BB0901 : A Gordon Day Out

Thursday 8th January 2009

Christmas over, family dispersed to their various homes- in Crete and Munich in our case, inevitably the New Year heralds a feeling of anticlimax.  

Or, having just read Vernon Coleman’s Gordon is a Moron which graphically details how our Great Leader has systematically ensnared our children and our children’s as yet unborn children into paying for his profligacy, there is a tendency to depression.

Fortunately, this is strangely alleviated by sharing the experience with others which, I suspect, is why Pete passed the book to me and why, in turn, I have now passed it on to Stan.

It’s his turn to be depressed!


It was a Gordon Brown sort of day- all dreich and dismal with no great clarity of vision and no prospect of things getting better.  We had thought about either the Fairfield or Kentmere horseshoes but reckoned that the visibility would be just as bad if not worse up there.  Unless you are Gordon, Saviour of the World, of course, who has a personal mountain denied to lesser mortals so high that he (and his pet budgie “Sweetie”) can see clearly forever.  Being lesser mortals we decided to stay low where we could at least see for a few yards in front of us.  


Tony was unable to join us.  

He is still nursing an injury picked up on BB0840 and did not present himself for selection.  It has not stopped him auditioning for the part of Grumpy, however. Although I cannot say whether the Grump is directed at a part in Snow White or at the aforementioned Gordon Brown pantomime.  

You decide.

So, Stan, Bryan and I set off on foot from Bryan’s house.  This would be a training expedition for this year's LDWA That’s Lyth walk (see BB0803).  We would cover most of the route excluding Whitbarrow Scar.

We made our way up to the Golf Course (or Kendal Common as Stan prefers to know it) past some well-tended allotments with pigeon huts, duck pond and a rather fine long-horned sheep.  As we got higher we briefly thought that the day was getting better. 

We rose out of the valley gloom of Kendal and saw a hint of some blueish sky.  But it only lasted as far as Cunswick Scar.  As we dropped down Gamblemires Lane (Grimblemire would be a better Brownian name) we entered the Lyth Valley mist.  At one point our way was blocked by cows.  Stan bravely pushed Bryan forward to deal with them.

The Long-horned Sheep

Stan urges Bryan forward to move the cows

Scout Scar from below

An interesting little barn

On reaching Underbarrow we weaved our way under the Scar, past some rather fine properties.  Crossing a field, we came upon an interesting little barn.

Known locally as Henry's Castle, it is named after farmer Henry Willason.  

We are informed that it has three stalls for horses and an upstairs room with fireplace.

It is thought that some time in the long distance was lived in by a ploughman with his horses.

Suddenly, Bryan instructed us to stop and listen to the silence.  I was puzzled.  I could hear distant traffic and a couple of birds singing.  

“But what can’t you hear?” he asked.

We checked our watches and understood.

12 noon.  No one had demanded a lunch stop!  

At Brigsteer we decided to head out onto the Levens Moss roads.  The only good reason, if it is a good reason, was to achieve added distance. Or, perhaps, to examine how to reclaim land from the sea with an extensive drainage system. The downsides were many. It was cold, without shelter for lunch, hard on the feet, and unnecessary added distance.

Team photo on the Levens Moss

The dykes

We passed by Bobby & Sara’s at Cinderbarrow, hoping there might be a face at the window to invite us in to have our meal in the warm but not so.  Instead, we pressed on up to St John's Church, Helsington, where Stan and I had dined on last year’s training exercise BB0802.

Bryan approaching Helsington

An argument then broke out as to where to sit for lunch.  I though we would use the graveyard seat as before but the others wanted a view. Arnside Knott was looking particularly fine with a red glow beyond it.  Was this distant sunshine or the fire from a Brown-ravaged Lancashire?  The first seat by the road did not quite face the right way so Bryan moved us on to the next.  This faced the right direction but there was a branch in the way and it had no back.  Stan contemplated returning to the previous one.  I suggested going on to the Scout Scar Mushroom where there are seats in all directions, all with backs and it was only two miles further and not yet two o’clock.  I should add that we had only done about twelve miles by this stage, without a break, so another two miles ought not be too great a hardship, ought it?  There was no more discussion.  We sat, ate and drank.  We had earned it.

St John's Church, Helsington

Lunch time view of Arnside Knott

After lunch sun ....

.... on the Lyth Valley

I felt very stiff on restarting and it was several minutes before my legs were back to being the relentless climbing machines that they are in my imagination.  

