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#59215 - 24/12/10 05:59 PM Black Sail Hut recollections
midgetarget Offline
Full Member

Registered: 22/06/05
Posts: 144
Loc: Cardiff, UK
Unfortunately, when I did the C2C a few years back I didn't plan to stay at Black Sail Hut. We had a look inside as we passed though and I can only imagine what it must of been like...candles, bottles of red wine with a hot pasta dish and C2C banter galore? What did you encounter in this amaizing location?

midgetarget

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#59217 - 24/12/10 08:33 PM Re: Black Sail Hut recollections [Re: midgetarget]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Ny first encounter left a lasting impresion.
two of us had set out from St Bees.
We camped at Nannycatch Gate the first night and the second day we set out in good spirits, when on the side of Ennerdale Water my spirits sank. My walking compaion said " I do feel dizzy"
apparently he had high blood presure and had been on some pills for it. He had not taken any pills for a week or so, as he thought he was cured.
So we were lucky, we came across a gang of forestry workers with a truck, so they took him back to civilization.
I continued on to The Black Sail Y.H.
There I met Jack Butchard and his wife Barbara, he introduced himself as the acting warden , as the warden had walked over to Wasdale head for some cider.
He invited me in for a cup of tea and after some talk he advised me to stay there the night , as it was raining , I took him up on it.
When the warden returned, I booked a meal and B.B for the night.
I was sat reading , when three men walked in, they loked as thought they were drenched to the skin.
I gave them a glance and carried on with my reading.
( they teased me after, pointing out I was not even a member)
When the meal was ready the acting warden said to sit at their table , so I had a good meal and a drop of cider.
little did I know then that I would meet Jack and the three
men again.
The next day I set out on my own, as evening approached I was looking for some where to pitch the tent.
It was wet miserable night so I went back to the Youth Hostel,
I think it was at Rosthwaite and here I joined the Y.H.A.
and booked B.B.
Jack , his wife and the three men who had been at The Black Sail Y.H were there and Jack persuaded me to dump my tent, pots and pans and do it the easy way.
so I joined ranks with the three strangers that I first saw at Black Sail Y.H.
As we left Rosthwaite Y.H. I think there were 7 in the group, after a few days walking it was down to 2.
I have walked with both Jack and 2 of the others, Hal and Terry, a few times since. all good walking companions.we still keep in touch
Sadly Jack died earlier this year , he was great character and he will be greatly missed.
If I had not stopped at Blacksail Y.H. that night , I would have never met them.
.
_________________________
ern

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#59275 - 31/12/10 05:33 PM Re: Black Sail Hut recollections [Re: tim smith]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2888
Loc: West Lancs.
That's a great story Ern. That's one of the things I enjoy with walking, meeting nice fellow walkers. They have that freedom of spirit you don't always come across during the daily routine of work and general living. We quickly sense when others are on the same wave length and those we bond with make for great company.
Even when on a non stopper I can't resist slowing down to walk a while with others that you just seem to click with straight away, as you obviously did with those guys.
As for Black Sail Hut I left a bag of food there once and returned two weeks later to collect it. Unfortunately the Mice or Shrews beat me to it, the little beggers.
Dave.

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#59305 - 04/01/11 06:54 PM Re: Black Sail Hut recollections [Re: Slogger]
HackPacker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 26/06/09
Posts: 134
Well my experience of BSH wasn't quite such fun.

I was camping solo in 2009 and managed to stagger as far as BSH on Day One in horizontal rain that had not relented all day. I was completely soaked through, with all my gear inside my rucksack wet because the waterproofing had failed in the endless torrent, and with a violent storm raging that actually went on through the night. It was nearly dark and I needed somewhere to pitch my tiny Akto, and the only flat piece of land that wasn't boggy was the spot in front of Youth Hostel. Not only did the (youngish) warden tell me I couldn't camp on it even though I was polite as anything, would have been away by 6am the next morning and was willing to pay, he insisted I could not camp anywhere within sight of the hostel on the open land beyond.

I eventually camped on the top of an exposed and not very flat hummock a bit further along the pass at the foot of Loft Beck, out of sight of BSH, and somehow the tent survived the night.

