BB1330 : The Final Training Day.  Not.

Thursday 5th September 2013

In a parallel universe, this would have been the final training day for Tony before the grand assault on Scafell Pike.

However, in this universe, the Big One has had to be postponed as the proposed date clashes with Kendal’s Torchlight Carnival night which is just as well as Tony wimped out with a calf injury.

So, given multiple other absentees, that left just Stan and me.  I had a route in mind incorporating a story which I am keen to tell but, once again, the weather forecast suggested otherwise.  

Kendal Torchlight Carnival

This is the last time I will hint at the story.  No more mention until it becomes appropriate.

We both thought a better solution for the day would be a trip round the Scars but I challenged Stan to find aspects that I hadn’t previously encountered on our many such outings.

He did not disappoint.

Mowing the cricket pitch

First, starting from his house in Kendal, he took me up the Castle by a route not previously undertaken. This led across the cricket pitches then by a peculiar play area where, he explained, for some reason the powers that be had turned it into scrubland.

A leaf seat ....

What is this vane?

.... in a scrubby area

Lime kiln sculptures

Next, after climbing up to the golf course, passing an unusual weathervane and the strange metal sculptures at the renovated, double furnaced lime kiln, we went along a ridge about which I had been unaware, although I did know about the battleship rocks.

Battleship Rocks

Further along, past what appears to be the remaining evidence of strip farming, was the former firing range.  We tried to find the old target structures but could only discover a hole with a circular concrete surround and mostly covered with very heavy slate slabs.  A gap in the slate enabled a small camera to be inserted and photograph the grisly contents.

Over ....

..... and under

Looking back over the firing range

From Cunswick Scar we could see that heading for the Lakeland fells would not have been a great idea.

Lakeland skyline from Cunswick Scar

We pressed on to the Scout Scar Mushroom thinking we would shock Tony when he reads the report to discover that we lunched at noon.  However, we arrived too early so pressed on to Helsington Church, near which we ate, sat on a bench overlooking the Lyth Valley.  Despite its remarkable mural, we did not go into the church, partly as we have done so several times before (see BB1215, for example) and partly because excavations were taking place in the graveyard.

Scout Scar Mushroom

Comitibus :  Helsingtonr

At Holmeslack Farm, there was a gateway surrounded by flags.  Closer examination suggested they contained unknown text and figures. I still can't work them out.  

Sanskrit messages anticipating Tony's Triumph?

Flags, not washing, at Holmeslack Farm

On reaching Sizergh Castle, I introduced to Stan a different route round, one that is not signed and that the National Trust might not wish visitors to take but it provides by far the best view of the castle.

Sizergh castle.....

Low Sizergh hens nesting

..... as seen from our route

Canal bridge

Next, we took the Low Sizergh Farm tour route as far as the caravan site then dropped down to the river and back to home; mine that is.  I intended to ask Margaret to run us both to Stan’s to pick up our car but he decided that 11 miles was not enough and that we should walk on.  So we did; along the old canal path where we had a bright idea.  We would call on Tony and commiserate with him about his injury.  But was he in?  No.  Just what was he up to?  Anyone know?

Stan’s final production of new features was a detour through the Aikrigg Millennium Wood which, at the far end, provides a fine viewpoint over the town.

Kendal Castle from the Millennium Wood

By this time, we had clocked up 14.4 miles and thought that was sufficient proxy training for Tony and the Big One.  Whenever it happens!

Don, Thursday 5th September 2013

 What a Difference an A Makes

Last week's report on Alcock and Bull prompted Robert to write on the subject of "natural draft cooling towers"- the huge hyperbolic towers like the ones that collapsed at Ferrybridge in the 60s.  As part of his final year dissertation for his Chemical Engineering degree he reviewed their thermodynamic and structural designs and why they are the shape that they are.

The conclusion was that nobody knew for certain.  Structural engineers thought that chemical engineers wanted them that shape to enhance air flow and the chemical engineers thought the shape was required by structural engineers for superior strength.

His conclusion was that the answer is actually a bit of both.

This rang a bell.  Anticlastic surfaces. A structure where, at any given point, the internal horizontal radius equals the external vertical radius.

Not only, as Robert indicated, are these features found in cooling towers but, in the early 1960s, a building was constructed in Picadilly Gardens, Manchester with a striking anticlastic roof structure which led to it being discussed in a school physics lesson.

I could recall that this type of structure was supposed to have maximum strength but I could not recall why until Robert reminded me.  They might look like curves but they are actually constructed of straight lines as can be seen in the first picture.  

What on earth has this got to do BOOTboys or is it just another Alcock and Bull story?

Well, the answer is a near miss.  In fact the authors of the classic papers on cooling tower design were Messrs Alcock and Ball.




Thursday 5th September 2013

Distance in miles:

14.4 (Garmin GPS)

Height climbed in feet:

1,607 (Memory Map / OS)


Cunswick Scar, Scout Scar, Helsington Barrow


Don, Stan



 BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1330 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be quite up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

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


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