: Dear Mrs Scroggins
11th September 2009
like you to type a letter, please," I said to my
secretary one day in 1974.
to Mrs Scroggins at 13 Macaroon Villas, Quito near
Scroggins didn't exist, of course, and the address was
fake (inspired, according to Ian B, by Round the Horne,
the radio comedy programme of the 1960s featuring Kenneth
Horne and Kenneth Williams).
why it seemed so funny to ask my secretary to send such
a letter escapes me now; Ian might recall. However,
it didn't seem that funny when a few days later the
head of the post room at Provincial Insurance, where
I worked, chastised me for wasting company time and
money. The letter had gone out with a return address
on the envelope and had duly been returned. Caught
in the act!
this silliness was the fact that there really
is a road to the top of
It was, and still is, a private road-
the highest road in England as a matter
of fact. Nowadays, however, walkers do not
need permission to use the road that leads
to the Civil Aviation Authority's air
traffic control radar station.
Also up there is an array of scientific
instruments involved in cloud
so located because the site is in cloud
for nearly two thirds of the year.
Scroggins' road to the radar station
clouded today, though. The best forecast for many
weeks. Time to carry out an ambition unsatisfied
these 35 years.
a little reminder of a J. Peasmold Gruntfuttock catchphrase
from Round the Horne!
views of the Cross Fell range
was going to be a big one so an early start was needed.
It had been cold overnight but a glorious day
was in prospect as we drove from Kendal to the lovely
little town of Appleby and then on to the tiny village,
Knock, where we parked opposite the old C of E Mission
monty's next project?
the village, we found an abandoned farmhouse that reminded
me a bit of Uncle
Now that this has been sold (yes, a new buyer,
an architect from Canterbury, has been found; see BBC,
United Utilities and Westmorland
the Knock version would make a good alternative for
any disappointed would-be purchasers.
first objective was Knock Fell so we quickly joined
the Pennine Way and proceeded at a good pace up the
reasonably gentle hill.
Way lies directly ahead
could see the Lake District hills in the distance but
there was quite a bit of a haze reducing the clarity.
Pike with the Lakeland hills behind in the haze
are a lot of unusual shaped cairns on these hills and
Knock Old Man, just below the summit, is a good example.
paved Pennine Way
down off Knock Fell, the Pennine Way turned into a paved
footpath. No ordinary paving stones or rock cobbles
but massive slabs of thick, high quality flags. We
wondered from whence had they come and concluded probably
Bangladesh! Without them, the Pennine Way would
be a very wet walk indeed.
golf ball radar station increasingly dominated the skyline
and for the last three quarters of a mile we were on
Mrs Scroggins' beautifully tarmacadammed road. There
were a few people on site working but there did not
seem to be any great security for what must be quite
a sensitive facility.
the East, we could see a large lake that we were unable
to identify. We later discovered it is Cow Green
flagged path started again and led us over Little Dun
Fell and on to Cross Fell - at 2,930 feet it is the
highest point in Yorkshire, a height that would put
it in 9th place were it in the Lake District, between
Great Gable and Pillar.
is a large cross shaped shelter at the summit where
we lunched. There was a handful of people there
when we arrived. By the time we left, it was getting
more like Piccadilly Circus. I donít know where
they had all come from.
set off north-west to find our way back. Perhaps
we should have gone more northerly as it was an interesting
scramble down a steep rock-strewn landscape, made slightly
hairy at times when the seeming stable boulder on which
you relied started to wobble.
down we found a bothy but not one you would want to
plunging through mud to escape bullocks
was an easy trail down to the valley where our way lay
across farm land.
back to the fells
is dairy country and we crossed many a field of curious
heifers, inquisitive bullocks and various varieties
of beasts that fortunately stayed their distance.
map showed the intriguingly titled "Hanging Walls
of Mark Anthony" ancient cultivation terrace. I
am not sure if we found them! We did see some
washing for Margaret at Low Howgill.
Walls of Mark Anthony????
for Margaret at Low Howgill
forded streams, got bogged down in bogs and, despite
the magnificent skyline, generally got a bit fed up
of the heavy going so when we reached Milburn we stopped
for a coffee break under the old tree by the school
house on the village green- a delightful spot. Milburn
is just one of many attractive small villages in this
unspoilt part of the world. For more, including
Knock, see The
it was more fields until Bryan called a halt and insisted
that we completed the last mile on the road.
given the distance, we finished very strongly. The
objective had been fulfilled and we had greatly enjoyed
think a "Thank You" letter is called for.
you for letting us go up your road to Great Dun
Fell. We had a lovely walk up across the Knock,
Great Dun, Little Dun and Cross Fells. In
fact it reminded me of a nursery rhyme:
Knock, Cross, Duns
Don and Stan and Bryan
Knock, Cross, Duns
I donít suppose you remember me writing to you a
long time ago?
long?" I hear you ask.
If you want to comment on this report, click on
Fell, Great Dun Fell, Little Dun Fell,
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0927.
Steve G advises: "For those who like to look at your
meanderings but use Tracklogs or other software then your logs can be converted
using the freeware utility GPS Babel."
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
type of social group,
but is in memory of
the erstwhile landlady
the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale,
who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day
and other odd evenings many years ago!
If you want to contact us, click on
If you want to join
let us know and
of new BOOTboys reports.
: A Gordon Day Out
: Thank You,
Wednesday 14th January
: A Wicked Hike???
: Take a Mug With You
: Down in the Forest
: Not How But Where?
: Binsey Can Wait
(but Uncle Monty Can Not)
Thursday 12th February
: Badgers on the Line
: It's not a W!
: Up on the Roof
: Not the Blisco Dashers
Thursday 2nd April
: John's Comeback
Monday 6th April
: Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
: Companions of the BOOT
: The Gale Force Choice
: The Comeback Continues
28th May - 2nd June
: Has Anyone Seen Lily?
Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
- BB0921 :
The Tebay Fell Race Walk
: For England and St George
: The Coniston Outliers
Friday 31st July
: Little To Be Said In Favour?
: The Third Night of the Rescue
: Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
: Dear Mrs Scroggins
Friday 11th September
: An Ard Day's Hike
Thursday 17th September
A Canter of Convalescents?
International Autumnal Expedition
Sunday 27th September
- BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
Thursday 1st October
- BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
Thursday 8th October
: When Yorkshire Was Welsh
- BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
Thursday 22nd October
: A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
: Aye Up What?
: Where Eagles Wade
: After the Floods
: The Mystery of the Missing Glove
: A Too Short Walk
: One Hundred and Onesfell
: Back to the Beginning
: BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
- 21st March
: Los Chicos
y las Chicas de la Bota
11th - 14th May
: Peaked Too Soon
Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
download a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which BOOTboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!