"Dring-g-g-g!!" Curse you, alarm clock. Shurrup ' “Dring-g g-g!” Oh, all right, I'm getting up. What, 6 am.? Heavens, what an unearthly hour to rise. Well, well, it’s for a good cause. These, and other ejaculations, occurred prior to my departure for Higherford last Sunday to join the Silverdale run. But even rising at such an hour failed to get me to the meeting place at the appointed time. As it happened, however, there were only a few assembled, about four, I think. Magnificently. I gave any of them permission to pump up my tyres, but to my intense disgust, they declined with jeers; result, I did it myself. Slowly our little band grew, until at eight o'clock it was a party of nine that tackled Blacko hill. I don’t know whether it was the result of being up so early, or merely youthful high spirits, but “Wilmay,” much to our alarm, careered joyously all over the road in an endeavour to work off some of his exuberance. But of “Wilmay" more will be heard later. Strongly we swung on, slipping into Settle at 9-30, Here, to our amazement, was a wondrous scene, and after many conjectures in which campers figured largely, we arrived at the conclusion that it was a fair. Yes, that was it, a “fair!” And, lest I should incur the wrath of one of my fellow members, I dare not reveal the name of the youth who was finally located sitting on the "‘obby ‘orses.” waiting for them to start.
When we left Settle we were fifteen strong, six late-comers having joined us. Steadily the miles were put behind, Clapham came and went, Ingleton was dropped; Kirkby Lonsdale, and then — disaster. “Womanater,” the chump, amid a loud hissing sound, nonchalantly informed us that he thought he had a puncture. looking at his already flat tyre we did not doubt the truth of his statement, but glumly dismounted. Telling the rest to continue, four of us remained with the unfortunate "Womanater.” And now, I will tell the correct procedure for repairing punctures, or shall we say "Womanater's" method. First of all, take off coat, the shirt sleeves up brisk]y, remove lamp from bike, placing the latter upside down. Produce tools and necessary equipment and finally sit down while some fathead does the job. It all worked according to rule, the fathead in this case being “Bookoss.” On inspection of the inner tube, it was found to be badly gashed, a spare one was put in. When at last all was in order the hour was late, and we found that we should have to put in some good riding to arrive at Arnside in reasonable time. As we had only a vague idea how to get there, we left it to "Wilmay" to guide us, and by gum, he did! He said it was a short cut; it was. The road (bah !}, path we took, rose about 1,000 feet (or so it seemed), and when we arrived at Arnside, we told “Wilmay” in no uncertain terms, where to go, and what to do with his map.
The others were already consuming the enormous quantities of food and nothing loth, we followed their example Having completed this most important interlude, we wandered down to the promenade, where our camera friends proceeded to waste perfectly good film upon us. Arnside is very nice place, but it is robbed of much of its charm by the unsightly viaduct which spans the bay. It was so pleasant, and the water looked so tempting that a few voted for swimming. The more restless spirits elected to carry on to Silverdale via Arnside Knott, which we proceeded to do. Amid open moorland the road took us, the rising gradient causing us to walk. At the summit a halt was made to admire the view while the presence of large quantities of blackberry bushes bearing ripe fruit, spurred our more thrifty members into blackberrying. It was only when someone pointed out that too many raw blackberries had been known to poison people, that they seemed less eager to pick them. Satisfied, both with the view and the blackberries, we carried on through cool, refreshing woods, the trees interlacing overhead and shutting out the hot sun. Shortly, we struck the road again, and were soon at Silverdale. We were not inclined to halt there, but passed on, the run becoming now a matter purely and simply of reeling the miles off as quickly as possible. On traffic-laden roads, reeking with petrol, amid the booming of exhausts and the shrieking of electric horns; it was hideous. Bolton le-Sands was just behind us, then came ugly Carnforth, My impression of Carnforth is one of railway sidings, and what looked like huge condensers and gas works. Lancaster at last!
