NEWSLETTER APRIL 2004
Even though as I type this report the wind is howling and the chairman and/or his wife were nearly
decapitated by a flying shed roof this afternoon; I really know that summer is around the corner and the
period for regular walking is with us.
The club really has a lot of events on this summer, please look carefully at all the opportunities and come on
as many as you can. Further details of them are elsewhere in the brochure and I will not repeat the entire list
HOWEVER! There are a few things that I do want to bring to your attention.
The first is the range of special events going on from the S-C line on 5th-12 June. We are working with West
Yorkshire Ramblers and FoSCla to attract as many people to our guided walks as possible. Please come. On
the 12th June following the walks there will be a buffet at the Tufton Arms at Appleby. Form is enclosed,
again please come even if you cannot manage a walk, to celebrate the first ever Charter special with guided
walks from the line
The next plea for help is a continual one in that we need more leaders. If we cannot get more the number of
walks we can put on in future years will decrease; if you are interested please see any of the committee or
another leader. Better still please come to the leaders (and back-ups) meeting, details elsewhere in the
newsletter. This will give you a good idea of what is required and how other leaders are prepared to help you.
In other respects the club is thriving and our success is causing us problems. We already have a structured
approach to deciding who comes on the coach, so please do not moan at Brian if he tells you that either the
coach is full or asks you to come by car. Remember we do try and be fair about these things and leaders
have priority. Can I also ask that if you do book a place on the coach and then find you cannot go PLEASE
contact Brian Hall in good time. For the last two months we have had the stupid position of people having to
drive up in cars to the starting point when there were empty places on the coach due to people just not
turning up. This is rude & inconsiderate, please think of the consequences.
The other problem relates to weekends away; under Lewis and Yvonne’s management these have got more
and more popular. There now always seems to be a waiting list. Up to now we have worked on a first come
first served principal, but with the Woolacombe trip if you did not reply immediately by return of post (AND
with a first class stamp) you would find that all the places would be taken. So this time we are going to draw
the “lucky” people from a hat (metaphorically). The application form for the Macclesfield weekend is
enclosed. Pat Wilson will keep all the envelopes unopened until the 1st May. On that day she will just open
them in a random order and again it will be first come first served. We realize that some regulars may be
disappointed in this way but we do feel that it is the fairest way. Comments on this are welcomed, either to
me or to the editor. The ONLY people who will get automatic places are the 3 organisers, Lewis, Yvonne
EVENTS SECRETARY’S REPORT
At last Spring seems to be arriving and the days are getting longer. More daylight time for walking, and
there’s quite a choice of events available with Friends of DalesRail. We do try to arrange a variety of walks
and events so that most people can find something to suit them. But if any members feel they can make
suggestions about improving things or trying something new, please let me know.
As a reminder, the following walks are available to all, including non-members.
Settle-Carlisle railway line, every Saturday, at least one walk with varying lengths and strengths.
8.49 a.m. train from Leeds, usually return by 7.00 p.m.
Morecambe railway line, about once a month on a Saturday, easy to moderate with varying
lengths. 8.19 a.m. train from Leeds.
Caldervale railway line, about once a month on the fourth Sunday, moderate to strenuous with
varying lengths. 9.27 train from Leeds.
Bank Holiday walks, various train lines, various lengths generally moderate.
Other walks and events are only available to members.
Coach Walks, the third Sunday in the month, various locations such as the Lake District or
Derbyshire leaves Leeds opposite Bus Station at 8.30 a.m. Advance booking necessary. ‘Phone
Brian Hall 01274 551399’.
Thursday walks, first Thursday in month, various locations, reached by car and train, generally
moderate. Phone Alan Jagger, 01274 883547, for detail’s.
Lake District, various days once a month from April to September, meet Gargrave car park 8.30
a.m. ‘Phone Lewis Handford, 01274 569957, for detail’s.
Walking weekends, generally three times a year. ‘Phone Lewis Handford for details 01274
Other events, such as Annual General Meeting, Leaders and Backups meeting and others.
‘Phone Penny Lucas, 0113 2370179.
We cannot put on any of the above walks or events with out the hard work of the committee and the valuable
assistance of leaders and backups. Many of these leaders and backups have been helping us for a number of
years and it is important for continuity that we keep adding to our list of available leaders. If you feel you
may be able to help us with leading or backing up walks please get in touch with me or come to the Leaders
and Backups Meeting at 7.30 p.m. on May 25th at the Adelphi, Leeds, Jnc. Dock St./Hunslet Rd.
Refreshments will be provided and the bar will be open. All members are welcome to this meeting.
