Gayle – February Clouds and Chinwags 19 February 2017

Posted by Linda Heywood on 2017-03-06

Gayle – February Clouds and Chinwags

We set off in blue- sky sunshine, hopeful of spring- like weather -and arrived at Gayle with ten other hopefuls in grey, moody cloud.

We had reccied the 11 mile walk with snow in November and had determined on the club day to reverse the route to appreciate the long views down Brandale to Raydale and Semer Water on the decent. However, poor visibility dictated we kept to our original  trek and we  began the  eastwards ascent  towards  Burtersett. We turned southwards to climb up the flanks of Burtersett High Pasture to cross the Roman Road and  with  only glimpses of  misty  Raydale and SemerWater, to head down to Marsett. Walking westwards, following pretty Bardale Beck lined  by snowdrops through Marsett  we trudged upwards to Bardale Head where we swung north for a short road  walk  to join the Roman Road.  We then headed  northeast-wards and with Wether Fell on our left we again headed  north, skirting Yorburgh,  to descend back to Gayle.

Interestingly, because the clouds created a grey, forlorn landscape each of us “saw” and talked about something different on this walk.

Ian saw the beginnings of a mechanised , larger stock byre at Burtersett with better access for carts to transport the milk by emergent Hawes railroad . I saw that railway delivering milk to the hungary factory workers in industrialised  Manchester .

Ann pointed out the existence of a site of specialised scientific interest cross the beck where naturalists enjoy the protected orchids, Barbara saw the opportunities  of spring nesting sites for the many different moorland  birds . Yvonne saw the heavy  wool from the cross bred Swaledale, Leicester,Suffolk   sheep providing knitting outwork for the farmstead and cottage  knitters.  The engineers saw the Arkwright styled mill at  Gayle with its water powered turbines absorbing the redundant lead miners from Swaledale as unskilled factory workers.

No shortage of minds eye views and chatter. A good, novel walk celebrated at The Board Inn in Hawes

L. M Heywood.

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