9th September 2010 – Reasty Hill Top to Langdale End
Paul, Col Hutch, John, Craggsy, Keith, Sherlock, Ray, Bob & Dudley.
Nine of us out on this sunny September morning, and that’s with Chris, Stu and JR missing. It was suggested that we might have to consider wearing squad numbers at this rate. We arrived at the car park amongst the trees at Reasty Hill Top where Dudley was waiting for us. He was caravanning in the area so it was just a short ride for him.
Our path at Harwood Dale, although clearly signposted, was blocked by a large wooden fence covered in nasty looking barbed wire. A disembodied voice from a nearby garden advised us to “Go left” so go left we did. If this was the official diversion it wasn’t a very good one as we floundered about in the surrounding undergrowth attempting to gain our original route.
Once back on route we followed Harwood Dale Beck and into the thickly wooded Langdale. Our half way point was The Moorcock Inn at Langdale End, one of the few remaining quaint inns of character left in the North York Moors area. It had been Ray’s 70th birthday just a few days before and in keeping with the then FAC tradition he got a round in. So now he can be officially called Owd’ Ray.
From the pub we headed for Langdale Bridge which is followed by the notoriously steep slog up Broxa Banks. Any steeper and the climb could officially be classed as a ladder. From Broxa village to Lowdales Farm was via what Bob had named ‘The Mudslide’. This steep sided path/stream/raging torrent (depends on the weather) starts as a nettle infested track which eventually becomes a river bed with plenty of mud and slippery rocks to negotiate. The further down you go the steeper the sides become with plenty of overhanging greenery virtually blocking out the daylight. We’ve traversed this path/river (delete as appropriate) many times but it has to be said this dark and gloomy route is an old FAC favourite (well some of us like it). The strangest thing is the signs placed at both ends of this path cum watercourse prohibiting cars and motorcycles from travelling along it. Someone at the local council must have a sense of humour.
Once clear of this poor excuse for a footpath we made for the lush and leafy Lowdales and the equally sylvan Whisperdales, both places really only accessible by foot so consequently remaining hidden gems. As we got back to the cars Col revealed his secret for relieving his back pain. It was a small magnet taped to the base of his spine which apparently is a pressure point well known to acupuncturists. The only down side is he must avoid fridge doors.
13th September 1995 – Bransdale to Chop Gate
Paul, Bob, Jacko, Ray & Craggsy.
First walk with the FAC for new boy Paul Craggs. He must have enjoyed it as he became an ever-present member for the next 20 years or so. It was a bit of a baptism by fire as this particular walk has quite a few ups and downs but that didn’t seem to put him off. The ceremonial bombardment of rocks on the tin roof of the shooting hut located on Slape Wath Moor was duly carried out, much to Craggsy’s alarm and everyone else’s mirth. Tradition dies hard with the FAC.
We encountered several Coast to Coast walkers, most of them heading for The Lion Inn. Paul was ‘logged’ for forgetting the wine as back in the day the clink of wine bottle on plastic flask top was a regular feature on our fortnightly treks. Back then we were more inclined to be drinkers out for a walk rather than walkers out for a drink. It’s a fine line often crossed.
11th September 1975 – Wath (Nidderdale) to Lofthouse
Bob, Jacko, Jim Cranwell, Chris & Dave Upfield.
Following the old railway line (these days The Nidderdale Way) our group made for Gouthwaite Reservoir and Bouthwaite before climbing Fountains Earth Moor. Up on the moor they passed two large freestanding rocks named Jenny Twigg and her daughter Tib, allegedly named after the landlady and her daughter of an old inn at Arkleside. Highest point of the walk was Ouster Bank at 1450 feet above sea level.
Dropping down off the moor our intrepid group passed by a Jaguar car inside which a couple were partaking in a spot of carnal knowledge. Not our scribe Bob’s description you understand as 45 years ago you couldn’t write about such things without risking a visit from the vice squad. However, our group didn’t linger at the entertainment occurring within the vehicle as they were heading for Lofthouse and a couple of pints of refreshing ale, much more wholesome. The return route was via Ramsgill and the course of the old railway back to Wath.