and the QUARRYboys
16th May 2013
you remember a group called Dee Shore and the Beachcombers?
thought not. Despite their name, they actually
lived close to the Mersey but at its eastern end, at
Stockport like the rather better known Hollies. In
fact, the Beachcombers never made a record. Indeed
I don’t recall them even playing a note. Sadly,
the passage of time has robbed me of the names of my
erstwhile backing group. But we must have been
good as, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery,
several other groups subsequently emerged under the
the same time, at the other end of the Mersey, was a
group known as the Quarrymen, a.k.a. Johnny and the
Moondogs. Do you remember them? They subsequently
changed their name and earned rather more fame and fortune
than my combo.
some fifty years later, saw the metamorphosis of ancient
rockers to become......
No, not the BOOTles.
Donny and the QUARRYboys.
and the Quarrymen
hadn’t been the intention.
Gill had been the objective- a curious canyon-like
area high up to the east of Kentmere
reservoir. To reach it, we set off up the
western side of the River Kent in weather
that was recovering from an early morning
to expect was anybody’s guess.
forecast seemed to have changed every half
day from torrential rain to brilliant sunshine
then light showers through mild spring-like
conditions and finally afternoon downpours.
least, there was an old tractor to excite
Martin and Tony.
and Tony inspect the tractor
we neared the reservoir, temptingly close on our left
could be seen a large opening in the crag, reached by
a short stroll over some quarry spoilage. Or so
it seemed. The reality was that the climb was
rather longer and steeper than expected, the choice
of terrain being wet grass or loose scree. Either
way was hard work. Nonetheless, the cave was worth
the climb. Some braver souls explored a side opening
and reported having discovered a Buddhist shrine. And,
sadly, a pile of beer cans.
climb to the cave
to the valley we passed by the Reservoir cottages which
have been renovated for the use of youth groups. Beyond
that was an innocent looking path up a spoil heap. At
the top was a larger opening and an abyss. We
could see a square cave mouth on the other side
of the abyss but that was as far as I wanted to go.
square mouth across the abyss
the Intrepid had other ideas and to our consternation
climbed down into the abyss then across a narrow ledge
into the cave.
this was happening others were rapidly constructing
another Buddhist shrine to pray for his survival whilst
I went out to see if I could get a mobile phone signal
to ring 999. The phone idea did not work but the Buddhist
incantations did and Stan gamely reappeared above the
the valley we could see the Drygrove Gill target, still
with a little snows at the top, but as we walked up
the west side of the Reservoir, it looked to me increasingly
less interesting as a destination.
the head of the Reservoir we decided to follow the embryonic
river further north. Bryan was not with us today
but one of his ambitions is to follow the Kent from
source to sea. I wanted to have a look at the
initial descent from High Street to the source and thereafter.
it happens, we didn’t go that far up the valley. Instead
we stopped for lunch at an elaborate sheepfold which
was reached by an exciting leap across slippery rocks
and gushing water.
Reservoir from the north
OS map shows, above the sheepfold, an area marked Settlement.
How old, I can’t say but there was little
to be seen other than rocks.
with view back to the caves
plan now was to traverse round Kentmere Common to join
the Nan Bield Pass track and maybe climb up to the canyon.
However, it started to hail. Tony and I
decided that the traverse was at an uncomfortable angle
so we left that exploration to Stan, James and Martin.
Instead, we headed back down to the reservoir to inspect
yet another quarry. It was now brilliant sunshine.
what I later heard, I think we took the more interesting
route. This quarry involved large spoil heap with
building on top plus a small ravine and cave like opening
but the slopes were far too steep for us to make a detailed
examination. Stan, no doubt, would have danced
down and back up.
as seen from the first
back up Kentmere valley
regrouped at Overend and there is little else to report
other than our inspection of St Cuthbert's
our last visit to Kentmere, the exterior was being re-rendered.
Today, it was clear that the works, now concluded, had
included repainting the interior. It is rather
plain inside but enlivened by the multitude of cushions
(perhaps kneelers is the more correct term) all embroidered
in different patterns.
is a plaque in the church that merits further investigation.
It is dedicated to Bernard
Gilpin, a 16th
century theologian born at Kentmere Hall. He was
known as the "Apostle of the North" for "his
works in the wilds of northern England"!
expedition finished, as often seems to be the case,
at the Brewery in Kentmere. There is an old, politically
incorrect, joke of how to confuse an Irish Quarryman.
Answer: line five shovels against the wall and ask
him to take his pick.
this case, we QUARRYboys
might have been confused by having eight different choices
of beers lined up for us from which to take our picks.
But we were up to the challenge- not that we each
had eight pints of course but we each knew the right
pick to take.
Thursday 16th May 2013
to the Stroke
Team for this photo
of Bryan and me near Greenup Edge.
can follow their progress at JustGiving.
5 to Shap: I really didn't believe it could rain as much or blow so
strongly as today's walk from Patterdale to Shap. The walk up to Kidsty Pike
was something else - still, we all made it.
Off to Kirkby Stephen tomorrow.
& Bryan near Greenup Edge
7, Kirkby Stephen to Keld, Bryan rejoined the group:
myself with a free day on Saturday I contacted Tim and
his C2C group and arranged to meet up with them for
the start of their next stage at Kirkby Stephen.
was a damp and breezy morning as we set off with cloud
covering the tops of the hills. The group were setting
a brisk pace as we climbed past the Hartley quarries
and we soon reached the open moor and the start of the
wind was strengthening as we reached Nine Standards
Rigg and it had been my original intention to leave
them here and loop back to Kirkby using some variant
of the route we did in BB1036
however kindly offered me a lift back to Kirkby Stephen
from their finish point at Keld. I hadn’t been into
Swaledale for a while so I accepted.
next section over the open moor through the peat bogs;
crossing from Cumberland into Yorkshire; was a hard
slog. Tim was doing the navigating using the maps in
the Cicerone guidebook and waypoints on his GPS.
on a bearing using map and compass in the mist over
this kind of terrain is quite challenging because you
are constantly being forced off line to get round the
peat bogs. But with a GPS the direction arrow will always
be pointed at your target so it becomes much easier.
Personally I enjoy the challenge of using a map and
compass but I would undoubtedly have been slower doing
it this way today than was the case with the GPS.
Mould Gill we followed a large track that took us down
to the road. It turned out to be unmapped and we should
in fact have carried straight on. It was easily corrected
and we were soon on the route again.
this time we were all ready for lunch but there was
little shelter to be had from the wind and rain. We
made one diversion to investigate the possibility of
using an open wooden shed but a quick inspection showed
the inside to be several inches deep in various forms
of ‘manure’. 20 minutes later though we came across
a splendid shooting box complete with tables and benches
in which we could sit and listen to the rain on the
had now reached Upper Swaledale and the final few miles
down Whitsundale to Keld was a pleasure as the sun eventually
made an appearance. Tea was taken in the sunshine on
the lawn of the small café in Keld before the
drive back over the moors to Kirkby Stephen.
weather has not been kind to the group over the four
days since I last met up with them on Greenup Edge which
is a shame as they have passed through, but hardly seen,
some of the best countryside in the North of England.
But they have kept pressing on and have now reached
the half-way point. Let’s hope for better days to come.
11th May 2012
climbed in feet:
(Memory Map / OS)
Don, James, Martin, Stan, Tony
routes are put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading bb1318
discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.
have been gleaned from many sources although mostly
from me! Likewise written comment. Unless stated
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