It was gratifying for a few old Warts to know that we were useful. Sitting on very high chairs in the Angler's Rest in Bamford, it was suggested that Penny was a bit out of place with these oldies but, on the contrary, she felt young and uplifted (not just by the high chairs) by being in the presence of these much older, retired and almost retired, Warts.
Maybe it was just a reaction to the Warts' outing from Yorkshire Bridge which had started in the semi light and the rain, up Parkin Clough which is always a questionable pleasure. It is a much-debated topic whether the ascent or the descent is the more pleasurable, with the joy of reaching either the top or the bottom being much the same. All gathered at the Win Hill trig point, a sizeable Warts group of about twenty had emerged from the gloom. There was an uncharacteristic, for Warts, dash along the wide track to the forest edge near Wooler Knoll which was duly climbed. There is something strangely mystical about this knoll, it being surrounded by trees and with no apparent exit. However, led by our intrepid Cap'n, we plunged into the forest blackness to arrive magically at a significant and muddy track. Regaled by Tim R's of tales of tractors and tractor enthusiasts, we reached a shore of the Ladybower dam. Even more track (and tractor stories) on a Warts' outing, was tolerated as we zig zagged up the hill through some well-conditioned mud baths to Hope Cross.
There was a plan to descend to the National Trust Barn but the wind and the rain had cooled our enthusiasm for such an energetic diversion. So, ignoring Tom's comment that there was really no route choice from here to Yorkshire Bridge, we set off in all directions in an impressive diaspora. Emerging from the shelter of the forest, the south westerly, near-horizontal rain brought some little needed refreshment which encouraged all of us to make our separate dashes for Yorkshire Bridge. My own route was to go back up the main Win Hill track which seemed to have doubled in length since coming down it. Although I searched for a distinct path which went to a forest gate, I only found a narrow sheep track which seemed to be heading in the right direction. Fortunately, it did join the path, just at the forest gate and the descent to Ladybower was an exercise in ski balance down the mud slopes to the shore. This was probably more fun for me than for others who had descended Parkin Clough!
All of this excitement prompted a serious discussion in the pub about whether Yorkshire Bridge should ever be used again for a Warts' venue. The consensus seemed (although there was no vote) to be no more Yorkshire Bridge, so, have the Warts now chickened out of ever going up and down Parkin Clough?
Watch next year's calendar!