A Kick about with Mick
Gloster Javelin XA826 and Bristol Blenheim Z5871
on Bowbeat Hill/Emly Bank.
(Distance covered = 8.9 mile and 8.0 mile)

One Competition at a Highland games in Shotts and later in the year another competition in Edinburgh at a venue we call Hogwarts; because we believe it would have made a good location for a Harry Potter film .Two separate weekends, two separate competitions but one destination for me;
The Moorfoot Hills.

There are two crashsites on the Moorfoot Hills and they are only about a quarter of a mile apart but on my first visit I was unaware of the location of the second site so did not go to look for it. Although I could of killed two Birds with one stone it did mean I had something to do later in the year when Heather was dancing in the competition at Hogwarts..

Blueberry Esmerelda Muffin II at the only place to park at the southern end of Gladhouse Reservoir

When I dropped the Girls off at the Highland Games at Shotts it was bucketing down with rain so as I set off for the Moorfoot Hills I had to resign myself to the fact that it wasn't going to be sunny every time I go off into the hills. However by the time I'd parked the Pug at the southern end of Gladhouse Reservoir my luck with the weather had kicked in and the rain had stopped and the sun had made an appearance..

Approach to Moorfoot Farm,The Wind Turbines on Bowbeat Hill can just be made out in the distance to the right of the telegraph pole

After a mile or so I had to pass through Moorfoot Farm, despite Scotland's right to roam act I still feel uncomfortable walking through farmyards but on this occasion I had no choice.Just as I was passing the farm cottage a Border Collie hurdled the stone wall and deposited a football at my feet, so of course I had to kick it, 5yrds further on and the ball was deposited at my feet again so again I kicked it but this time as far as I could. Yet again it was quickly returned to my feet so with a move reminiscent of Yohan Cruyf I flicked the ball around and kicked it as hard as I could in the opposite direction and tried to make good my escape.  I was nowhere near quick enough and the ball and Dog again blocked my progress. Just as i thought it was going to take me all day just to pass through the Farmyard I was saved by the Farmer bellowing "Mick get back here now" and Mick the football mad Border Collie dutifully disappeared back into the Farmhouse.

Moorfoot Farm

Once full time had been called in the farmyard there was a good Landy track to follow for upwards of 3 mile which followed the course of the River South Esk almost to the foot of Emly Bank. When I returned later in the year I brought the bike to save time on this stretch and it also enabled me to get through the farmyard before Mick had time to pick up his football!

The Landrover Track following the South Esk up the valley.The Windturbine on the left is on Emly Bank, the one on the right is on Bowbeat Hill.

Almost at the end of the Landrover track I could see two 4x4's parked with a group gathered around them dressed as if they were going shooting. When I reached them I asked where abouts they were shooting so I could keep out the way. As it turned out they were only up on a recce, when I told the Gamekeeper who was accompanying them that I was going to visit the plane wreck he said "which one, the one over there or the one up there" pointing to an area about a mile north of my grid ref placed the Javelin.

A crow's house, passed three of these.

As I didn't have a grid ref for the possible 2nd unknown wreck the Gamekeeper gave me directions, which were pretty straightforward, "Follow the track uphill past the Crow's House then at the top of the steep incline where the track takes a sharp turn to the south go straight ahead and drop into a gully". I didn't quite know what the crow's house was he mentioned but it turned out to be another small brick building exactly the same as two I passed earlier in the valley below. Why they're called that or what their purpose is or was, I don't know. I found the wreckage the Gamekeeper was referring to without any problems but it wasn't another unknown wreck, it was the starboard wingtip and some other bits from the Javelin. Perhaps it hap clipped a wingtip here before carrying on to crash a mile further on.

Starboard wingtip from the Javelin, the green and grey paint still evident.

Wingtip and other parts lying in a gully below Jeffries Corse.

After visiting the pieces below Jeffries Corse it was cross country towards Bowbeat Hill, so I picked the nearest Wind Turbine to where I wanted to be and headed for that. That however mean't I had to negotiate a couple of quite deep gullies on the way, so in hindsight the direct route was possibly not the best, but it did mean I got to see a couple of nice little waterfalls on the way.

There is wreckage from the Javelin halfway up this gully and a mainwheel near the bottom.The prominent windturbine is the one in the centre on the previous photo of the Crow's House..

Once over to Bowbeat Hill I looked for the two jet engines first as these were lower down, then headed up the gully to where the other wreckage is located. From the other side of the valley this gully, although steep, looked a lot steeper than it actually was. There is another area of wreckage that I missed on this trip but I returned in March 2017 to find that.*

The Jet Engines and a couple of other parts are in this gully, the gully in the previous photo can be seen in the middle distance going up the slope on the right

Large electrical componant, lying upstrem from the engines.

Above and next 2 photos:-One of the Armstrong Siddeley Saphire Engines.

Above and below:-The second engine

The mainwheel near the bottom of the steeper gulley.

Above and next 2 photos:-Pieces of the tail and a section of wingroot located near the top of the gully.


Cutaway diagram of a Javelin with some of the parts found at the crashsite numbered.The part labelled '1' is the wingtip lying below Jeffries Corse.

Above and below:-A section of tailplane, labelled '5' on the above cutaway.

Section of wing root labelled '6' on the cutaway.

The housing for the Tail navigation light and rear facing radar, labelled '4' on the cutaway and on the photo of intact Javelin below.

Above and below:- One of the elevators, labelled '3' on the cutaway and also shown on the photo of an intact Javelin below.

You can see the hinge right on the inboard end of the surface(C), and you can make out the little leading edge access panel(B) that is missing on the one on Bowbeat Hill. That access panel(B) would possibly be used to install the mass balance weights for the elevator.(Stuart Whittaker).
The part labelled '4' is the housing for the Tail navigation light and rear facing radar

While on this visit I was unaware that a Bristol Blenheim had crashed only about 200yrds south east of the wreckage of the Javelin in the above photo, a couple of Months later I had the opportunity to come back and look for that crashsite. I didn't have a grid ref, all I had was a blurry photo taken in the middle of the windfarm on Emly Bank, but I figured if I could find the windturbine in the background of the photo I could then find the crashsite.

My version of the photo I used as a reference.

Once onto the top of Emly Bank I realised it might not be as simple as I thought, as the top is flat and featureless and all the wind turbines looked like they could be the one in the photo, however as I walked around one particular windturbine began to look like the best contender, but there was a small building at it's base which wasn't there in the reference photo.

Tiny fragments of the Blenheim on Emly Bank

I started to doubt that it was the right turbine but as I walked further along the small building became obscured from view by the terrain and the hills in the distance all lined up so I started walking towards it and came upon the crashsite.

Although there was only tiny fragments left, the largest part I found being a lump of perspex,this was still an interesting site to visit, not least because I managed to find it with no idea of its location other than it was on Emly Bank and there was a windturbine in the vicinity.

Large piece of thick curved perspex

As my good luck with the weather had run out and it had started to rain I made a beeline back to where I had stashed the bike, then as is usually the case made it back to the car in a fraction of the time it took me on the way out.
Another good day out in the hills and the Girls did well in their competition at Edinburgh, coming away with 5 trophies.

*--2017 visit.