BB2124 : Not Just Jericho and the Compression Vest

Wednesday 9th June 2021

Five years ago, the BBC program Jericho inspired us to learn more about the hard lives of the men who built the huge railway viaduct and lived in the temporary townships.  Coincidentally we climbed Ingleborough on the same outing, BB1615.

Today, a suggestion from Bryan inspired us to revisit the scene.  This time we would visit the site of one of the townships on Blea Moor Common.  Coincidentally we would climb Ingleborough on the same outing only this time reversing the direction of rotation.

The information board suggested that these townships for men working on the viaduct and the Blea Moor tunnel must have been a bit like the Wild West with their wooden shacks, muddy lanes and Saturday night brawling.

Gauber Road led us south to some cottages, past an old quarry and up onto Park Fell.  It was quite steep but nowhere near as bad as the climb involved on the reverse route.

From the trig point  there is a great view of the curved viaduct, the product of the thousands of labourers.  To its left, the Whernside range.

On the other side of the hill, Pen-y-Ghent.

The path skirts the edge with a precipitous drop if you were to stray too far off the path.  Eventually we reached the point at which BB1615's fearsome climb reaches the rim.

From here, the route to the Ingleborough summit is largely flagged with quite a steep climb in parts. On the plateau, which is mostly loose chippings, we were surprised to find sheep grazing on what must be very meagre rations.  

We also found a very good shelter where to tackle our rations.  Just half of them as it was not yet noon.

We retraced our steps until we reached the junction with last time's steep ascent. Except that today it was to be the steep descent.  Which is worse?  The descent, partly because you are facing outwards so the steepness is emphasised and partly because the knees are having to act as shock absorbers and brakes.

Fortunately the torture is short and soon the flagged path leads over Humphrey's Soggy Bottom to the even more strangely named Braithwaite Wife Hole.  A little further on we ate the rest of our butties then emerged onto the Low Sleights Road, very close to the  Old Hill Inn- the start point of BB1615 but closed today.  Looking back, Ingleborough loomed menacingly.

A pleasant wander around lanes and one particular path abundant with wild flowers led us to and under the viaduct, through which Ingleborough till glowered.

Back on Blea Moor Common a was an Ice Cream van parked conveniently next to the cars.  Of course we did!

Next stop, the Hare & Hounds at Levens to meet with Tony who unkindly took one look at Mike and asked if he was wearing a compression vest.  

Mike subsequently sent this picture of what he would look like if he did.  

As if!

Don, Wednesday 9th June 2021

Comitibus: Don, Martin, Stan, Mike



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 Route:  Map: OS 1:50k


BB2124 : Not Just Jericho and the Compression Vest


Wednesday 9th June 2021




Don, Martin, Mike B, Stan

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (MM):


GPX track


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