All the above events are advertised on our excellent website, www.friendsofdalesrail.org. Please try to have
a look at this if you can. It is updated regularly and is the best way of finding out current news, e.g. problems
with transport or a change in the scheduled walk.
If you wish to contact Dave Sherborne or myself you can do so easily by e-mail link on the web-site.
Comment about the content or layout of the website would be welcome.
Our new walks leaflet will shortly be available for distribution. If any of you have any outlets you know we
could use e.g. a local library, have a word with me and I’ll get some leaflets to you.
We have just had a splendid weekend in Hexham when the walking, accommodation and organisation were
very good. If you want to see some photos of the weekend they are on the website under ‘past
events/weekends/2004’. In this newsletter you will find a booking form for our weekend in Macclesfield in
October. Current members will be aware of the popularity of these weekends and are reminded to book
promptly. The allocation of places for the weekends is being changed slightly as the applications will be
dealt with at the end of April to allow for delays in the post.
Please try to join us on June 12th for one of our 30th Anniversary Walks. There will be six scheduled
walks around the Appleby area. and a buffet in the Tufton Arms afterwards.
It should be a great celebration. I hope to see you there.
Fancy a night out with all of the above?
Come to the Leaders and Backups Meeting
at the Adelphi Public House, Leeds
On the Tuesday 25th May 2004 at 7.30 p.m.
All members welcome to discuss the
current and future walks programme.
We particularly need more volunteers
to lead and backup our walks.
Is the current system working?
New programme 2005.
Any other ideas as requested by the members.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my “Friends” and the chairman of the Committee for the
beautiful painting presented to me. I was quite overcome with emotion at the time that I felt I hadn’t been
able to say thank you properly.
I hope to be able to join the coach trips as often as possible so will still see some of you, although I may have
to “do my own thing” if the distance is likely to be too long for me, as the February walk was ( my apologies
for delaying everyone).
Health permitting, Joan and I hope to join in the 30th anniversary celebrations and look forward to seeing you
Best wishes to you all and again, thank you.
Falcon Manor Hotel, Settle.
10th & 11th January 2004
In the absence of our usual Reporter, I am afraid I was “persuaded”, after having had the odd glass of red
wine to pen this report. The plan was for the ‘A’ party to walk some 15 miles from Hellifield to Settle for the
dinner, but, true to form, Arriva did their best to mess things up. Almost half the party gathered on a grey
morning at Settle station to catch the train from Carlisle, which was due to arrive at Hellifield one minute
before the train from Leeds. Imagine the consternation when we discovered it was half an hour late. What
do we do now? By the time we had bought our tickets and thought about it, abortively tried to phone on
mobiles, and watched the B & C parties depart, our train appeared. Fortunately our leader realised what was
happening, and left Lewis and Martyn at Hellifield to meet and guide us. Lewis has never been known to
walk so fast at the start of a walk, with only the coffee stop imminent (Martyn’s gps reckoned we averaged
3.75mph!). As a result the two halves were united for coffee at Otterburn. Thereafter we proceeded at a
more leisurely pace for a lengthy lunch break at Kirby Malham, before tackling the redoubtable Pikedaw.
Unfortunately by now the cloud had descended, and little groups of ghostly figures were seen appearing out
of the mist as we staggered up the hill. It also meant that we arrived in Settle feeling rather damp, but not at
all dejected, for we had had a good day walking and dinner to look forward to. All our thanks to the leader
and back up who coped well with the little problems thrown at them.
Red wine certainly played a big part in this particular member of DalesRail promising Trevor after the
Annual Dinner to be responsible for writing up the Settle Circular walk. If I had known previously, I would
have popped paper and pencil into my already cluttered ruck-sack as my knowledge of the Yorkshire Dales is
not as good as seasoned walkers who know them like the back of their hand.
Here goes, start at the beginning, Settle Station was very busy due to the fact that the down train from
Carlisle was 30 minutes late. How a train on tracks with nothing in front of it can be delayed for this length
of time is a mystery. Fortunately the up train from Leeds arrived nearly on time. ‘B’ group assembled, Brian
Hall counted us out of the station i8 in all and we set off in the direction of Giggleswick. We quickly came to
a halt because Alan gave a little lecture saying he was leading and nobody was to wander in front of him
This was O.K. as Alan has a knack for setting a perfect pace.
