On this day

19th April 2012 – High Hunsley to North Newbald

Col Hutch, Craggsy, Keith, Sherlock, Dudley & Bob.

For various reasons and excuses (some of them quite lame) only 6 braved the elements today. The weather was wet and the skies dark with the planned trek up to the North York Moors looking less likely by the minute. Our leader Bob arrived and Craggsy bravely ventured “Have you got a reserve walk in mind today, Bob?”. Bob’s face (in contrast to the weather) brightened, “I’m glad you asked that, the answer is yes!”.

13 miles later we parked up at High Hunsley and after donning full waterproof attire we set off at 8 minutes past 8 which must be some sort of record. Heads down we made our way alongside the busy B1230 before escaping into the Drewton Estate. Paths led in all directions with the only ones clearly signed proclaiming ‘No Entry’. What dire fate would meet any transgressor can only be imagined.

Further down the track Dudley was seen to be using a gatepost to circumnavigate a deep muddy piddle which had formed at the beginning of the path. Slowly the piece of wood he’d entrusted his life to slowly parted company with the rest of the gate. Moments later, after waving his arms about frantically in a vain attempt to try and regain his balance, he landed with a huge splash on his back in the muddy water. The tsunami which followed threatened several nearby villages while Dudley could be seen trashing around like an upturned turtle.

Colin, Dudley and Bob enjoying a brew.

Craggsy, Col and Keith quickly came to the rescue and fortunately Dudley was OK apart from being a little wet and embarrassed. Col described the incident as like a scene from The Titanic! Shortly after this, and after much laughter, it was decided to take a break in a barn opposite Drewton Farm. A local farmer passed by commenting “Are you nice and comfy in there?” and not the expected “Oy you lot, get oorf my laaaand!”.

In an adjacent field were some sheep and one of the unfortunate critters had died. Without ceremony the farmer and his mate dragged the corpse across the field and threw it into the back of his truck. “Pneumonia” he proclaimed, which was the quickest post mortem any of us had ever seen.

The path through Houghton Woods was so waterlogged that the only thing drained was our sodden spirits. Sherlock attempted to brighten the mood by entertaining us with bird sounds coming from his phone. Once in North Newbald we had two pubs to choose from, The Tiger and the Gnu Inn. Both decent pubs with their own character but a difficult decision was avoided as The Tiger Was closed. The landlord of the Gnu made everyone welcome and the beer was first rate and was eagerly quaffed by the FAC. Bob treated Keith to a belated birthday dram but it has to be reported that ‘3 pints Bilton’ still had room for another half.

Craggsy and Sherlock

Dudley, who was drying out nicely now, asked Bob how many miles we had left to walk. Bob replied “About three, but I’ll look at the map to make sure”. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a lot of use as the map he’d brought with him was the Malton/Pickering edition. The excuse offered by Bob was “It was dark when I packed it this morning”. The moral of this tale is pack it the night before or turn the light on!.

Bidding farewell to the Gnu Inn and North Newbald we headed for Swindale, a typical dry Wolds valley. Col spotted 3 birds in the distance and in the absence of the official FAC birdwatchers Chris, Nathan and Jack,  asked Keith what they were. “Onny Crows” was his reply although this was revised a little later to two buzzards being mobbed by a crow. Failing eyesight was Keith’s excuse.

Everyone agreed it had been a smashing day out. Come rain, come snow, bring it on!! We are the FAC!.

Original report by Keith Bilton.

9th April 1997 – Bransdale to Chop Gate.

Nathan, Chris, Jacko, Alf, Ray, Keith, Paul, Bob & Craggsy.

A walk to check out and familiarise ourselves with the route from Chop Gate to Botton Head for the proposed Lyke Wake Walk and we couldn’t have picked a better day for it. It certainly was a scorcher for early April.

Passing by a flock of sheep being herded by a farmer and his sheep dog Ray received a nip from the dog. Fortunately, the dog didn’t appear to suffer any after effects. Elevenses were taken at the tin huts on Slape Wath Moor but it was so warm everyone sat outside.

The Buck Inn at Chop Gate was a welcome stop where the bitter drinkers amongst us sampled a brew named Double Maxim. All agreed it was a fine ale. A day to remember and a joy to be out, they don’t come much better than this.

Original report by Jack Fawcett.

15th April 1982 – Stape to Saltergate Inn

Bob, Jacko, Chris, Barry, Chris & Syd Morley.

This was the year when the FAC decided to note every wild flower they came across. Today’s crop was Dandelion, Buttercup, Coltsfoot, Wood Sorrel, Wood Anemone, Ribwort, Alternative Leaved Golden Saxifrage & Strawberry.

Four Adders were seen multiplying under a rock near Skelton Tower. This did not subtract from us giving them our undivided attention all adding up to a good day.

Original report by Alf Stevens.

Original reports collated & edited by Paul Coates.

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