Here we slaked our thirst with cooling drinks, preparatory to grinding down to Brock. The pace settled down to a steady twelves, with "Wilmay" one of the leaders. It soon became evident that “Wilmay" was not as fresh as he was earlier in the day, and before long he began to regret his morning capers. He cried "Enough" just before Garstang, and retired into a sheltered position in the rear. Someone moved up, and we ground on to Brock, where, with heartfel thanks we had a wash and tea.
From Brock we came through Inglewhite and all thought “now we can take it easy." But could we? We could not. I don’t know how it happened, but the pace freshened up to about fifteens. It became a case of having to hang on to the other fellow’s back wheel, or push the wind oneself. So we chose the lesser of the two evils and all clung together. The climax came when "Squire and Co" were sighted in front. To eighteens the pace rose, and we overtook them between Longridge and Ribchester. Angry murmurings were now heard from the rear. Stop it! Slow up! But they were heeded not. It was only at Ribchester, when "Squire and Co" turned right for Oake’s Bar, and we, left for Billington, that the pace became more leisured. Slowly we wended our way, dropping into Whalley at 8 o’clock. After a brief halt we resumed our homeward journey, each member vowing that never again, would he take part in a club "blind,” but knowing deep down in his heart that he will enter with zest into the next one.
Sunday! With tousled heads and bleary eyes, the various members of the Nelson Section of the C.T.C. jumped, slid or crawled from between the sheets, and with noses pressed to windows, surveyed glistening roofs and lowering clouds. Suppressing groans, they gulped down breakfasts, packed food, and at times ranging between eight and ten o’clock, launched forth on their trusty steeds in the direction of Malham. As the official route was via Whalley, it is possible that a few actually reached that becobbled village; but many, knowing of shorter and smoother ways, utilized that knowledge and travelled direct.
The advance guard, arriving before 11-30, decided to pay their respects to the camping section, and accordingly pushed on to Gordale, finding those children of nature — the campers — very much in occupation. Some weird game was in progress, since a hard ball was hurled with great force at an inoffensive youth, the victim defending himself with a block of wood. This, the visitors were informed, was cricket as played in camp. At this stage the camp’s orchestral performer wearied of the game, and diving into a nearby tent, emerged tuning his uke-banjo. This operation successfully completed, the band struck up and hesitatingly tip-toed its way through the tulips. Songs, ancient and modern, followed with bewildering rapidity, whereupon the non-campers fled back to Malham to find the "Airedale" in the possession of the Nelson and Blackburn sections of the C.T.C.
Interval of one hour for lunch. The weather, so depressing earlier in the day, had cleared, and gave promise of a glorious afternoon.
Let it here be said that the objective of the day’s run was a cricket match between the two sections, conceived by their respective committees 1n a moment of madness.
Lunch over, to the satisfaction of all concerned, the company rose in a body and repaired to the camping ground for the match. The campers were discovered in the midst of their midday repast, the odour of burnt bacon mingling appetisingly with the stench of paraffin and other smells so dear to the heart of the camping fraternity. One young lady, anxiously brooding over a strange substance not unlike leather, proudly informed a sceptical audience that the object was a mushroom. Arrangements are well in hand should a funeral be necessary.
But let us to business. The rival captains were busily engaged sorting out the wheat from the chaff — pardon the simile - when the Blackburn skipper discovered to his astonishment that his list contained twelve names, and not knowing which man to drop, pleaded with tears in his eyes, for permission to play the lot. Granted ! Tastily, “Bookoss.” the Nelson leader, tacked another name to the tail, and amid a tense hush tossed his last ha’penny. Tails, called Blackburn, but heads it proving to be, “Bookoss” held a consultation with his stalwarts and decided to bat.
Here the Nelson shares rose rapidly, for the appointed scorer was found to hail from Burnley, and a win seemed assured. But wait! As he seated himself at the foot of a tree, Blackburn supporters draped their figures on either side and prepared to see that no regrettable errors passed unnoticed.