We visited a lovely church named after a saint whose name began with A (now you know why I needed
paper and pencil). The interior boasted beautiful stained glass and an unusual Royal Coat of Arms,
Walking then began in earnest skirting Langcliffe and then ascending. Quite a lot of people had heeded the
dire warnings of the previous evening’s weather forecast and were kitted out in full waterproofs completely
unnecessary as it turned out fine. A stop was needed to remove a layer or two, then more ascents to a deep
disused quarry for a coffee/tea break. Walking on through pretty scenery, we ate lunch then climbed to a
valley and started to descend. An interesting feature was a disused set of lime kilns built in a huge circle. The
Dales have certainly provided a lot of employment in the past. Reaching Stainforth was a welcome relief;
proper toilets are always a luxury! Then homewards towards Settle Market place where everybody dispersed
to cafes and pubs. A pleasant day, lots of chatter and good company.
The ‘C’ group, led by Glennys Ash and backed up by Dave Reed, set off from Settle Station, crossing the
footbridge over the swollen River Ribble and accidentally met up with the ‘B’ group on the outskirts of
Giggleswick. Both groups walked together, but not mixing, to the bottom of the climb to Giggleswick Scar.
Here the ‘C’s stopped for a short break. At the top of the climb, a path not shown on the O.S. map, led to a
dry stonewall!! (Pity about the thick mist as any views were completely obliterated). A GPS fix suggested
turning right, but a majority decision opted for left, picking up the path along the edge of the Scar. When the
group eventually joined up with the intended path, one lady said she was finding the going too much for her
and Les Crooke gallantly volunteered to escort her back to Settle. Lunch was taken at Feizor and to
everybody’s surprise and delight, Glennys produced plastic cups and a large flask of hot mulled wine!! From
here, the path led up and then down to Little Stainforth and the river at Stainforth Bridge. A coffee stop was
taken to admire the falls of Stainforth Force, in full flood. The riverside path was then followed all the way
back to Settle, the final stretch marred by a heavy, soaking drizzle, but all agreed it had been an enjoyable
day and thanked Glennys for her leading and Dave for bringing up the rear. Trevor Grimston
Sunday 11th January
Following tradition, a small group set off from Slaidburn car park on Sunday morning to walk off the
excesses of the night before. In previous years we have gone North, West, and South, so this year we went –
you’ve guessed - East. The forecast promised a strong wind with sunshine and showers, so we were
wondering what we had let ourselves in for, especially as the planned route involved climbing up over
Waddington Moor. Within 15 minutes we were stopping to put on full waterproofs as the sky blackened, and
the hail bounced down. The leader had decided to take his first ‘escape’ plan and carry on down the valley,
but at the turn off point the clouds had cleared and the sky was blue, so we carried on as planned but would
definitely take the second ‘bale out’ route. However at coffee, in the shelter of Padiham Barn, things didn’t
look too bad, so up onto the Moor we went. Our perseverance was rewarded by glimpses of the Three Peaks
through the storm clouds, and lunch in the shelter of Swan Barn (where, surprisingly, there were no
owls). We squelched our way back through Harrop Fold – the best-kept hamlet in Lancashire – and Harrop
Lodge, one of the dirtiest farms I have had the pleasure to pass through. So much for our complacency, for
with ten minutes to our refuge, the heavens opened, and the hail cut into our faces whenever we looked up to
see more than two paces ahead. However we were soon rewarded with the comfort and refreshments of the
Hark to Bounty, which, in retrospect, finished off another great DalesRail weekend.
Again, many thanks to those who organised it so well, and to my long suffering back up – Terry.
Sunday 21 December 2003 Pickering
Wine, mince pies, mud and the adventures of the first Queen’s Scout. Read on. The weather forecast for
Sunday was dire, gale-force winds and driving snow. We set off wearing more layers than a mille feuille
pastry and were very pleasantly surprised by the warm sunshine which greeted us.
‘C’ party debussed first in Pickering and started the day with coffee before making their way to Howldale,
wine and mince pies included. They then crossed the A169 and swayed on to Newbridge and Pickering
where more festive food and drink was enjoyed
‘A’ party, having picked up car travellers in Pickering, were driven to Eller Beck where they alighted and
started their 15 mile flight to Pickering via Newton Dale, Hole of Horcum and Farwath. The pace was feisty
and the mud slippery but all managed to stay upright and most people even caught sight of the leader now
and again. A few snow showers merely hastened everyone’s footsteps and a tour of Pickering Castle was
included in the delights of the day.
‘B’ party were lucky enough to have a free tour of Pickering and the North Yorks Moors before being taken
to Thornton-le-Dale where they started their walk. All was well until just after Dalby Forest when,
unbeknown to the rest, one of the party (the first Queen’s Scout) began an adventure of his own. Luckily he
had a map and was endowed with good tracking skills and managed to find the A169 which took him safely
back to Pickering. The remainder of the party, having searched in vain, crossed the A169 and made their way
through Lockton and Farwath back to Newbridge and Pickering, where all were reunited.
