A canny alternative to
Gloster Javelin XA662 on East Bolton Moor,
De Havilland Mosquito TA525 on Rowantree Park,
Miles Martinet MS554
(Distance covered =
10.3 mile/Ascent =+382m)(27/05/2020)
I'd never ventured down to the Yorkshire Dales walking before, but as Scotland was still closed due to Covid 19 I decided to go and have a look. The Covid 19 lockdown rules in England were; you were allowed to drive somewhere to take exercise as long as the activity was longer than the journey; I drove 1 hour there and 1 hour back but walked for 10 hours.
To further reduce the already slim chance of encountering somebody else out for a walk I left home at silly o'clock and was parked up and ready to set off walking at 6.00am.
Once parked here the hardest navigating of the day was done!
Saying as this was going to be my first walk for a while I had planned on just doing the 4 miles to the Javelin site and back, to blow out the cobwebs and rax in my new hiking boots that I was given for Christmas. Trouble is there was a couple more crashsites within walking distance, so instead I put on my very 'worn in' old boots and set off for what would end up being a 10.3 mile walk.
above and next two photos:- Most of the distance to the Javelin site was along this track.
I was able to walk along a landrover track to within about 100 metres of the Javelin crashsite which was immediately adjacent to some shooting butts. Even after leaving the landrover track there was a nice little path running between the shooting butts to follow, which even had little wooden bridges to cross some small gullies.
The Javelin crashsite is just at the top of this ridge.
Had to take the track to the left here.
I'd previously visited another Javelin crashsite near Edinburgh, that one had wreckage strewn for quite a considerable distance with some bits of it's wing being nearly 1 mile from it's engines; this one was all concentrated in one area, or had been collected into one area?
After photographing all the Javelin bits I had a bit of a sit down in the sunshine to enjoy a bit of breakfast, then set off across the moorland to reach the second crashsite on my days itinerary.
About to leave the Javelin site, a conveniently placed 'tit' on the skyline made navigating across to the Mosquito site even easier.
Approaching the 'tit'; it's got one helluva nipple!
Looking back to the area where XA662 crashed.
I expected the pathless traverse from the Javelin crashsite across to where the Mosquito crashed to be quite tough going but it turned out to be a very easy and enjoyable stretch thanks to gamekeeper's quad tracks; the glorious weather helped as well!
Some old mine workings, seems to be a thing in this neck of the woods.
Not sure what the ridge is called in the distance but the left side of it took over the 'keep me on track' duties from the tit, once I'd passed it.
Most of the rest of my walk was now going to be on this track on the south side of East Bolton Moor.
After an enjoyable, but as it turned out brief stroll across the moor I arrived at another track which ran along the southern side of East Bolton Moor, I could now follow this track to within half a kilometer of the other two crashsites I had set out to visit; the first of which was just below where I now was, in an area called Rowantree Park.
Rowantree Park, looking west.
I found a lovely grassy track to follow the short distance south to where I came across the remains of DH Mosquito TA525 which had mostly been gathered together and placed in a sink hole. I had read on the interweb that there were also some Mosquito remains in a cave nearby so my next objective was to find said cave.
The sink hole containing Mosquito parts was easy enough to find as it was immediately adjacent to the grassy track I was walking along.
The cave was a very short distance away from the sink hole and I could see
some bits of what looked like engine bearer just inside the opening. But
what else could be further inside, hidden in the darkness?
I decided as I couldn't see how far into the hillside the cave went, or if there was a steep drop into it, that the sensible thing would be not to go in; but the little voice in my head told me it would be alright, so I took off my rucksack, cleared some nettles from the entrance and lowered myself in backwards.
above and below:-The cave, once inside it did prove to be a little disappointing, especially as there was very little Mosquito wreckage in there.
I was quite happy now at finding two out of two crashsites I had come looking for; the third one would be a bonus if I found it, but as I didn't have a grid reference and I would just be relying on my memory of some photos I had seen on the interweb I wasn't confident that I would.
Walking back up the grassy track from Rowantree Park to regain the landrover track. Although I didn't know the exact location of the final resting place of Miles Martinet MS554 I did have a rough idea of the area it was in, and I did know there was some shiny stainless steel bits there which on such a hot and sunny day should be easy to spot, especially if the sun was reflecting off them.
Heading off west along the landrover track towards crashsite number three.
Large area of mine working, once over this I was in the search area for MS554. Once over some more old mine workings I found an elevated spot to sit on and had a good search around with the binoculars, but could see nothing. Plan A had failed so I reverted to plan B and started off to make big zig zags along the side of the hill but before I had even completed the first zig I recognised a grassy mound that I had seen in a photo on the interweb, and at the far end of this was a pit containing a couple of pieces of the Martinet.
The grassy mound was more old mine workings and in a pit at the far end of it I found some fragments of the Martinet.
Although very happy that I found some fragments of the Martinet in the mine workings I still wanted to find the quite sizeable bits I'd seen photos of on the interweb, so headed I off up the hill to where I believed they would be, they weren't there.
These bits had actually been 'recovered' in 2012 by a man who was trying to rebuild a Martinet, unfortunately I wasn't aware of this at the time so spent over 3 hours searching the hillside for them. I did find one small panel further up the hill, so my 3 hours searching wasn't completely fruitless!
My reward for 3 hrs of searching, better than nowt I suppose.
Looking back down to the mine workings(very light green area) from where I found the solitary panel.
This pit used to contain quite a few pieces of Martinet but it was also cleared in 2012. More crashsite photos. After spending way too much time searching for bits that weren't actually there I set off back along the landrover track I had walked here on, but this time when i reached Rowantree Park instead of heading back over the moor I continued on the track as it headed east for a while then turned north to intersect the track I had used to reach the Javelin.
Back over the large area of mine workings.
Random bit of wildlife photography, might even be rare flowers, I don't know?
Passing above Rowantree Park on the return leg. The Mosquito crashed just over the edge where the land drops off near the centre of the photo.
Where the track turned north.
Still a mile or so to go but the car was in sight already.
above and next two photos:-View over to the final resting place of XA662.
Two black golfs over there now, hope one of them's mine!. If I had enough time after this walk I was planning on re-visiting the crashsite of a Curtiss Tomahawk which wasn't too far up the road. It was a 4 mile round trip to that one so taking into account my average speed of 1mph, which included dawdling, taking photos and looking at the scenery, then I figured if I was back at the car by 4pm at the latest then I would go for it.
above and below:-The closest I got to anyone today, plenty more than 2 metres I would say!
By the time I arrived back at my car (which was the black golf on the left btw) it was 10 past 4, so just past my deadline, but my feet were sore with it being my first walk for a while and as it had been such a warm day I had also drunk almost all of the water I had taken; so as is always the case with my "if I've got time" clause I didn't make it to the extra crashsite.