The Rookie and the Ghost
Hawker Hurricane V7539 on Scar Crags.
(Distance covered - 4.1 mile)
Hawker Hurricane AG264 on Brim Fell, Avro Anson EG686 on Swirl Howe and HP Halifax LL505 on Great Carrs.
(Distance covered 7.9 mile)

As my website is about how I fill my days in when my Daughter is at a Highland Dancing competition, these wrecksites shouldn't strictly qualify for inclusion as I visited them during my first shift of wreckhunting before I was Married and before Heather was born, but it's my website so I can bend the rules if I want!
Oh! and they're not in Scotland either!

After Lancaster KB745 on the Cheviot these wrecksites in the Lake District were the first I visited way back in the 1980's. I was still an inexperienced Hillwalker at the time and a very inexperienced 'wreck hunter', but I learned a lot of valuable lessons during these early wreckhunting expeditions.

Crashsite of Hawker Hurricane V7539 on Scar Crags,the higher cross marks the impact point and wreckage was scattered down to the lower cross.

One lesson I learned while visiting the crashsite of Hurricane V7539 was that if you find wreckage lower down on a steep slope then in most cases the actual impact point will be further uphill so its always worth heading up to have a look, something I didn't do at two previous wrecksites I had visited.

Pieces of the Hurricane found halfway down the slope at the published grid ref I had, I found lots more pieces scattered for quite a way uphill.

More pieces higher up near the impact point.

During one of my previous visits in the Lake District I went to look for 3 wrecksites on the Coniston Fells, the first one I found was remains of Hawker Hurricane AG264. At the grid ref I had, I found the shattered remains of a Rolls Royce Merlin engine and a bit of wing structure, lying in a bog at the bottom of a steep scree slope. I was quite happy at what I had found so headed off to look for the second wreck, of course I didn't realise then, if I'd searched the scree above I would have found more pieces leading up to where the Hurricane actually crashed.In my defence, this was only the second wrecksite I had ventured into the hills to look for, but I was learning fast.

Two big lumps of Merlin Engine and a bit of wing

Above and below: These bits of engine were lying in a bog below the scree slopes of Brim Fell.The steep path from the top of Levers Hawse down to Levers Water can be seen in the top right of the photo.

Its doubtful these pieces of engines will still be there but I am planning a return trip to this site and the Anson.

Another lesson I learned the hard way is that the given grid reference for a wrecksite is not always accurate and if you do find pieces at the given grid reference that doesn't mean there won't be something else to find elsewhere.During my first shift of wreckhunting there was no such thing as the internet so at the time all I had was a small book that listed some crashsites, their grid references(sometimes right, sometimes not)and a letter denoting how much wreckage was left. It was also before the advent of digital cameras so all my photos from that era were taken on 35mm film using my trusty Canon AV1 which was rained on, snowed on, dropped in puddles or bounced off rocks and it still worked,I still have it today despite my best efforts to lose it.

Cheetah engine from Anson EG686

After finding the remains of the Hurricane's engine I didn't have too far to go to find an engine from an Avro Anson crash which lies in a burn at the bottom of another steep slope, again the engine was at the given grid reference I had, so I didn't think to look for a wreckage trail up the slope to the actual impact point.

Two more photos of the cheetah engine, on the photo on the right in the grass behind the engine is that section of undercarriage assembly that seems to be present at every Anson crashsite.

Another visit to the Anson on the way to taking someone to see the remains of LL505,one of the very few occasions I had two legged company.

On a walk with my wife a few years later, she wouldn't go any higher so again I didn't make it up to the impact point. I can date these photos by the Dog accompanying me at the time and also by the number of cylinders that have been stolen from the engine!

After the Anson I continued up the valley then up the curiously named Prison Band onto Swirl How, then around the ridge to the Halifax wreck on Great Carrs, at this one I made my 'rookie' error the other way round, I found the stuff higher up but then didn't go and look for any pieces that had scattered further downhill, however I have been back to this wreck a couple more times and rectified my earlier mistake.

Above and below:-A memorial cross and pieces of the the Halifax's undercarriage on the top of the ridge where the Bomber crashed, it was broken up and pushed into the gully below where most of the pieces can be found.

It was on one of my visits to LL505 that I experienced a ghostly encounter. As I approached the area where the bomber crashed I could see a man dressed all in dark blue, he was standing at the edge of the cliff looking down to where the pieces of the Halifax had been pushed into the valley below. I decided to go and have a chat with him but as I got closer Kim, my Alsatian began to act like dogs act when you try to take them into the vets, her hackles were up and she starting growling.When I reverted my attention back to the man, he was gone. The top of Great Carrs is a broad grassy area with uninhibited views for quite a distance to the west and almost vertical cliffs into Broad Slack to the east. There was no sign of the man on the top nor had he started climbing down into Broad Slack, he had it seemed vanished!

looking down into Broad Slack from the same spot the 'ghost' was standing.

Years later some of the engines from this crashsite were recovered,one was placed in the churchyard in Coniston along with a board telling the story of LL505 and also some Ghostly tales of encounters experienced by other people visiting this wrecksite.

Two views of a couple of large sections of Halifax wing lying in Broad Slack, in the photo on the right is what looks like a very faint blurry figure running across the photo from left to right.If you believe in ghosts and you look hard enough you will see it.

Above and below:-Large pieces of wing, the green and brown camouflage still visible

The boulders in Broad Slack are littered with smaller parts of the Halifax. What's got the Dogs attention I wonder!

The photos below show other bits of the Halifax which are scattered down Broad Slack for quite a distance, including at the time I visited all 4 Rolls Royce Merlin Engines. When I last visited LL505 I was amazed at how far down the valley the engines had moved since my first visit, it was also sad to see that someone had been trying to smash the engines open, presumably to get at the valves or pistons to sell on ebay. I won't start on the subject of what I think of people who take stuff from these crashsites, including some so called archaeology groups and Museums.

same engine,different locations; the photo on the right was taken about 10yrs after the one on the left and about 100yrds downhill.

3 of the 4 engines, the 4th is nearly buried in the stream bed further downhill(see photo below left)

The photo on the left shows the 4th Rolls Royce Merlin engine, this one is easy to miss as its quite a way down the valley and almost buried in the stream bed.

The photo on the right is a large section from underneath the tail ,the tail wheel mounting can be seen

These pieces were further down Broad Slack

Some of the propellor hubs and reduction gears and Kim seems to have spotted another ghost.

One other scary experience I had on a visit to the wreck of LL505 happened after I'd sat down on a large flat rock at the top of Levers Hawse to eat my sandwiches. After I'd finished I walked down the steep path which leads down to Levers Water and started around the shore of the lake. Luckily I decided to take a photo, but unluckily I was now without my camera so panic ensued. I did still have my binoculars however and with these I could clearly see my camera still sitting on the rock at the top of Levers Hawse.
Another lessons learnt!
Well actually it wasn't as when I got back to the car I dumped my stuff in the boot and went to a pub in Coniston for a drink, leaving my camera on the roof of the car. Amazingly it was still there when I got back.

One of LL505's engines dumped in the Church Yard in Coniston with the notice board of ghost stories. Apparently its now dumped outside The Ruskin Museum, might as well left it where it was on the hillside!