BB0823 : We'll Give It Five

Thursday 10th July 2008

Funny how the memory plays tricks.  Who was it used to say “Oi’ll give it foive”?  My first thought that it was Monica Rose but then I remembered that she was Hughie Green’s sidekick (and more- allegedly!). Or was that brummie, Marlene?  I couldn't remember. Can you?  I confess I had to look it up so I will leave the answer until later.

I was reminded of this catchphrase as we sat in the car at the car park at the head of a strangely low (given the recent weather) Haweswater, waiting for the rain to stop.

“We’ll give it five minutes”, we kept saying but it just varied from pouring down to down pouring.  

However we turned the problem into an opportunity. A  BOOTboys' innovation- we took the team picture in the car before even putting on a boot! 

What to wear had challenged all of us.  I opted for bringing three different sets of clothes. Stan reckoned he had changed his three times before being picked up and Bryan, too, had brought a multiple-choice wardrobe.

After five or six lots of giving it five minutes and reminiscences that our planned route of going up Gatescarth Pass and on to Harter Fell in the pouring rain was how the BOOTboys first started, we decided to re-enact BB0401.

Funnily enough, it’s right what they say that it’s much worse looking out at the rain from inside than actually being out in it.  Either that or it had really eased off.




Looking up to Nan Bield

The view of Haweswater disappeared as we climbed into the clag and, somewhat to our surprise, a disturbingly strong wind.  

The only folk we met on the hills all day were firstly two girls with their cocker spaniel and then a party of four girls.  Gentlemen of England were obviously still (and sensibly) a-bed!

There are two strange cairns on Harter fell that loomed out of the mist.  They feature modern art like sculptures made from the old metal fence posts.  We thought there only used to be one but my Wainwright book mentions them both.  However, it is the Jesty revised edition so maybe things have changed.  Or memory playing more tricks.


The Not-the-Summit Cairn


Harter Fell Summit Cairn

The rocks on the descent to Nan Bield seemed much slippier than on the way up. Here we met the two girls with the cocker spaniel again, coming up- seemingly doing another lap of the hill.


Bryan's tarp at the Nan Bield shalter

For once, there was no one at the shelter. To give us maximum protection Bryan brought out the tarpaulin he had rescued from the stream on BB0804.  It was not big enough to roof the shelter fully but by sitting on one side of the tarp and tying the ends to rucksacks it kept the worst of the weather off us whilst we had lunch.

After lunch, the weather cleared and we could see down Kentmere to the coast.  We were contemplating going on to High Street but then a fresh belt of rain rolled in and we opted instead to head down to Small Water.

Stan was quite disappointed as this was exactly what had happened on BB0401 and he threatened to set off up the hill.  Bryan was quite disappointed, as he had wanted to come back by Blea Water.  I was quite relieved and skipped off down the path, down to some rather strange sheep shelters.  At least it might be what they are- they look more like mine entrances.


Small Water and Haweswater


Strange shelters

Bryan, determined to get to Blea Water, developed a cunning plan.  A quick consultation of my now rain soaked map suggested it was possible to contour round from Small Water.  


Blea Water

It proved to be a slightly hairy and, for me, a somewhat exhausting traverse.  

Why that should have been is a mystery. Maybe it was because it was after-lunch exercise. Maybe it was because psychologically I had been on the way back to the car. Or maybe I have lost match fitness, this being my first outing for three weeks.

Eventually we breasted a rise and there below us was the Blea Water basin spectacularly guarded by the crags coming down from High Street. 

There was brief consideration of going up to High Street from here (the weather seemed rather better by now although I think it was just due to being in the lee of the hill).  There was greater consideration of going up onto the Rough Crag ridge and back to the car that way.  

Blea Water Beck emerging from the Tarn

However there was an obstacle to cross- Blea Water Beck.  With all the rain, it was in spate and finding a safe crossing place was a challenge.  We did find an Indiana Jones type log across the beck but it was too uneven to walk across and too rough to straddle your way along.  Bryan did contemplate the latter but feared major splinters in the bum department as well as the potential for dropping into a very unwelcoming torrent.

Bryan and the Bridge of Doom

Lower down there was a narrower section with a flat bank permitting a bit of a run up, so jump we did but we were now too low to climb the ridge.  

The final stages were uneventful, the weather was reasonable and there was a good view over to Gatesgarth Pass and the path on which we had set out earlier..