Nelson stocks slumped heavily. The game commenced at 2-30, and the spectators subsided on spread-out capes and ground sheets, the, umpires gave “middles” in the approved manner. Silence reigned. Two maiden overs gave no promise of thrills to come, but ten minutes later the game stood at no runs for two wickets. The female element of the Nelson supporters paled beneath their powder, whilst male fingers twitched spasmodically. More maiden overs, then a snick produced a run. Sensation! The scorer, hastily roused from the state of. lethargy into which he had fallen, produced his pen and proceeded to justify his selection. Shortly afterwards the score stood at one run for four wickets, and by this time the ladies were sobbing openly. The whole side were out within the hour for a paltry eighteen, and with heads lowered in shame, the potential losers took the field. A hectic thirty minutes, and the heads were again erect, for Blackburn had been skittled out for a grossly inadequate ten runs.
Nelson’s second attempt realised fifty-seven runs for the loss of three wickets, at which total the captain declared. The “Blackburnites,” it may be mentioned, were unstinting in their fielding, and the open-handed manner in which they dropped an unbelievable number of catches drove the rival supporters into a frenzy of applause, and produced from their own partisans a succession of groans, heartbreaking in their intensity. Faced with a deficiency of sixty-five, they prepared to sell their lives dearly, but with the total at thirty-one, number twelve pushed a ball into the safe hands of second slip. The match was won and lost. Blackburn enthusiasts were later observed stifling sobs as they stumbled down to Malham, to drown their sorrows in tea.
The camping section celebrated the victory in the usual manner, consuming enormous quantities of paraffin flavoured bread and charred eggs, washing down the unsavoury mixture with gallons — so it seemed — of some only fluid, possibly prepared as tea.
It is proposed to purchase a large tin of raspberries, the same to be handed to the losing team to console them in their hour of darkness.
I rolled up to Fence on Sunday last as the bells of the Parish Church were chiming the hour of nine. Hercules, who has a passion for punctuality, informed me that I was ten seconds late, but I had not time to argue the matter for some unkind flint had penetrated the armour-plating of my rear tyre and the air contained therein was apparently anxious to return to its native element. The task of repairing the puncture took some twenty minutes to complete, and as my fellow-members had departed for Whalley some five minutes previously, I hurriedly packed away my tools and chased after them, but I did not catch them before reaching Whalley.
After a short halt we resumed our journey towards the Trough of Bowland, through Mitton and Bashall Eaves, and soon we arrived at Whitewell, where we paused awhile to stretch our legs and give our long-suffering bicycles a much needed rest. Our runs’ secretary apparently began to need his lunch for soon he dragged us to our bicycles again, and we moved on into the Bowland Hills. Soon we were walking up the steep hill to the county boundary and then, mounting once more, we sped down the other side of the Trough to the picturesque cottage that adjoins the road and the stream and there we had our lunch.
We lunched under the trees by the side of the stream, surrounded by flies, wild birds and hens. Our friend Raymon, who was contentedly browsing upon his "oats," very foolishly left his lunch lying on his cape which was spread out on the ground whilst he went in quest of more tea. Now one of those hens was evidently an opportunist, for no sooner was Raymon’s back turned than it calmly stalked up and began to dispose of his lunch with every evidence of enjoyment. The hen, however, did not enjoy it half so much as we did, for it could not appreciate the expression on Raymond’s face when he found out what was going on.
A few of us went for a stroll after lunch, but the majority of the members, intent upon a game of cricket, set out for Tarnbrook in the hope of finding there a suitable pitch. This party proceeded to Tarnbrook by way of the road, but there was also a shorter way in the shape of a footpath that climbed over Greenside Hill, and this was the way that Womanaiter, Esperanto and myself decided to take. The map informed us that the footpath branched off from the road at Marshaw, so to Marshaw we went and enquired the way of a local farmer. After expressing his astonishment at anyone wanting to take a bicycle over the hills when he could have gone the easier way, he gave us the necessary directions and we left the road behind and began our upward journey. The footpath soon dwindled away to nothing and we found ourselves roaming upon rough pasture land with never a path in sight. We reached the "top" at last, and found that there was still another top farther on; but we are quite used to this trick of Nature, so it did not worry or annoy us. Womanaiter decided that the grass was rideable, but after he had twice fallen off his bicycle with more. violence than elegance he gave up the attempt in disgust. As we mounted higher, the sea came into view; Esperanto and I stopped and. gazed at it longingly (for our shirts were moist with sweat), and thought of the bathing costumes in our saddle-bags. But though the sea looked temptingly near, a glance at the map showed the distance to be fully ten miles. The view was very clear, Blackpool Tower and Fleetwood being easily visible, and even the Lakeland hills were discernible in the distance.
