BB1207 : Some Foolish Things

Wednesday 22nd February 2012

Donny Nomates this week, thanks to an imaginative set of excuses from my erstwhile companions.  Still, it gives me the chance to process a few things that would otherwise clutter the next report.  This is becoming more like the BOOTboys colour supplement rather than a log of our outings!

 Don, Wednesday 22nd February 2012


Withnail; With Us No More

Regular BOOTboys followers will be aware that some members of the group have more than a passing interest in Uncle Monty's Cottage, a.k.a. Sleddale Hall, and related matters.

Stan recently informed me that Richard Morant who inspired the Withnail & I film (and thereby Uncle Monty) had died, aged 66.  

He gained fame playing Flashman in the BBC Tom Brown's Schooldays series.  

However, his dandyish costumes, dark good looks and the filthy, squalid house that he shared with Bruce Robinson in Camden when he was a young actor was a model for Withnail and directly gave rise to the 1987 film in which Richard E Grant played Withnail.

By one of life's strange coincidences, in the same set of incoming e-mails was this from Dave, one of the blokes we had met in Mosedale Cottage on BB1046:

Richard Morantt

Richard E Grant as Wiithnail

Hi guys, thanks for giving us a mention on your website.

Having found Sleddale Hall abandoned in 2006 we decided to use it as a bothy as it was a lot closer than the hike to Mosedale. Over the years we tidied it up and made regular visits, staying over and cleaning the place up until it was sold at auction in Feb 2009.  

Happily Mr Hindley could not back up his promises with cash but Mr Tim Ellis came to the rescue of Sleddale Hall and is currently renovating the place to its former glory.

The story continues as Tim is now a good friend of ours and is now part of the great community at Shap.

I hope I am not hearing you say "What is the connection?"  Just check back to BB1046 (and the links contained therein) if you are in any doubts.  In summary, Sleddale Hall was the setting for Crow Hall, i.e. Withnail's Uncle Monty's country residence.  Dave went on to provide some Crow Hall links.

Tony remembered that when we last visited the property, there was a sign saying how to get in touch with the new owner and, sure enough, on BB1046  I had recorded the fact and the e-mail address.  Consequently, I contacted the new owner, Tim Ellis, an architect from Canterbury, Kent, who is renovating the house.  I told Tim about the visits of the BOOTboys to Sleddale Hall and asked if we might see how the renovation was coming along. He responded:

Today must be blessed by the patron saint of coincidence.  I recieved an e-mail earlier from a friend which had a link to the BOOTboys!

You are most welcome to visit and I will gladly show you around.

Unfortunately, so far, we have not been able to find a date that is convenient for both Tim and the BOOTboy Withnail fans.  However, he is clearly sympathetic to such addicts.  On the Withnail and I Forum website to which he referred me, he stated in March 2011:

I hope that this will be the first of many posts concerning progress at the house.

I've been maintaining a low profile pending the outcome of my application for a Certificate of Lawful Use; the Lake District National Park Authority have now granted this which means that I have the go-ahead to restore the house.

Tim  Ellis at Sleddale Hall

The site goes on to provide many updates on progress.  It is clearly a major project, sympathetic to its unique history.  It is impressive that Tim is taking the trouble to share the development with Withnail fans in this way and we look forward to reporting progress in the not too distant future.


John, Julia, Ranvir and Alex

BOOTboys readers with long memories will recall that John L, plus others, had an (un?) healthy admiration for Julia Bradbury.  Do you recall how John's lust for her twice enabled him to reach the summit of Side Pike, as described in BB1132?

2006 fantasy

2009 fantasy

Strange then that on the very night that I remarked to Margaret as to how over-exposed I thought Julia Bradbury had become with yet another simpering commentary about the British countryside, I received an e-mail from John admitting how his affections had moved on.

I already knew that he had a thing about Ranvir Singh, the North West Tonight presenter.  At least I think that is the person about whom he confessed but I may have misunderstood and perhaps he was actually raving about Ranveer Singh.

John with Ranvir Singh

John with Ranveer Singh

Having discovered that she (or he) married recently, fickle John is now inviting fellow BOOTboys to sign up for the APAS (the Alex Polizzi Appreciation Society).

Perhaps it says something about me that I had never heard of this person.

John with Alex Polizzi

I am informed that Alex is the ex-presenter of the Channel 5 TV series "The Hotel Inspector" and now presents her own programme "Alex Polizzi - The Fixer" on BBC Two.   

Bearing his own reputation as a "Fixer", watch out for John's appearance thereon!

Juding by the photo on the right, they might yet appear in a Julia Bradury programme!

Nor did I know whether the individual was a male Alex or a female Alex.

Seemingly, however, other BOOTboys are better informed and at least one has also admitted having already joined APAS.

Could it possibly be because Alessandra Maria-Luigia O Polizzi Di Sorrentino (born 28 August 1971) is, apparently, a British hotelier?  Could that be a clue to the other admirer's identity?

Alex and John in the countryside

Not that this has anything to do with this week's non-outing but I thought you might be interested.  It is published as John's punishment for preferring to travel to Newcastle to meet a former football manager.  Unforgiveable, even though one of that indiviidual's former clubs was Manchester City!

 Don, Thursday 22nd February 2012



These Foolish Things

Occasional BOOTboy Tim took me to task for forgetting that he had told me about Claife Station some time back.  

Put another way, here is a previously unknown verse of These Foolish Things:

The day that Tim went to The Claife Station
He told me then it was a great sensation
Me, he now upbraids
Because the memory fades
Remind me of ... what was it again?

To discover more, see These Foolish Things where you also find how Chris P gently took me to task about my accuracy concerning the viewing stations on Windermere in BB1206. See West's Stations.





Wednesday 22nd February 2012

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:


Wainwrights :


Other Features:





BOOTboys routes ares put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can'f follow our route in detail by downloading BB1207 as there ain't one!

To see which Wainwright top (excluding Outlying Fells) was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When?

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