Douglas B-26 Invader on Distinkhorn.
(Distance covered =
7.5 mile/Ascent =+222m)
I'd planned on visiting this B-26 in the 1990's, I even bought an O/S map specially, but it wasn't until 2014 when Heather was Dancing in a Championships at Lanark, that I eventually made it. Luckily I still had the map!
This was a difficult one to find somewhere suitable to park, to start off with I managed to drive up the wrong road three times and when I eventually found the right road I had to backtrack a way to find a suitable parking spot.
Parked at last on a narrow road above Darvel
The navigating on foot to reach the crashsite was a lot more straightforward than the navigating in the Car from Lanark to the road near Saughall Met Station, where I eventually parked. There was very little altitude involved as the B-26 remains lie in a relatively flat area between Distinkhorn, Hart Hill, Glen Garr and Wedder Hill at the head of a burn called Draw Grain.
Approaching 'Green Tongue', where the Draw Grain joins the Avon Water. The Hill straight ahead is
Although there was a track marked on the map which made it's way right up to an area called Green Tongue, which was only about 1 mile short of the crashsite, it was very boggy and became indistinct about half way along it's distance before petering out all together well short of Green Tongue. There was also a lot of Spaggy Moss covered bogs waiting to trap the unwary walker. I learned my lesson with spaggy moss while visiting a Wellington wreck on Box Law near largs, when I walked across what looked like a nice flat green lawn and promptly sunk up to my knees.
Across Green Tongue and into the bottom of the gully containing the Draw Grain Burn, the B-26 wreckage lies at the head of this gully.
After what was quite a long monotonous slog across a flat boggy moorland to reach Green Tongue it was then a simple case of following the Draw Grain Gully up to the crashsite. In case anyone looking for the crashsite failed to notice the quite considerable amount of wreckage scattered around, there is also a bright yellow box nailed to a post. The box, which looks like it may have been an ammunition box from the wreck, contains a visitors book and some small random items.
The Yellow Box and a page from the visitors book.
Someone in the visitors book mentioned spotting a Merlin on their way up to the crashsite from the opposite direction to which I came, I pondered for a moment whether he was refering to an Engine or a Bird. For some reason all the pages of the visitors book previous to 2009 had been ripped out. I think because of the small items that had been placed in the box that perhaps it's purpose for being there was more to do with Geocaching.
A couple of pieces of armour plating utilised as a quad bike bridge over some spaggy moss by the Farmer.
One of the mainwheel tyres still at the site.
An unusual thing to find here was one of the mainwheel tyres, complete and in good condition, I resisted the urge to bool it down the hill.
I found some other pieces further down the gully including a large lump of the engine cowling and quite a way down was the second mainwheel tyre, perhaps someone else had not been able to resist the urge to bool this one. Although this second tyre had a totally different tread pattern it was definately from the B-26 as 'Made in the USA' could still be made out on the sidewall as well as the manufacturer and the date it was made, some muppet had been trying to cut the piece out that had made in the USA written on it.
Large lump of engine cowling complete with air intake,this piece would sit on top of the engine(see photo below)
The second tyre, quite a way from the crashsite, the photo below shows where some idiot has been trying to cut out the piece with 'made in the usa' and the manufacturers name on it.
Feeling a bit 'tyred' after a long slog over the flat boggy moor!