Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 31 July 2021

Another parkrun at Wythenshawe

The solitude of my regular (not)parkrun - see the picture in De Quincey park above during my 400th or so (not)parkrun - was in stark contrast to this morning's parkrun at Wythenshawe, where 301 participants enjoyed three socially distanced laps around the football pitches, aided and encouraged by numerous volunteers.

My time, 25:52, was a bit quicker than last week, mainly due to my efforts to keep up with Rufus, a task in which I failed despite Rufus needing to stop to empty his bowels.

Afterwards, many of us braved the long queue for coffees etc at the Courtyard Café.

The 'management' spotted our table, idling the morning away, so we were given the task of sorting all 301 barcodes into order so that they can be handed out next week.

We love that job! Almost back to 'normal' apart from the hand sanitiser.

Friday 30 July 2021

April 1980 - Granny's Ramble and Bob's Saunter

Here are some more scanned slides and diary entries from April 1980.

On 20 April, five of us enjoyed a stroll around Over Haddon in the Peak District on a dull day.

Lunch was taken in the shelter of a wall near Youlgrave.

Nick tried to lay an egg.

He recovered later to both compose and then type out a diary entry:

I can't really add to that...

The following Sunday, 27 April, I enjoyed a 'saunter' in the South Pennines with Bob and Annie.

Bob is pictured here on stepping stones near Hebden Bridge.

We walked through the woodland of Hardcastle Crags, an area visited many times subsequently on both the 'Calderdale Hike' and the 'Calderdale Mountain Bike Marathon'.

We passed close to this disused mill.

My red pullover seems to have been superseded by an equally chunky blue one. These pullovers, knitted by Dot, were used over a period of many years. It's a shame that none survive to this day.

It was my turn to write the diary entry for 'Bob's Saunter' and I'm pleased to say that Nick's typing endurance wasn't really tested!

Next - an early Scottish backpacking trip. A quick glance at the slides is encouraging, so it's 'Happy Scanning' whilst I listen to the Olympic Games commentaries and the rain drums on the office window.

Thursday 29 July 2021

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 69: 19 May 2016)

22 km further on from our mountain top campsite, we'd passed the Black Bothy and reached an enticing sward of grass about 3km short of our intended destination. It was 4:30, and rain could be imminent. So we stopped at NH 889 325 at a height of 390 metres. Another excellent spot.

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Saturday 12 April 1980 - 'The Big Walk'

Only a few days after returning from Mull, Nick, John, Dave, Ian and I rose early and drove to Yorkshire Bridge.

Our objective was the 'Derwent Watershed Walk', as described on Page 171 of 'The Big Walks' book published in 1980 by Diadem. (I know this entry will have some readers reaching for their copy of that book to re-read Phil Cooper's narrative.) Our own diary entry, assiduously typed up by Nick, is reproduced at the foot of this posting.

By 7am we had parked up at the start, gone over Win Hill, and were walking into the village of Hope, as pictured above.

We made good progress over Mam Tor and other tops, reaching Brown Knoll by 9:30, with Ian lagging behind - just pacing himself.

In increasing wind, we strode onwards to Kinder Downfall, reached at 10:40, where we enjoyed a ten minute break.

Bleaklow Head and the Wain Stones were reached by 13:30. Ian found time to gobble down his lunch and practice his climbing skills on the stones. It was a fine day to be out - a blue sky day, but dry enough for peat dust to be flying annoyingly in the wind as we continued across the Bleaklow moonscape.

We continued under the blue sky, pausing more and more frequently for rests. On reflection, the dry conditions across Featherbed Moss probably saved us a lot of time. 

Ian took this picture of the rest of us near Moscar. Apart from the boots, we are probably wearing much the same clothes as we would wear to the pub - apart perhaps from John's breeches. Karrimor 'Hot Air' type day sacks helped keep down the weight we were carrying.

Finishing at the Yorkshire Bridge Inn soon after 20:00, was considered very satisfactory. 14 hours for the 40 mile circuit, starting and finishing in scarce daylight. It seemed to me very like a circular Lyke Wake Walk (a 40 mile walk across the Yorkshire Moors that I'd done many times).

Here's the route - arrows are at 1 km intervals.

The Big Walks book shows it a bit better:

There follows the diary entry made (mostly by me) at the time, possibly just good for a chuckle from some of those present. Sadly, John, whose contribution to the diary entry was quite apposite: "Tussocks", passed away in December 2016. I'm sure the rest of us could still do this walk if so inclined, if not quite in 14 hours.

Happy Days! And many memories of the Plaza Cafe on Upper Brook Street, were many a chicken biryani sated the appetite.

