BB1336 : Black Fell or Crag or Mushroom

Thursday 17th October 2013

1968 was the year of the Mexico Olympics.

It was also the year in which I had my greatest ever sporting triumph.  As much to my surprise as that of anyone else, I became the Leeds University Mexico Olympics Bar Billiards champion.  An achievement even greater than my Stockport Wolf Cubs football cup runners-up medal of 1958.  

I was going to relate that latter tale when a strange feeling came over me.  Was I about to repeat myself?

Yes, I was.  The story is there for all to see in BB1138!

Returning to Bar Billiards therefore, I don’t remember there being any award for my success other than the glory and perhaps the odd pint or two down the Union bar.

The proud medal winner, 1958

For those unfamiliar with the game, it is played on a surface somewhat smaller than a pool table, the holes are in the baize rather than round the edge and some of the holes are guarded by mushroom shaped skittles.

As you might expect, you score points by potting balls and lose points if you knock over a skittle.  The mushroom to be dreaded is the black one, the upending of which means the forfeiture of all points so far accumulated.

If you want to know more about how to play, see Rules .

What brought all this to mind?  Just an old memory revived by the name of today’s target: Black Crag. This was chosen in order to add to John Hn’s Wainwright tally (although AW names it Black Fell) and for Tony’s return to Scafell Pike training following his foot problems.

It was supposed to be a showery morning but the forecasters had let us down.  Instead, it was an increasingly beautiful autumn day.  We were somewhat over-dressed.  Still, better that way then the other.

Tarn Hows waterfalls

My National Trust card (I had remembered to bring the current one this time) was put to good use at the Glen Mary Bridge car park and we climbed up by the stream to Tarn Hows.

I think it better to climb by the north side so that you can visit the impressive falls, returning by the less adjacent southern path if you just want a short stroll.

Once at Tarn Hows, there was a myriad of mostly elderly folk enjoying a level wander around this attractive small lake in autumnal splendour.  

There was a wishing tree where coins had been inserted into the trunk.  I tried to persuade a visitor that there was at least one golden sovereign somewhere in the midst but strangely I was not believed!

Tarn Hows

The Wishing Tree

We left the visitors to make a lonely, northerly trail up to the top of Black Crag with its twin peaks.  

The twin peaks

The eastern peak boasts a substantial cairn; the higher, western one a trig point with the name of the fell, as mentioned in the Plaques Please item of BB1333.


Comitibus :  Black Crag East

Wetherlam with Coniston Old Man behind, left


Black Crag West

Esthwaite Water

What a viewpoint these easily reached summits provide.  One feature to be seen in the distance is very topical.  Esthwaite Water.  Believe or not, it is currently for sale via E-bay!

Eastern panorama

Lingmoor Fell with Bowfell behind to left and the main Langdales to the right

It had been a late start and we decided not to punish Tony unnecessarily so we let him have lunch out of the wind just below the top before starting the descent.  A new route was pioneered directly down to the Low Arnside track then, more conventionally, over the road to Low Oxen Fell.  On another day, we might have continued to Holme Fell but a strategic decision was taken to continue down along the footpath close to the A593, round Yew Tree Tarn and back to the car.

House with internal garden

Yew Tree Tarn

Tony leaves his card

Don being attacked by man eating plant

We debated where to go and celebrate the afternoon sunshine.  The lucky venue was the Brown Horse at Winster.  How the memories came flooding back.  It must be over 40 years since I was last in there.  But I remember it vividly.  Why?  Because it is the last pub in which I ever saw a bar billiards table.  

There was no sign of that table today. We had knocked off the Black Fell or Crag but, sadly, there was no longer any risk of knocking over the Black Mushroom.

Don, 17th October 2013


Browser Survey Results

My thanks to all who took part in the survey which is now closed.

Contrary to reports but consistent with my expectation, MS Internet Explorer remains significantly the most frequently used main browser of BOOTboys readers followed by Google Chrome then Mozilla Firefox (a surprise to me) tying with Apple's Safari in third place.  Here are the results:

To be fair, I suspect that had the questionnaire allowed multiple choices to reflect the fact that a person's smartphone or other portable device might use a different system, the Microsoft predominance would have been significantly lessened.

What have I learned from this?  Well, that:

  • I now know how to include a survey in the reports
  • Unfortunately the free poll system that I have used,, does not always display the results properly. They may be partially obscured by adverts!  As far as I can tell, that is beyond my control and is puzzling the company!
  • It seems that I am still compiling for the two most commonly used browsers. This means that I don't yet have to upgrade my software but if you do notice any peculiarities in the display of the reports, please let me know along with the name of the browser that you use and I will see what I can learn from the information.

Now, over to you.  Are there any questions that you would like put to the audience? Political, religious, or potentially offensive matters excluded of course!


Rubber Soulutions

The answers to BB1335's challenge about Rubber Soul references
can be see at:
Rubber Soulutions.




Thursday 17th October 2013

Distance in miles:

5.9 (Garmin GPS)

Height climbed in feet:

1.188 (Memory Map / OS)


Black Fell (or Crag)


Don, John Hn, Martin, Roger B, Tony

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1336 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) 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.  
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