BB2101 : Where's the Point?

Wednesday 6th January 2021

No, I am not referring to that of a needle injecting the anti-dote to Corvid-19, though I do look forward to a hopefully painless encounter with one of those before too long.  I refer to Trig Points.

Brigadier Martin Hotine (1898–1968), head of the Trigonometrical and Levelling Division of the Ordnance Survey, was the man responsible for the design, planning and implementation of the re-triangulation of Great Britain on which OS maps are still based. He designed the iconic trig pillar still found on many hilltops and in the countryside across Great Britain.

When all the trig points were in place, it was possible, in clear weather, to see at least two other trig points from any one trig point. Careful measurements of the angles between the lines-of-sight of the other trig points allowed the construction of triangles which enabled a highly accurate measurement system that covered the entire country.

Most trig points are square, concrete obelisks with a brass plate having three arms and a central depression on which to mount a theodolite. A benchmark is usually set on the side, marked with the letters O S B M (Ordnance Survey Bench Mark) and its reference number.

Brigadier Martin Hotine, CMG CBE
Painting by L D Carmichael

Trig Points have previously been used as BOOTboy destination targets, the most recent and most comprehensive being on BB2041 : Trigpointing.

Now that Covid Tier 5 has been unleashed upon us all, the Rule of 6 is reduced back to the Rule of 2 if you dare and the Rule of Bubbles if you don't dare. Several of us thought discretion the better part.  Accordingly we decided to reprise the Trigpointing idea for this week's adventure.  There was one condition (other than those imposed by the Government)- the Trig Point(s) to be visited must not be the same those that the individual(s) visited on the previous occasion.  One other difference: rather than attempting to have synchronicity of arrival at the chosen trig points, the event would be arranged so that destination and timing would be at the absolute discretion of the individual but must not be communicated to others. That way there could be no accusation of breaching the Rules even if there were to be a chance encounter.

I asked each participant to take a photo that might help you identify their location.  Where do you think they were?  All will be revealed by the end of this report.

Don & Margaret

By total coincidence, (honest, Gove), we encountered Mick and Mary emerging from a park.  Naturally, we said hello from a distance of which we think the Minister would approve and then went our separate ways.

Margaret and I strolled up through the village then turned left at the Church and climbed the hill.  Surprise, surprise- whom should we see at the trig point near the summit but, yes, Mick & Mary.  

Unbeknownst to us, they had chosen to do more or less the same route in reverse.

Mick & Mary

Mary and I walked from home with the trig point our objective. We'd never been to this one before and were slightly apprehensive, since on our map there's no right of way to the trig point. We needn't have worried, a kind man in a donkey jacket and rather strange hat assured us it was OK.

Our route was through the Park and then up a Lane to a Hall, then a path through the woods to the trig point. Here at the summit was the donkey jacket man and his wife that we had encountered earlier.

The view was wonderful, complemented by the very fine stone view finder.

Mick, I'll have you know that mine is NOT a donkey jacket but a very fine multi-purpose Sympatex short coat sold to me some 30 years ago by Kendal's finest tailor, David Kerr.  It could be, of course, that you are referring to someone else whom you encountered.  Don

Mike B

Stan & Joan

Tony told me later that he was going to visit the same place but wimped out as he was "full of cold".  Don


Not actually at a trig point but a location worthy of one!  Don


Ditto but was it the same one?  Don

Mike T

Same comment, same question. Don

Where's The Point(s)?

So, back to the Question.  Where are the points?  Here are the answers:

  • Don & Margaret: Levens Park then Heversham, climbing up behind the Church to Heversham Head trig point
  • Mick & Mary:  Walked from Natland, through Levens Park, up Grievegate Lane to Mabin Hall, then a path through the woods to the Heversham Head trig point
  • Mike B: Gummers How trig point
  • Stan & Joan: Scout Scar trig point
  • Stephen: Helsington (no point)
  • Philip: Ditto, different time
  • Mike T: Ditto, different time

There is one other Point that I was hoping to visit.  One that I have never visited, nor I suspect have any of the BOOTboys.  I was told about it by David W, a longtime BOOTboys follower.  However, circumstances intervened so you'll have to wait to discover more about it.  No matter how much you ask me "Where's the Point?" I ain't gonna tell ya!  I'll just give you one clue.  It's less than a mile from Pendle Hill.

Don, Thursday 7th January 2021  


John B:  Yes, I remember TW3(see BB2046 ) – what a ground-breaking show.  Do you remember the performers, etc.  Your recent posts have lacked music and so here are some to entertain you, beginning with a response to the latest blog – BB2046 - Millicent Martin - last TW3.

I was surprised that you didn’t include any rainbow songs on BB2043 or BB2045, so here are a couple (and not Judy Garland). Rainbow Connection and Over The Rainbow

A few weeks ago you mentioned Nelly the Elephant and, if I remember correctly, that it could be used for CPR.  So here is a video for you -
Nelly the Elephant

Don:  Thanks John.  "Nellie the Elephant" was used as the cardiopulmonary resuscitationry rhythm (the incomparable, unexpurgated Mandy Miller original, not your punk version) but I believe it has now been replaced as it was thought to be a bit too slow.  Not sure what replaced it.  Was it "Staying Alive"? Surely not "Don't go breaking my heart"?  Whatever it should be, I can't remember it so if anyone needs me to save them it will be Nellie but she might trundle a little quicker!

As for music relevant to today, I can't think of anything relating to "Where's the point" but "What's the point?" is a different matter, just ask
David Saylor.

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Mike B


Mike T



John PL

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