Planes,Trains and Automobiles
Hawker Hurricane W9112 on Lowther Hill.
(Distance covered = 6.9 mile/Ascent =+486m)

Heather was entered into a competition at Sanquhar which is only about 10mile from Wanlockhead, above Wanlockhead is Lowther Hill and the crash site of a Hawker Hurricane. My day was sorted.

There are two obvious routes to reach this wreck site, one being an access road which runs from the northern end of Wanlockhead to the NATS Radar Station on top of Lowther Hill, the other being the Southern Upland Way which runs from the centre of Wanlockhead to the top of Lowther Hill, both pass very close to the wrecksite. I chose neither of these routes, but instead parked on the B797 about a mile south of Wanlockhead in an attempt to make this walk more challenging.

Blueberry Esmerelda Muffin II parked beside the B797 as it heads into the Mennock Pass

I parked the Pug in a beautiful sheltered spot that would be ideal for a picnic and on this day for a spot of sunbathing, I wish I was as lucky on the Lottery as I am with the Scottish weather.
From here I followed a good quad track in a north easterly direction until I passed a small reservoir which looked like it used to be part of the lead mining,the burn running into it had several old sluice gates in it.Past the resevoir I continued north easterly following the burn until I came across the Southern Upland Way.

looking back to the reservoir from The Southern Upland Way, the track I followed up can be seen to the right of it

A small bridge on the Southern Upland Way, masts from the Radar Station on Green Lowther in the distance.

It was then easy going following the Southern Upland Way towards the large Golf ball shaped radar.

The path crosses the access road a couple of times

Although I didn't have a grid ref for this wreck site I was able to see the flag attached to the top of the memorial cross fluttering in the wind from quite some distance away.

5The memorial cross and Canadian flag at the crash site of Hurricane W9112

There is nothing left of the Hurricane on the surface at the crash site, there are a few bits of metal lying nearby but these were from an abandoned ski tow.

The inscription reads "SGT George Stevenson RCAF died here 21-07-41 Hawker Hurricane W9112"

Not very far downhill from the memorial cross can be found more evidence of the abandoned ski tow.

Abandoned Ski Tow Tractor, a car wheel can be seen at the rear which had been attached to the back of the gearbox to drive the ski tow, there is also an abandoned ski tow tractor below the wreck of Lancaster KB745 on the Cheviot(see here)

After having a good scout around for remains of the Hurricane without any luck I continued to the top of Lowther Hill to have a look at the Radar Station.

The Radar station on the summit of Lowther Hill

7The access road heading off to Green Lowther from the summit of Lowther Hill

I followed the access road back down the hill then joined the Southern Upland Way path lower down towards Wanlockhead

The Hurricane crash site is just in front and to the right of the Golf ball shaped Radar Station, The Southern Upland Way path can be seen heading diagonally across the photo

Wanlockhead, a large slagheap from the lead mine can be seen in the valley opposite

As I still had plenty of time before the competition at Sanquhar finished I made a small detour to check out the Leadhills to Wanlockhead narrow gauge Railway, it boasts of being the highest adhesion Railway in the country, adhesion railway meaning it relies solely on the friction of the wheels on the rails. The Railway actually stops just short of Wanlockhead at Glengonnar Halt but there are plans to extend it into Wanlockhead.

A narrow gauge train from Leadhill approaching the Glengonnar Halt above Wanlockhead.

Some stuff spotted round Wanlockhead


20The old cars weren't part of the museum they just happened to be passing through

Old lead mine workings at Wanlockhead, a restored Beam Engine can be seen on the left and in the distance the location of the Hurricane crash site is marked on Lowther Hill

Although I found no remains of the Hurricane this was still a very enjoyable and easy walk made even better by blue skies,warm sunshine an encounter with a very unusual little railway and a village which appeared to be all set up to film an episode of Heartbeat. The day was finished off nicely when i returned to Sanquhar to pick up the Girls to find Heather had won two Trophies in her competition.