Royal Engineers Mapmakers – Toby Robins

I am reporting a crossing by three ex-forces fools.
We were all members of 42 survey regt, RE, which as the name suggests, were mapmakers by trade, also as fit as being a member of the Royal Engineers suggests.
Some time ago 2 of us set off in full enthusiasm and completed the first section with no difficulty. We then route marched the railway section making great time.
Stopped at the pub for a quick refreshment break and set off again still full of vim and completed the boggy section easily.
Then we set off towards blue man i’ th’ moss……..

We never found it…….

We followed the route as described but could find no stone of any description, we walked and walked and walked but could find nothing. we then saw a wood to our right which we thought was the plantation which should be on the left as it was the only one we could see on our map.
We checked the map and could not work out where we were to save our lives, for some strange reason our compass ‘was not working’, we set off still full of energy but not as much confidence, we walked into the afforementioned wood, for about 10 years (maybe a couple of hours) we walked into it getting more and more despirited as it should be quite small but was never ending.
We analysed the map turning it this way and that, upside down and sideways in the hope that we could make sense of it but could not work out where we were, our compass was still ‘broken’

Then suddenly we found that the map had…………..another side.
We turned it over and worked out where we were (heading the wrong way) and made our way out of the wood, only to see our support driving off.
We made it to the road and collapsed ready to hand our lives over to the moors when the van re-appeared after getting some petrol.
He suggested carrying on but that was not an option, straight home to cry into a beer, swearing to give it another go some time later.

Then 10 years later on 18th of july we gave it another go with our colleague and managed with only a little difficulty (still got lost in the same place but found our way back to the route (crossing some wierd alien landing site)) and a lot of wading managed to complete the route in only 16 hours finishing in the dark, swearing never to see the stupid moor again.
Therefore I am requesting that myself Toby Robins, Gavin Needham and our new colleague Simon Dowling (of Birmingham, Reading and Chesterfield respectively) the right to call ourselves Dirgers and my dad David Robins of Thirsk (nice and local) to call himself a Master of Misery as he has completed the course 4 times with a best time of 10hrs 48 mins. He also offered support on both attempts (if driving away in our hour of need is support) and has a great knowledge of the moors in general and the walk specifically which is the only reason we
completed it this time.

Yours in pain.

Toby Robins.

July 2009