Along to Scout Scar we went, past the Mushroom and then the police radio mast, back towards Cunswick Scar but then cutting down to cross the by-pass near Boundary Bank. Over the golf course and down into Kendal, now a little clearer than we left it but still carrying the gloomy hallmarks of The Great Leader.

Approaching Scout Scar

 A gloomy Kendal

As a first outing of the year it certainly served its purpose as a dispeller of lingering lethargy and an opportunity to share certain thoughts.  I should add that a dislike of The Great Leader and what he is doing to our country is not a prerequisite to being a BOOTboy and that all thoughts expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily shared by all BOOTboys.  

As for New Year Resolutions, Bryan and Stan broke theirs on 1st January. One by drinking and the other by not taking exercise.  Or is the “not” attached to the wrong activity?  I forget.  Mine starts now.  I have said enough for this year about a certain individual; some may think too much. I hereby undertake not to mention the name of James Gordon Brown again in these columns during 2009 or for such time as he remains The Great Leader if that period (fingers crossed) proves to be shorter.

Don, 8th January 2009



8th January 2009


16.6 miles

Height climbed:

2,098 feet



Other Key Features:

Cunswick Scar, Levens Moss, Helsington,
Scout Scar, Gordon Brown


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0901.

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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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, and certainly not from any skin head associations or other
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but is in memory of
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who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973
and other odd evenings many years ago!

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2009 Outings

  • BB0901 : A Gordon Day Out
    Thursday 8th January
  • BB0902 : Thank You,
    Aunty Ethel!
    Wednesday 14th January 
  • BB0903 : A Wicked Hike???
    Wednesday 21st January
  • BB0904 : Take a Mug With You
    Sunday 25th January
  • BB0905 : Down in the Forest
    Thursday 29th January
  • BB0906 : Not How But Where?
    Thursday 5th February
  • BB0907 : Binsey Can Wait
    (but Uncle Monty Can Not)
    Thursday 12th February
  • BB0908 : Badgers on the Line
    Thursday 5th March
  • BB0909 : It's not a W!
    Thursday 12th March
  • BB0910 : Up on the Roof
    Thursday 26th March
  • BB0911 : Not the Blisco Dashers
    Thursday 2nd April
  • BB0912 : John's Comeback
    Monday 6th April
  • BB0913 : Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
    Thursday, 23rd April
  • BB0914 : Companions of the BOOT
    Thursday 30th April
  • BB0915 : The Gale Force Choice
    Thursday 7th May
  • BB0916 : The Comeback Continues
    Thursday 21st May
  • BB0917 : BOOTboys Encore !
    28th May - 2nd June
  • BB0918 : Hello Dollywagon
    Thursday 11th June
  • BB0919 : Has Anyone Seen Lily?
    Thursday 18th June
  • BB0920 : Ancient Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
    Thursday 25th June
  • BB0921 : The Tebay Fell Race Walk
    Thursday 2nd July
  • BB0922 : For England and St George 
    Thursday 9th July
  • BB0923 : The Coniston Outliers
    Friday 31st July
  • BB0924 : Little To Be Said In Favour?
    Thursday 6th August
  • BB0925 : The Third Night of the Rescue 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BB0926 : Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
    Thursday 20th August
  • BB0927 : Dear Mrs Scroggins
    Friday 11th September
  • BB0928 : An Ard Day's Hike
    Thursday 17th September
  • BB0929 : A Canter of Convalescents?
    Thursday 24th September
  • BB0930 : BOOTboys International Autumnal Expedition
    Wednesday 23rd to
    Sunday 27th September
  • BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
    Thursday 1st October
  • BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
    Thursday 8th October
  • BB0933 : When Yorkshire Was Welsh
    Wednesday 14th October
  • BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
    Thursday 22nd October
  • BB0935 : A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
    hursday 5th November
  • BB0936 : Aye Up What?
    hursday 12th November
  • BB0937 : Where Eagles Wade
    Tuesday 17th November
  • BB0938 : After the Floods
    Thursday 26th November
  • BB0939 : The Mystery of the Missing Glove
    Thursday 10th December
  • BB0940 : A Too Short Walk
    Thursday 17th December
  • BB0941 : One Hundred and Onesfell
    Tuesday 29th December



  • BH0901 : Back to the Beginning 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BSKIB09 : BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
    14th - 21st March
  • BB09XX : Los Chicos y las Chicas de la Bota
    11th - 14th May
  • BB09Bav01 : Peaked Too Soon
    1st September



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



To download a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys 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