BB1229 : Best Bitter and Beef Burgers,Too.

The Tour of Britain Cycle Race (or as I still remember it- The Milk Race) coming through Kendal today on their way to Blackpool invoked thoughts of Stanley Holloway reminiscing about Albert's visit there, somewhat plagiarised:

There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
What's noted for fresh air and fun,
The two thousand and twelve British Bike Race
Would stop there when t'day’s fuss were done.

 But first they’d have to pass Kendal
In a frenzy at Stramongate bridge
Where BOOTboys and t'others were waiting
Despite it being cold as a fridge

 Bikers didn’t think much to t’weather
The rain was all drizzly and wet
with a wind what blew right down t'high street
just like a tor-na-do jet

 They’d another mad dash at Old Hutton
Then butties they’d eat on the bike
Before waving "Hello Kirkby Lonsdale"
And off to t’south, speedy-like.

This had BOOTboy implications.  As we wanted to see Wiggo and Cav in action, the start to our outing would be seriously delayed - they were not expected until about 1 p.m.

I had intended to do my own two wheeled stint into Kendal but, unfortunately, my punctured front wheel let me down.  Consequently, my bicycular appearance could not take place.  As a result, I decided to walk into Kendal (despite the teeming rain) but, after a quarter of a mile or so, I realised that I had forgotten my mobile.  

Returned home, couldn't see the thing, so dialled it from the house phone.  My rucksack responded. Umm.

Set off again then, after a quarter of a mile or so, realised I hadn’t got my camera.  Returned home and found it.  Time was slipping away so phoned Tony to ask him to pick me up.

We arrived in Kendal in time to have a look round the small Castle Street Cemetery, the most famous occupant being Wavell Wakefield - he who, when combined with Will Carling, has the distinction of enabling Sedbergh School to enjoy the claim of being the only school to have produced two England rugby union captains.

Wavell Wakefield

Lord Wakefield's resting place

River Kent from Stramongate Bridge

There was also a tomb with a strange "Bat out of Hell" carving.

The original plan was to take advantage of the offer made by Roger B to use his offices as a vantage point.  However on arrival, it was clear that the pavement of Stramongate Bridge would be better, providing that the Thai girl in front of me would, first, put down her umbrella and, second, stop obscuring everyone’s view by insisting on taking photos using her inconsiderately large i-pad.

The children from Stramongate School were having a wonderful time cheering every vehicle that came over the bridge and most drivers, especially the wagon drivers and the police motor bikers, enjoyed waving back to them.

One lady rode by on her bike to a tremendous reception as if she had won the race herself!  Soon, the advance group of cyclists came through.   When I told the Tha-i-pad lady that she had prevented me from seeing the cyclists, she kindly replayed the scene for me so I could photograph the action on her screen!!

Winniner of the ladies' shopping race

Action replay

She kept out of my way (in other words, I stood in front of her) when, six minutes later, the peleton arrived with Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish (the eventual stage winner) near the front.

The Peleton

Team  Sky including Wiggo and Cav (in white)

They were followed by a host of team cars with spare bikes and parts plus more police motorcyclists honking and waving and obviously having a great day out.

A different but most enjoyable start to a BOOTboys outing

It was raining on and off as we bought refreshments then walked up Entry Lane to Fellside, Tony and I swapping reminiscences about various the properties in which we had lived or drunk there.

Leaving Kendal behind

Up and over the golf course we climbed and onto Cunswick Scar.  Rainbows could be seen over towards Whinfell.  We, however, headed south and as we did, the weather got progressively better.  

Kentmere horseshoe

By the time we reached the Scout Scar Mushroom for refreshments, I was able to remove my water and windproofs, so changed was the day.  John had not been up here before but soon realised why it is one of our favourite places and within such easy reach of home.

Appropriately, Blackpool Tower could just be discerned on the horizon.

Comitibus :  Scout Scar

Kent Estuary and distant Blackpool Tower)

 Fairfield range

Onwards to Helsington Barrow and into Helsington Church.  Unfortunately, the wonderful mural (see BB1203 amongst others) is much faded and poorly illuminated so John had to rely on our description.

Sizergh Castle

Castle Entrance

By this time, Tony was beginning to suffer with some odd affliction of the foot.  We dropped down to Sizergh Castle where he recovered sufficiently for an improptu waltz with a snail. This reminded him of what he would be doing were he and not the cyclists at Blackpool Tower that night.

Tony and his dancing partner

Tony and partner in the Tower Ballroom

Suitable medicine to relieve such muscular and hallucinogenic ailments was available, without prescription, at the Strickland Arms.

Strickland Arms

Guess where!)

Several doses were required by all, whllst admiring the remarkable etching of hunting calls to control the fox hounds and tickling a couple of friendly poodles.

Hunting horn notations

John’s nurse, Trish, then arrived to take the patients home, by which time all were much revived,  Not exactly by Albert's old ale and sandwiches.

More like best bitter and beef burgers, too!

Or put another way:

At Sizergh Tony were dancing
Wi'a snail he found in the track
Made o'wood, just outside of t'Castle
In Blackpool he wished he were back

They'd had the best of the weather
The sun was about to be set
So they called in the Arms of the Strickland
To see what there they could get.

They had to wait 'til supper was serv-ed
But they knew just what they could do
Ponder Pictures 'n' Pack-hounds 'n' Poodles
'n' Best Bitter then Beef Burgers too.

Don, 12th September 2012


All Along the Whip Crack

Oh Joy of Joys.  No sooner had I finished this report than I got one of those calls featured in BB1228 :  Whip Crack-away.

I chose Bob and, whilst the caller struggled to communicate, I danced around the room in ecstasy. After a couple of minutes he hung up then phoned me back for a dose of Jimi. I can't understand why he didn't return once more for Doris.  

All three now on my desktop for instant fulfillment

Nowt wrong with my computer, thanks. Well, nothing that he could fix.

Afterthought:  A more subtle approach, if you are prepared to have some dialogue, is the second movement of Beethoven's 7th symphony with its slow tempo and progressive build up of volume.




Wednesday 12th September

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Cunswick Scar, Scout Scar Helsington Barrow


Don, John Hn, Tony


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1229

To discover 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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