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


Saturday, 26 February 2022

Trigs 103 - Final trig of 76 - Crookrise Crag

Friday 25th February 2022

Crookrise Crag - SD 987 559 - 415m.

Well here it is. The completed spreadsheet with all 76 ticked off:

Probably too small to read even with "click-to-enlarge" but shown just to indicate how I have managed this project

As promised I rendezvoused with BC at the car park in Embsay so we could both indulge in some nostalgia visiting this final trig on OS Sheet 103, "Blackburn and Burnley." Crookrise Crag is a superb example of Yorkshire gritstone for climbing - I had only been there once before back in the 60s but BC had climbed there much more frequently.

We had a fabulous blue sky day so welcome  after recent storms and foul weather. A footpath lead straight from the free car park in Embsay up to the church and then onto tracks to ascend Embsay Crag, our first objective. That crag dominates the village of Embsay and it was a stiff climb up to the summit. From there we had to descend and loose all our height  before embarking on the more direct approach to Crookrise, but we had purposely devised our route to give us a decent five snd a half mile walk, and including Embsay crag was certainly worth the effort. That is a proper little mountain and our descent followed a lively, enchanting stream and ravine, the stream coming down with a fair force and sparkling in the bright sunshine - all good stuff.

As we progressed up the track to Crookrise we had views across to Deer Gallows Crag (SD 999 555) which is only depicted vaguely on the OS 1:25 but when seen it is a dramatic feature, the crag being split into two halves with substantial climbing options on all sides. BC reminisced with previously unheard anecdotes about his many visits to this area, and in particular a massive day when they climbed on all the other surrounding outcrops including Crookrise and Deer Gallows.  I was pleased that BC had come along to re-live all that.

From the trig we tried to descend so we could walk back along the bottom of the climbing crags but we failed to find any path or reasonable way down and spent some time up and down on steeply wooded slopes strewn with boulders and heather. Eventually we went back onto the top and then further on, along our return route we found a stile and path that lead down to one of the major climbing buttresses. I think BC was regretting not having brought his climbing gear as we had a good look at this immaculate rock and then climbed back out then descend returning to Embsay around the western side of Embsay Reservoir.

This had been a splendid day out and a worthy finale to this trig point campaign. Having said that I am looking forward to driving north rather than south for more day walks on the edges of the Yorkshire Dales.

Embsay crag, a proper little mountain - it dominates the village of Embsay

Embsay church

View from Embsay Crag summit. Our return route was round the far edge of the reservoir

From Embsay Crag. Our trig is atop the centre skyline. We had to descend and then climb back out. A cross country route on pathless moorland was discussed and discarded

Enchanting lively stream and ravine on our descent

Looking back at our descent from Embsay Crag

Trying to find a way back down to the crags proper

Zoom to Deer Gallows, over half a mile away
Down at one of the proper climbing buttresses

BC regrets not bringing his climbing gear

I'm working on the meaning of the additional (V.C.) I have a source but awaiting a reply*

1800 ft. of ascent !

*Reply now received from my friend and member of my book reading group - he is a retired minister.

The school would have almost certainly been a Church of England School (unless it was Jewish).

VC stands for "Voluntary Controlled"

There are two types of C of E (often abbreviated by LEAs to CE) school: Voluntary Aided (VA), and Voluntary Controlled (VC).

VA schools are those where the bare majority (often 7 out of 12) governors are appointed by the C of E (parish and diocese working together), whereas VC schools are those where the C of E has about a quarter of the governors. As the governors appoint staff and decide the style of daily worship, they directly affect the character of the school. It is an oddity that the term "Controlled" turns out to be deceptive as the church does not control a VC school, whereas it does a VA school. For the privilege of being a VA school, the church has to pay directly for 10% of maintenance costs (building and repairs) of the building.

All this was set out in the 1944 Education Act, but with many amendments (including many subsequent Education Acts) since then.

Obviously my answer cannot be very accurate since I have been out of it all for nearly eight years, but what I have stated above is still applicable.

All good wishes,


Model update.

Lanz Bulldog. A German industrial tractor, circa 1936. Construction and painting has been challenging.
The kit comes with a long cargo trailer containing large cable reels; that is currently work-in-progress so more to follow. I have tried hard with the weathering of the paint and the rust coming through, and the two very rusty chimneys.

I wonder what Alan Rayner will make of this one?

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

How to discipline your offspring?

 So, Putin has been told to go and sit on the Naughty Step. Hmm!

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Trigs 103. Totridge Fell

Wednesday 9th  February 2022

Totridge Fell   SD 634 487  496m - 1366ft. of ascent

The last but one of this campaign to visit all 76 trig points on Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Sheet 103: Blackburn and Burnley, and a worthwhile contender for best of the bunch. Having said that I am looking forward to the promised nostalgia visit to the final trig at Crookrise Crag with BC.

When I arrived at the bottom of the Trough of Bowland at 9:00am there was a special kind of golden light with the sun catching some of the higher hills.

Once out onto the proper hillside I started getting views back down into the valley and the bowl of the Trough. I found myself stopping frequently, not for rests but from a kind of enhanced compulsion to take in that particular atmosphere and light. I had a sense of being part of,  and inside a massive bowl of surrounding hills often overlapping each other, and here and there more distant views through the cols and passes. I have had a lifetime of walking in the hills but this experience was somehow different and more intense, no jokes please about hallucinants. Much has been said recently about walking as a benefit for mental health and I have no doubt that is the case. My whole being was rejuvenated on this walk and I was so thankful to still be capable of getting out onto proper hill country.

