7th March 2013
you noticed the resurgence of black and white photography?
it is something to do with the popularity
of Shades of Grey!
Long time BOOTboys
fans will recall photographer Jilly Bennett from BB0836.
Readers of Jilly's
Menton Daily Photo might remember the day
it featured The Boot Boys
week Margaret and I were invited to see Jilly's
exhibition in the Tour Lascaris at
the top of the lovely littoral village,
Gorbio, near Menton on the French Riviera.
pictures, all in monochrome, was stunning as you can
tell from the examples shown here and in the right hand
couple of days later, we visited the new and extraordinary
addition to the normal display of the works of Cocteau
and his pals was a photo exhibition. The photographer,
has quite a different style to Jilly but he also uses
black and white.
made me realise that far from being an outmoded
method of portraying an image, it causes you look at
things in a different way. Undistracted by colour,
you notice form and light and shade. I can now
understand better why occasional BOOTboy
is so keen on the medium. He goes
one stage further (or is it back?) and uses a pin-hole camera.
the style translates well into BOOTboys
reports is quite a different matter but here goes! Anyone
wanted an unexpurgated colour version should double-click
on the chosen picture.
route today was inspired by a talk to which Ian &
Cynthia invited Margaret & me at Hutton Roof recently.
The story of the Thirlmere Aqueduct was told-
a Victorian feat of engineering that satisfied, for
a time, the rapidly expanding need for water in the
is a long distance walk that has been designed to follow
the route of the pipeline, called, unsurprisingly:
The book is out of print but I found a second
hand copy on the web and perhaps we will tackle it once
we have finished The
Miller's Way with
Ian & Cynthia.
the course of the research, I found a description of
Three Aqueduct Crossings Walk
compiled by Peter Dobson in 2003. It ticked several boxes for a day in which the
forecast precluded going high and time constraints prevented
being out too long. And it is near to home.
at the lay-by near Millcrest, we headed northwards across
the fields, soon to meet the first aqueduct. The
four large pipes from the four stages of development
of the Thirlmere scheme were clear to see, as was the
small but rather fine building which presumably hoses
an inspection chamber. It is certainly not
a pumping house as the water flows all the way to Manchester
powered by gravity alone.
route instructions were a little ambiguous here and
I made the classic mistake of following what I interpreted
as the directions rather than consulting the map.
maybe we were led astray by the friendliest little lamb
we have ever met.
met a little lamb
ate out of his hand
then Tony roasted it
said it tasted grand
back on the right route, we were led down to the River
Sprint and along the east bank, opposite Oak Bank Mill,
and soon the second aqueduct was discovered.
number two inspection chambers
followed was a pleasant stroll across farmland and the
A6, along a curved old trail, past a pylon then by the
striking modern barn development at Skelsmergh Hall.
the field .....
and under the pylon
stop was Dodding Green where we had lunch in some convenient
wheelchairs. Actually they were wooden benches but Bryan
and Stan had fun pretending to push two old BOOTboys
around in the bath chairs for the fogeygraph.
and wishing well
Green is an old house with a hidden chapel.
It is of historical importance to Roman
Catholics as Mass was said here during the
time of the Penal laws.
it is a retreat operated by The
to help former addicts find a new way of
life. There was no sign of any such occupants
this point Bryan left us to resume grandchild
sitting duties whilst the rest of us dropped
down to the strange hamlet, Meal Bank.
developed from a water mill site with worker's cottages,
it is now a small but messy conglomeration of ugly industrial
units plus cottages that collectively look more attractive
from the rear than the front.
Bank chapel (now dwellings)
view of the hamlet
Bank door feature
stream, disguised by a stone bridge is the third aqueduct,
this time carrying water from Haweswater.
cursory examination, we followed the River
Mint southwest before climbing toward Helme
Bank and the car.
had proved to be a gentle stroll through
pleasant countryside with several items
of interest for engineering or historical
anoraks, even in monochrome.
there is no need to adjust your sets.
colour service will be resumed in the next
7th March 2013
readers will recall that I raised the question as to
what were the mysterious slabs by the side of the path
discovered on BB1308
: Valentine Postponed.
G suggested that rather than being gravestones, they
were more likely to be Brathay Flags. These were
often used together as field boundaries. There
are, he added, plenty in the Coniston area. He
went on to predict that I would research the matter
advises that a slate fence wall is now relatively rare and largely confined to small areas where slate is produced. The edges of the slate are cut so as to 'interweave' with each other, to provide greater strength to the wall as a whole. Only very fine grained, extremely hard, fissile rocks including slabs and very occasionally, hard siltstones have all the qualities required for this style. In some areas narrower slates are held together, like wooden fence posts, with wire or special clips."
slate fence wall
C, who hopes one day to join us, advises that the mysterious slates at the side of the path reminded
him of the ones in Nepal.
asked whether they had Buddhist chants
carved into them or just "Tracy loves Wayne" scratched
advised him that we didn't see anything about Tracy
or Wayne. Though one set of markings did look
IS ENAMOURED OF BOUDICCA
I told you they were Valentine Messages!
week Bryan was Billy Nomates so he went out twice.
Sunday he decided to try a walk on the Southern part
of the Bowland Fells, starting from the village of Chipping.
He reports that:
is a horseshoe route of 8.5 miles and 1,500
ft of climb with what would undoubtedly
be superb views in all directions on a good
it was I didn’t get a clear day. Instead
I got snow showers for most of it and average
to poor visibility. This made navigation
across the moorland stretch interesting
as I’d forgotten my compass and so had to
use the good old fall back technique of
using the wind direction to hold a course.
Definitely a route I’d recommend and one
I’ll be going back to do on a clear day
grim Bryan at the summit of Fair Snape
second outing was on Tuesday, starting from Dunmail
Raise up the old familiar track up Raise Beck.
the valley floor there looked to be very little snow
but on reaching Grisedale Tarn it was a different world
with the East and South facing slopes still being plastered
didn’t need crampons until Dollywagon Pike, but from
there on they were pretty much essential.
from Dollywagon Pike
the summit I was taking a photo when I noticed a climber
soloing up the East face straight from Red Tarn. Pretty
dramatic, but probably too hard for me!
climber; Striding Edge in background
summit looking to Nethermost Pike
opted for a different route down via Comb Crags and
down to Thirlmere. It proved interesting for a couple
I encountered a group of 5 people traversing across
a 40 degree slope of hard packed and icy snow. They
all had ice axes but none had crampons – the complete
opposite to me. They were really struggling as the snow
was too hard in places even for kicking steps. My offer
of help to get them across to some softer snow was politely
rejected so I opted to watch them until they were safely
down I came to Comb Crags and initially had trouble
finding the line down through them. When I did I rather
regretted not having brought the axe. Parts of the slope
were close to the limit for microspikes – slow but sure
proved to be the best policy. For those now thinking
“Good decision not to join him” I should add that I
could have abandoned the route and traversed across
the slope for a while to re-join my way in, and I definitely
wouldn’t have taken anyone down that way that hadn’t
had a reasonable amount of winter experience.
brilliant day – 7.8 miles and 2860 feet
6th March 2013
climbed in feet:
(Memory Map / O.S.)
Don, 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 bb1309
discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.
have been gleaned from many sources although mostly
from me! Likewise written comment. Unless stated
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if you wish.
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