Soon afterwards we reached the top of the hill — the real top this time — and Tarnbrook village nestled in the valley spread out at our feet. We dumped our bicycles and collapsed on the grass, and for some time all was peaceful. Then we discovered that Tarnbrook Fell, which was situated across the valley, was possessed of an echo. Naturally, this delighted our childish minds. and many and weird were the noises that floated across that peaceful valley. The echo was the queerest I have ever heard. A penetrating call would repeat six or seven times, and the last echo was the loudest! The explanation of this freak of Nature is, however, beyond my senile intelligence. We eventually got tired of straining our lungs and, gathering our bicycles, we slid down the steep hillside to Tarnbrook. We passed through the village without a stop, the only signs of life being several small children who stared at us as if we were apparitions, and two cats and about a dozen hens that were feeding peacefully together out of one bowl. We discovered our cricket enthusiasts parked by the roadside indulging in the usual two parts argument, one part cricket. Were they ready for moving on? They were not, so we ambled on and left them to their game. We proceeded through Abbeystead with its picturesque reservoir, and then by way of a wretched road (but which gave us some excellent views) to Brock Mill for our tea.
We sauntered home via Chipping, Higher Hodder and Whalley, and as we climbed towards Sabden we paused awhile to enjoy the beauty of the cloud effects and the glory of the setting sun. A short sharp climb up Black Hill, a swift run down Greenhead Lane and we were home in Burnley once more. A very enjoyable run my brothers, and one which you could enjoy too, if you did but own a bicycle.
Not caring for the usual route to Settle, and also, I must add, for tearing our hearts out behind the energetic ones, five of us decided to go by the quieter ways that lead through Paythorne, straggling Wigglesworth and Rathmell to Settle. The road is hillier and occasionally one encounters stretches of rough surface, but this is amply compensated for by the pleasant views over the Bowland Fells and the loftier heights of the backbone of England. Along these byways we sauntered, taking as we went our full share of the fruits of the hedgerows. Here and there we paused to pluck a few wild strawberries, bilberries or raspberries, and as we were fortunate enough to discover — a quantity of gooseberries, which later provided a very welcome dessert for our Sunday dinner. After passing Rathmell we halted where the River Ribble flows near to the road. Here, three. of us, just to test our spartan powers, went swimming. As all true outdoor swimmers say, "It wasn’t so bad," and we felt better for it At least, compared with our plunge at Horton the following day, it was comparatively warm.
It is remarkable how time flies when one is engaged in some interesting pursuit, but there is always something which gives you an inkling of the passing of time, to wu, you stomach. Ours were no exceptions to this rule, but nevertheless, pushing forward it did not take us long to reach Settle.
Time had so far progressed that the clock in the dominant town hall building adjoining the square was chiming six as we arrived. At tea we were joined by others of our cult who were bound for the same happy hunting ground as we. Our hunger appeased we proceeded northwards to Upper Ribblesdale, passing through Langcliffe, Stainforth, and Horton, which lies under the morning shadow of Pen-y-Ghent.
Now one of the advantages of lingering behind is that those before you have gone through all the fatiguing preliminaries of finding a camp site, and you have only to pitch your tent to be comfortable. In this case our site was situated in a little valley hidden from the eyes of the world by the swelling moorlands rising amphitheatre like on all but one side. A stream, which, like the way of all streams in the district, flow by way of subterranean passages, came bounding out of the hillside amid thorn bushes and shelving rocks, and flowed past the camp, going to swell the flood of the Ribble. It was no great distance from here to Pen-y-ghent. By mounting the hillside one could glimpse its dark forbidding bulk, now hidden, now clear-cut clouds played hide and seek amongst the buttresses that flank 1ts lofty sides.
