The Greyhound Track
3rd January 2013
is a steep road out of Kendal known locally
as the Greyhound. It is the old road
to Sedbergh and the steepest part finishes
at a house, which I think used to be a pub
but none of my Kendalian colleagues remembers
it as such.
it is at the junction of Paddy Lane, so-called
because it was used by Irish cattle drovers
and it would be surprising if, at this then
major intersection, there were no establishment
for them to refresh themselves.
house name, Greyhound, is certainly of local
relevance as will become clear.
on up the old Sedbergh Road, before reaching the toll
house, is the former municipal reservoir, Fisher Tarn
dating from the 1890s.
Sadly, thieves celebrated its centenary
by removing one of the commemorative plaques, no doubt
to melt down and sell for a fraction of its value. Regarding
the second plaque, the attempted theft failed but in
the process it was badly disfigured.
plaques have been installed but just in case anyone
with ill-intent reads this, I should add that these are
made of fibreglass and worthless as scrap
tarn was still in operation as a reservoir when I first
arrived in Kendal. Tap water would, on occasion, turn a funny colour or
have an "interesting" flavour. I
thought it ironic that my home town of Stockport had
the soft, pure, Lake District water (as was the case
in the days
prior to fluoridisation) whilst Kendal was
that changed in the late 1980s when Kendal started taking its supply from the Thirlmere pipeline as it
made its way south.
recently,the tarn lived down to its
name, becoming the province of fishermen and
seemed strange that in the 43 years I have lived here,
I had never visited the tarn although I have driven
past it many a time. In need of an easy, post-festivities
outing, it was time to get on the Greyhound track and put that right.
warned, with truth, that it is a "grind
up the Greyhound" which is local speak for the
ascent of the old road being rather
steep. I know.
I have cycled up but not for many a year. Indeed,
it was on a descent of that road that I experienced
Motorbikers will know
what I mean but I have never heard of anyone else experiencing
one on a pedal cycle. Frightening. And in
case your mind needs cleansing, it has nothing to do
our route to the Greyhound avoided the grind.
was a staggered sort of start, but eventually, after
Tony taking Bryan, Stan and me for a detour to explore
the Quaker cemetery, we met with Stuart and Roger T
and set off up the old Sedbergh Road. Not for
long, however, as we turned along the path leading to
the railway and its underpass designed for midgets.
Quaker Burial Ground
back over Kendal
Bird's Park are two very old reservoirs- the first dried
out but the second still holding water. For what
purposes they had been built, we were not sure.
Upper Bird's Park Reservoir
onto Paddy Lane, we turned right to see the evidence
of the modern water supply- a huge underground holding
chamber, the only signs of which are the inspection
little further along is the aforementioned building,
now called Greyhound House.
Greyhound is a relatively common image in
the area, being the emblem of the Sleddale
family after whom at least two valleys are
named. There is also a still extant
Greyhound Hotel at Shap which seems to be
related. I am not so sure about the
former Greyhound Frigate Inn in Kendal.
building opposite Greyhound House (foolishly
I failed to check its name- could it be
Greyhound Farm?) has a weather vane featuring
you have guessed it. Two of them in
Tony predicted, access to Fisher Tarn was not a problem.
The dam wall was surprisingly long and you can
walk its full length.
considered circling round the tarn but Tony advised
that the ground would be too boggy.
and looking down
mist rolls in
we returned along the dam wall, mist was forming and
it looked as if the weather would soon close in on us.
Our destination was the Station Inn, but by not
the direct route. I was keen to see more greyhounds
so persuaded the group to make a detour via New Hutton.
Hutton with church and schoolhouse
wanted to see anew ( BB1107
) the two on the gate pillars to the church and the
one remaining on the school gate pillar.
two on the gate pillars to the church .....
and the one remaining on the school gate pillar.
made the mistake of reassuring the others that this
detour would not seriously delay our arrival at our
destination. I was wrong, for three reasons.
first was that I hadn't counted on certain members of
the group needing an extended coffee stop. They
conducted a sit-in atop the tombstones in the churchyard
whilst I photographed the two hounds at the church gates
and the sole remaining hound at the old and now disused
village school. Again metal thieves had been at
work. Whether or not they had tried to take the
second hound, I don't know but it has a serious gap
in its thigh bone that would have materially affected
its coursing ability.
route then led over increasingly sodden ground with
folk slipping all over the place and getting rather
muddied up, for which they were blaming me. This,
plus Tony lusting after a rusting tractor, was
the second contribution to our late arrival at the pub.
But why won't people fall over when I have my
on, fall over!
third factor, after we had climbed up past the former
Holme Park School (about which several of us have many
happy memories) was the challenge of finding our way
through Windy Hill Farm. Here we were not helped
by waysigns that pointed down a path that did not exist
on the OS map (but, to my mind, went in the wrong direction).
The mood was further deepened by the rain that
had started to set in. Nor were matters helped
by following other waysigns that vanished (as often
seems to happen) when in the farmyard.
former Holme Park School
this challenge was, eventually, successfully overcome
and the doubting Thomases (who were still inclined to
head off in the wrong direction) shown the error of
their ways, the road to the Station Inn was reached.
Just before we arrived at the Inn, Santa's llama
was spotted in the field, The sight helped restore
seasonal spirits, as did the ale and burgers shortly
was one last moment of excitement.
we were about to leave the pub, three police
cars and one police bike came up and blocked
the road, lights a-flashing.
it a chase, we wondered?
so exciting. It was a convoy clearing
the roads for a lorry and trailer carrying
a part of one of the massive wind turbines
to be erected nearby at great public expense
and dubious public value.
that I am biased in these matters.
kindly came to pick me up which was good because it
was now drizzling nastily. I felt bad about watching
three of my companions making their damp way down into
Kendal but as the rear of the car was full of kiddie
seats and those boys are somewhat too large to fit in
them, there was little we could do but bid them goodbye
and suggest they wait for a Greyhound bus.
response looked quite Shakespearian, as if they were
standing like greyhounds in the slips, fingers raised
like English archers at Agincourt.
3rd January 2013
3rd Jamuary 2013
climbed in feet:
(OS / Memory Map)
Tarn, New Hutton
Don, Roger T, Stan, Stuart, Tony,
routes are put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading bb1301
discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.
E-mail addresses on this web site are protected
Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated
help fight spam e-mail!