An unexpectedly good weather day and rather less mudful than we had feared. Thanks to the leaders and
backups. Diane Exley
Sunday 18 January 2004 Edgworth
Edgworth. Where is it and can we see it? Lancashire to the first question and not very well to the second. In
drifting mist a coachload of DalesRailers descended on the small town of Edgworth. ‘A’ party was soon well
‘on the edge’ and disappearing into invisibility, some more than others. The walk was varied and exciting
(the leader said so) and views of Winter Hill recalled a memorable previous walk as the party tracked across
moorland, farmland, historic houses and reservoirs and even a Roman Road before joining the Witton
Weavers’ Way back to Edgworth. I don’t think anyone found the voluptuous barmaid though.
‘B’ party made sure they visited all the reservoirs on offer. (Wayho? Is this a north eastern influence?) A
bracing tramp across the moors was also enjoyed especially when the mist cleared just long enough for them
to glimpse views of Winter Hill and later Holcombe Tower, bringing back memories of previous trips to the
West Pennine Moors. They also took a turn around Turton Tower before visiting the final reservoir, Jumbles,
and walking out to the hamlet of Hawkshaw. A slight drizzle threatened the end of the walk but refuge was
soon sought around the fire in the local hostelry where the lone barman realised he had made a mistake
sending the rest of his staff home for the afternoon and had to call for reinforcements.
‘C’ party raced to the coffee shop and then considered the day and the way the wind was blowing. They also
visited all the reservoirs but in the opposite direction, starting with Jumbles and ending with Wayho via
Turton Tower and the Witton Weavers’ Way.
A good day in little-known but very enjoyable countryside. Everyone was extremely grateful that the ground
was frozen or some members might well have disappeared without trace. Bearing in mind the number of
slippery stiles we all had to encounter it was a major miracle that everyone returned safe and sound, but they
did. Thanks to the leaders and backups, especially those who receed in bad conditions and still managed to
enjoy the walk.
Diane Exley/Philip Birtwistle
Beverley Sunday, 15th February, 2004
A pleasant, sunlit journey along the M62 east, brought us to the gentle countryside of the southern end of the
Yorkshire Wolds. The ‘A’ party debussed at South Cave, and from here, a sharp climb up the escarpment,
followed by a couple of descents and ascents brought them to the Wolds Way.
Prizes were offered for the first sight of the Humber Bridge and Beverley Minster, but these appear to have
not been claimed!! Ironically, despite most of the walk being very muddy, a stretch, which on the recce had
been very bad, turned out better than expected.
The ‘B’ group set off from Welton (about 1.5 miles east of the ‘A’s), A pretty village with two unusual
features – a church with a duck pond round two sides and the birthplace of Douglas’s father. Leaving the
village up a scenic but muddy valley, Pat failed in her attempt at a triple salko with pike, and finished up flat
on her face! Happily the only thing hurt was her pride. To surprise and wonderment, Mary produced a large
kitchen roll from her rucksack, to wipe her down. At the top of the valley, the party picked up the Wolds
Way and at this point should have merged with the ‘A’ party and followed the same route to Beverley, but
there was no sign of them. Muddy paths and tracks led over gently rolling farmland, with distant views of
the piers of the Humber Bridge and down the Humber Estuary. Beyond Skidby, the towers of Beverley
Minster came into view. A mad, mass dash over the A164 led to more claggy paths in a long loop to the
finish at the Minster. Most of the group enjoyed a relaxing hour in the strange back room of The White
Horse Inn, known locally as “Nellies”!! A very old inn, the room had a roaring open fire, dark, sombre décor
and illuminated with two miniscule gaslights! It was assumed that the small sash window was the emergency
lighting. The ‘A’ group arrived about 15 minutes later. One member, who wishes to remain anonymous, said
they’d been so long, Lewis had grown a beard!!
The ‘C’ group accomplished a unique first. With the other two groups on the coach and ready to leave, there
was no sign of them! Had Betty overestimated the length of the route, had the dismantled railway been
reclaimed or had there been a surge of religious fervour and they’d gone to evening service in the Minster?
For once, fiction was stranger than truth. Apparently three members coming by car got lost on their way to
the start and had been rescued by the coach driver, on the outskirts of Beverley. Consequently, the walk
didn’t start till nearly 11.0am, from the black windmill on the common. A circular route passing through
some very pretty villages was enjoyed, especially the stained glass in Walkington church. The unfortunate
start combined with the hard underfoot going, which slowed some members down, contributed to the late
finish. Well done, Betty.
Thanks to all leaders and backups who did their best with very poor material.