Across the valley Ingleboro’ loomed out with its familiar night-cap adding to us mystery and height. The sun sank behind the outlying shoulders of that mountain leaving the clouds tinged with a delicate pink, gradually fading to leave only a faint yellow after-glow in the West. As the sun went down, the full moon rose in radiant splendour, casting its spell over the countryside. Its charms were so penetrating as to cause several occupants of the camp to raise their voices in unison, filling the amphitheatre with love lyrics and doleful ditties. First they would be "painting the clouds with sunshine,” then they would “shout till the rafters ring,” or perhaps carry one away to some peaceful spot “way down upon the Swanee river.” And so the moonlight melodies came and went but still one remained an incessant melody that only the sharpest of ears can note variations; the melody of the brook which helped to swell the Ribble’s flood.
With the intention of spending a week-end under canvas, I made my way — not without sundry rattlings of pots and pans — to Higherford. Here I was joined by my fellow campers, and after a few moments respite we commenced the ascent of Coldweather Hill. Threatening black clouds had gathered over our heads ere we reached the summit, and we sped down the hill in a vain attempt to avoid the shower which was imminent.
Arriving in Gisburn, we were greeted with a shower of rain, but, nothing daunted, we carried on until the rain ceased and the sun greeted us once more.
Soon after leaving Gisburn, one of our members found that his front tyre would not retain the necessary air pressure for very long, but this matter was soon put right, and we made good progress to Settle, where tea was partaken of.
After a hearty meal, "buying in" commenced, and when all were provisioned, we resumed our journey with a clear sky overhead and a strong wind to help us on our way. At this stage, one Nelson member decided that he must needs test the strength of his lamp, and immediately dropped it under his rear wheel. Needless to say, he found the lamp wanting.
As we approached Horton-in-Ribblesdale, the towering mass of Penyghent loomed up on our right, with its rival Ingleboro’, on our left in the distance. At Horton we were joined by another camper who had preceded us, and with the help of the strong tail wind we made short work of the undulating miles over the moors to Ribblehead, where we joined that romantic highway the Lancaster-Richmond road.
At Newby Head we forsook the main road and followed the rough cart road which leads eventually to Dent. Rapidly descending the path under the mighty railway viaduct, we followed the course of a peat-coloured stream which runs swiftly through the dale, and were soon at the site of our camp, only to find that there were already two members settled there.
Tents were erected, and soon "Primus" stoves were roaring cheerfully. Over our heads dark clouds were again gathering, and hardly had we finished our supper before the rain was pattering on the canvas. Fortunately, this proved to be only a passing shower, and we soon sallied forth from our tents. Then two enterprising sportsmen began to play at catching an egg, ostensibly to demonstrate their theory that a new-laid egg will not break when thrown into the air and allowed to drop. Unfortunately, either their theorising was at fault or the egg was not new-laid. At any rate, one of the party was soon seen making for the river to remove the egg stains from his person. This mishap brought the exciting game. to a premature close.
Darkness was now descending upon the camp, and 10-30 p.m. brought a chorus of "good-nights,” as we all turned in to snatch some rest.
At daybreak the weather had not cleared, but long before the sizzling of cooking breakfasts had died away the clouds had disappeared and the sun shone brilliantly. The ringing of church bells warned us that it was time for service, so we made our way to the quaint little village of Dent, with its steep and narrow cobbled streets and old-fashioned houses.
The approach of dinner time brought us all back to camp, for to the camper eating is one of the chief pleasures of life. and this meal proved to be no exception to the rule.
But time moves quickly, and being nearly fifty miles from home, we had regretfully to pack our tents and bid farewell to the dale. The more energetic members. elected to return by Barbondale, leaving the old men (sic) to return by the shortest route.
Climbing out of the dale through the. village of Gawthrop, we obtained some fine panoramic views over the hills beyond Sedbergh. Barbondale itself presented a splendid picture in the bright sunlight, with the pine woods of Barbon Manor giving a sombre touch to the lower reaches of the dale.
