BB1404 : Ten Years After

Wednesday 22nd January 2014

On 22nd January 2004, five old friends stopped waffling on about going to do it and actually put things into motion.  John PL, Pete, Philip, Stan and I drove to Haweswater and set off on the inaugural BOOTboys walk ( BB0401, not that the name had been coined at that stage, nor the blog started nor any photos taken).  The weather was terrible and the intended assault on Harter Fell was abandoned at the Nan Bield Shelter.

John PL





On 22nd January 2014, eighteen old and new BOOTboys plus Jed, the BOOTtoddler, set out to commemorate the inaugural expedition.  All of the "originals" were present although, sadly due to the state of his knees, John PL could only take part as chauffeur, albeit a crucial role!

To save the trouble of driving all the way round to Haweswater, the intention this time was to start from Kentmere Church.  This change of start and end point had the added advantage of using the Staveley Mill Yard as a meeting place and the extra bonus of using the Hawkshead Brewery as a post-walk place to regroup and refresh.

Sorting out the various travel arrangements in logical groupings taking into account people's different domestic locations, abilities and preferred routes, started to make multi-dimensional chess seem a doddle in comparison so, for light relief, I turned, at long last, to completing my tax returns.

Once that fearsome task was over, things became simpler, thanks in no small part to the weather forecast being not dissimilar to 2004.  Two basic options.  The first, to be undertaken by all, a gentle saunter to Kentmere reservoir.  Those who wanted could then return down the valley.  Those for whom the Nan Bield Shelter was the ultimate celebratory objective would press on, irrespective of conditions.

All seemed to be going well at the rendezvous until a vehicle (driver to remain anonymous to spare his embarrassment) arrived without one of the would-be participants. Fortunately, at very short notice, Ann was able to bring Philip to join us but it did mean we were now behind a tight schedule.

As the convoy progressed up the lane to Kentmere, John had to take emergency action to avoid a kamikaze driver hurtling along the road in his tiny 1940s machine.  It was an unusual vehicle which looked like a small, maroon Morris pickup truck. It all happened so fast that I was unable to photograph it. However, I thought I had seen that vehicle before and, thanks to Uncle Google, I found this photo from BB0618, a rather better day on which we were tackling the Kentmere Horseshoe.

John had the pleasure of having to take similar avoiding action from the same vehicle on his return down the valley.

Beware !

Comitibus :  Kentmere Church

Once all were safely gathered at Kentmere Church, we took the team picture and set off up the west side of the valley.  It was raining gently and the hills were shrouded.  It was expected to clear by noon.

Bryan introduced to BOOTboys a hitherto unused mode of transport- a pushchair in which Jed travelled on his inaugural expedition.  

One or two of our colleagues looked longingly and wished he had brought a rather larger one!

John S, the BOOTboys resident cartoonist, had contemplated using a zimmer as a walking aid and dreamt of being stretchered off by Mountain Rescue who kindly provided a life saving pint of real ale.


John S

In fact, progress to the reservoir was faster than I expected, despite the disparate nature of the group.  

Bemused sheep

Regrouping at the quarry houses

Tony and Pete hoped they could enjoy lunch at their desired time of noon. Pete may well have done but by that time we had split into two groups- those returning down the valley and those heading up the pass.  Tony was in the latter.

The puddly track

Nan Bield Pass in cloud

Quarries across the raging beck

Looking back down to the reservoir

The climb took rather longer than I had anticipated and poor old Tony was made to suffer. He just about held out to the summit shelter. It is a good job there is a shelter there as the weather was quite unpleasant.  Cold, wet and very windy.  I suppose that is why there is a shelter there.

Bemused fell ponies

The Nan Bield shelter- mission accomplished

For the record, the Nan Bielders this time were, left to right, Don, Martin C, John Hn, Roger B, Ian, Martin S, Stan, James & Tony.

Looking across from the east side of the valley

We returned along the east side of the valley to the Church where John was patiently waiting for us.  I should add that he wasn't ferrying all the group but was ferrying those who couldn't fit into the walker / driver cars. Excess quantity of people, not size!  The delayed start and slower than expected progress meant that we were too late for food at the Staveley Beer Hall.  Of course the reservoir group had reached it much earlier, had dined but hadn't saved us anything.  Still the Brewery does sell the crispiest and spiciest crisps I have ever tasted.

All of a sudden a row broke out between Pete and John PL.

They were disputing which of them looked the younger. There is only one sensible way to settle the matter- put it to the vote.

To the right you can see the evidence.

Vote by clicking on the chosen button.

 Which BOOTboy looks the younger? free polls 


Pete or John, who looks the younger?

Once dried out and wetted in, the group dispersed, some of us seeking further amusement in Kendal.  The Castle Inn was chosen where Stan, Tony and Pete introduced John Hn to the delights of 5s and 3s (a dominos game).

The dominos.....

..... masterclass

Thus it was that the Ten Years After episode drew to a close,  It had been really good sharing it with so many friends and in weather that was absolutely perfect for the event.

I wonder how many of us will be able to manage the Ten Years After the Ten Years After outing?

Don, 22nd January 2014

Ten Years After- bonus track

A memorable event in my early business career was the success of one our salesmen with Alvin "The Fastest Guitarist In The West" Lee and his band.  We were impressed.

You can hear and see Lee in action by clicking on:
Love Like a Man

The relevance, tenuous as it might be, is that his band was called:
Ten Years After.




Wednesday 22nd January 2014

Distance in miles
Reservoir group:
Nan Bield group:

Garmin GPS

Height climbed in feet
Reservoir group:
Nan Bield group: 

Memory Map / OS


Kentmere Reservoir, Nan Bield Shelter


Bryan, Don, Graham, Ian, James, John Hn, John PL John S, Martin C, Martin S, Pete, Philip, Roger B, Roger T, Stan, Stephen B, Stuart, 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 bb1404 .

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

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


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