Wednesday, 12 March 2008

#058 - 1957 - Lake District

In the winter of 1957 brother-in-law Keith and I had a long weekend in the Lake District and again we stayed with Mrs Edmunds at Walloway Farm. On this particular day we had a leisurely large breakfast then drove to Keswick leaving the car at Seathwaite. We set off up the Langtrath crossing the stream in the valley to make our way up Bow Fell. We had broken every rule in the ‘fell walking’ book that day,

1) we had not told Mrs Edmunds or anyone else where we were going,

2) we set off too late in the day

3) we had no provisions other than a light lunch

4) No compass or torch

The only thing we had got right was our clothing and boots.

We climbed Bow Fell and ate our packed lunch at Angle Tarn, we then continued to Eskhause – our intention being to go to Buttermere but we somehow finished up hopelessly lost on Scarfell Pike. We had earlier seen a lone walker crossing a stream and we called to each other exchanging cordial greetings, we were to read in the local paper a couple of days later that a man – a doctor - had died on that day, lost the same as us. From the description given we realised that it was the same man we had called to!!

By now it was almost dark, we followed the stone cairns but even then we seemed to be going round in circles, we eventually found ourselves back at Angle Tarn, and in the distance we could see the large well lit window – shining like a beacon for fools such as us - at the Dungeon Gill Hotel. We came down Rossett Gill which was no mean task at night. We walked in the pub where - without a word - some walkers we had seen descending hours ago, bought us double rum each, we had two more rums then we rang Mrs Edmunds who obviously was out of her mind. It was now past 9 p.m.

Mr Edmunds set off on the long drive over the Kirkstone pass, through Ambleside and so on to the Dungeon Gill Hotel where he picked us up, drove to Keswick and on to Seathwaite to pick up our car. When we got back to the farm a full dinner was ready for us as well as pewter pots filled with whiskey and waiting for a red hot poker to be inserted. How well they treated us, I stayed in bed the next day as I had damaged by knee badly (again).We did walk the day after but on the flat this time to the beautiful village of Whatendleth, only walking up to view the memorial and the panoramic setting of wonderful Derwent Water. We sat for a while contemplating what might have been and how damned lucky we were not to be – at least – injured or at worst deceased! We had more respect next time............

The gymnasium class was still successful, in fact so many coming we had to run two classes, one at Roper School and one at the Secondary Modern. We also had a good basket ball team and we challenged Long Eaton basket ball team to a match. We easily beat them and the poor sports would not play us again, they did not fancy being beaten by a load of cyclists.

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