Wednesday 29 August 2018

A Featherstone in Northumbria Walk courtesy of the Times

A couple of weeks I was reading the Times on Saturday and found that the Walk of the Week was just 50 minutes drive from us near Haltwhistle. For years and years I have hoped to do one of the Times Walks but they have never been local. We met Peter & Elizabeth at the start near Featherstone Castle and headed of on what was to be a 4 hour 9 mile walk in beautiful weather and lovely countryside. It had everything, old railways, moorland, river valleys, woods, and small villages. We only met 2 other walkers and that was near the end of the walk in a more public area at Featherstone Castle. 
Tom and Elizabeth bringing up the rear but catching up on news.  
Up on Ramshaw Fell we came upon this lovely waterfall on Park Burn
We only skirted the moorland area for a while and then dropped back down into the valley to cross the same Park Burn over this lovely bridge for walkers.  
There were loads of stiles on this walk and I told Elizabeth that I have difficulty getting my leg over these days which resulted in loads of laughter from her.  
Eventually we reached the South Tyne and followed the river for about 2 miles.
Along the bank of the Tyne we came upon these ruins of what was Camp 18, an old German Prisoner of War Camp from the 2nd World War.  
These were all that was left of the camp but you could see the concrete foundations of many nissan huts. There should have been some descriptive signs there as it looks to be a very interesting place. A couple who me met close by told us several of the internees settled in Hexham after the war as they loved the area.    
The south Tyne is gradually eating into the farmland next to it and this all road is only half the width it used to be and will soon disappear.  
Eventually we arrived at Featherstone Castle
The last section of the walk was along an old country road where we came upon a sign that the local Molecatcher has been busy. Its a long time since I have seen as many Moles on a fence. 
After the walk we headed a few miles back towards the A69 to Blenkinsopp Castle Inn where we had a very enjoyable light lunch. This has been one of our most enjoyable walks for quite a long time. The only downside is that when walking in England local farmers do not like having walkers on their land and we frequently had to divert round farms and property and on one occasion we took a wrong turning and within seconds a farmers wife was out to tell us we were on their land. If only England was like Scotland and we could walk anywhere as long as we were responsible and adhered to The Country Code. 

Wednesday 22 August 2018

A Visit to Buccleuch Mill

Our first visit in Buccleuch Mill was to Elliot's Shed which is owned by Lynn Elliot who works with British  Wool to produce his range of Tarras Tweed, a soft handling Shetland cloth which has found favour for many end uses.
Our next visit was to Kynoch where I was delighted to meet Kay who I used to work with in 1983 at R G Neill & Sons.  They are doing very well and getting some very good orders for their expensive luxury cloth.
We then crossed the yard to FTS Dyers who are specialists in dyeing wool and its associated blends.They employ 31 people and business is very good with a possibility of an increase in capacity from new clients soon which should add new jobs to the company.  

David enjoyed the visit as he joined the company when it was Langholm Dyeing & Finishing and run by his father Drew Stevenson in the late 60s. 

We were given a superb look round the mill by Manager James Blackburn and his enthusiasm for his work made it such an interesting visit.  
Our next visit was to Doctor Grow where these two brothers have started a small garden and horticultural supplies company specialising in growing mediums and fertilisers. They are very enthusiastic and hard working and seem to be doing very well. 
Next door is Glen Isla where top quality scarves are inspected, labelled, and despatched from this work shop.
From expensive cashmere we moved to a firm Askerebe Clearance who buy anything thats cheap from bankrupt companies and sell the products on to anybody who wants them.  
The next company was Yarns to Yearn for owned by Alan Miller. He sells a wide range of yarns  all over the world mostly to people who wish to make their own items of clothing. He has shipped to over 60 countries over the last few years. He also sells these special Bears in Tartan and this Bear is going to accompany him on a Lands End to John of Groats cycle trip in September and then will be raffled and won by a very lucky person. 
This piece of wood from Daniel Lacey Design & Furniture is about 7500 years old and is a Bog Oak found near the Solway a few years ago. He will make it into a superb item of furniture. The quality of his work is second to none and he is one of the finest furniture makers in Europe. I never tire of visiting his workshop and of course can only dream of owning a piece of his very expensive furniture. 
Our last company visited was Eskdale Solutions a web design and marketing agency. We also visited Drove Weaving but I forgot to take a photograph there. The tour round Buccleuch Mill was excellent and most enjoyable. I reckoned up that there are about 80 people working in the old mill buildings and that could increase soon. 

Castle O'er in the Rain

Only Tom, Peter, and myself today and the forecast for this morning was awful but we were determined to do this 5.5 mile walk despite the weather. The plan was to do the walk and then have a soup lunch back at Ardlui followed by a visit to Buccleuch Mill to see the many small companies now occupying the old mill.
Castle O'er Hill Fort which is the largest in the area.
I have added this old tree stump covered in Lichen and Moss for my friend Tom who is always interested in this. Unfortunately the bad weather and dark conditions did not help but this is quite spectacular. The weather was pretty awful so no more photos were taken but we enjoyed the walk and also enjoyed the home made soup provided by Gaye on our return to Langholm. We then headed to Langholm Initiative office for our trip round Buccleuch Mill at 2.00pm where we were joined by David who had missed the morning walk.  

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Talkin Tarn and Brampton with Exile Peter

Its almost 6 weeks since we last saw Peter for a walk as he has now moved to Carlisle.We were keen to get him back with us on a regular basis and so was he after the stress of moving house just on the same day as his daughter in London gave birth to twins. We met him at Talkin Tarn and did a 5.5 mile walk round the Tarn and then on to Brampton along an old disused railway line and then back to Talkin through country lanes. Tom unfortunately had to call of due to him getting a visit from his cousin so it was a quiet walk with no arguments. 
Along the old railway line there were loads of Apple trees laded with fruit. 
John following a path through the field of Barley
While Peter and Niall keep to the edge and try to avoid the many Thistles
It looks from the distance to be a fairly good crop but I think it has suffered from a lack of rain during June and July. We completed the walk and then had a nice light lunch in the cafe at Talkin Tarn  and were back in Langholm by 2.00pm.
The sun was shining so Gaye and I went out for another walk. I pass this Rowan tree at Greenbank every morning  and rarely pay any attention to it but today the sun caught it in all its splendour and it looked magnificent.  

Thursday 2 August 2018

Two Walks in a Day

It was only John and myself for our Wednesday walk today so we stuck to a local one round Broomholmshiels via the road slip on the Tarras road. This happened in December 2015 and it wont be repaired until 2019 sometime so must be the longest closed road in the UK
The road could easily slip again. One wonders if it really needs to be done and maybe the road should just close and the £2 million could be spent on our horrendous potholes in the area. 
In the afternoon I joined Catherine Lithgow on Walk 1 of The Langholm Walks network - Beck's and Gaskells walk. The rain started and it continued throughout the walk. 
Catherine was joined by Diane Hope on this walk and then at 5.30pm they both continued on Walk 8 which is Target Burn and Whita Hill. I shall be walking with Catherine on Sunday afternoon when she completes her 88 mile project by walking No 7 Jenny Nobles Gill. 

Blog Archive