But I can't say the warden endeared himself to me that day! It's a shame because it is a welcome resting spot on the route just at the point where it's needed. I will, however, pay tribute to the folks at Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre at the end of Ennerdale Water who invited me in as I staggered bedraggled to the public phone to call MrsHackPacker and let her know I was okay. The lady there offered me a seat in the warm kitchen and as much hot tea as I could drink, told me I could stay as long as I wanted and would not take a penny off me even though she knew I was camping and there was no prospect of me staying the night. In the end, the best I could do was drop some cash in the charity box there, but even now their kindness fills me with warmth and gratitude when I remember the state I was in and how they had absolutely no incentive to offer me hospitality but still did.

It's moments like that on the walk that restore your faith in humankind.

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#59306 - 04/01/11 07:41 PM Re: Black Sail Hut recollections [Re: HackPacker]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
It is no fun backpacking in wet weather.

Slogger , yes I have been lucky with walking companions.

I realise now what selfish person I have been, as most of the walks our club did , it was the ones I devised.
There were some great guy's in the club.
most gone now or too lame to walk far.

One Member always wanted to do Blecathera, years later I did do it on my own .

I dare not tell him I have walked it I think he would feel I had cheated him.

Now, sadly, he is too crippled up to walk far.
_________________________
ern

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#59309 - 05/01/11 08:08 AM Re: Black Sail Hut recollections [Re: tim smith]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Black Sail is fortunate enough to lie on the crossing of several well used paths. It benefits from the C to C, people bagging the 2000 ft plus hills and those range walking. Outside the Lakes however, remoter hostels are having a tough time as are many medium sized ones. Scarborough, amongst others has suffered badly and is now for sale.

Those of us that remember Ramsgill, Burley Woodhead, Staindale, Westerdale and Saltburn from our youth will mourn the passing of such watering holes (amongst numerous others). One of the problems is that historically they were not only convenient staging posts in the countryside, but they were cheap.

I stopped at Patterdale last year and paid 18 for a midweek October night. Grasmere and Wasdale were marginally cheaper. However, this year I have booked 4 walking breaks at Penrith and Kendal Travelodges at 9 a night in midsummer. Serviced rooms, private bath/shower and tea making facilities.

Yes, I miss the camaraderie in the common room, but, sadly this is less and less common (sic) in the larger hostels. Long may Black Sail, Ennerdale, Ninebanks and Lockton and their likes survive!

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#59311 - 06/01/11 12:27 AM Re: Black Sail Hut recollections [Re: slowcoach]
flatlands Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 496
Black Sail Hut, yes, stayed there last September and it was great, very basic, no telly, no internet, good food.

Westerdale Hall and Saltburn by the Sea hostels, I remember. Also, Wheeldale Lodge was a super little hostel. Although, I'm not old enough to remember the Church Houses hostel in Farndale. That was open from 1957 to 1963. Staindale had a good run from 1947 to 1968. believe it or not, there was a hostel in Robin Hood's Bay in Thorpe Lane "The Grange" - 1939 to 1947. Also a hostel in St. Bees, "Ashley House" from 1937 to 1956.

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#59313 - 06/01/11 02:06 PM Re: Black Sail Hut recollections [Re: flatlands]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Assuming this link works it should bring back a lot of memories of distant hostelling days!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pas...es#Past_hostels

I had an elderly aunt who spent her youth cycling the Lakes, Dales and Moors. Taking her for a drive round was a fascinating experience pointing out houses that were once private hostels or Youth Hostels in her youth. There was one on in Thornton le Dale where you slept in the roof void (run, I believe, by the ancestors of the Martindales of Moorcock fame). One of the old houses at the top of Rosedale Chimney Bank was once available and there was one in Muker (a private hostel) where evening prayers were compulsory.

In my opinion, Ramsgill was a gem. Walking over from Dallowgill in pouring rain and seeing the smoke rising from the common room chimney was a sight to treasure!

I hope that Ninebanks doesn't go the way of Keld, Dacre Banks, Thixendale and other similar ones.

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#59321 - 06/01/11 06:11 PM Re: Black Sail Hut recollections [Re: slowcoach]
flatlands Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 496
Well, Edmundbyers was almost closed, but the C2C cycle route saved it. So, cycling has some good in it.

Another, I missed was Garsdale Head along the Mallerstang. Hey, what a beautiful valley that is. I think the Coast to Coast should of included that part of the area, well a 2nd choice at that.

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#59324 - 06/01/11 08:14 PM Re: Black Sail Hut recollections [Re: flatlands]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
In think that Mallerstang is a sad omission from any itinerary. Wild Boar Fell, High Seat, Hugh Seat, Ure Heads and, of course, the Moorcock Inn, (the setting of the film "An American Werewolf in London")

Still it means that it slumbers in undisturbed solitude.

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