Diane Exley/Trevor Grimston
Sunday 21 March 2004 Slaidburn
Welcome to the first day of Spring. At least that’s what we thought until it started to rain. However, to begin
at the beginning…. All debussed at Slaidburn heavily betrousered and waterproofed. ‘A’ party made for
Giddy Bridge- where else would be so suitable?- after resisting all houses of refreshment. Climbing steadily
but not too strenuously they made their way back to Newton, avoiding the rats in the forest, and thus to
Slaidburn without any mishaps, unless you count the time the leader slipped into the mud(and that was before
he’d had a drink!)
‘B’ party tracked the River Hodder to Dunsop Bridge (a monument to BT) also going via Giddy Bridge but
not feeling any disastrous effects. They then struck out for Pain Hill, not living up to its name, I hope, and
thus back to Slaidburn to enjoy the flesh pots at the Hark to Bounty(with dry shoes and no nasty waterproofs,
‘C’ party decided to visit the beauty spots of East Lancashire in the shape of the local sewage works. They
also tested out Giddy Bridge and made it without a fall in sight. However, too much excitement earlier in the
day meant that the extra diversion to the waterfalls was omitted – but then by that time they were walking in
the middle of one, which was much more exciting.
Thanks to all leaders and backups for a very pleasant day in beautiful countryside – the rain was not your
fault! Diane Exley
I have no wish to insult that fine body of folk who kindly volunteer to lead walks for the club. However,
having walked with DalesRail for several years I have now realised that you cannot always take what the
Walk Leader says absolutely literally. Their words sometimes need to be interpreted to arrive at the truth.
Here are some of the results of my research. I’m sure many of you could find other examples.
I measured the walk at around 14 miles –It’s nearer 17.
There may be some yomping – There’s a path shown on the map but I couldn’t find it.
It may be a little muddy – There’s half a mile of deep bog
It wasn’t as bad as this when I recced it – It was, but if I’d told you, you wouldn’t have come
This part needs a little care – This part needs a lot of care.
This part needs a lot of care – Check your insurance.
Two minutes – I’m going now whether you’re ready or not (especially when Diane has just poured out her hot
It’s downhill all the way from here – No, it isn’t.
This is the last stile – See above.
We need to hurry if we are to catch the train –We need to hurry if I’m to get my half hour in the pub.
DAFT DEFINITIONS for DALESRAILERS
Lowe Alpine –Miniature rock plant.
Crag Hopper – Flea on a cliff
Paramo – Little Maureen joins the Red Berets.
Goretex – What the bull was told to do to the American hiker.
Polartec – Antarctic DID.
Sprayway – Path beside a waterfall.
Euro Hike – Brussels puts up prices again.
Free Spirit – What you get at a hikers’ drinks party?
Trail Blazer – Posh walking jacket.
Platypus – Rastafarian cat.
Trekking Pole – East European doing the Pennine way.
Leki – YEB pylon.
Hiking Boots – 50’s US President in his wellies.
Hiking Socks – 50’s US President not in his wellies.
Hip Flask – A With-it drink container.
Isotonic Drink – G & T without the G.
Neck Warmer – Instruction to cuddle more passionately
Gaiters – Inhabitants of the Florida Everglades.
Fleece – What Arriva does to DalesRailers.
Rambler – Incoherent DalesRailer.
Bramble – Moderate walk.
Right to Roam – Turn this way for the Vatican.
Dry Stone Wall – President Jackson on the wagon.
Any further suggestions?
(Name & address supplied).
WALK ABANDONED DUE TO GALE FORCE WINDS IN DENTDALE
On Saturday 20 March 2004, the moderate train walk from Dent station to Hawes began with 14 intrepid
souls battling our way up the road from the station in the pouring rain and fierce winds. The weather forecast
had promised “wet and windy” and it certainly lived up to that. Leaving the road after about a mile, we
turned southwards onto the track below Great Knoutberry Hill and from that point on were walking directly
into the full force of the gale force wind. After barely half a mile, it became virtually impossible to make
onward progress and we were at serious risk of being literally blown off our feet. As the leader, in
conjunction with the backup and members, I decided that the only safe option was to turn back along the
track. Surprisingly there were no objections!
As the wind would have been blowing in our faces if we had gone back down towards Dent station, on
reaching the road, we continued instead up the Coal Road which undulated over the tops before descending
rather steeply to Garsdale Station where we arrived after walking for less than two hours and having done
approximately 5 miles. Everyone crowded into the waiting room in various states of sogginess for (what
seemed like) long-anticipated refreshments and lunch. Comments were heard such as “I’ve never gone up the
Coal Road as fast with the wind behind me” and “I’ve never abandoned a walk in my life, but I think we did
the right thing”. I think a chorus of “51 today” was heard at some point as well.
