BB1221: Counting Them All Back

Wednesday 13th June 2012

Poor David Cameron.

Whatever your political thoughts, is it right that he be pilloried for inadvertently leaving his eight year old daughter behind in a familiar place where they had been having lunch, thinking she was with his wife, and wife vice versa, when in fact she was still safely with the proprietor, having been otherwise indisposed at the point of departure?

On what planet does the head of the Social Workers Union live to call the unfortunate incident as "extraordinary" and suggest that inquiries should be made?  

The Camerons with lost daughter
Click on picture for Daily Telegraph article

What parent can claim never to have done something similar?  Or worse?

I have to confess to putting the car away in our garage, forgetting that baby Jamie was still in his car seat.  And Margaret and I to having a leisurely look around Cartmel before remembering that when we entered the first shop, we might possibly have had a pram with a baby Emma therein.

James confessed to a similar instance in Paris.

Even the Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, on the radio this morning, admitted to having mislaid his daughter when she was a child.

He went on to remind us of a certain Mary and Joseph who lost their twelve year old son, only to find him, after much searching, safely in a synagogue.

It seems that even the Most Holy are not immune from the problem.

Continuing the theme (of mislaid persons, not the Most Holy), I might as well ‘fess up now that when we visited Uncle Monty’s Cottage recently, had Bryan not arrived when he did, we would probably have set off without him as I got my headcount wrong.

Had Tony been with us today, he might well have wanted to leave Bryan behind after his insistence that he would only come if "it’s a reasonable walk rather than a potter!" and then suggesting we should "go up the exciting confines of Carlingill Beck and Black Force".

This is a form of torture that Tony experienced on BB0611.  Having re-read that report (I wasn't on that original visit) I was beginning to think that Tony might well be right.

As it happened, logistics got in the way- three men,but only two seats in the only available car.  Short of having Bryan on my knee, we would have to think again.

"Let's meet in Burneside", said Bryan "and go via Staveley to Gurnal Dubs".  So that was decided upon.  The irony is that it was a potter.  Gurnal Dubbs is on Potter Fell!

If you don't know Burneside (or even if you do), it is a village that is dominated by Cropper's Paper Mill whose website declares it to be "Makers of fine paper since 1845".  

There have been mills on this site for many years before then  Several of the old buildings around the mill and in the village generally are quite stylish in a mainly Victorian way, although some are much older than the present factory. The dates shown range from 1638 to 1892.  

St. Oswald's Church is a particularly fine edifice and there is a most unusual location for the Post Office- click on the picture to see where.

St Oswald's Church

Where is the Post Office?

The walk along the River Kent to Staveley is a favourite of mine with several features of interest including the Cowan Head conversion of some old Croppers mill buildings into very smart apartments.

Cowan Head Mill

River Kent

At Staveley, we crossed over the Millennium bridge, along past the mill yard on the other side then past some chickens and directly up the steep track and down to Littlewood farm.  

Comitibus :  Staveley Millennium Bridge

Mill Yardmaster's House

   Staveley hens

Looking down to Staveley.....

..... and up to the Kentmere hills

At Birk Field we stopped to chat to a man whom I initially took to be the owner.  He wished he were!  His family had farmed from the house until forty years or so ago, at which time it went on the market and Margaret and I had a look round. It had great potential but was too isolated for us.  On the other hand, our new friend woefully wished that he did still live there.

Who used to live in a house like this?

Who now lives in an apartment like these?

More climbing, up to Potter Tarn, formerly a reservoir for paper makers.  Fortunately the water was below the rim leaving the outflow clear for our lunch stop.

Potter Tarn

The reservoir outflow luncheon tables

Next, another gentle climb up to and round Gurnal Dubbs, also a mill-feeding tarn with a stone boat house.

Further along, on the other side of the fence, we noticed an upright stone bearing a plaque that informed us:

Low Taggleshaw

This four acre site within the four boundary stones was awarded in perpetuity
to the parish of Strickland Roger by the Enclosures Act of 1838
for the inhabitants of that and neighbouring parishes for recreation and exercise.

One day we will return to explore further.

Once we had crossed the Potter Fell Road, our descent took us into new territory.  First there was a large drumlin that I have never previously noticed.  

The drumlin,

Lower down, near Shepherd Green, we passed some interesting houses, one with a fish pond.  At times, the way-marking was indistinct.  Or non-existent.  James led the charge as we passed through a potentially dangerous field of bullocks and then one of cows with their calves. I began to wonder if Bryan had got things right but I ought to have known better.

Shepherd Green 1

The fish pond

Shepherd Green 2

James charges the bullocks

Waymarks appeared once again and we easily found our way back to Burneside where James' car awaited him, enabling him to escape for an afternoon meeting.

Bryan, however, being in Alpine training, needed more mileage so I accompanied him back into Kendal, leaving him to walk home (by himself) whilst I had a nostalgic stroll along the riverbank.  

Stramongate Bridge

This took me past buildings that were very familiar to me in my working career.  One in particular: Bridge Mills where I used to have a small office overlooking the river bridge, with the railway in the distance and Benson Knott beyond.  Here I used to sit, looking out of the window with my machine gun in my hand, spraying bullets over anyone late for work or for whom I had any other form of serious dislike.  Happy days!

Kendal Castle and River Kent

Don in his office, machine gun at the ready

Nostalgia over, Margaret drove out to take me home.

Returning to the Cameron Story, I have to confess to being a very bad BOOTdaddy   today, having left James in Burneside and Bryan in Kendal to find their own ways home. Consequently, I was unable to use the late Brain Hanrahan's famous Falklands War phrase, *I counted them all out and I counted them all back".  

What would the Social Workers Union have made of that?

Don, 13th June 2012


Pete's on the Move

Pete, all the best to you and Col in your new home in York.  Hope you still manage to get out with us from time to time.  Here is a reminder of the house you built in Bowston all those years ago which, by coincidence, we passed today.


A Load of Rot

We all hate litter on the fells (or anywhere else for that matter) but do you consider apple cores or banana skins to be litter?

I thought apples biodegraded quickly although I had my doubts about bananas.

How long do you think they take to rot?
The answer may give you a surprise.

See A Load of Rot.


Format Problems

Those of you viewing this on Google Chrome, or possible Firefox, rather than Microsoft Internet Explorer might wonder why sometimes certain items, particularly the end section, don't line up properly with the rest of the page.  I, too, wondered but my technical advisor, Jamie, tells me that greater minds than mine have spent large chunks of man hours contemplating the same problem.  It seems to be a bugbear of website designers that the different browsers work in slightly different ways.  So I shouldn't feel too bad about my misalignments




Wednesday 13th June 2012

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Potter Tarn, Gurnal Dubbs


Bryan, Don, James


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1221.

To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.


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