10 October 2012

Save the Date

Setting off on the first walk of Ride2stride 2012
It's just a year since half a dozen of us met in a pub in Skipton to talk about whether there was any point in trying to organise a walking festival along the Settle Carlisle Railway Line. The Western Dales are great walking country, dominated by the Three Peaks and very accessible by train from both Leeds and Carlisle. We decided it must be worth having a go and Ride2stride was born.

Walkers stripping off when the sun came out this year (yes - it did!).
Tomorrow the same six are meeting again (this time in Settle) and what a difference a year makes.

No more shall we/shan't we, can we/can't we, will anyone even come?

We know Ride2stride 2012 worked - pretty well really considering it was our first go at it. One or two walks were poorly attended, one or two groups had to leg it to catch connecting trains or buses. A train broke down, a bus timetable changed at the last minute but overall we were pretty happy with the results. Happy enough to have another go.

Ride2stride 2013 is taking place from Tuesday April 30 to Monday May 6.

The programme is coming together nicely and highlights include:

Tuesday April 30
A chance to experience Ribblesdale's industrial and farming heritage with a 6 mile circular walk from Settle, led by Colin Speakman and visiting the Hoffmann kiln and Tom Lord's working hill farm at Lower Winskill.
For the more energetic there's a 10 mile circular walk, also from Settle, returning via Giggleswick Common.

Musicians playing in the Station Inn at Ribblehead last year.

Both walks return to Settle station then go on to Giggleswick where there's live music in the Craven Arms from 4pm.

Wednesday May 1
Two great circular walks from Appleby station, a 10 miler along the riverside to Rutter Force and a strenuous 14 mile climb up to High Cup Nick which includes some boulder scrambling. Back to the Midland Hotel next to Appleby station for more live music.

Rutter Force - the upside of all the rain.

Thursday May 2
Repeating last year's popular combo Dr David Johnson, Chairman of Ingleborough Archaeology Group and well respected archaeologist will lead a walk into Crummack Dale followed by a talk in the evening on the archaeology of Malham Moor.

Last year's archaeology walk.

Friday May 3
The great Bill Mitchell, who for many years edited the Dalesman, will give a talk called "Thunder in the Mountains" which tells the story of the building of Ribblehead Viaduct. Anyone wanting to visit the site of the shanty town around the viaduct can do so on guided tours on Wed May 1 and Mon May 6.

Needs no introduction.

For walkers there are 2 walks from Garsdale to Hawes, a strenuous 10 miles and a moderate 6 miles. Both return to Garsdale station by bus.

Saturday May 4
Saturday is gearing up to be very busy with  5 walks planned so far including a very strenuous 19 mile circular from Settle to Malham and back led by the Long Distance Walkers Association. Expect a fast pace.

A gentler option is a 7 mile walk from Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Ribblehead where there's music in the Station Inn till midnight.

Sunday May 5
There's a climb up Pen-y-ghent and a riverside walk from Settle to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Tonight's music is in the Crown in Horton.

Monday May 6
The last day. Two nice walks planned for today - an eleven mile circular from Settle via 3 waterfalls and a gentler stroll around Settle and Giggleswick following in the footsteps of the composer Elgar.

This is just a taste - there's likely to be over 30 events in all and they're still coming in. There's a draft programme of what's on so far at www.ride2stride.org.uk

In the meantime follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/Ride2stride and please tell your friends.

4 October 2012

It's National Poetry Day...

...so here goes

When raspberries whisper make jam, not make love nor drink wine
When winds sing not of freedom but sheets on the line
When the sun squints your eyes into corners where cobwebs take cover
You'll know, that like me, you've begun to turn into your mother

1 October 2012

The last show of summer

Miss Piggy
Last week I had the pleasure of presenting the prizes in the "Childrens Pet on a Lead" competition at Nidderdale Show. Now you can't say that the children of Nidderdale aren't an imaginative lot for among the dogs of all shapes and sizes that were led into the ring were both rabbits and a couple of pigs. Last year, I have it on good authority, there was even a hen strutting it's stuff.

Nidderdale is always the last show of the year in the summer calendar of rural Dales events. It's a traditional agricultural show and because it takes place on a Monday in September it misses out on both summer and weekend visitos so everyone there is from either the local or farming communities - or both.
Handsome chap
and pretty girls

Kids are kept off school to ride their ponies, show their pens of sheep or in my class - lead their pets round the ring.

The 2 classes - under 9's and over - attracted plenty of entries. One dad was roped in to help control a particularly keen eyed collie who set his sights on the rabbits - or dinner as he called them - and one stage mum hissed instructions from the side but otherwise the kids did a great job of presenting their pets.

The judge, a professional brought in from the dog show, treated her task with the utmost seriousness, asking each child questions about their pet then watching as they trotted them round the ring. She chose an Aaaah factor winner from the under 9's group - a tiny girl with an even tinier ginger pig and a very smart  pre-teen with her black labrador from the older class. She did the tricky bit then I got to step forward and pin on the rosettes.

The winner!!

Happy days.