Having just telephoned the minibus driver from Hawes who had been due to pick us up at the end of the walk
and left a message on his answer service, I then encountered him in person two minutes later as he pulled
into the station yard to meet someone on the “up” train to Carlisle! I recounted our mini-adventure to him
and he agreed we had made the right decision. As the walk had now been formally abandoned, we then
caught not the early train, but the very early train (1302 from Garsdale) back to warmer and drier climates in
This was not the worst weather I have ever walked in, but the worst I have led in and let’s hope that this walk
will be completed successfully on a future programme. Philip Birtwistle
Our final weekend for 2004 is booked at Macclesfield. In the foothills of the Peak district and with easy
access to the Staffordshire and Cheshire countryside. The hotel is a Victorian Country House with modern
and en suite facilities.
Guests of the hotel also have use of the prestigious Tytherington Golf and Leisure Club which includes a
championship golf course and swimming pool.
I am considering taking up the offer of golf on the Friday prior to the weekend. If there is sufficient interest
then I will arrange a group booking and organise tee off times accordingly. If you are interested please mark
your booking “GOLF”. I will then contact you later.
Due to unforseen circumstances, members are sometimes unable to go on the weekends after making a final
payment. If the place can be filled by a member or the waiting list or resold by other means, a refund can be
given to the disappointed member. This, of course, may not always happen and I would again remind all
members to arrange sufficient insurance to cover this aspect. Booking form included.
THE “GREEN LANES” SITUATION
As a large number of members have expressed concern at the use of bridleways and green lanes by motorised
vehicles, the Committee has asked me to try to summarise the situation.
I am sure we are all aware of the arguments on this issue, so I will try not to repeat these but concentrate on
the present ‘state of play’. The legal definition of a bridleways and green lanes is complicated, confused and
conditioned by history. But basically because horses and carts used these routes in the past and they were
classified as vehicles, this allows a loophole for use by modern vehicles as the law has not been changed.
The Rural Affairs minister – Alun Michael MP – is endeavouring to bring in Regulations preventing the use
of Rights of Way by motorised vehicles, by changing the law and encouraging Local Authorities and Police
to use existing laws to better effect. However the very powerful motor lobby is, as you can imagine, strongly
contesting every move by fair means or foul, and is fighting every step of the way, so progress is quite slow.
However there has been some improvement in our area, in that on 1st March, North Yorkshire County
Council implemented Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders on four green lanes. These being;-
- the road over Horsehead Moor from near Foxup in Littondale to Wharfedale
- Long Lane and Clapham Lane
- Mastiles Lane
- and Topmere Road/ Starbotton Cam.
These orders are ‘experimental’ in that they are scheduled to last only for eighteen months. Since the start of
the year the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has been conducting ‘User Surveys’ along these and
other routes, to determine user reaction to the Orders. Obviously walkers hope that the vehicular ban is
permanent, but it is by no means a foregone conclusion
Now that these Orders are in place, you are entitled to report the numbers of any vehicles using these lanes.
The number is 01756 793377 which is North Yorkshire Police , and ask for Sergeant Steven Breen at Settle
As Friends of DalesRail is a walking, rather than a campaigning organisation, the Committee considers that
it cannot directly involve the Club, but suggests that members may wish to join/support the two main
organisations fighting this cause which are:
Ramblers Association (who are running a special Green Lanes Appeal)
87- 90 Albert Embankment
London SE1 7TW. Phone 0207339 8500 www.ramblers.org.uk
and for our area,
Yorkshire Dales Green Lanes Alliance (YDGLA)
Otley LS21 1HD
Membership is only £10 pa and if nothing else, sends out newsletters with information about the situation.
Apologies for going on about this, but I feel strongly about this matter, and please do not hesitate to get in
touch if you want further details.
26TH-28TH MARCH, 2004
Travellers to Hexham on Friday took various routes and pleasures on the way but all arrived to a very warm
welcome at the Beaumont Hotel, where good food and drink were excellent and the service impeccable.
Receiving news of our adventures for the next day in an alcoholic haze all seemed possible.
Saturday 27 March
A leisurely walk along Hadrian’s Wall or another magical mystery tour for Dalesrailers? ‘A’ party 12 miles,
‘B’ party 9 miles. What?
Having been told that there would be ups and downs the first few miles seemed suspiciously flat and easy.
And weren’t we tearing along at rather a fast pace? All was revealed at coffee time. Forget the last three
miles, that was a warm up, this is where the walk starts. Right then.