We reached the car just before another heavy shower arrived.  The car park was quite full, as were the cars!

Driving back towards Shap the sun came out, giving us the best view we had had all day.


Gatesgarth Pass

And the garage in Shap had a car that could have won awards had it been at the Hampton Court Flower Show.


Best view of the day


Best in show?

As for the “Oi’ll give it foive” lady- did you get it right?

Janice Nicholls in ITV’s sixties answer to Juke Box Jury, Thank Your Lucky Stars.

Don, 10th July 2008


Stan subsequently added, in respect of the sheep shelters by Small Water:

    The memory has finally kicked in.  The word I was trying to remember was bield.  This is a northern word meaning sheepfold or shelter.  In Scotland it is spelt beild or beeld.  In Yorkshire it generally means a piece of wall which has no purpose other than to give shelter to sheep.  I can't find a dictionary definition of bield but I can recall people saying they had sheltered in a sheep bield in or around the Gatesgarth area.   If anyone sends in any other explanation I would be interested to see them.

 A Google search produced a definition in Geograph that Bield is a Northern name for a sheepfold or shelter, illustrated with a photograph of a Sheep Bield at Lythe Beck, Esk Valley, North Yorkshire.

Nearer to home, Wainwright gives a typically precise description of the difference between a fold and a bield in his account of Great Calva in the Northern Fells:

    Note the difference between a sheepfold and a bield.  A fold is an enclosure of stone walls to contain sheep; a bield is an open shelter of stone walls to protect sheep from bad weather.  Thus a fold acts as a bield also, but a bield never serves as a fold.





6.0 miles

Height climbed:

2,139 feet


Harter Fell


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0823.

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


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2008 Outings

  • BB0801 :
    Avoiding the Graupel;  
    Wednesday 16 January
  • BB0802 :
    Lyth in the Old Dogs;
    Tuesday 22 January
  • BB0803 :
    That's Lyth;
    Sunday 27 January
  • BB0804 :
    Tony's Memory Lane;
    Wednesday 30th January
  • BB0805 :
    Fell's Belles!
    Thank You Mells
    Wednesday 6th February  
  • BB0806 :
    The Langdale Skyline
    and a Fell Race!
    Wednesday 13th February
  • BB0807a:
    An Outbreak of Common Sense;
    Thursday 21st February
  • BB0807b:
    Askham Fell and
    the Lowther Estate;
    Thursday 13th March
  • BB0808
    Thanks to the MWIS
    Wednesday 19th March
  • BB0809 :  
    High Street and Kidsty Pike
    but no Fairy
    Friday 28th March
  • BB0810 :  
    Prelude to Spring
    Wednesday 2nd April
  • BB0811 :  
    Spring in Lakeland
    Sunday 6th April
  • BB0812 :  
    Wet, Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
    Thursday 10th April
  • BB0813 :  
    What's It All About, Tony?
    Thursday 17th April
  • BB0814 :  
    The Hidden Mountain
    Tuesday 22nd April
  • BB0815 :  
    The Bowland CROW
    Thursday 1st May
  • BB0816 :  
    High Cup Nick:
    The Gurt La'al Canyon
    Wednesday 7th May
  • BB0817 :  
    Travelling Light
    Wednesday 14th May
  • BB0818 :  
    Pensioners’ Day Out
    Thursday 22nd May
  • BB0819 :  
    The Northern Tip
    Thursday 29th May
  • BB0820 :  
    The Bannisdale Horseshoe
    Wednesday 11th June
  • BB0821 :  
    Black, White or Grey Combe?
    Thursday 19th June
  • BB0822
    Thunder on the 555
    Thursday 3rd July
  • BB0823
    We'll Give It Five
    Thursday 10th July
  • BB0824 :
    Shelters from the Storm
    Thursday 17th July
  • BB0825 :
    The Big Wind-Up
    Wednesday 23rd July
  • BB0826 :
    Tony’s Third (and wettest) Alfie
    Wedmesday 30th July
  • BB0827 :
    A Visit to Mud Hall
    Tuesday 19th August
  • BB0828 :
    The Tale of Randy Gill
    Tuesday 27th August
  • BB0829 : Mosedale Cottage Revisited
    Wednesday 3rd September



  • BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda  
    23rd February - 1st March


Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.



Bryan has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys.  

To download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.  

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


BOOT boys

This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear but is in memory of Big Josie, the erstwhile landlady of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!

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