CaminotoCop passes Centre of Gravity of Britain

Green Christian web editor Judith Allinson joins the Camino2Cop pilgrimage on Day 32 as they walk 15 mikes from Newton in Bowland to High Bentham.

The group have had torrential rain the previous day so on Wed 6 October the splendid sun lighting up the autumn colours and blue sky is a joy as the group ascends to 427 m 1300 ft at the Cross of Greet at the source of the river Hodder

Highlights of the day

8.15am – (was meant to be 8am -me late ) – My friend Kath who is from Slaidburn gives me a lift to Newton in Bowland near Slaidburn (15 miles from my home)- thanks Kath

9am – Passing through Great Dunnow Wood – an old limestone woodland where once lots of Lily of the Valley grew – now I am told it clings on in one place. We are following the River Hodder

10am – Skip a footpath part of the walk, and take the road track instead because because the stream is too deep to get into the field. People take it in turns to have the opportunity to wear and carry the Coat of Hope. This is a coat that has embroidered patches added sewn / prepared by people/ groups en route.

We chat as we go along. Melanie one of the organisers, tells me about the silent vigil they have planned to have at Glasgow when they get there. People who have joined in the pilgrimage en route and others are welcome to join by Zoom.

10.30am – Descend to Croasdale House Farm for morning coffee. Just before the farm I show the two people I am walking with the leaves of oak, alder and cherry.

11am – Farmer from Croasdale explains about farming. Mostly sheep – Some Belted Galloway Cattle.

(at this point we are about 5 miles east of the centre of gravity of Britain according to the ordnance survey)

12pm – Slog up the road

1 pm – Still slogging up, and down, and up, the road. Brilliant blue sky. Rocks above us. At one point we see Buzzards. Up and Up. My, these other people are fit – they have had 30 days of practice.

Sharon the “Backstop” apologetically keeps reminding me I must press on. We cannot afford to have a big gap between the front and the back of the group she says (like the day before) We have to get to The Great Stone by 4pm because other people are meeting us there and the BBC are coming to film us. No, I can’t stop to look at more fungi. Would I like someone to carry my bag? My rucksack? (No – pride won’t let me accept the offer..Do I really look that old? – that tired? 1/4 mile before the top I give in and let someone take my rucksack)

2pm – Reach the old boundary between Old Yorkshire (which used to stretch down in this part of Lancashire) and Old Lancashire at 427 m. Behind us to the south are views of Waddington/Newton/Easington Fell and beyond that Pendle. Forward we see a panorama: – right to left: Fountains Fell, Ingleborough, Whernside, Gragareth, Casterton Fell, ? Barbon and to the left of that the Lake District. (The Howgills are hidden behind Gragareth.)

2.10 – Here we have lunch. The next Coat of Hope wearer sings St Patricks Breast plate song in a powerful voice as we look around at the splendid views. I get chance to explain how close we had been to the centre of gravity of Britain. I give my rucksack to the backup van to carry down to Bentham

2.20 – set off – four miles to got to the Great stone – but it is at least on average downhill. More clouds are appearing in the sky.

4pm – Arrive at the Great Stone – we are given cups of chay (tea). I am pleased to see four local friends there. (This stone is 13 miles from where I live)

We display our banners. Some people climb to the top of the stone. The BBC people interview several people round the back of the stone. As a ceremony we walk round in a silent circle.

5pm.- Set of down to Bentham

6.15 pm Arrive at Bentham. People sing farewell to two people leaving at the Railway Station. We go to the Methodist Chapel where the core of people are staying overnight – This church has a carpeted floor and underfloor heating. Some people go off to have a shower offered by people at Bentham. I have opportunity to wear the coat and the ceremonial song is sung.

7.30 – Have delicious supper, I think mostly cooked by volunteers from the Anglican church. The pilgrims are very grateful for the hospitality received en route. Tim Fox, the organiser of the Bentham hospitality has opportunity to wear the coat.

8.45pm – Go to Bentham Station 5 min from the church and wait form the 9pm train back to Giggleswick – then home by 9.30pm

10pm – 1am – Now am writing this up

.. So tomorrow the group will be continuing from Bentham, about 11 miles to Kirkby Lonsdale

They still have almost 30 days left – If you have opportunity to join them I recommend it.

I met Sandy Stratford and Helen Burnett on the walk and Tim Fox at Bentham

We set off at 8.45 and 13 miles further reached the Great Stone of Fourstones, 2 miles above Bentham at 4pm. That included an hour at Croasdale Farm having a coffee break and then hearing the farmer explain about farming.

If you live north of Britain’s centre of gravity, do consider joining the CaminotoCop

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Author: Editor 1 | Date: 7 October, 2021 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: 0


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