After stiff climbing I arrived at the peat hag surrounded trig. A modest plaque was attached which read:

Bill Smith

1935 - 2011

Fell running legend

died on these hills

Bill Smith was a formidable fell runner and author on the subject holding many records including number of peaks visited within 24 hours in the Lake District. Bill lived alone. It seems he had been running in these hills and was not missed until he failed to turn up as a marshal a few weeks later at an FRA event. His body was found submerged in a peat bog somewhere not far from my trig. There is a detailed entry in Wikipedia covering details of Bill as a person and his achievements and it is certainly  worth a read Bill was obviously very highly regarded as a person as well as for his achievements by the fell running fraternity and sadly missed.

I only unearthed all this on my return home, but it is sobering to think how easy it can be to succumb in those wild surroundings even for the experienced.

I had decided to head north west from the trig to descend into the Hareden Beck valley and follow the Land Rover track on the other side of the beck back to my start. A fairly easy but pathless moorland descent brought me down to Hareden Beck. It was in full spate. There was nowhere I could find to cross. I followed downstream traversing awkwardly the steep banking up and down above the stream. Eventually, after I had covered about two thirds of the distance of the inviting Land Rover track high on the opposite side I came across a large tree that had fallen across the beck. I am glad that nobody took a video of my antics on the crossing. I was glad to get back on the coveted track and erected my portable chair and sat in comfort with my sandwich and coffee somewhat later than planned.

Oh! It was so good to get back out into those hills again. 

Looking up The Trough from my car park. The lower part of my route ascends on the left

I branched off to the left shortly after this onto the proper hillside and the long climb to my trig

Looking back down my line of ascent. The views were improving almost step by step

Note my long early morning shadow

Wild country

Hareden beck. I had to continue on the steep banking on this side being unable to cross to the Land Rover track above

My tree crossing

Little red arrows show the Land Rover Track Hareden beck is in between that and my blue route

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Ducati finished with aid of a paint stirrer.

Sunday 6th February 2022

The Ducati 916 motor cycle is finished. This has been the second most intricate model I have made, the other being the Severn Class lifeboat.

Below are photos from each side and looking down onto the top, and then the finished model. I elected not to attach the two main side panels. After all the labour and the pleasing results of the innards of the bike I couldn't bear to cover that all up.

Suggest click photos to enlarge

A couple of weeks ago during this build which has been ongoing since Christmas I purchased a paint stirrer. The little pots of paint I mainly use get the rims of the jars messed up with paint by shaking to mix and then from wiping off brushes on the edges. The battery powered stirrer proved to be the best thing I have bought that I didn't know I needed for quite some time. That sent me wondering about other items which have given me much satisfaction over the years, often of modest nature compared with the little burst of pleasure every time they are used. Here are a few, there are of course others. I acknowledge a debt to brother RR who comments here and whose first attempt at blogging carried the title of Works Well which summarised items in a similar way. 

The paint stirrer

Vegetable peeler

A dainty little spatula used in the kitchen almost daily for a wide range of tasks

Stainless steel cafetière. I got fed up with the glass ones breaking - this is super efficient combined with classic design

An Odlo base layer I have had for years. Odlo are a lesser known outdoor clothing manufacturer from Norway. This garment has an extremely light jersey knit which belies its ability to create immediate warmth in relation to its light weight. Mine after perhaps twenty years has become laddered in places and must be nearing the end of its usefulness. Unfortunately, like many manufacturers they discontinue lines that have been winners just for the sake of updating their catalogue. I have searched in vain for a replacement but never found anything nearly as good. I have met several fellow outdoories over the years who are familiar with this product and its disappointing discontinuation. See close-up below of the fine knit.

Swiss Army knife. Not used so often but when it is needed it is much appreciated. The quality is legendary

An inexpensive lamp that illuminates my travails on the computer. Especially at night-time it creates a cosy atmosphere when the main room light is tuned off to avoid me being seen as a goldfish in a bowl by passers by outside.
For me tea must be HOT. This stainless steel vacuum flask/jug does the job to perfection when my breakfast routine involves several cups of tea whilst I munch my toast and marmalade and look at the news on the computer over perhaps an hour. Any other kind of teapot would  useless for me. Here again there is pleasure in the design

Ikea long handled shoehorn. At my age bending down to don footwear is onerous. I have several of these placed at strategic places in the house and importantly in the car. There is a design fault in that the white plastic decoration you can see is inlaid into the main plastic cresting a weakness and then a tendency to breaking. This one has been repaired bodged by me

A new boiler installed a few years ago. I had put up with one much inferior for years which struggled to provide water hot enough for a satisfactory bath. Asking advice from my plumber regarding a replacement he told me to buy the biggest I could afford. This one is specified for a four bedroom house so it is overkill for my two bedroom dormer bungalow. For me a hot bath after a long walk or toiling in the garden is one of the greatest pleasures in life and this Worcester product is well on top of the job and has never broken down in the last four yers or so.

Fail-safe method of tying shoe/boot laces. When you take the turn round the first bow take two turns instead. Your laces will  rarely come undone. I have shown this to many people but it seems to be greeted with a negative reaction as though I am trying to foist something irritating onto them.That has always been a bit of a mystery to me. Although it is slightly more tricky to do the result is something I value perhaps  out of proportion.