: The Air's Like Wine
26th January 2012
John S learned that I was not available this week, he
grasped his opportunity with the following suggestion:
is our big chance to suggest a leisurely stroll somewhere
- six miles max and five hundred feet (all downhill).
Or something different such as Branthwaite Brow (North
Face) on skateboards and without oxygen. A
route - flat most of the way. It'll be like walking
the South Downs.
is his report of the actual event complete with my editorial
Elizabeth Deincourt married Sir William de Stirkeland
in 1239 the sixteen hundred acre Sizergh Estate passed
into his hands, as was the practice in those pre Women’s
the Norman surname “de Stirkeland” morphed into “Strickland.”
Today, almost eight hundred years later, Strickland
family members remain resident in Sizergh’s imposing
Castle (although the building is now in the care of
the National Trust).
along the line the family picked up the additional and
diverting surname of “Hornyold.” Whether the male
members of the family have found this cognomen disadvantageous
in chatting up blue-blooded totty is debatable. Come
to think of it, it can’t have done much harm since the
family is still thriving.
Hornyold subsequently advised that the
Stricklands ran out of male heirs. Henry Hornyold
married the Strickland heiress. He was the younger son
of the Hornyold family, at Blackmore Park, Hanley Swan,
Worcestershire. where the Hornyold family have been
in residence since the 11th century - one being hanged
in 1068 as a a Saxon terrorist/freedom fighter! ]
Sizergh Castle car park was chosen as the start point
for the Boot Boys Thursday stroll, north along Scout
Scar and Cunswick Scar (that of the silent “w”), to
Ratherheath Tarn, a distance of a little over six miles.
may sound straightforward enough but arranging the RV
proved a headache.
[What's an RV? Ed.] Clearly
the planned route, being linear rather than circular,
demanded that the “three car trick” be employed to ferry
folk to and from the start and finish points. Bryan.
who was deputed, in Don’s absence, to arrange the junket,
was knocked out with a heavy cold and had to hand over
the reins at the last minute to me, John S. I will not
boor you, dear reader, with details of the complex and
confusing flurry of e-mails and phone calls that followed.
Suffice it to say that it was a nerve jangling
experience and only resolved as late as 10.30 p.m. on
Wednesday night. If Don faces such problems every week,
I worry for his sanity!
[No. Not every week! Ed.]
Thursday morning saw Mike, Tony, Stuart and me meeting
at Ratherheath where Tony and Stuart’s cars were left
for ferrying purposes. The party were then whisked via
the magic carpet of Mike’s capacious Jag to Sizergh
where James and Roger. were waiting by the roadside
since both the Castle and the Car Park were shut for
the winter! A minor and insignificant setback that
served only to add six hundred yards or so to the outing.
Tony and John stride forth
day had dawned fair and promising but was threatening
squalls and showers as we headed west on the footpath
from the Castle. Within minutes we were enjoying a foretaste
of the gloopy underfoot conditions we were to encounter
elsewhere on the walk. It was like Passchendale without
the HE and shrapnel. [For
non-army personnel needing an explanation of RV and
HE, see later.
however, were onto grass and climbing north
through open parkland to join the metalled
track connecting Holeslack Farm with the
Brigsteer Road. On the climb, Stuart made
friends with a sizeable erratic boulder,
one of the many that pepper the landscape
on the rock
the top of the rising ground the views to
the south were magnificent for, whilst we
languished under thick and threatening cloud
cover, the sun shone upon the Fylde lighting
the distant land and seascape whilst throwing
Arnside Knott into stark relief.
few yards further along the track brought us to the
little church of St.John’s, Helsington.
in 1726, thanks to the generosity of John Jackson Esq
of Holeslack Farm, the Church serves the village of
Brigsteer several hundred feet below. It retains Helsington
in its title after the sometime townland of that name
in which it is situated, (Helsington was one of the
twenty four townlands that went to make up the greater
parish of Kendal).
