Wednesday, 29 June 2005

Pendle Witch Camp

Last Friday set off in my friends car from Burnley at around midday in pouring rain, we all felt a little gloomy at the prospect of a weekends camping in the damp. Plus, thunder and lightning had also been forecasted.The rain beat down steadily on the motorway all the way to Colne, where we left the motorway and joined the road to Keighly. By the time we got to Trawden it was only spitting a little, so went up Rock Lane and onto the farm land where we had been allowed to camp for the weekend. Lo and behold, the rain had stopped!!! So out of the car we got, eager to pitch our tents before the heavens opened again. Luckily we were one of the first cars to arrive, so we were able to find a spot where there wasnt a huge accumulation of either cow pats or thistles. Soon other folk began to arrive, some I recognised from other camps we had been at, some were complete strangers, however, all had smiling faces. Almost immediately some guy came over to lend a hand with the tent erecting for which I was very grateful. It stayed fine for the afternoon till about 6 when we were in Claires tent having out evening meal. Her tent is more like a marquee, its huge!!!!!!! Can fit table and chairs in it,which makes it quite handy in inclement weather.

On exploring the site, we found that a variety of trades had set up stalls and shops, a bit like a medieval village, there were jewelery stalls catering stalls woodcarvers apothacaries and crafts off all descriptions.

At night, once it had begun to grow dark we all sat arounf a campfire, a lot of people were drumming, some singing, was a very good atmosphere.The low point was going to the loo in the dark I slipped and fell in a cow pat!!! Well, as we say here in the north, Muck for Luck.

During the rest of the weekend the weather was wonderful, the sun came out and it was very hot at times. There were workshops to attend on a variety of topics, Morris Dancers came to entertain, and on the last night a folk group played around the campfire. To my great embarassment they played Happy Birthday, somebody had blabbed that it was my 54th birthday!!! On Monday morning we all packed up and went out various ways home, having met old friends and made many more new ones.

One of the great things living on the farmland was all the country noises, cows bellowing, curlews calling, sheep bleating, swallows diving over us, plus a sparrow hawk hovering for ages, then swooping down to catch its prey. Cant wait now for the next camp at the end of July up in north Yorkshire!!!



Sunday, 12 June 2005

Last sunday.

On the spur of the moment last sunday, I hurriedly packed my rucksack with a flask and sandwiches and left the house at around 1pm. I walked briskly through Daisyfield allotments, alongside the railway track, then through the Kilns and Copy Wood. Was please to find the ground almost dry and still a few bluebells in flower.Once I got to Todmorden Road I kept on until the first railway bridge just over the border into Cliviger. Sat down on a bench to have my lunch, then over a style and across a few fields. Rabbits scurried in all directions, was good to see so many as round where I live none have been seen by me for about 3 years now. Have no idea why this should be. Had to cross a field full of cattle, I was most wary in case there was a bull, but they were just cows with their calves. They seemed quite curious but didnt come too close, thank God. I couldnt have run if they had have done as the ground was quite boggy and I was having to walk on bullrushes in order to keep dry.

I was supposed to be on the Burnley Way, kept seeing the waymarkers, but the track in places is non existant, so had to backtrack several times. Got lost at one point and had to climb over a dry stone wall covered in barbed wire to get onto the right side of it. managed to do so without ripping my clothes. By this time the sun had come out, so removed my fleece and rolled my sleeves up. I decided to get back onto the main road near Holme Chapel and from there onto the lane to Buckley Wood. The track down to the main road is nothing more than adrainage ditch, which goes under the railway. Water was flowing down it and the stones under my feet were slippy as hell. Needless to say I came down it very gingerly. Once on the main road again I walked as far as the Ram Inn and sat outside in their picnic area to finish off my flask of tea. I had intended going up through Buckley Wood to Theively Pike and from there back home via Crown Point, but realised that if I did so I wouldnt be getting back home until about 8pm. So, after 45 minutes I caught the bus back to Burnley centre. Next time I will leave much earlier and make a full day of it.