Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Saturday Soaking above Sabden – 17 July

With our original plans for a long run in the Lakes thwarted, initially by poor weather forecasts and finally by poor weather, we ventured not quite as far north to the (deforested) Forest of Pendle to have a another recce of a route Pauline needs for November. Even here the weather wasn’t encouraging but we needed to have a look at the grave of Jeppe The Knave on Wiswell Moor above Sabden.

Sabden-2 Sabden nestles in the Forest of Pendle

Sabden, as if you didn’t know is famous for its Treacle Mines but we wouldn’t have time to explore them today. There are more traditions associated with Jeppe Knave’s grave and its location than you can shake a stick at. The Internet Archive contains a short video and says the following -

“Folk traditions about this site. ascribe it as the grave of a character called Jeppe.who was an outlaw in the 11th or 12th century. This Jeppe and his band at some stage were waylaid and Jeppe was slain. As none of the local parishes would want to fork out for a decent burial for the knave, his cadaver was taken to the point where the parishes of
Pendleton, Wiswell and Sabden meet and interred there. However, it appears the point where the parishes meet is actually some way away at the summit of Wiswell Moor, so Jeppe was deposited in a prehistoric monument on the side of the fell.

Other traditions claim that Jeppe was a murdered pauper, though the same economical reasons for his odd burial spot are cited. An interesting note is that, in 1969, an axe dating from the Bronze Age was discovered in Pendleton. The object is now on display at Clitheroe Museum.History has provided us with an interesting anomaly regarding this grave. Firstly there is the straightforward legend. Jeppe was an outlaw, a 'knave' who many hundreds of years ago struck terror into the hearts of local folk. He marauded around Pendleton, Sabden and Wiswell and, along with his gang,  lundered and robbed wherever they saw fit, taking whatever they wished from the more honest, law abiding fraternity.

Inevitably,one of their forays went wrong, and, on the foothills of Pendle, he was caught by some of his intended victims. Instant justice was meted out and Jeppe was executed on the spot. Realising that no parish would be willing to bear the expense of a decent funeral, his dismembered body was dragged heavenwards towards the summit of nearby Wiswell Moor. There, at a point where three parishes meet, he was hurriedly interred, some local stones being collected up to mark the actual spot. Normally this would have concluded the story had not the villagers, in their excitement, mistaken a prehistoric burial mound for the summit cairn. Jeppe, instead of being interred at the parish boundaries, was in fact placed to rest within an ancient long barrow, the stones presumably having been taken from the attached cairn. Today, the O.S. map, as in many cases, identifies the grave, however, in this instance, Roman lettering signifies the spot as a place of historical interest. Historians still debate fiercely over the resultant confusion, with dates etc being vigorously contested.”

Sabden-1 Jeppe the Knave’s grave

Having found the grave and wandered all over the moor to establish that, with one exception, none of the field walls on the south side of Wiswell Moor have stiles or gates we returned to the car having decided another ten miles in the rain to check the next tricky part of the route wasn’t for today.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Other Pages

A little belatedly I discovered a Google Gadget that allows up to another 9 pages on Blogger blogs. So far I have added another three pages of photographs Black+White, Winter Hill and Mallorca. A side bar item enables navigation to each page and back to the blog.

These pages appear hidden from Editors, like Live Writer, which means using the fairly primitive Blogger editor so if anyone finds an editor that can update these pages please let me know.

I will be adding other pages in the near future and I’ll post a short note when new ones are added or existing ones updated.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Geraldine Walkington BGR Leg 3 – 10 July

Awful weather the previous night continued into Saturday morning up to and beyond Geraldine’s starting time of 08:00. Torrential rain, seemingly prompted by the “hosepipe ban” invoked to same water, fell without relenting and was forecast to continue for almost all of the next twenty four hours. At the end of the first leg, at Honister Hause, the almost inevitable decision to abort the attempt was taken. Colin, Paul and I had just arrived at Dunmail, as planned when we were bombarded with text messages and phone calls to ensure we were aware to the changed plans.

Convening in Keswick, we joined Geraldine, her husband Peter and the rest of Leg 1 and Road Support teams for  tea, coffee or hot chocolate to consider options for a second attempt at the end of August.

GW 11 July 10 (1 of 2)  Geraldine (red jacket) and some of her support

It isn’t always easy to explain just how localised bad weather can be and, often, it is even more difficult to explain just how much rain can fall in a very short time. Earlier in the summer Pauline and I had a run over Wansfell and a wander through Ambleside afterwards and this is how Rattle Gill looked then, as it normally does.

GW 11 July 10 (10 of 1) Rattle Gill, Ambleside early in May 2010

GW 11 July 10 (2 of 2) Rattle Gill, Ambleside 10 July 2010

Apologies for the drop of rain on the lens but the rain was still very heavy. I hope it doesn’t detract from the comparison with the photo above and bear in mind the rain was forecast to continue for like this for the rest of the day and beyond. Continuing beyond Honister Hause into Leg 2 wouldn’t have been a good choice and all that remains is to wish Geraldine every success for her second attempt at the end of August.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Bill Williamson CRR Leg 3 - 03 July

In 2009 having completed the Paddy Buckley and Bob Graham rounds in Wales and England respectively Bill gathered a team to help him complete the third of the three big rounds in one year. The weather refused to co-operate and the strong wind eventually brought the attempt to an end. Last weekend we headed north again, with Bill, for another attempt. The weather forecasts suggested the second half of the round might involve difficult conditions.

CRR BW 2010 July-001

Bill almost ready for the off

CRR BW 2010 July-002 Jean, Bill and Ian

CRR BW 2010 July-003

Over the bridge at midday to Ben Nevis and another 23 Munros

CRR BW 2010 July-100 13 hours later and Ian starts to organise the food and drink for Bill at Locheilt Lodge at the start of Leg 3

CRR BW 2010 July-101 Bill preparing for the third and final leg

Bob Wightman (Bob's blog) and I accompany Bill for the first half of the last leg and as we leave Locheilt Lodge the rain is still light and, at least at this level, the wind is little more than a gentle breeze. On the top of Sgurr Eilde Mor the wind was cold and strong.


CRR BW 2010 July-102

 Southwest to Binnein Mor with clouds shrouding the summit

Climbing into the clouds on Binnein Mor at five o’clock in the morning we had the first hints of how much the weather might deteriorate. The rain was a little heavier, the wind a little stronger and strengthening as it drove the rain into our faces. I don’t think it quite achieved gusts in excess of 70 mph but it easily achieved the 40-50 mph the forecast warned of and at one point we were in serious danger of being blown off the ridge – Bob had to hold Bill down while I clung on to the rocks below the ridge to wait for a slight easing that would allow us to climb out of the col after Na Gruagaichean. We left Bill shortly after this with his final support crew but in the end the weather won and for the second time the wind strength proved too much and the attempt had to be abandoned. The driving rain did little to help and it is a very long time since I have been, literally, soaked to the skin – despite modern waterproofs. My camera didn’t enjoy the experience either, despite protection that has always previously been adequate, it was flooded before we finished and the above photos are the last my beloved Canon G10 will ever take.

It is heartbreaking to see a very nearly successful completion - with all the effort, organisation and commitment that it takes – so tantalisingly close and yet feel it slipping away as conditions deteriorate, knowing that nothing can be done to compensate for gale force winds driving heavy rain into your face. It was a heroic effort to get as far round as Bill did in these conditions but even heroic efforts count for little in these hills.

Bob Wightman’s account of the same leg is here.

Karl Taylor’s account of the previous leg is here.