Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA

Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA
Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA


pigs think sheep nigel

Whatever next? Nigel Heys met these pigs in sheeps' clothing on the Surrey Hills



Spring has been sprung even if we haven't been, just yet, from the virtual jail in which we've been banged up for the last what-seems-like five hundred years. But it looks as if better times are on the way, and here's something to look forward to. If the rules allow, Gavin is going to lead a walk in June as a bit of a mid-summer challenge. The full glorious details will follow in due course but given how restricted we've been for so long some of us may want to train for it, as it will be 34 miles! Some brief details are below...



A Midsummer Challenge!!!

Midsummer on the Downs Challenge: June 26th


Back in 2011 Mike Ratcliff and Dave WIlliams did a lengthy circular walk from Berwick, taking in Arlington Reservoir, Wilmington Hill, Jevington, Belle Tout, the Seven Sisters, Seaford Head and Firle Beacon. Having pieced together the likely route from Mike's report dare anyone join Gavin in following in their footsteps on this 34-mile trek a decade on? If we are allowed to run the walk, details on how to register will be released closer to the time.




I suspect most of us are fed up by now of walks that start and end at their front door and consist of a limited selection of local views (hello, Canary Wharf skyline! in my case). We could all do with a laugh, so thanks, Barry Arnold, for posting this link from the Guardian.  

A joyless trudge?




The picture of Dr Foster in last week's Jabber brought back happy (?) memories for Russell Bateman: 

'Reminds me of something similar I experienced in late 2018 on one of Lonica's walks in Epping Forest. Gavin did photograph my predicament, but thankfully he did not produce it for this newsletter. It provided considerable mirth for everyone on the walk. Though for a short period of time it was uncertain how deep into the mire I would sink! Fortunately I stopped just above knee level and was then guided out by Lonica.'

All part of a leader's duties, Russell...




Also in last week's Jabber: the proposed development of a blot on the landscape (pictured below) of a 1k section of disused railway between Camden and King's Cross,to be known as the Camden Highline that was abandoned around 30 years ago when a length of four-track line was reduced to double-track.



camden skyline project


So while we're on a railway theme. Lakeland LDWA's Facebook, run by Nicky Wood, is always full of interesting entries. The latest, below, concerns the intriguingly nmaes 'La'al Ratty', and I hope Nicky won't mind my reproducing it here so we can enjoy a bit of virtual travel while we're still stuck at home.  


The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, or ‘La’al Ratty’ as it is affectionately known, was opened in 1875 to bring hematite iron ore from Eskdale to the Furness railway at Ravenglass. Then following requests from the residents of the valley for a passenger service the railway was upgraded and the first passenger services started in 1876. It was the first public narrow gauge railway in England, but it ran into financial difficulties due to the conversion to passenger service and because the iron ore mines shut ten years after the line opened. The service continued to limp on in the hands of receivers but there was insufficient trade. In 1905 a derailment was caused by defective track and train, in 1908 it was declared unsafe for passengers and the line closed completely in 1913.
In 1915 model maker Wenman Bassett-Lowke took over the line and converted it to the 15 inch gauge of today. By 1917 the whole line was converted, and trains ran again to Boot. There were further issues with the gradient of the line but eventually goods and passengers and mail were transported again. Sir Aubrey Brocklebank a shipping owner from Irton Hall took over the railway in the 1920s. Steam trains, named after the Rivers Esk, Mite, Irt worked alongside diesel locomotives.
During World War II passenger services were suspended and the steam locomotives were mothballed. Granite trains from the mine supported the war effort. By 1946 passenger trains ran again using diesels and some of the steam engines. Keswick Granite Company bought the line in 1949 and by 1960 wanted to sell it with a threat of breaking up the line. Locals and enthusiasts formed the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society and saved the line, with its two steam locomotives the River Esk and River Irt. Since then the railway has significantly improved and today there are 120,000 passengers each year with up to 16 trains daily in summer closed January.
The journey from Ravenglass calls at Muncaster, Irton, Eskdale Green and Dalegarth near Boot in Eskdale and you can make linear walks using the train for your return. From Boot you can visit Stanley Ghyll Force, used in TV films. At Ravenglass you can enjoy the railway museum, visit the coast and the famous natter jack dunes. There’s Muncaster Castle and water mills to visit at Muncaster and Boot and if you want a leg stretch you can get all the way up to Hardknott Fort.
Covid suspended the service in early 2020, the first time since the Second World War that the service has been forced to suspend.


lakeland ldwa train nicky w

Photo Credit: "File:L'al Ratty at Eskdale Green Station - geograph.org.uk - 563363.jpg" by kiteman22 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0



London LDWA - http://www.ldwa.org.uk/London