The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

An 80th birthday visit to Duddon Valley.

The Duddon Valley in Cumbria is my second home, or is it my first? I'm not sure really as from the 1980's I have spent so much of my time there.
I have fixed many tractors and excavators for different farmers there and I must have done a good job as they still talk to me. I have house sat and looked after pets, helped with sheep gathering, clipping, bailing, wrapping, dipping, lambing, calving, tree felling, gutter digging, walling, bar tending, fell race marshalling and much more. The friends we have in the valley are genuine people, who work hard and never forget what you have done for them. We love being there.

We were invited to a locals 80th birthday party, a friend we have known for about 30 years. Of course we wanted to go, we wouldn't have missed that for anything.

However the doo was to be held in the Newfield Inn, Seathwaites only pub. Unfortunately the management team had decided to leave the pub and so it was touch and go as to if the event would happen. Fortunately the owners of the pub are also customers and therefore did everything possible to give the octogenarian his party.
The owners of the Newfield Inn John and Gayle, reluctantly now running the pub again. At least for 2020 anyway. Many folk are very pleased.

The pub was closed to the general public but still around 35 local folk turned up and it was a cracking night with music provided by guitarist Paul Rose from Newcastle and famous for playing with lots of well known bands and the wonderful buffet went down well. Thanks Gayle and Dave.
Myself with Paul Rose

It was great to catch up with the locals and find out what was happening in the valley. Chatting about tractors, especially the MF 5713s which will be the next new tractor in the valley and one I will have to brush up on the specs, and the weather of course etc etc. and the campsite which has taken a bit of a hit this year due to the poor management at the pub. Hopefully when the pub opens again in a few weeks time things will pick up.

The weather during the weekend was pretty foul, very windy, snowy squalls, heavy rain showers and sun. All seasons in one day.

It wasn't particularly hiking weather and although I had hoped to do a least one walk up top, due to the trifecta of outdoor evils I decided that caution was preferable to rash bravery and so even though Sunday started well we went for a lower walk.

From the Duddon Valley we could see the snow covered tops of the Crinkles, Bow Fell and the Scafell range, they looked cold and uninviting and clagging over for most of the time.  Locally, there was very little snow except at the very tops but the wind was vicious.

We went up to Seathwaite tarn and across the dam to the north side of the water. It was bitter cold. I stopped on the dam to take a short video which lasted about 1 minute before my fingers were numb.
The reservoir outlet into tarn beck was blowing backwards before re-cycling.

We spotted two people heading up the hillside towards Grey Frier. I didn't envy them today and we returned back down by the tarn road.

Here are some photos of the walk.

 The Park Head Road was in bad shape.
 White Pike Centre, Dow Crag left
Dow Crag right of centre with Grey Friar left of centre.
 The Scafells at the back with Hardknott in the middle ground.
 Harter Fell from Crag Band.

 One of my favourite views of Harter Fell, The foreground area is called Black Allens and I always get a feeling of life here thousands of years ago. I don't know why I feel that way but it happens every time I visit here.
 Seathwaite Tarn from the dam end.
 A Black and White view.
Tarn Beck


Al said...

Hi Alan
Glad you had a good time at Seathwaite. I thought of you when the "weather" turned up! He never fails to bring the rain I thought!!
Good to see you got a walk in tho'
Tek care

AlanR said...

We had a great time Alistair. As for the weather, I was told it had been crap for most of the week. So i didn't bring it with me this time. I could take credit for it though I suppose. Sunday wasn't a bad day on the whole but extremely cold higher up and we needed more warm gear than we had with us.

Phreerunner said...

That looks like a nice trip despite the weather...

AlanR said...

Very enjoyable thanks Martin. It was good to be out.

Sir Hugh said...

That was a cheering up story. Dunnerdale really is a place to lift the soul. I love that chunky tractor. From your account it sounds as thpough it hasn't arrived yet? I hope you get to have a go with it whenever.

AlanR said...

It’s a nice piece of kit 130hp. I’m sure I will have a go when it arrives and check out what’s new on it. £60,000

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