Crossing Circa 1970

I used to live in Harrogate I did the walk first in the sixties in winter and without support. It took twenty three and a half hours and several toe nails.

Then moved to the flat south and joined the Bury St Edmunds “Up Down and Along” (climbing, caving and walking) club and the badges we had said “support UDA” (which didn’t always go well with the some of the Irish!)
Once a month we hired a transit van on a Friday evening and drove to the mountains and hills. There were few dual carriageways or motorways so the route went through most town centres and therefore we had to stop at every pub on the way until closing time.

I introduced them to the walk and we made it one of our regular venues with one weekend attempt at a double crossing. Some made it but I only managed one and a half due to yet more toenail issues (nothing wrong with the boots, just the feet that were in them)

As I had done the walk several times I chose on one occasion to be the support vehicle driver meeting up with the walkers at the usual road crossings.
It was a bit different to the normal weekend routine as the Saturday morning was spent paddling at Whitby with an early afternoon start (it was mid summer and there was a full moon).
I bid them fair well at Ravenscar and nipped round to the crossing south of the Flask to check that they hadn’t got lost (yet!)
At the Fylingdales crossing all was not well as one of the young maidens was walking with a limp and swollen ankle. Instead of leaving her at the side of the road I took pity and took her into the safe haven of the van on the condition that she didn’t start moaning.

Back to Whitby to pick up fish and chips and meet the group and after the usual rendezvouses got to the Lion at Blakey for “light refreshments”.
Then on into the night…..

There isn’t really a lot you can do in a transit van full of sleeping bags in the early hours of a Sunday morning at the edge of Chop Gate with a young maiden with a sore foot and negligible map reading skills.

They all staggered into Osmotherley on the Sunday morning so we drove to Scarborough and went paddling and eventually got back to Bury St Edmunds in the early hours of Monday.

Being the gentleman that I am I offered her a lift home to save her father having to pick her up.


The attached photograph ( Sadly, we can’t show on this report section ) was found when going through some old albums of the pair of us having finished the walk in just over thirteen hours probably in 1970 on race day (note the badges). We were yet to be married.

Unlikely to do it again but have fond memories. (her map reading skills are still negligible)

Howard (and Dawn) Laver