‘A’ party were allowed to go ahead so that their morale was not too seriously damaged and they soon
encountered the promised undulations. These seemed to get steeper each time until at last a trig point was
reached. Views to the north and south were splendid and far-reaching and if it hadn’t been for the chilly
breeze we might have been tempted into shorts- well, some of us might
Entertainment came in the form of the GPS owners comparing information. Did we really walk at 3.7miles
per hour? Do we have 7.7 or 8.09 more miles to go? Will we get there at all? The level of historical interest
was high too as milestones marking the Wall were carefully read and nervous looks cast over the shoulder as
strange figures appeared over the horizon – but it was only the ‘B’ party not the Romans on a raiding spree.
At last the immortal cry of ‘It’s downhill all the way from here’ was heard and shortly afterwards, sure
enough, we were climbing steeply up again. Must have been imagining it. A cruel temptation was put in their
way when the coach appeared 4 or was it 5 miles from the end. Only pride prevented a full-scale rush but
backs were stiffened for the final assault on Greeenhead and its welcome pumps. The GPS registered 15.4
miles as the crow flies but the collective wisdom of aching bodies would like to think it was nearer to 17.5
‘B’ party had a more chequered history. They, too, did the preliminary warm up walk, read the historical
notes and clambered up and down the steep steps of the Wall. An independent seven decided to take their
destiny into their own hands and left the main party for a long sojourn at Twice Brewed (Once Brewed,
Twice Brewed, Thrice Stewed?) The remainder of the party kept going until their rightful pub came into
view and they thankfully dived (dove?) inside.
Saturday evening brought the usual conviviality and even the thought of losing an hour’s sleep did not daunt
us – not until Sunday morning that is.
Sunday 28 March
Sunday dawned bright and sunnyish and chessboard manoeuvres were executed in extracting cars from the
hotel car park. Everyone booted up and ready to go when a bright eye spotted a puncture. Immediately a
knight in shining armour sprang to the rescue and with a ‘it’ll only take me ten minutes’ effected an amazing
Le Mans-style wheel change to the delight of the assembled crowd. It was the best entertainment of the day.
(See acknowledgement elsewhere) After that things slowed down.
Both ‘A’ and ‘B’ parties set off in opposite directions to test the delights of the countryside south of Hexham.
‘A’ party managed to lose themselves initially in a baffling housing estate. Fields and lambs eventually
appeared though and soon they were deep into the countryside making for West Dipton Burn through a
delightful wood. After an encounter over a stile with ‘B’ party the path was followed to the picturesque
valley of Devil’s Water. The contrast with the previous day’s scenery was stark and it did not take much
imagination to see what a riot of colour and greenery there would be in a few weeks time. Although muddy
in places, the onward track through farms, fields and woods was beautiful. We even passed a waterfall and
ruined castle at Dilston before following an ancient trackway leading from Corbridge to Hexham.
Douglas Robinson, who had been “volunteered” to lead the ‘B’ walk (ably backed by Derek Little) had been
led to believe the route was ‘fairly undulating’. After some slight confusion finding the way through the
houses, the rather steep climb up two fields on a full ‘English breakfast’, was far from undulating! At least
the views over Hexham and to the north were worth the effort. From here the path led down through
picturesque woods to a scenic, narrow wooded valley with babbling brook, at Hole House. A deer was seen
leaping over a fence and at the coffee stop a number of ladies received nettle stings necessitating a hasty
search for dock leaves. At Diptonmill the ‘A’ group was met head on and were informed that they were
going in the right direction! Further along, a hazardous section of the path came right down on to the rocks
along the stream, followed by a steep ‘undulation’ out of the valley for lunch at the top, in a rather draughty
field. After passing Hexham race course, a few members dropped out – one with a bad ankle. The rest
pressed on up the lane, then a pleasant descent, albeit along very muddy bridle ways, to Low Gate, where a
further seven opted for the short cut back to Hexham. Douglas and his depleting party stoically pressed on
with Douglas determined to explore one of his beloved abandoned railway lines. All arrived safely back after
an enjoyable ‘undulating’ day. Thanks to Doug and Derek.
All were re-united at the Beaumont Hotel before dispersing to various parts of the globe to visit families or
just go home. Some stayed to enjoy even more delights. A very enjoyable weekend in a really well managed
and efficient hotel. Well done Lewis and Yvonne for the research and Pat for sorting out the bookings. Good
luck in the future! Thanks to all who led or backed up and those who contributed in other ways which I
haven’t already mentioned. Diane Exley
Spring cleaning? What spring cleaning?
Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter?
Bake a cake or plant a seed
Ponder the difference between want and need.
Dust if you must, but there’s not much time
With rivers to cross and mountains to climb.
Music to hear and books to read
Friends to cherish and a life to lead.
Dust if you must but the world’s out there
The sun in your eyes and the wind in your hair.
