18th April 2012
'E's sixty five
Went out on t'hills
prove he's still alive
With the BOOTboys: Jim, Rog,
Bry, Stan 'n' Tone
This Old Man don't walk alone
had to be excused
from the walking part of today's expedition
but it would be inappropriate to omit him from the ditty]
years ago, for my 60th, we celebrated by travelling
the length of the Helvellyn range (BB0713).
What to do for today's significant birthday?
had been thinking of Scafell Pike. Then I realised
the real significance. In governmental thinking
this was the day that I officially became an old man.
It was crystal clear- it had to be the Old
Man. The Old Man of Coniston
have, of course, been there several times before- an
heroic failure in BB0607
in horrendous conditions retrieved by success in BB0619
despite thick mist.
We also enjoyed a glorious
Alpine ascent in BB1009
. Not to mention an ascent without me in BB0405.
plus one from the archives- 1973's Young
Men of Coniston.
Today's young man was my son, Jamie.
Sixty nine less four
One year older than
Joined the old men's bonhomie
With his pals who ain't
They're the bold BOOTboys:
These Old Men just
keep on tryin'!
sadly, today, The Old Man of Coniston would have to
wait for us.
rather iffy weather forecast plus certain time constraints
caused us to change our plans to a less challenging
celebratory outing. More suited to old men, perhaps?
Bryan was disgusted. We'll
try again next time Jamie is home.
first part was nothing new, indeed it was a partial reversal of what Stan and I did last week
albeit we went a different way up to Helsington Barrow
and the Scars.
back over Natland to Helm
reaching Helsington Church we could see over to Coniston
Old Man and knew we had made the right decision. The
upper slopes were not to be seen.
Old Man ?????
there it is !!!!!
time we did enter St John's lovely little church overlooking
the Lyth Valley. Some
old churches are cold forbidding places; believer or not,
this one is
quite the opposite,
Small, it might be, but
there is a wealth of interesting things to see here,
including the mural featured in BB1203 painted
by Marion de Saumerez as a memorial to those who gave
their lives in the Great War.
Great War mural
painting depicts a local girl, Annie (Hayton) Willan,
who was used as a model for one of the angels.
the wall is a list of vicars, including
one shown as Arthur T Heelis, the incumbent from
1895 to 1900. In the church was a quiz sheet which
makes mention of another Heelis, William, and asks to
whom he was married?
answer was, of course, Beatrix Potter.
are two BOOTboy links to William and Beatrix.
William Heelis was a well known local solicitor in a
partnership carrying his name, a firm that is not entirely
unknown to Roger.
my mother-in-law met a very old (and rather grumpily
demanding) Mrs Beatrix (Potter) Heelis whilst
nursing William who was recuperating in a nursing home at York after
an illness, early in the Second
the relationship was between the above mentioned Arthur and
William, we are not sure.
The church's historian, Mike Fleetwood, and
Heelis-connected Pamela Smith do not think
they were closely related.
Eight eights plus one
Age don't stop him
the brisk BOOTboys:
Today with Roger
Each of them an artful
says the second line should read: Eight pints plus one]
back to the Kent estuary
the scars we marched, up to the mushroom, hoping that
the obnoxious pile of unmentionable (see BB1214
at your peril) was no longer in
one of the quarters.
Sadly it was still there,
only slightly reduced by the weather.
west quarter was unaffected and provided a good
opportunity for a Comitibus photo.
we continued, in an unexpectedly cold wind to Cunswick
Scar, with occasional glimpses of sun shining on distant
hills, albeit not on The Old Man.
from Cunswick Scar
Old Man of Coniston from Cunswick Scar
descent to the Crook Road was interesting. Stan was
relating the tale of how last time the BOOTboys came down
that way, John S had taken a tumble on the slippery
Not the age that he'd prefer
the band o'BOOTboys:
With brisk bold Stan
Stop him being
a grumpy old man!
As he spoke, I slipped a little, corrected
myself and the next thing I knew I was flat on my back
covered in mud.
To make sure that my birthday
was not indignified by such a solo misfortune, Tony
kindly followed suit!
Fortunately, no one had their camera
out in time.
examining a badger set
pile of stones
were now heading for Ratherheath Tarn but on the way
came across a strange pile of stones. Clearly
the remains of an old building, removed to this site
but from where and why dumped here?
was taken at the tarn and thereafter we took the old
road- Ashes Lane- then a few fields to reach Staveley,
a trail about which Roger rightly enthused as a gentle
the dining room
Staveley, Kentmere valley behind
had one more item to inspect before repairing to the
Brewery - surely not a surprise destination?
the village stands an old tower that I had passed
many a time but never previously given it much attention.
This time we gave it a good looking over.
Margaret's bell tower
is the remains of a very old church-
from 1338, it
was decommissioned and partly demolished in the 19th century, leaving just
the bell tower standing.
and nearby to the church are
several interesting plaques, including one commemorating the Staveley men of the
Border Regiment, who served in the South Africa Campaign of 1900-01.
claiming of their Ancient Rights by
the Northern Tenant Farmers in 1620
we reached Staveley's excellent Hawkshead Brewery where
we were joined by Bryan to celebrate my birthday in
Nine sevens plus two
He know what he wants
Have a BOOTboys bevvy,
with expert Tone
pint before they're gone!
lusting after his sausage
per tradition, the bar lass
good little session followed after which - you already know the last line:
old men went rolling home!
18th April 2012
Old Man Don
When he was young
This little picture
his wall was hung
No BOOTboy then; only just alive
Now this Old
Man is sixty five!
18th April 2012
climbed in feet:
Don, Jamie, Roger, Stan,
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should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB1215.
see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.
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