John's Helsington ....
plus a strange man
Church boasts a striking mural above the altar. Painted
by a Miss Saumarez in 1919 the painting is dedicated
to the memory of:
All the faithful departed, especially
those who fell in the Great War.
is a singularly unimposing building but one which enjoys
views to die for.
view south to Arnside Knott
view west to Whitbarrow Scar
and further round to the north west
the Brigsteer Road brought us to the two-mile
stretch of Scout Scar with its footpath
skirting the very edge of the precipitous
drop to the valley below.
views over the Lyth Valley and, from time
to time, the entire Cumbrian mountain range,
must surely rank amongst the finest in England?
perhaps not today, judging by the
across the Lyth Valley
reached the far famed Mushroom Shelter, about half way
through the walk, just in time to avoid the worst of
a bitterly cold sleety/snowy squall. Lunch was eaten
hurriedly before chills set in and ancient limbs seized
kindly gentleman took the group snap
[How standards have fallen! Involving third parties
to take photos? Whatever next? Ed.]
and was rewarded with a bum steer to “BootBoys.com”
to see the results of his helpfulness. If he has managed
to navigate his way to this blog – thank you Sir, and
why don’t you join us?
Scout Scar Mushroom Shelter
Scar, a two thousand yard extension of Scout Scar, offers
stunning views to the North, (the far Eastern Lakeland
Fells), to the East, (the Howgills & Pennines) and
to the West, (the Lyth Valley and the Central Western
Scar describes a gentle dip to its lowest point and
an equally gentle rise to its highest point, a cairn
at the top of Cunswick Fell. Strolling the downhill
stretch on its close cropped yielding turf brought to
mind John Masefield’s lines:
on the mile long green decline
where the turf’s like
spring and the air’s like wine ..”
something like that !
the poetic reverie was broken by the treacherous, slippery
descent to the Crook Road that found John grovelling
in the mud. No harm done – other than to his dignity.
last mile to Ratherheath Lane crossed Sir James Cropper’s
land. Staked out, as it was, for a Pheasant shoot,
were pleased to see no sign of beaters or Guns. And
so the last few yards back to the waiting cars proved
peaceful and without incident.
and I made our separate ways home whilst amongst the
party returning to collect cars at Sizergh there was
talk of pies and pints at the Strickland Arms. But whether
that plan ever came to fruition - your correspondent
hasn’t a clue.
in all a good day out providing great company, a pleasant
walk, fantastic views and the joke
of the week. [See
so to bed, as some other diarist, whose name escapes
me, was wont to say.
26th January 2012
John, and also to Mike and Tony for the photos. Ed.
asked to explain the RV and HE initials, John responded:
must be regressing to Army days!
is a colloquial abbreviation, in the military, for "rendezvous."
Very handy for most squaddies who struggle
with French !
is a martial acronym for "High Explosive."
(See Wikipedia "List
of British Ordnance Terms" - Subsection 16.)
vaguely recall being cheered to the rafters in some
long forgotten needle-match Quiz for offering the correct
meaning of the word "Lyddite." - a high explosive
developed in England at the time of the Boer War and
used extensively in World War One.
information or what ?? !!!
of the Week:
thousand Glaswegians were asked if Scotland should change
overwhelmingly voted to keep the Giro.
Wrong Sort of Mummy
Greek correspondent takes me to task for blind adherence
to AltaVista Babel Fish when translating the colloquial
term for the female parent into Greek in BB1202.
the μούμια part
και μπαμπάς refers
to the Egyptian Pharaoh type of mummy and not to the mother of the
I can say is Οι
26th January 2012
climbed in feet:
Scar, Cunswick Scar
Mushroom. Strickland Castle
James, John S, Mike,
Roger B, Stuart, Tony
routes ares put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. This time you
are unable to follow
our route in detail by downloading BB1203.
see which Wainwright top (excluding Outlying Fells)
was visited on which BB outing
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.
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