The inner man again calling irresistibly, we made a halt at "Pretty Clapham" for tea, then on through the narrow bye-lanes to Lawkland and Gisburn, where we overtook the slower members who had travelled by Ribblehead. Making light of Coldweather Hill, we were soon speeding down towards Barrowford and home, each one with pleasant memories of an enjoyable week-end spent amidst the peaceful surroundings of Dentdale.
- "Young Un"
If any of my readers had perchance found themselves in Settle on Sunday last, about the time when one is usually seated with legs under the table partaking of the mid-day meal, they would have seen a crowd of cyclists, all with the "do or die" expression on their faces, busy pumping up tyres, unstrapping saddle bags, and they would also have seen one other cyclist with a smile on his face talking to "Phyllygott," a young lady who is hoping to be a cyclist some day.The smile may have been for the said young lady, but I think it was because he had been delegated to lay a trail of dye for the crowd of cyclists to follow. Whatever the smile was for, it soon vanished. And now to enlighten my readers.
The North Lancashire D.A. are the proud possessors of a shield which is competed for annually by the sections, and on Sunday the competition took the form of a cross country trial. Fourteen riders had entered from the Nelson Section and fourteen from Blackburn. Georjud, having been promised help by an old member who had fallen from grace and taken to petrol, elected to lay the trail from the pillion seat of the motor bike. Starting about ten minutes before the trail, Georjud swept through Settle to Giggleswick, placing half of the dye on the road, and the other over his person. From Giggleswick he continued past the Grammar School on the road to Eldroth, turning right for Rathmell, and then after half a mile plunging up a rough cart track which wandered like a snake over the moors to Whom. Here the trail turned down a corkscrew bend to Hozley, and then plunged again into the moors, leading out eventually to Tosside. From here the trail ran down to Grunsagill, and then; as if to really merit its name as a trial, proceeded on a river bed, miscalled a road to Hiles, finally emerging into civilisation at Paythorn Bridge and finishing a couple of miles farther at Gisburn. Here, the timekeepers, Messrs. Nutter and Blezard were waiting for the competitors. The course measured out to be eighteen miles and it took the winner 1 hour 27 minutes to complete the round.
But to continue! As the competitors started arriving, snatches of news came in as to how other riders were faring. "Derailleur,” one of the "three graces,” thought it a good opportunity of testing his front wheel, and found it wanting. Arthur George took a large boulder for the road and dived into the ditch, "Non Stop" lived up to his name and didn’t, till he found himself about ten miles out of his course. "Lezly" took about twelve more of the riders to a lonely spot far from the trail in order to tell them of the different birds he has found at Austwick, and finally after the timekeepers had decided to retire for the night it was found that only 17 riders had completed the course. The Blackburn Section won the trophy, being the only complete team to finish. Two prizes were awarded for the two best individual times for the course, and these were won by R. Elliott and N. Nutter: of the Nelson Section. Mr, Smith, the chairman of the D.A. Committee handed the trophy and prizes to the recipients and afterwards everyone turned out for the blood of “Georjud," but he, desperate to escape was last seen doing about 50 miles per hour on the pillion of the motor bike in the direction of Settle, racked by the thought of (a) being caught (b) being killed in the process of escaping, and (c) wondering if he would find his faithful bicycle where he had left it at Settle.
- SON OF HUD.
"Good morning, everybody"; I propped my bicycle against a wall, and mingled with my fellow members who were gathered at our meeting place at Higherford. It was raining slightly, but not sufficiently to make us don our capes. Our number continued to increase, and at ten o'clock we started upon out journey to Long Ghyll. The top of Coldweather Hill was soon reached, and we sped down into Gisburn and on to Settle, where a halt was made to recover from our exertions, smoke, or imbibe "soft" drinks, according to our inclinations. The halt was not protracted, for some motor cycle club or other was trying it best to make the place unbearable with bad smells and hideous noises. We climbed out of Settle by way of Constitution Hill, and passed into upper Ribblesdale, finally coming to rest at Horton, where we dumped our bicycles and disappeared into the "Golden Lion" to destroy the aching voids that had grown in our stomachs.
