BB1321 : On The Road Again !

Wednesday 12th June 2013

It sounds a little romantic, doesn’t it?

"Meet me at the bandstand."

However when John and I arrived, Bryan had eyes not for us but something else.

There he was, gazing longingly at Greggies.  

Was he lusting after a meat pie?

Or was he deep in thought about Tony's lust for a meat pie?

We didn’t pursue the matter but set off down the road towards Stramongate.

Bryan and the pies

It was to be a locally based outing as I had a meeting to attend in Kendal in the late afternoon.

"Let’s make a detour via Kendal Castle" suggested Bryan, so we did.  Along Aynam Road and up Sunnyside we strolled, stopping to put on waterproofs as rain was threatening.

Kendal Castle

Kendal from the castle

Inside the walls

This is a surprisingly fast route up to the moat and the castle itself.  Strangely (I thought) neither Bryan nor John seemed particularly interested in looking round what is left of the castle.  They were keen to drop back down to the Sedbergh Road from whence we progressed to the delightfully named Fowl Ing Lane.  There was a purpose to this. My mower had conked out yet again due to having struck a root or something and I needed to pay my repair bill at the very helpful Westmorland Mower Centre.  

Jenkin Cragg Farm

Comitibus :  Under the railway

We carried on up the lane past the hanging cow then branched off to cross under the railway and through the wood to the town’s original reservoir. This is a strange area. The outlet side has been covered in long grass on previous visits but today it was all freshly mown.  Just why and by whom was impossible to judge.

Birds Park reservoir

Reservoir outlet

Having travelled along the length of the reservoir, we were on the road again, Paddy Lane this time.

Now we had a decision to make.  Our objective was Benson Knott but the only legitimate access is from the main road to Appleby.  There are two other possibilities.  One is from the south, from the old Sedbergh Road, where it is believed that the farmer is not averse to unofficial access.  The other is from the west, the race route from long ago.

We ruled out the farm route, fearing danger from cows with calves.

We ruled out the race route as it hasn’t been run for about thirty years and Bryan was no longer sure just where it went.

So, we opted for what we thought would be the safe route, from the Appleby road, starting just beyond the old Toll House.

On reaching the access point there are actually two ways up.  We had planned to take the easterly one and return via the westerly.  However, on the other side of the gate was a posse of frisky young bullocks.  Were we going to be brave or what?

The old Toll House

Well, would you????

It was at that point that my phone rang.  It was Margaret and it was very clear from what she told me that it was important that I return home in reasonable condition. Consequently we opted for the westerly, direct route.

The clag was down and we couldn’t see the top (or tops as Benson Knott is twin peaked).  We were not sure in which direction to go to cross a wall.  Bryan and John went one way, I went the other. I was the lucky one who found the gate but the others were out of sight and out of shouting distance.  What to do?  I took out something that I have carried throughout our BOOTboys adventures but have never had to use previously. What is that?  My Acme Thunderer  A quick toot-te-toot and they came running.

On nearing the summits, we challenged John to decide which is the higher.

On the first, cairned, top he was sure it was the other, trigpointed, top.  At the trig point, he favoured the first.

Summit No. 1

Summit No. 2

When pressed for a decision he opted for the less logical, cairned top.  He was right.  By two metres.  Not bad judgment when swirling mist complicated the issue.  We celebrated with lunch out of the wind in the dip between the two.

Thereafter, we dropped back down to the Appleby Road again, this time turning down toward Meal Bank but taking in the loop out east, fighting through the jungle then back through masses of wild flowers above the River Mint before reaching this former mill hamlet.

Bryan in the jungle

Escape from the jungle

Benson Knott

John emerging from the jungle

Meal Bank Cottages

After a woodland short cut we were on the road yet again, this time the minor Meal Bank Road to the A685 which we crossed.

Here we could look back to a now clear Benson Knott.  

Our route led through a small disused quarry that none of us had previously visited.

It merits further investigation but on a day not so wet underfoot so that grip is not a problem.

Once again, our path was bovinely blocked, this time rather more dangerously by cows with very young calves.  

Come on if you think you're hard enough!

We gave them as wide a berth as we could but were subjected to some threatening glares and stampings.  However, worse was to follow.  In the final field the farmer was putting on his after-shave.  Or to put it another way, he was muck spreading and thoroughly enjoying it, particularly as it gave him the opportunity to spray within spitting distance of us.  No actual aerial bombardment but it certainly mucked up the boots.

Farmer's after-shave application

After a quick wash of the boots in a stream we were out of the country and crossing the intriguing Spital Park.  

This is a circle of houses around a green where it appears that there is no common ownership but that each house owns the segment directly opposite its frontage.

Consequently, some were well tended, some roughly cut, some unkempt and one, probably illegitimately, being used as a car park.

From here, it was a short walk, once more on the road, to the centre of Kendal where I arrived in good time to change out of my smellies for my meeting.

When I got home, it was celebration time.

Spital Park as seen by Google Earth


Well, I didn’t tell you what the telephone call from Margaret was all about.  She had rung to tell me that, after nearly two and a half years of frustration, there was a letter from the DVLA.  

The medical team had approved my application.  

I had my driving licence back.

I am on the road again!

Don, 12th June 2013

On a serious note, I want to thank those many kind folk who, over the last two years and more, have supported Margaret and me throughout the period of my illness and inability to drive.  Your support by way of encouragement, lifts and friendship has been greatly appreciated.

Alan and the Vulcan

Brother Alan has this comment to make on Tony's Vulcan experience:

The Vulcan appears to be an early version, perhaps a B1. I think this because it does not have the black fibreglass undernose section which carried radar and anti-radar equipment. When I worked at Hawker Siddeley Dynamics in the 1960s and was associated with the Vulcan and the Blue Steel missile, my office was next to the RAF pilots office and we often chatted. They told a tale (and swore it was true) of how a squadron of B2’s flew over to America and once there requested permission to land. The Americans, being very welcoming, said "Of course, let us know when you are here". Biggles and his chums replied that they were there and proceeded to circle lower and lower until they could be seen. The Americans were then in a complete flap because their radar wasn’t working and our boys got a rocket up their exhausts and had to apologise for having ‘"forgotten" to switch off their anti-radar. As if !

Vulcan bomber and Blue Steel missile
Copyright James Nicol and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

He goes on to say that he could tell us more about the Vulcan and the Blue Steel missile, but then he did sign the Official Secrets Act.  However, I remember him coming home from work and telling me how he and his pals would ride on the nose of the Blue Steel missiles as if they were on a bucking bronco at a fairground.  Hope that breach of security doesn't get him into too much trouble!





Wednesday 12th June 2013

Distance in miles:

11.3 (Garmin gps)

Height climbed in feet:

1,531  (Memory Map / OS)



Other Features:

Benson Knott


Bryan, Don, John H

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1321

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.


Photos have been gleaned from many sources although mostly from me! Likewise written comment.  Unless stated otherwise, please feel free to download the material if you wish.  
A reference back to this website would be appreciated but not essential.
.If I have failed to acknowledge properly the source or infringed copyright, then I apologise.
. Please let me know and I will do my best to put things right.


  E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

 Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
 Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  



BOOT boys

If you want to join
he BOOTboys Inter-continental
Fan Club
let us know and
you will receive
of new
BOOTboys reports.

Click on
to contact us.

For the Index pages
of our various outings
click on the relevant
link below:

Home Page














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