Wednesday, October 10, 2018

WAINSTALLS (Calderdale Way) and HARDCASTLE CRAGS (Hawden Hole Woods)


Two teams out today.

Wainstalls (Calderdale Way)

Dick and Paul had 2 tasks today, high on the tops in brilliant sunshine.
There had been complaints that signage for the Calderdale Way, near the Moorcock, was unclear so 2 marker posts were installed making the way much clearer. This is the home of Jack our ever helpful CALVAG driver.



This work was funded by Calderdale Way Association.

Having been supplied with tea by a friendly neighbour, we moved on to dismantle and repair a broken stile.



Now known as Paul's stile.

Hardcastle Crags (Hawden Hole Woods)

Bernard, Gerald, Fred and Frank H did more work on the precipitous steps leading down towards Hebden Water.

After doing some waymarking, Bernard and Gerald cleared large amounts of mud and mulch off a series of steep stone steps. They also re-aligned and re-bedded some loose steps. A first-rate effort.
So we went from this:

Stone steps: Yes, they are under there . . . somewhere!

To this:

Stone steps: Now much clearer.
And this:
Stone steps: Tread areas re-levelled.
Meanwhile, further down this long, long path that winds it's way through delightful woodland, Fred and Frank H installed three wooden steps, repaired two others, added some revetment and built a short flight of stone steps. The ground conditions were not ideal but the steps followed graceful(ish) curves. We were well-pleased with our efforts. The pictures probably don't do the work justice (all the risers are exactly horizontal!) but we have gone from a situation where there were no wooden steps to this:

Wooden steps neatly combined with stone steps to give a curving route up the steep bank.
And this:
An awkward area, steeper than it looks. Some stone steps are needed.
Changed to this:
Three stone steps in place and also, barely in view, one wooden one.
A satisfying day all-round.

One of Gerald's favourite poems is 'Lessons of the War' by Henry Reed. The poem may be familiar to some; part 1 starts with the line 'Today we have naming of parts . . . '. As a 'thanks' to Gerald, Bernard and Fred for their hard work, here is a parody of that poem.

Lessons of Construction

Today we have drilling of stobs. Yesterday
We had heavy hammering. And tomorrow
We shall have what to do after digging. But today
We have drilling of stobs. Midges
Gather in clouds all over the sunlit steps
. . . .  And today we have drilling of stobs.

This is the cordless power-drill. And this
Is the drill-bit opening, whose use you will see
When you are given your bits. And this is the spare battery unit
Which in your case you have not got. The insects
Flit from frond to frond with a delicate ease
. . . . Which, in our case, we have not got.

This is the drill reverse switch, which is always moved
With an easy flick of the finger. And please do not let me
See anyone using their teeth! You can do it quite easy
If you still have flex in your fingers. The bees
Go forward and back to reverse from nectarless foxgloves,
. . . . Without any need for a finger.

And these, you can see, are the pliers. Use them to
Pull out the drill bit; the one you have carelessly broken.
This is done by a quick left or right twist; we call this
Making amends. And winding around the tree trunk,
The ivy clings to the bark and spirals forever upwards
. . . . With no thought of making amends.

And this is the sturdy, tin drill-box. The one with
The tight-fitting lid, which the careless sometimes
Leave open, for contents to get wet with the rain;
The usage card, and safety glasses and spare bit
And pencil with a point which in your case you may not have got.
. . . . For today we have drilling of stobs.


(With apologies to Henry Reed (1914-1986): ‘Lessons of the War’)

Today's work on this path (but not the 'poetry') was funded by National Trust (Hardcastle Crags).