Tuesday 27 July 2021

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 68: 18 May 2016)

After nights in the Cnoc Hotel at Struy, Lovat Bridge Campsite, and a B&B in Inverness, we finally got to wild camp again on the 548 metre summit of Beinn Bhuidhe Mhor (NH 786 406).

It was blowing a gale, otherwise a comfortable flat site. Some fellrunners whose training involved running up and down this hill seemed somewhat surprised to find us there. On the misty evening we were equally surprised to see them!

The following morning we woke to good views over the Moray Firth and many miles of peat hags ahead of us.

Monday 26 July 2021

4 to 8 April 1980 - Another Visit to Mull

4/4/80 (Good Friday) - a red letter day in the annals of diary records of our ('our' = numerous different people) trips. Laurie's bird watching notebook was stolen, and Nick recorded the events of the long weekend by way of small, spidery writing on 45 pages of the said A6 notebook.

I'm not, you'll be relieved to hear, going to try to type out the drivel lengthy novel that resulted from Nick's efforts, as some time later Nick himself typed out those words onto eleven pages of redundant audit programme stationery.

There were 14 of us, many of whom located themselves in Tobermory Youth Hostel. The rest utilised the small lawn just above high tide that I discovered in 1971. This was a few minutes walk from Tobermory along the path to the lighthouse.

Ruaridh McPentax busied himself in some rock pools.

We went for a walk near Tobermory.

On 5 April (Easter Saturday) we visited Iona.

Back at camp, on Sunday 6 April, breakfast was served from a cacophony of pans.

We climbed to the summit of Beinn Fhada, with fine views across the island.

From Beinn Fhada, it's a ridge walk to the summit of Ben More.

Here we are on Beinn Fhada's summit. 702 metres.

Yours truly atop Ben More (966 metres).

The last picture taken on this day is of Laurie, descending along a cornice.

On 7 April, Easter Monday, I started with another campsite picture.

Most of us enjoyed a coastal walk towards Treshnish Point, after Dave had open-mouthedly watched a dog cock its leg against his rucksack in Tobermory.

Ian demonstrated 'three shades of Ian':




We tried to rescue a sheep that was stuck on a ledge above a dizzy drop. We failed. A farmer arrived and pulled it to safety.

The next slide is annotated 'View from Ulva Ferry', but perusal of the diary leads me to doubt whether we actually went to Ulva.

Back at camp, Ian did his Tarzan impression.

Here's an evening view from my tent.

Tuesday 8 April saw us waiting at Fishnish for the ferry to Lochaline and the long drive home.

A view from the road to Fort William

Loch Linnhe

The view towards Fort William from Kilmalieu

Here's the last of my pictures, taken on the approach to the Corran Ferry.

Recently, Bob Selig has sent me a bundle of scanned images. It's hard to relate them to specific trips, but I think those that follow may have been taken during this long Easter weekend.

Dave Simms

Alison and David

Dave and Liz

Nell, Liz, Dave and Johnathan

On the ferry back to Oban - looks like I'm already editing Nick's diary writing.

The next 21 images are Nick's typed up version of the contemporaneous diary from this trip. If you weren't there they will probably make no real sense. If you were there they may well appear to be a work of Nick's imagination. You may need to click on the images and view them as a slideshow in order to read them, should you feel so inclined. (I did enjoy reading it, Nick!)

References to the 'back' of the car refer to the boot, which was frequently used to accommodate passengers in those days. Any reference to frogspawn relates to a bag of frogspawn that was captured and taken to Manchester for Nell's six year old son Mark! Perhaps Mark will remember what happened to it?

Nell remembers: The frogspawn hatched out as frogs – well observed process -  then we took them to the nearest bit of water and disposed (or released, depending om how you look at it) of the frogs in a suitable place.

Reference to 'the diary' generally relates to 'the diary writer' - in this case mainly Nick, with initialled contributions from others.

Now, later, Dave Sims has also sent me some scanned images which are shown in a collage below:

Bob also has this recollection:
On that trip to Mull in April 1980, we arrived at the ferry dock at Lochaline just in time to see the last ferry of the day steaming away into the distance.
We were four (known afterwards as the Lochaline Loafers) Dave Sims, Liz Earle, my brother Jon and me. Mobile phones would not be invented for another 15 years so we couldn't contact anyone to let them know what had happened. The night life of Lochaline was not too exciting, if it existed at all, we never discovered it. Jon and I slept in my car, the gear lever digging into my kidneys. Dave and Liz took their sleeping bags, warm sweaters and groundsheets and disappeared somewhere.

We managed to catch the first ferry in the morning and arrived at the YH in Tobermory just as everyone was having breakfast.

Ali adds:
Fortunately I knew what happened to you, Bob! We managed to get the ferry and waved to you from the boat. That’s some road down to Lochaline and we were fighting against the traffic coming off the ferry.