A flurry of snow, a shower of rain
The day will not come back again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go, as go you must,
You yourself will make more dust.
30TH ANN. Of GUIDE WALKS from the SETTLE – CARLISLE LINE
Thirty years ago an event took place which was to have a significant effect on the future of the Settle-Carlisle
line. An event masterminded by the West Riding Area R.A.
On Sunday, 9th June 1974 an excursion train left Leeds and Bradford F.S. Stations with almost 600 people on
board. It stopped at stations closed since 1970, allowing passengers to alight, until it reached Appleby.
Every story has a begining, and this one has its roots on the moors around Marsden. The then Hon. Sec. Of the
West Riding Area, Colin Speakman, led a party of members on an Easter Monday ramble. A dismal sort of
day, the party sheltered in the lee of a drystone wall while they were eating their packed lunches. Maybe
because they had arrived at their starting point by train and were now overlooking the M62, thoughts and
reflections turned to previous RA excursions by train, particularly those from the Settle-Carlisle line. Since the
Beeching axe had fallen, several stations had closed and the rundown of the line had started, these were no
longer possible. Wishful thoughts were expressed about how wonderful it would be to have these opened
again, and even just for a day, to allow another train excursion to run. It became: “Couldn’t we?” the seed was
Four of the members on that walk became a ‘steering group’ to take the project forward, Colin Speakman, Jim
McDermid, Jack Madden and the then Secretary of the Social & Rambles Committee, Geoffrey Grange.
Following helpful advice from Colin, a meeting was arranged with British Rail Eastern Division in Leeds, and
Geoff, supported by Jack and Jim, attended to present the project. It was warmly received and sympathetically
heard, but doubts were expressed about a successful outcome. The waiting began, but a DMU 3-car was
booked provisionally – just in case.
It was said that RA Head Office in London approached the Transport Lobby in parliament to further the
cause. If so, it could only have helped, because in due course Geoff Grange took a telephone call from Barry
Douglas in the British Rail Leeds office. London Midland Division, with whom the decision rested, had
consented. The answer was ‘Yes’.
Overjoyed, Geoff embarked on the next stage. West Riding Executive Committee had yet to commit their
support. The financial risk weighed heavily with them. When the time came to vote, it required the
Chairman’s casting vote to decide the issue. Chairman Harry Smith voted with the ‘Ayes’.
Now the letters could be sent out to members, affiliated groups and other interested parties. The result was
over whelming, and on the day a DMU 9-car set was required to meet the demand. All the stations re-opened
were used. The walkers rambled on field and fell. Botanist’s sought wild orchids near Kirkby Stephen,
Bradford Scientific Group visited the working flour mill at Little Salkeld and railway history sites at Long
Meg. Others sought a more gentle day enjoying the town trail at Appleby.
The dream had become a reality. When all expenses had been met a cheque for £200 was handed to West
Riding Area Executive Committee – profit on the day. In 1974 – not bad! The adult fare was just £1.25.
Saturday, 12th June, 2004 will see a commemorating event centred on Appleby. By happy coincidence it is
also National Heritage Week, this year celebrating the railways. The Appleby event fits very neatly into the
final weekend after a festival of walks, exhibitions, etc. Friends of DalesRail, Friends of the Settle-Carlisle
Line, supported by West Riding RA are combining resources to ensure a successful day.
It is not our day for credits. Those belong to the RA members of thirty years ago who had a dream and the
courage to ‘go for it’ and make it happen. Thirty years ago the two ‘Friends of’ organizations didn’t exist.
Another six years were to pass before that happened. Nor did DalesRail exist, a product with a brand name.
A fully co-ordinated train and bus service. That was the sparkle in Colin Speakman’s eye, he hadn’t yet
fathered the child. But it was born out of the success of the excursion on 9th June, 1974.
Next year, 2005, sees the thirtieth anniversary of DalesRail. But that’s another story! Watch this space!
Since the event in 1974, two of the ‘steering group’ have died
Jack Madden, who years later was to be awarded the O.B.E. in the Queens Honours List.
Jim McDermid, who I last saw on a DalesRail connecting bus to Teesdale. He was out for a days walking
with his wife Margery and son Andrew. Andrews name appears on the 1974 walks programme as a leader
This article will also appear in the West Riding Area RA Newsletter. Joyce Broughton
ORDER OF MERIT FOR TYRE CHANGING
is hereby awarded to:
In recognition of service above and beyond the call of duty.
*Recommended for Member of the F1 Pit Team
Tyre pumping award: Derek Little
Eagle Eye award: Christina Sherborne
Photography: Trevor Grimston
Patience: Lewis Handford
A big thank you to everyone who helped to make my journey home uneventful