Send 'er Down, Hughie!

Thursday 22nd November 2012

The former guardian of 10,000 jumbucks, our cobber James returned this morning from a sheep shearer's shindig in Manchester to greet us with the hitherto unheard epigram:

Send 'er Down, Hughie!

When Stan and I asked him what he meant, he explained that it was an aboriginal incantation to Hughie, the Australian God of Celestial Effluence, requesting some serious action in the liquid sunshine distribution department.

He was not going to be disappointed.  Stan, freshly returned from European sunnier climes, might have felt differently.  Indeed, we had progressively moderated our plans through the week as the forecast deteriorated from a sunny day to torrential rain with 50 mph winds.  And that was in Kendal, not on the hills!

As is often the case in such circumstances, we fell back on a variation of an old favourite, Scout Scar.

Lancaster- Kendal canal awaiting being filled

The filled River Kent at Hawes Lane Bridge

It wasn't too bad at first as we made our way across the River Kent and up onto Helsington Barrows but there it started to blow and rain somewhat more seriously.  

Looking back to Natland with Helm behind

Rather than visit the Mushroom shelter, we opted to drop down the steep path to Barrowfield then through woods and fields to Underbarrow,


Bird table at Prizetl

A house coveted by James


The Barrowfield descent

A house not coveted by James

"I could eat a horse and chase its jockey", said James, meaning he was hungry, so into the Punchbowl we ventured. It is a nice, warm, old-fashioned pub that was empty.


The Underbarrow Punchbowl

The landlord, on seeing customers enter, thought that we must want rock music played loudly so that we needn't engage in conversation.  

Why do publicans suppose we can't socialise without mindless audio wallpaper?

To be fair, after James suggested that it was as noisy as a dunny in a storm, he did turn it right down then served us some decent tucker: soup and scampi & chips, washed down, naturally, with some bonza amber fluid.

Comitibus :  The Punchbowl, Underbarrow

An interesting feature inside the Punchbowl is a couple of models of how Britons used to defend themselves against the onslaughts of Hughie before the days of St Paramo and Lord Rohan.  It is believed that they date from the year WD40.

Defence against Hughie

It would have been very tempting to linger longer but we were only half way round our course. The rain was pouring harder.  James tried to motivate us with encouragements like "Come on you Poms, you're as slow as a wet weekend".  Whatever that means.


James examines a Morgan


Thorns Villa

Old Hughie was trying harder and harder as we headed along to Brigsteer.  

The new Brigsteer Village Hall

At this point, we thought we might be able to really upset Tony with a report that today had been a three pub walk but the Wheatsheaf was closed and for sale.


The closed Wheatsheaf, Brigsteer

We followed the bridle path to Wells Garth and beyond, opting not to visit Helsington Church having been there several times this year (see in particular BB1203). Furthermore we could hardly see it for the rain.

It was little better at Sizergh Castle and any thought of a second stop was dashed as the Strickland Arms had run out of customers and closed until evening.  This was probably just as well as we were pretty wet through and it would have been difficult to motivate ourselves to leave, no matter how much we might be accused of having a kangaroo loose in the top pocket.

If we thought it had been bad so far, Hughie had sent for reinforcements and was out with all his pals. I can't remember a BOOTboys outing with such prolonged heavy rain. The roads were awash, the paths now rivers.  I have never seen these local trails that bad.


Sandbags to no avail

Comitibus :  The  Dripping End!


Wading the road

Much bedraggled, we arrived back in Natland.  

James, still chuckling about how Hughie had fulfilled his request to send down the celestial effluence, parted with this Assie ocker ode.

Lob In, You Lot of Limeys

My Rippo Rellie Roots

Holy Dooley, Waggin' Schooly

Fair Dinkum Day, You Beauts

Don, Thursday 22nd November 2012


Post Script:  Under New Management

My spies inform me that The Wheatsheaf at Brigsteer has been bought by Individual Inns who have the Masons Arms at Strawberry Bank and others. It is expected to be reopening next year.

It is rumoured that they have also bought the bunk barn next door to Helsington Church. It will be interesting to see what develops there.




Thursday 22nd November

Distance in miles:

13.2 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

1,557 (Memory Map / OS)



Other Features:

Helsington Barrows


Don, James, Stan


You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1239

If this won't work with your mapping software, let me know.

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.


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