Into Autumn

Below the walls of Skipton castle Crowd at the start Down the valley Down yet another valley Heading Home It's a tiring queue for the stile! Sweeping panorama Waving at Thomas the Tank Engine
A Wander into Wharfedale – Sunday October 12th 2009

Leader – June Reeder

20 miles - Moderate

Starting Place – Skipton General Hospital

26 attendees!

What a pity we didn’t all “ask a policeman” how to get to the start. That way we could all have turned up at the wrong place and been underway on time! (sorry Geoff!).

You can only say that a “small crowd” had gathered at Skipton General Hospital car park for this walk. How pleasing that so many people turned out despite the pouring rain on the morning and it clashing with the Matlock Bath away weekend. Even the “stalwarts” were there – Mike Harrington, Andy Hayhurst, Dave Shep and Roy “the legend” Davies. Within twenty minutes Roy had clocked up enough votes to make himself firm favourite to inherit Andy’s 2009 PITA Trophy. It’s great to have Roy along as you can take the younger (anyone under 60) walkers to him and say, “look this is what walking gear used to be like in the old days”. He is a walking antique shoppe, the very personification that there is much merit in the saying “things were made to last in those days”.

It was a wet start but not enough to make it miserable or depress spirits. The rain lasted some two hours before the sun broke through and a stiff breeze dried our gear off rapidly. June took us through High Bradley, Addingham, Draughton, Embsay and Skipton Woods. She even timed it to perfection for us to wave to everyone on Thomas the Tank Engine on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway. Her route back into Skipton along the canal and under the magnificent castle walls was an absolute delight.

We were supported on the day by a five strong party from the West Yorks group and it was great to see the happy smiling faces of John Singleton and Jean Lyons again!

Thanks June – this really was a cracker – even Norman would have had to, begrudgingly no doubt, given you praise for a job well done.

SLADES STOMP Wednesday November 4th

14 miles – moderate. Leader – Hilary Scott

12 people in attendance (including the North West’s top scone maker!)

When you are awakened at 6.00am by the sound of driving wind and rain there is a temptation to turn the alarm off and go back to sleep. “Can’t do that – its Hilary’s walk” your conscience tells you. Things don’t improve. Visibility is down to ten yards driving to meet up and you start contemplating turning back and saying your doctor has forbidden you to attend. Then you see Hilary on her doorstep sneezing, wheezing, coughing and spluttering but determined to go on. It is “are you a man or a mouse” time, pride makes you put a smile on your face and get your rucksack and gear out of the boot.

The start of the walk is at Bishop Park on Saddleworth Moor above Oldham and driving conditions for poor Hilary getting the four of us there (Bernard and Paul Wadsworth are in with us) are almost monsoon. Suddenly a little bit of blue sky appears and it stops raining. How blessed are we? Only a slight drizzle for a short time mars the whole walk and within an hour or two of the start we are all removing the extra gear we put on to thwart the early morning cold.

As the weather improves as the day goes on so does Hilary. That smile is soon breaking through and there is a glow in her cheeks again. There is no doubt the day out on the moors does her a power of good.

What a walk it turns out to be. Within half a mile we have the glorious 360 degree views from Bishop Park memorial, well worth a visit in its own right. From there we press on across the tops to Uppermill and a true delight. Sat by the Huddersfield Narrow Canal we greedily devour Tracy’s excellent scones complete with jam and cream!!! She reckons to have baked over forty, divided by 12 that’s, er, three each! Oh dear! In our defence they really were so delicious. Norman hastily invited her on every walk we do!! Her rucksack must be like Mary Poppins’ bag to have got all that stuff in!

Hilary soon has us burning off those calories with the steep and stunning climb up to Slades Rocks. Again the views were magnificent and you felt certain you could read the undercarriage numbers on the jumbo jet which passed over us beginning its descent into Manchester airport.

From here we dropped down to Greenfield and had lunch by the Stannedge Tunnel canal entrance. We were soon off following what was presumably an old trading route with a last steep and steady climb back to Bishop Park monument.

Those who wished to partake of a pint went in the pub, just as the heavens opened again and rain started which is still bouncing down some 24 hours later. It is amazing how fortunate we were to not get wet on the day.

Everyone loved it. What a great little walk. Well done Hilary – yet again. You are a real trooper. And thanks to Tracy for those scones!!! Yummy.
Down we go Heading towards Uppermill Mobile Tea Shop, thanks Tracy! Neil at Canal Tunnel The start at Grains Bar Up we go View from Slades Rocks Who pinched the Topograph?