Monday 27 February 2023

Dry Stane Dyking with my Grandchildren

Last Thursday I along with our grandchildren Hannah & Leo who were spending a few days of the mid term holiday in Langholm volunteered to help Tarras Valley Nature Reserve (TVNR). The plan was to repair a section of Dry Stane Dyke at Cooms Farm ready for Lambing time. There were a couple of gaps in the Dyke and thankfully we had volunteer Mike White with us to show how it should be done. There was 7 volunteers including Kat who is in charge of this. The youngsters worked extremely hard and cleared away the stones as directed by Mike and then begun rebuilding the wall. 
Leo directing operations
The largest section of the Dyke to be repaired
Mike White working very hard at the job. We only did a couple of hours so it will need at least another set of volunteers to work on it next week or even the next 2 weeks. I could hardly get out of bed the following day as my joints ached from lifting heavy stones and I doubt if I will do it again as it is so tough for an old man like me. I was very proud of Hannah & Leo and the other young girl who volunteered.  
Hannah & Leo on their way up to the work site on a truly beautiful morning
Mike telling Hannah what to do. Mike used to work for me at UPS/Atlasair over 30 years ago and was a tremendous worker then and still is today. We could not have managed without him. We did enjoy doing this but I really suffered for a few days afterwards.

Wednesday 1 February 2023

Afternoon Tea in Canonbie

Our plan today was to start later so we could have afternoon tea at Canonbie Kirk. On the second half of the walk we came across this huge puddle in the road so 5 minutes working with our sticks ensured a little stream was created and the water drained away. Reminded me of doing that when I was a boy and it was just as much fun today.
The Fairly Loup. In full flow today but 2 years ago it disappeared into a hole in the ground a few yards above this and then came out 300 yards further down.
We sat in the new seat just across from the waterfall.
The seat was placed by the family of Stella Geddes who was a good friend of both Tom and myself.
This seat is next to the bridge that goes over the old railway and I found out this afternoon on Facebook it was built and placed there by Tony Mattinson. It's in a very appropriate place as it overlooks where the old Coal Mine used to be at Rowanburn and brings back thoughts of my father working there when he left school at 14 and spent 6 months in his first job working underground. He hated it and left to become a Groom with The Buccleuch Family at Langholm Lodge. He worked with horses for the next 20 years until the 2nd World War.
The offending puddle now getting smaller and if we had stayed another 5 minutes it would have gone completely. We completed our walk by returning to my car at Canonbie Kirk just as they opened up for Afternoon Tea. It was excellent and only cost £6.40 for both of us. Great value and excellent home baking. 


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