Crossing Report from 1991……………………….

Lyke wake challenge Edited by Ron Feb 17 2021

This Lyke Wake Report is for the 5th – 6th  October 1991

The challenge was taken up to hopefully get sponsorship to cover the cost of supplying and fitting seat belts in the Dagenham, Robert Clack, School Bus.  

In support                                                    Walkers

Maureen Palmer                              Bill Fuller, Dean Philpott ( 13 yrs ), Gary Andrews,

Sue Philpott                                          Geoffrey Boyling, Paul Christian, Ron (2) Deadman, Ron (1) Philpott      

If you have not walked this countryside before, DON’T do it, it’s far too nice to be rushed in this manner

Forget the challenge just enjoy the walk..

We Left Dagenham (East London) at 06:45 on Saturday 5th October 1991.

Ron 1 drove us the 230 miles, straight to the Queen Catherine Hotel, in Osmotherly arriving at 12:30, for Food and beers. After two pints Ron 1 had had enough and decided to take the van to ensure that all ahead, was as had been planned. That is, the pub where we hoped to have supper, had not been demolished and where he intended for us to camp was all ok. An hour and a half later he returned to find us full of good spirits and insisted we visit the village toilets, these were unique to say the least, the cleanest & sweetest smelling loos in all of GB. With vases of flowers etc.

In due course, we set off in the van towards Cod Beck car park, close by the official-start of the walk.                                    Here suitable clothing and footwear  were donned, rucksacks filled with waterproofs etc. In Ron 2’s case an old jacket and a pair of plimsolls which Oxfam had thrown out. At 17:30 we walked to the trig point behind the wall near to the B.T repeater station on Beacon Hill. Photos were taken and watches synchronised.

At precisely 18:00 the seven of us set off for Clay Bank Top. By 19:30 it was dark, we passed through Huthwaite Green, negotiated the climb up through Live Moor Plantation, the “Devils Staircase” 105 steps and no two alike, before crossing Carlton Moor. With rapidly dimming torches, by 20:00, we think we passed the gliding club. Guessed our way across Cringle Moor then felt our way over Hasty Bank.

It was whilst Ron 2 was relating how he had narrowly escaped death, “I was on Mt Everest when I was “abandoned by my Sherpa’s, with nothing more than my underpants and fifteen foot of rope”. That Ron 1, who’s torch had long since died and with sight impaired due to tears of laughter, totally missed his footing, he fell awkwardly and twisted his knee.

We met with the support team at 22:30, where dirty kit was exchanged for clean, Maureen then drove us to catch last orders at the Black Horse in Great Broughton. Whist there, Bill tried hard to convince the locals they should all move down south, young Dean fell asleep and Ron 1 tried to ease the pain in his knee by self-administering foaming anaesthetic, at the same time making up for what he had missed earlier.

Gary said he didn’t want to have to get up once he got into his tent, and kept paying visits to the gents (five in ten minutes). Paul said “If we stay any longer, we will be in the pub all night” after a long silence & clearly some thought followed by further persuasion, we said goodnight to all the locals & our landlord, who had made us so welcome. We made Clay Bank Top by 01:30 where sleep was had until Ron 1 woke us at 04:00. Tents etc were stowed, some fresh batteries fitted to torches and Cheese sandwiches consumed. We were under way by 05:00. Into the dark of Urra Moor and Round Hill.

Paul, in an attempt to draw some of the sympathy from Ron l, promptly pulled his knee, the pair later coined the Lyke  Wake Limp, ow, ouch !!. At 06:30 a frost came down onto the Moor and it was bitterly cold.

As we walked along the disused railway track towards Esklets the sun came up and even if it didn’t feel any warmer, it looked like it should have been. Spirits were raised, and the remaining twenty-five miles or so didn’t seem such a daunting task.

In his haste to find a suitable spot to answer a call of nature, Ron 1 relieved himself of his maps and compass which fortunately, were picked up by those following.  At 09:15 we met the support team at White Cross, more cheese sandwiches, but this time with a choice of tomato or brown sauce & if you were lucky, a quick cuddle.                        

Ron 1 was reunited with his maps etc and advised that he would be penalised severely at a later date.

Geoff very generously offered to take his punishment for him, so long as he could ride in the van for the rest of the way. Ron 1 declined his offer telling him to get walking. 09:30 found us on our way to the BIue Man-in-the-Moss, knowing that the halfway point had been achieved, was good.

Support was on offer on the Hamer road at about 10:15 and we made the Blue Man standing stone at 11:30.              Cracking on to meet the support team again at 12:35 on the Wheeldale road.

Signs of tiredness were now apparent as was some anxiety as to what may lay ahead of us together with the time remaining to complete the challenge. After hurried refreshments, we were off again towards Eller Beck Bridge. Now the pace noticeably more punishing, and the adrenalin beginning to flow. Eller Beck car park was reached by 13:30, the first members, arriving prior to the support team. They had it transpired, stopped to pick up one of our number who was experiencing difficulty.

15 minutes later we were off again, passing Fylingdales early warning radar “Golf BaIIs” and on to LilIa Cross.                 Crossing Jugger Howe Beck, we made the Car Park at 15:40, Someone said “I’m going to leave my rucksack off for the final leg” abuse of all kinds followed with one person suggesting “he should be made to do it again, backwards”.

Dutifully we all put our rucksacks on, one or two even filed their water bottles.

With two hours twenty minutes left to complete the challenge, and with our goal in “sight” a warm feeling enveloped us. A slightly more relaxed pace was set as we walked on towards the Beacon on Stony Marl Moor. The Lyke Wake Stone was achieved at exactly 16:30.

Ron 2 looking at what now remained of his plimsolls remarked” You’ll have to take me home in the van, I’m afraid. These plimsolls won’t make it back to London”- What a guy?  After refreshments and photographs we got back in the van for the drive home. Extremely tired but very satisfied, our challenge fulfilled.

Many hours of planning had helped us achieve our objective. Ignoring the time to get to and from Yorkshire.

We had spent twenty-two and a half hours, sixteen of those walking, four in the pub & two and a half asleep.

Photos at the LWW stone then Ron 1 started to drive us home, but he soon fell asleep so Maureen suggested it may be better, if she took over for a while & Ron 1 had a rest. Geoff took over from Maureen and Ron 1 slept most of the way back home.

A thought: Without the immense effort put in by Sue & Maureen (support) the whole thing would have failed.                              That being the case all we would have had to show for all that effort, would have been a great pub crawl….emmm?

Majority conclusion: This was one of the most exhilarating if not somewhat foolish experiences of our lives.

Addendum: 30 years later 17 Feb 2021: Would I do it again?

Not sure I could, I’d give it a go but get more sleep and save the pub until after..