Top of the Park Head track looking at Harter Fell (left) and Bowfell (just right of centre).Sheila and i were invited to spend a weekend with friends Tina and Alan in Seathwaite, Duddon Valley.
The agenda included a 4 course dinner cooked by Amanda at the Coffee shop in Ulpha followed by an evenings entertainment at the BrowFoot Rooms, also in Ulpha, with a French female singer, guitarist and comedienne Flossy Malavialle.
Saturday was Walna Scar Shepherds Meet with lunch and entertainment in the evening.
Entertainment Itinerary at the Brow Foot Room.
Although we had not heard of Flossy before it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening with the house full and plenty of beer and wine flowing. She is an English teacher who came to England on a teacher swop in 2002 from the South of France.
She said that it wasn’t difficult to find people to swop with her and live in the South of France. However she ended up in Darlington. Life can be tough.
That more or less finished her English teaching career in France, because now her English language includes colloquialisms for example “I ain’t dunit like” and Yerr Right Like.
All her sentences now end with the word “Like”.
Thanks must go to everybody involved for a really good night.
Saturday we were going to Torver near Coniston for the local shepherds “Meet”. We have been going to this event for many years. It is good day out especially with the wonderful weather this year and the evenings entertainment which is mainly a sing song by the farmers was a little quieter than usual.
Most of the singers are from the older generation and it would seem that the younger ones are not as keen to keep the singing tradition going. It would be a shame if this part of the day came to an end.
What is the Shepherds Meet?
Before the era of the telephone and motorised transport, the business of returning stray sheep to their owners was communally organised.
Each fell area had their own shepherds' meets which were held twice a year - in July for clipping time and in November for tupping time. Stray sheep were gathered together to be identified and claimed by their rightful owners and the meets were also occasions for much socialising.
Shepherds’ Meets today mostly take the form of a traditional agricultural show and/or social occasion. Their function of returning stray sheep is much reduced but still occurs, usually agreed over the phone and picked up by the owners by trailer.
There is also hound trailing events.
The Walna Scar Meet rotates between The Newfield Inn Duddon Valley, The Blacksmiths Inn Broughton Mills and the Church House Inn in Torver.
The Church House Inn is 15th century and lies in the shadow of the Old Man of Coniston which today was looking close and clear. It still has the open fires and many original rustic features.
Good cask beers are served and the food is excellent although in my opinion it is a bit pricey. Restaurant prices in a pub setting.
There is also a decent campsite adjacent to the pub.
The Old Man of Coniston
The Church House Inn
Here are some photographs i took from this years Meet.
The breeds of sheep in this area are predominantly Herdwick and Swaledale. The overall champion of show was won by my old mate Anthony Hartley from Turner Hall Farm. That’s him in the 4th picture, on the left with Andrew Birkett on the right. They are showing Herdwick Tupps.
On leaving the show we drove back to Seathwaite via the top fell road and i took a few more photographs.
Overnight the clear skies resulted in the temperatures falling rapidly. The gauge in the car on the way back from the evening social was showing 2.5 ℃. This morning the grassy areas in the shade was covered in a layer of white. It looked beautiful. The first for me this year.
Grey Friar can just be made out in the background.
A cold and hungry visitor.
Thanks to Alan and Tina and all at the Shepherds’ Meet and Ulpha for a wonderful weekend.
The entire album of pictures can be found here