BB1837 : It's Records Week  

Wednesday 31st October 2018

Coniston Water is probably best known for the exploits of Malcolm Campbell and his son Donald with their powerboats and, in particular, the death of Donald in his world record attempt in 1967.

The powerboating tradition lives on.  This week has been a very busy one on the lake.  The air has been filled with the buzzes, growls, roars and screams of Powerboats.

It is Records week.  The 48th Annual Powerboat Records Week to be precise, although not all have been on Coniston Water.  Before the National Parks Authority stepped in, it used to be held on Windermere.

Today was Day 3, not that Day 3 held any particular significance for us.  We were seeking another opportunity to join Martin on his comeback trail.  Mike had alerted us to the fact it was Records Week so it seem a good idea to combine a visit with a gentle climb up to the Walna Scar Road and back.  That would fit Martin's criteria of less than 10 miles and 2,000 feet.

Contrary to the forecast, it was a lovely morning as a small crowd gathered at the Bluebird cafe by the water's edge where the boats were parked.  The first record to be broken was by us.  We had the largest assembly of BOOTboys, other than at special events, for over seven years.  Ten of us gathered to watch the action.  Those who arrived early saw some runs.  One big beast with two huge engines had already done its business and was off home.

However, by the time our numbers were complete, there was not a lot happening other than in the café.  So we stopped there for a while.  It was still slow going when we emerged.  We decided to head on past Coniston Hall and down the lake, otherwise we weren't going to get anywhere.

As we walked along two things happened.

First, boats started to appear (including the old steam powered gondola), make a lot of noise then charge up and down the lake.

Second, rain started to appear when it shouldn't have done.

The further south we went, the more boats we saw and the wetter we became.

There was one particular boat that caught our imagination.  I had seen it out of the water and just thought it was an ordinary quad bike.  However, put it in the water, turn the wheels up through 90 degrees and it becomes a jet ski.  Magic!

At Torver Commons Wood we decreed that it was time to leave the lake and make for the hill.  Part way through the wood we heard a familiar sound.  "It's twelve o'clock.  Where are we stopping for lunch?"  Regular readers will deduce, correctly, that Tony was with us.  I have to say that I was a little surprised at the question given that it had been a late start, further delayed by the coffee stop but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.  In Tony's case, eat at noon.

We decided to press on to Torver where, across the fields, we could see St Luke's Church.  

It might be a little sacrilegious but we figured that if we made an appropriate donation to church funds we would be forgiven for using its seats for food and shelter.

However, the door was locked.  Dilemma.  There was room in the porch for maybe six of us.  Or there were two nearby bus shelters with room for maybe eight of us in total.  Or there was the Church House Inn where, through the window we could see a welcoming lounge with log fire blazing.  So which option do you think we chose?

Wrong!  We spread ourselves between the three shelters.  Well, we had brought provisions and we couldn't eat those in the pub.

I did sense a little bit of criticism coming my way for not anticipating a pub lunch so I had to point out that if we hadn't stopped for coffee at the outset, we'd have been up on the Walna Road by now.

Once the butties had been consumed, strangely there was no enthusiasm for continuing with the original plan.  Indeed there was some talk of catching the first bus that came along, irrespective of which direction it was heading.  However, common sense took over and we returned to Coniston by more or less the same route as we had arrived.

It was still raining.  Not heavily but persistently.  We decided to enter the Crown Inn to dry off and see if any other activity took our fancy which of course it did. When a second round was suggested something totally unexpected happened. Tony, yes Tony of all people, declined.  

Now there's a record!

Don, Wednesday 31st October 2018



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Comitibus:  James, Brian, Robin, Tony, Stan, Martin, Terry, Mike T, Mike B, Don


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Map : OS 1:25k


BB1837 : It's Records Week


Wednesday 31st October 2018


Coniston Powerboats Record Week

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (OMN):


GPX track



Brian, Don, James, Martin, Mike B,
Mike T, Robin, Stan, Terry, Tony


If you want to know which BOOTboys reports refer to having visited any particular Wainwright or certain other hills, see BOOTboys Hill Log.  Warning- it might not be fully up-to-date!

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