BB2103 : O, The Things You'll Find By The Side Of The Road

Sunday 17th - Thursday  21st January 2021

In 1636, Roger Williams, a Reformed Baptist theologian was exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and so founded "God's Merciful Providence".  

Today Providence is the capital and most populous city of the State of Rhode Island, USA.

The Providence Streets Coalition is an alliance of community organisations, local businesses, schools, institutions and civic leaders advocating for people-friendly streets.

Its lead organiser is Liza Burkin, an urban planner, mobility advocate, writer, gardener and bicycle poet.  Her Magnum Opus is entitled:

O, the things you’ll find by the side of the road

By one of life's coincidences that was more or less the brief for this week's BOOTboys' Lockdown adventure. Perhaps the main difference was that I had envisaged permanent things like milestones or boundary markers as opposed the more transient items Lisa odes about. Click on her picture and read her poem then you'll know what I mean.

The forecast for the week was poor.  However one of the few benefits of Lockdown is that the boys can decide on which day they wish to perform their contribution. They were asked to provide pictures of a small number of hopefully interesting things they found by the side of the road (or path) plus a scenic picture.

Sunday 17th January

Don & Margaret:

Another of the few benefits of Lockdown is being able to undertake these missions with Margaret.  Her unexpected benefits, in addition to spending more time with me(?), include painting pictures on Zoom with the grandchildren, making marmalade (I think I have proudly mentioned previously that she won a Silver Medal in the Word Championships two years ago and had I designed a label for her it would have been gold) and playing Bridge on-line, something with which I can assist almost to the point of annoyance by dredging up memories from my University days of how to bid. Unfortunately I cannot play as I can never remember what cards have already been laid!

Having checked our tightly packed social calendar we decided to go out on Sunday.  Actually, it was the prediction of heavy rain through the week that tempted us into a short walk in decent weather that could do the job should a later expedition prove unwelcome.




1. The Dallam Tower Deer Park Marker Cairn that points the ways to Beetham, Haverbrack or back to Milnthorpe.

2. Hollins Well, marked as such on the OS map and presumably used as a human or animal water source at some time past.

3. Information plaque about the history of bridges over the River Bela from Milnthorpe to the Dallam Tower Deer Park.

The Confluence of Rivers   Kent and Bela


Monday 18th January saw several others pre-empting the approaching Storm Christophe.  Is that a deer crossing the track in the final picture?  What say you?

Robin & Holly:

Christophe threatens so we get out Monday.




1. In Upper Settle a weathered Milestone (1) reads London 236 miles; Kirkby Lonsdale 17; Hawes 28; Skipton 16; Lancaster 26.  

2.  The water troughs beneath Well Steps are known locally as ‘Slippy Slops’ (photo 2) where water was drawn, washing done and horses brought to drink!  

3.  A 1697 Act of Parliament required posts be erected to point to the nearest market towns. This one near Runley Mill has directions on 3 sides –Settle; Clitheroe and Skipton. The building is Toll Bar Cottage marking the turnpike. A cast iron milepost from 1892 in the roadside at Anley Hall shows Kendal 30M.  Quarry trucks thundering past made it too risky to photograph (Holly agreed).

4.  The parish boundary stone on Highway is of local blue slate. One piece reads Settle; the other, weathered away, should read Langcliffe.


Over the Settle / Carlisle railroad and home along Watery Lane for an energising 5.7 miles.


Another couple out on Monday had a different interpretation of the brief as will become clear.  Unfortunately they chose Weather Vanes which is on the list for future events.  Maybe they can do Side of the Road for that!

Terry & Beverley:

"You don't need a weatherman, to know which way the wind blows” however it was a good job we had a weatherman to tell us Monday was the day for striding out!

Beverley and I decided to do our Levens village & valley circuit in reverse (but not backwards) for a change. It’s amazing that just by walking in a different direction how you can notice things previously unnoticed.

Of course I misread this week's instructions, or did I? Should it have been ‘at the side of the road’ and not ‘by the side of the road’??  But of course these are just semantics which all the other BOOTboys correctly interpreted.

Looking down on the site of the original Levens Women’s Institute.

The important thing is that we had a good outing and covered exactly 6 miles.


Glad you both enjoyed your outing and I stand corrected regarding using the word "by".  Terry is of course right and I shall inform Liza Burkin accordingly.  John B will appreciated the song reference.

Along with his "official" entries, one participant submitted what perhaps should now be known as "Lurkin' Burkins"!

Mike B:

Interesting things by the side of the road are hard to come by on the Howe in the Lyth Valley. There’s a lot of rubbish though. Next time, I’m coming out with the litter picker, and a plastic sack, then there will be even less to write about. I guess my favourite thing were the croci. No mile markers on my route. Many BT poles of course. It’s a shame about the outdoor veg shop. Instead we have Tim smiling from the adjacent notice board. Would have included a post box but that was last week’s excitement.

Lurkin' Burkins:

A Crock of Gold?


Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th January were write offs.   Prolonged heavy rain flooded the Lyth Valley as Mike B's photo of a footpath across a field demonstrates.

Thursday 20th January was a better day.  Christophe had said farewell but the boys were saving themselves for the ZOOMbar!

The last word must go to Liza and her Lurkin' Burkins:

You may not find treasure of silver or gold,

But O, the things you'll find by the side of the road!

Liza is also on the organising team for Providence Bike Jam, a social group ride / mobile dance party that happens on the last Friday evening of every month.  If, once Lockdown is over, you fancy participating then Get in touch with Liza.  Don't forget to make sure your Passport still has at least six months to run.

Don, Thursday 21st January 2021


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Mike B

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