Well, the greatly anticipated 'freedom day' of 21 June came and went leaving us no further forward in our mission to return to everyday life. Boris had announced earlier that a further delay of four weeks would be necessary because of concerns about the highly transmissible Delta variant. He warned of doom and gloom to follow if he did nothing.
Meanwhile, after the resignation of Matt Hancock (for reasons we won't go into here) his newly appointed Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said his immediate priority was getting the country out of this pandemic. Fingers crossed then for the next scheduled 'freedom day' of 19 July.
If all goes well, we are provisionally planning to resume our coach walks on 5 September. Given that most members have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, this is now a real possibility.
JUNE CAR WALKS
Our June car walks programme continued apace with members making the most of the good weather and longer days to travel further afield, taking in all four points of the compass.
Upt North, Ann F led a walk around West Rainton Meadows, pausing for a lovely cream tea before moving onto Hetton Lakes; whilst down South, Colin R led a nine and a half-mile walk from Hovingham, which turned into a thirteen mile walk when he missed a path somewhere along the route.
In the far East, Monica led a coastal walk from the outskirts of Hinderwell, passing through Staithes, Cowbar, Dalehouse, Newton Mulgrave, Runswick Bay and Port Mulgrave. The walk included a stop for tea and cake in a cafe with a lovely little garden at Runswick Bank Top. While walking up Cowbar, Monica tripped over a large rock and face-planted herself into the ground. Thankfully, no lasting damage was done, but she returned home with a black eye and bruised ribs instead of the usual seaside souvenirs of a kiss me quick hat and a stick of rock. Monica also had a super day way out West, leading Colin E's circular route from Keld, stopping off at Tan Hill for a swift half before returning via Ravenseat for a cream tea. At Ravenseat, the home of Clive and Amanda Owen, they saw Tony the Pony, daughter Raven and even stole the briefest glimpse of The Yorkshire Shepherdess herself.
Other walks, recces and mooches took place over the month, and we've included some photos here. It looks like the buttercups have enjoyed a good year.
On Friday, 4 June, five members of SRC's A-party set off bright and early for Horton in Ribblesdale and the start of their Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.
The Y3P route in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is 24 miles long and includes 5200 feet of ascent. The challenge takes on the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, usually in this order and in a time of under 12 hours.
They completed the challenge in a very respectable 9 hours and 51 minutes before making their way to Horton-in-Ribblesdale for a well-earned celebratory meal.
Congratulations to Ernie, Julie, Llinos, Lorraine and Peter on this fantastic achievement. Thank you also for your generous donations to Mountain Rescue.
On 10 June, Colin R led a walk from Kepwick (mentioned in the Domesday book as Capuic - that's Kepwick, not Colin!) primarily to take in the annual spectacle of the purple flowering rhododendrons up on the hillside. The walk led them up onto a ridge, along the old drovers' road, past the now almost invisible ruins of Limekiln House Inn and down through Silton Forest into the quiet village of Nether Silton. In the middle of a field behind St Mary's church, they came across a standing stone with a puzzling inscription.
According to local legend, the 6 foot stone was erected in 1765 by Squire Hicks to mark the site of a medieval manor house that was either burned down or demolished. On the stone's south-facing side is a deeply cut, six-line, mnemonic inscription which reads:
HTGOMHS, TBBWOTGWWG, TWOTEWAHH, ATCLABWHEY, AD1765, AWPSAYAA
Although no definitive source has been found, the transcription supposedly translates as:
HTGOMHS - Here the grand old manor house stood
TBBWOTGWWG - The black beams were oak, the great walls were good
TWOTEWAHH - The walls of the east wing are hidden here
ATCLABWHEY - A thatched cottage like a barn was here erected year
AD1765 - Anno Domini 1765
AWPSAYAA – A wide porch spans a yard and alcove.
So does it mark the site of an old manor house or not? Clearly visible to the east of the standing stone is a grand old manor house, but, according to the Friends of Over Silton Church, the 'riotous' old owner related that the building was a barn until he restored it over 30 years ago. LIDAR images taken by the Yorkshire Archeological Aerial Mapping team shows that there was a large building there with medieval ploughing and platforms surrounding it.
So the stone probably does mark the site of a great manor house, with black oak beams and a porch that spanned a yard and alcove.
Thanks to the Friends of Over Silton Church for taking the time to help and assist us.
We can't sign off without paying tribute to Janette Storey, who died on Tuesday, 8 June, after a short illness. Always cheerful, funny and kind, she was one of the most popular members of our club - a true force of nature and always the life and soul of the party. Words can’t express how much we will miss her.