Archive for August, 2015

Lyke Wake Walk……4th August 2015

Monday, August 10th, 2015

After a couple of months of training, I finally plucked up the courage, if that’s the right word, to
attempt the LWW. My name is Ian Fraser, just turned 55 years of age, and a Swainby resident. As I
live around half a mile from the start of the course, near Sheepwash, I often wondered what the
Lyke Wake Walk was all about. I bought a copy of the guide book at Lordstones cafe and also
visited the LWW website. I enjoy walking but have never attempted anything approaching 40 miles
I gradually built up my walking distance over a period of weeks and hoped that my wife, Ruth,
would be able to join me on the walk itself but knee pain put paid to that plan. Finally, the big day –
Tuesday 4th August – arrived. Ruth dropped me off at the start of the route outside Osmotherly at
6.04 am. The weather was dry, cool and windy; ideal for walking really. Here’s the photo at the
The weather stayed dry for most of the day, although the wind speed over Carlton Bank and at
Urra Moor seemed particularly high and, sadly, never at my back! Since this walk was on my own
and unsupported in the sense that Ruth dropped me off and planned to meet me at Ravenscar I
had to carry all my gear with me from the start. I studied the route carefully and had the chance to
try out various sections of it in the preceding weeks. I have a Garmin etrex GPS device and
downloaded a file with the LWW route. I think I got this by following a link from the LWW website.
The starting point from the file was about a quarter mile away from the actual starting stone but for
the most part was an essential tool.
The wind picked up even more along the disused railway line on the long trail up to the
Lion Inn but after that seemed to ease a bit.
The next photo show the path alongside the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge…
The opportunity for a Selfie with Fat Betty was too good to miss….
although I don’t look particularly pleased to see her – perhaps I was contemplating the boggy
section to come!
I was really grateful for the LWW lettering painted on the road, as this gave a clear indication of
where to turn off the road….although the track soon petered out and I had to take my chances
getting over the reeds. Fortunately, this was a Summer crossing and the path was fairly dry.
After meeting the road, I had my only real problem of the day…I lost the path across to Blue Man i
The Moss. Tracking through the heather was hard going but I fortunately caught sight of a standing
stone and this brought me back onto the track.
The next section, as expected, seemed long, with lots of loose stones around to stub my toes on!
The only rain shower of the day occurred just before Wheeldale, making the steep decline rather
slippery. Had to keep up the concentration level to get across the stepping stones……
After crossing the NYM railway line at Ellerbeck, I had no sooner climbed the other side before
hearing a distant steam whistle. By this time I was too tired to consider turning back for a look at
the passing train!
I had forgotten how long the stretch from Lila Cross to Jugger Howes was. When I did this section
as a training walk, the ravine seemed to come up quickly….not so on the actual walk! The final
stretch after crossing the road was good and I felt the Beacon drawing me towards it. Must have
been starting to hallucinate as I thought I saw Ruth waving to me but, alas, it was a small tree in
the distance! Made it at last and Ruth was there to meet me and take a final picture…..
Must be an illusion but my legs seemed much shorter after the walk!
Anyway, that about completes my report of the walk. I’ll end with a couple of screen shots with my
start and end times: 6.04 actual set off time and 20.55 arrival time at Beacon Howes. Total time
about 14 hr 50 mins, including stops along the way…
And finally the Etrex output of the trek.

Anyway, I hope this report meets your requirements for membership of the exclusive Lyke Wake
Walk club!
Kind Regards
Ian Fraser.

Successful Crossing 6.8.15

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

The activities in question relate to a group of individuals who like to style themselves “The Bensons”. They are already well-known to the authorities, and have made a particular nuisance of themselves in the Midlands. The gang hierarchy is not clear, but Maggie is thought to be the Matriarch, with Mark acting as her enforcer, and Sarah, Sam and Charlie carrying out a variety of shady activities without heeding the consequences. They have a canine accomplice, Annie, who resembles in all respects a Border Collie, although the Bensons have let it be known that when she grows up she will be a Rottweiler. She seems to function as some kind of minder for the group.

On the night in question, the Bensons appeared in Osmotherley just before 01:00 hours in the morning. They abandoned their vehicle in the carpark, and just before 01:15, after some furtive clustering around the Lyke Wake Stone, they crept off in a northerly direction.

They must have veered to the East, as they were next spotted high up on the ridge of the Cleveland Hills. They paused several times at vantage points, and seemed to be taking photographs of the Teeside lights. Whist still on this high ridge, they paused to take in the rising sun. Whether this has some sort of ritualistic basis for the Bensons is open to question.

The group continued generally eastwards, but swung to the south, possibly because the early morning was chilly and slightly misty on the high ground, and they then seemed intent on following the course of an abandoned railway track, causing a deal of perturbation to the red grouse concentrated in that area.

In the proximity of the Lion Inn the Bensons made use of the road, moving quickly northwards then westwards. This was out of character for this group, who generally moved across roads quickly and covertly, making no contact with any vehicles or motorists, presumably to avoid detection. This was borne out by their suddenly leaving the road once more, presumably spooked by a passing car, and pushing eastwards, avoiding any confrontation with the Yorkshire Constabulary. Hellbent on their nefarious activity they even cut across an extensive bog: I think we can be sure that it was not for the purposes of admiring the swathes of cotton grass !

Although by lunchtime the weather had become very bright and sunny, the group remained largely undetected until, having traversed much further to the east, they approached the MOD establishment on Flyingdales Moor. Perhaps this location is of significance? In any case, the MOD were on high alert, and of course will receive a full report in due course. The Bensons, however, then veered to the north, moving at a slower pace now, but still resolute in their endeavour, and almost herded by their minder, Annie.

At 20:00 the Bensons were spotted, clustered around the Lyke Wake stone near the mast at Beacon Howes, Ravenscar. They were smiling grimly, and exuded an air of achievement, as though they had accomplished some deed of great significance for them. We do not yet know the nature of this deed. The Matriarch, Maggie Benson did make reference to her August 6th birthday, and related this activity in some way to the inception of the Lyke Wake Walk, but her claim that this was her 21st birthday (again) were easily refuted by the fact that two of the other Bensons were born in the mid-80s !

Given what we know of the Bensons, I suspect that this episode may lead to further activities on their part, and I am concerned that you, and the public in general, need to be made aware of this.

TimothyBee August 2015