The inner man satisfied, we ambled through the fields to the Ribble and collapsed upon the banks of the meandering river, and assumed attitudes which — whilst they may have been restful — were certainly not elegant. The rain had long since cleared away, and a hazy sun beamed paternally upon us. The voice of our runs secretary was heard bemoaning the fact that he had not brought the green and black horror he is wont to call a bathing costume. An occasional train rumbled by, but did not disturb the peace; an occasional splash was seen in the river as a trout quested its winged lunch; all was peaceful, all was still. It was, of course, too good to last; a discussion developed into an argument, and the argument into a scuffle. We heaved ourselves to our feet, removed the earwigs and other insect visitors from our persons, and ambled back to Horton for our bikes.
Soon we were rolling along the road again, and, Selside being passed, we stopped at a certain gate that marked the final stage of our outward journey. The farm road that leads to Ling Ghyll is far from perfect, but no serious accidents occurred, and we soon reached the farm at the foot of the ghyll. Here we left our bicycles, and proceeded on foot up the bed of the stream. Various kinds of wild flowers bloomed in profusion, and we soon lost some of our lady members, who evidently preferred gathering them to bruising their ankles upon the boulders in the river bed. As we scrambled up-stream, the grassy banks on either side changed gradually into rocky walls that towered higher, and higher yet, until we were in the heart of a ravine with precipitous sides. Trees grew out of the cracks in the rocks and made it a fairy glen that would be advertised as one of the wonders of the world if it were situated in North Wales or any other noted beauty spot. We enjoyed the charm of this rare gem, hidden in the Yorkshire hills in peace and seclusion.
We rambled along, sometimes climbing aver boulders, sometimes on one side of the stream, sometimes on the other, sometimes walking on the dry bed of the stream itself over which the stream hurled itself into the pool at its foot. We gazed at the obstruction, gazed at the steep walls of the ravine, gazed at our runs secretary and gave him a lecture upon the evils of bringing us upon an expedition like this without bringing a ladder also. He looked at us pityingly for a few minutes, and then, with a determined expression upon his face, began an assault upon the barrier. By the time he had clawed his way to the top we were firmly convinced of the truth of the Darwin theory; but where he had led surely we could follow. We did, with a little help from above, and soon we were gathered at the top of the obstruction. We pushed on, and discovered a cave, but since no one had brought a lamp, we (perhaps fortunately) could not explore it. Soon afterwards the floor of the ravine climbed steeply upwards, and we found ourselves upon level earth once more.
We walked down the right hand bank of the ghyll on our way to the farm. The trees in the ravine were exhibiting a multitude of shades of green, whilst many were also in blossom, and the fragrant scents of spring were in the air. Ingleborough and Penyghent reared their mighty heads into the hazy blue of heaven, and Ribblesdale stretched at our feet. It was very pleasant, far more pleasant than being in the dull, close streets of our respective towns from which we were mercifully delivered by our friend the bicycle.
When we reached the farm we found our flower-gathering members reclining upon the grass. Their first words were: "Do you know it’s quarter past five? Where are we having tea?" Tea! hugh! I wonder if they ever think of anything else besides eating. Shall we go to Ingleton, Horton, Stainforth, Settle? No. Do they make teas at the farm? The farm was sorry, they did not make tea. Some bright spark suggested a picnic, so out came our sandwiches, and we hied to the stream and had our meal al fresco.
At 6-30 we were ready for the road again, our appetites satisfied, and our litter burned. We scampered down Ribblesdale to Settle, where we found those who had been on the long run already in possession. We were greeted by the usual kind remarks: “Where the dickens have you been while this time?” “We could have walked it by now," etc. We retorted in kind: “How are your poor old knees?” “I’ll bet you were whacked when you got to Kendal,” and so on. However, peace was restored at last, and we ambled home together. Gisburn was reached and passed, and soon we came to the parting of the ways at Blacko Bar. “Good nights" were exchanged, and soon I was speeding through Roughlee towards Burnley, and so home again after a day of freedom from work-a-day worries, a day of happiness and fun, a day of healthy open air exercise that made me eager for supper and bed.