The Slow Warts’ attendance register was somewhat depleted with only one from Loxley, three from south west Sheffield, including newcomer Peter, and a Hathersage contingent (two), not forgetting Jim from the north east corner of the Dark Peak. Moor closures had limited our venue choices so we made a rare visit to Upper Burbage Bridge on a hot and humid evening. Extreme effort, not something that Slow Warts are known for, was to be avoided in this heat so Bob had wisely planned a mainly “flat” watershed tour of Burbage.
Appropriately and to uphold the Slow Warts principle of no paths, our crossing of Burbage Moor was not on the now well-established path but through the areas burnt earlier this year. Running through the charred abrasive heather stalks also maintained the number of scars on our shins and calves. There have been fires here before including one decades ago which devastated the moor and which did recover. The source of the latest fire was unclear but it is hoped that this also will recover.
We left Ox Stones on a path (!) which was even paved, over the swampy bit towards the quarries, however, we restored our composure by going to Rud Hill where our true Slow Wart, Jim, had beaten us there by going direct from Burbage Bridge on the reverse of the Warts’ revenge and had gone on towards Stanage Pole. So far, feet had remained dry but a crossing of the bog towards the Pole provided welcome relief for the wet feet aficionados, and, for those missing the joys of bracken bashing, we had a dose up the slight hill to the Pole.
To make amends for turning to paths for our return to Burbage Bridge, we used one which was formerly a trespass from the Pole to Stanage Edge. Conscience salvaged, we made rapid running, yes, progress, after all the pub was beckoning, along the Edge to the Bridge. Our usual venues are normally quiet but the Bridge one was much busier restricting our freedom to change au naturelle, so Moz spent sometime holding a towel in one hand and putting both legs into one trouser leg. I’m pleased to report he did recover and we speculated how such incidents could be avoided. The answer was in the use of swim robes (in DPFR colours, of course) which would allow, in Moz’s words, freedom to “furtle” around undercover.
We didn’t have a table reserved for us, as at the YBI, but nevertheless we were made welcome at the very busy Norfolk Arms at Ringinglow. We had an outdoor ringside seat of the surprising number of incidents at the road junction opposite, naturally leading to a discussion on the safety of cyclists (please wear bright clothes and lights), and electric bikes, perhaps a sign of the times?
Whilst not a truly Harmerian* outing it was sufficiently so to maintain our Slow Warts’ reputation. As always, a wonderful outing. Thanks to all.
*In an account (by E. Torrence) of the inaugural Grindleford fell race of 1987 which has been included in the latest FRA magazine, the writer was unable to catch Andy, then aged 39, and referred to him as “that old goat, Harmer”. Recognition at last?