 66 trig points on OS 1:50 - Sheet 103. That leaves another 49 still for your enjoyment.

Feeling masochistic and annoyed with myself for missing Tuesday, the only good weather day this week I set off for an hour's drive just to do these three trigs each only around one kilometre from a road. All three were visited in low cloud, eighty yard or less visibility and with on and off drizzly rain.

Thieveley started from one of those typical Pennine farm buildings on a lonely road side with piles of stone, other building materials and broken down vehicles from projects long abandoned. A path involving four stiles and two gates within one kilometre rose gently through rough moorland with reeds predominant. There were several places where disused fencing wire had been left half concealed in the vegetation, something of which I am particularly wary having broken my arm as a result of something similar. Within  five minutes I found my current waterproof boots were no longer waterproof and I spent the rest of the trip with wet feet.  My son speculates that this is my ideal kind of day - the more suffering the better - he may be right. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I did have a sneaky feeling of guilt for using the car to drive between, and only walking less than three miles overall. I had a small reward at Thieveley trig, it was inscribed with a woefully cribbed version of "Once more unto the breach..."which I suspect was put up before England lost in the final.

Having walked close to the Singing Tree ( a sculpture that blows music in the wind) on my  Berwick to Castle Cary walk and dithered before deciding it was too far off route, and having driven close by several times within the last few months I decided to have look in between the first two trigs. See photo below and also a shaky video I took, mainly so I could capture the sound. If you want to know more and see some splendid photos  CLICK HERE

Thieveley Pike - you can just see the quotation top left of left side and see close up below. The surrounding terrain sums up the atmosphere of this dreich day

On the way back - a makeshift sheep shearing station. There were daggins of wool scattered far and wide around here. In my youth in Bradford I had friends who worked with wool in its raw state and the word daggins was often used. I was mildly surprised to find it under "dag" in my Chambers dictionary. 

The Singing Tree. I'm thinking of entering some of today's photos for Photographer of the Year

Merrill Head - exciting?

Looking back down to my car from Merrill Head - this could be my entry for the photo competition.

At the lay-by parking for Black Hameldon Hill. I've not seen one of these before on my recent travels in this area

Hameldon Hill.  There was a good but splodgy track all the way. Heather was well in bloom and seemed to glow in the strange light of this dismal day.A quick touch, turn around and off back -easy? For a couple of minutes I couldn't find the path I had approached on.

You will see that I have made no attempt to edit this. At least you do hear the sound now and again against the roar of the wind. The first few seconds are priceless


Saturday, 14 August 2021

More models - Citroen and Alfa

My return to model making, a pursuit I followed as a youngster and teenager demands certain parameters. The subject must be something I have a feeling for be it nostalgic or for the aesthetic attraction of the design. 

The last completed model qualified on both counts. Unfortunately I made a hash of the painting and out of the dozen or so models I have now completed this was the worst relative to my satisfaction with the result and I have held back from posting photos about this..

The Citroen Traction 11CV was produced in 1934  and used throughout WW2. The Traction had  advanced features including a monocoque chassis and front wheel drive, both ahead of their time. The body design was pure French élégance. The occupying Germans valued the Citroen and adopted it as a useful staff car. But the French Resistance also  made use of this icon so for me this was a model with qualifying pedigree.

Here is a photo of one obviously restored and looking its best.

As I was working on my model I was reminded of Saturday 30th June 2007 during my French Gorges walk - here is the entry from my journal for that day. Recalling all this has again brought a tear to my eye.

Saturday 30th June: St Saturnin les Apts to Sault

A long climb to start with to the deserted and overgrown village of Travignon; this is an atmospheric place reminiscent of an Inca town buried in the jungle; there is a strange complex mediaeval looking system of wells above the village forming what was the fresh water system.

Waymarks disappeared, and the route description in my guide only inspired modest confidence in my progress, but this was eventually confirmed correct by a wayside memorial to four French Resistance fighters killed on this path during the war. I felt very moved here, being so close to what must have been a tragic scene with these men being gunned down by German troops in this remote spot.



Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider 1300

All these parts have been primed with a grey spray primer

Chassis painted. Engine built up and painted and installed. I added the plug leads (not in the kit) made from very thin copper wire painted. Colour etc. obtained from Internet photos.


Two photos of the lower part pf the Citroen before I trashed the paint job on the main bodywork. These photos show my deliberate "weathering" effects of rust and grime on the underneath of the chassis.


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