West or East? The Highest Cliff on the East Coast of England, WIMPS, An Oscar Moment, Another Threesome.

Post 123: 28 February 2017, Cleveland Circles 18

Leaving home at 7.15am we reached Castleton, just as a puff of smoke appeared in the distance. This was a sign that a steam train was on its way.

Sid did an emergency stop on an icy steep hill.

As far as steam trains are concerned boys just don’t grow up. It may surprise you to hear that a Skoda can even do an emergency stop, but Sid’s has four wheel drive and winter tyres on. I then jumped out of the car into a cold frosty morning and took up position to get a couple of photographs of what we think was a Black 5 being re-positioned as it only had one carriage. It had a good steam trail. A good start to the day!

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Arriving at Skinningrove things soon went downhill when I discovered that I had not brought the North York Moors East map. I only had the West map. An Oscar Moment!

For the first 17 walks only the North York Moors West map had been needed. But now both maps were required. This was a cardinal sin as it could either mean getting lost or cancelling the walk and therefore would normally be an error warranting the stocks (see previous blogs).

However, after 43 years of marriage I am adept at blaming the wife for most things that go wrong and my mitigating circumstances to the Ethics Committee (of which I am Chair) was that my wife’s train from Banbury to Cannock the previous day had been delayed an hour, which meant we didn’t get home until about 9.30pm and so I hadn’t had time to complete a proper kit check. This was accepted by the committee, but the diver on the harbour front looked a bit sceptical.

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Fortunately, I had the guide book and Sid did have the East map and so we set out at just after 9.00am on a bright, but cool morning. The local authorities must have had advance notification of us coming as they had started repairing the paths! I did wonder whether this was financed by EU money, in other words my money, which they then pay back. Either way, I do appreciate that some care and attention is going to this region, which has suffered from industrial decline.

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As we climbed the coastal path the views back were beautiful.

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We soon came to the National Trust section of Hummersea. Louis Hunton was born in this area in 1814 and studying the cliffs hereabouts showed at the age of 22 how ammonites could be used to index fossils for identifying different rock strata. Sadly he died two years later. Early deaths at that time seemed prevalent in this area (see previous blogs).

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We continued to ascend the delightful coastal path.

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Evidence of the alum workings could be seen below us. It is known as the first chemical industry and alum was used for fixing dyes in the textile industry and leather tanning. In the process, urine to supple ammonium was an important requirement. Given the cold often found in this area I would imagine there was no shortage of urine!

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The cliffs in this area are the highest along the whole of the east coast of England at 213 metres.

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Some mining for potash still goes on this area and we believe this platform was doing exploratory geological investigations.

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Before leaving the coast we had a brief glimpse towards Staithes and part of our next walk.

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We then passed Boulby Mine, which is one of the World’s major potash producers. This is used for fertiliser and, as a by-product, salt is collected for icing roads. Due to its high depth the mine is also used for research into dark matter, which is found in space, consisting of WIMPS (Weakly Interactive Massive Particles).

Heading further inland along Ridge Lane we passed an unusual, unfinished house.

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After a delightful lunch, in bright warm sunshine, on grassland overlooking a very green valley, we crossed Black Gill Beck on a new path and new bridge.p1060441

After crossing the bridge the path became muddy, slippy and steep and Carol went into ‘fall down mode’  – three times.

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An accident enquiry was initiated and it was decided that, after her falls and Sid’s fall on a previous walk, it would be my turn next on a future walk!  p1060445

We then went through Spring House Cottage gate, which was very ornate.

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A grey wagtail was spotted alongside Kilton Beck in Skinningrove

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and finally we propped Carol up at the end so she wouldn’t fall over again!! The back of her trousers were covered in mud so it was a good job we were in Sid’s Skoda and not my Volvo.

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A very enjoyable walk and early signs of spring were apparent.

Miles Walked 11.1

Calories Burnt 1,300

Average Pace 19.25 Minutes per Mile (bit slow due to the mud on most of the paths)

Steps 25,765

 

 

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