29th July 2010 – Kildale to Commondale
Chris, Paul, Keith, Craggsy, Sherlock, Stu, Dudley, Ray & Bob.
An earlier than usual start to the day as our destination was Kildale situated at the northern end of the North York Moors. We’d no sooner arrived in the village and parked up our three cars when another party of walkers arrived hoping to park in the same spot. Not today sunshine…first come first served.
We went a little astray in Baysdale which Paul got the blame for as he had the map. Meanwhile the 3 SatNav operators (Keith, Stu & Sherlock) were keeping quiet as purely by coincidence all three had turned their respective route finders off (allegedly). Keith was handing out his usual derision at those of us following the healthy option at our grub stop. He then bit his lip while chomping on a spicy sausage proving the God does indeed work in mysterious ways.
The Cleveland Inn at Commondale was our pub stop and one we’d never been in before. As we entered the dark and gloomy interior lit with just one low wattage lightbulb above the bar we realised we’d entered a real inn of character. Despite the noise we made sorting ourselves out and getting seated, nobody from the pub had yet appeared behind the bar. Suddenly, looming out of the darkness, a bloke appeared who we assumed to be the landlord, followed by someone who looked like she’d had a long and fruitful career casting spells. I don’t know who was more surprised, us or them. And then the landlord uttered the classic phrase “Do you want a drink then?”. The Cleveland Inn was a pub we wouldn’t forget in a hurry.
After leaving the quirky Cleveland Inn we headed out of Commondale and across the quaintly named Thunderbush Moor. If there was a path it had long been devoured by the surrounding undergrowth but with the help of our SatNav operatives we stumbled our way across the moor. We later had to fight our way through head high bracken alongside the Whitby to Middlesbrough railway line before arriving back in the 20th century in Kildale.
2nd August 1995 – Coneysthorpe Banks Wood to Hovingham
Bob, Ray, Jacko & Paul.
A steaming hot day in the extensive woodland around the Howardian Hills area. The pesky resident flies were out in full strength no doubt attracted to Bob’s new shorts. Jacko reports that they were metallic green with multicoloured trim and central locking pockets. Our pub stop was The Malt Shovel in Hovingham which gained the distinction of becoming our new favourite pub as the bar staff seemed to have a tenuous grasp of basic maths as not once, not twice, but three times they made a miscalculation in our favour. We later worked it out that mine host had paid for an extra half and our petrol costs. No wonder the pub shut down a few years later.
Later in the day Bob had a clothing malfunction when the zip on the back pocket of his “nearly new” shorts became jammed. The curtain twitchers in Welburn must have been aghast at the sight of Bob bending over in the middle of the high street with Paul & Jacko pulling at his shorts trying to free his zip. No wonder we haven’t been back since.
1st August 1985 – Glaisdale Fork to Beck Hole
Bob, Barry, Alf, Syd, Paul & Dave Hunt
Had an encounter with a gamekeeper on Pike Hill and we spotted a couple of adders in Wheeldale Gill.