An Englishman, an Irishman and
Hawker Hind K6634
(Distance covered over
two trips = 14.5 mile/Ascent =+1100 m)
It was a Championship on this day at Langholm. We were staying over the night before at our friends house in Dumfries and the Girls were bumming a lift to the competition with them. This enabled me to spend the day walking in the Dumfries area while I waited for them to return.
Just 15 mile up the road from Dumfries is the Forest of AE and a hill called Wee Queensberry, where a Hawker Hind had crashed in 1937, my target for today. I had two grid references for this crashsite, one from a reference book called 'High Ground Wrecks and Relics' which put it on Queensberry Hill and one given to me by an Aviation Archaeology expert from the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum which was on Wee Queensberry Hill.
Setting off for the first obstacle of the day; walking through Mitchelslacks Farm.
I decided the grid reference on Wee Queensberry Hill was more likely to be the correct one, it was also a much smaller Hill and was passed on the way to Queensberry Hill, so I aimed for that one first. If I found nothing there I could then continue on to check out the second grid reference which was very near the summit of Queensberry Hill.
Mitchelslacks Farm, I still don't feel comfortable having to walk through farmyards!
Above and next 5 photos:-Making my way up to Wee Queensberry.
Wild Mountain Goats on Craih Hill next to Wee Queensberry..
Despite spending a lot of time searching around the area of the first grid ref on Wee Queensbury I found absolutley nothing. I then proceeded to search the entire south side of the hill but this also proved fruitless so I went up to the summit to sit in the sun and have my bait.
Eastern side of Wee Queensberry, I searched this area a couple of weeks later.
Above and below:-Summit of Wee Queensberry.
The nice grassy ledge where I sat to eat my butties, No 11 on my nice spot to have picnic list.
When I returned home I contacted the Aviation Archaeology Expert to tell him I didn't find any sign of the Hind crashsite and he gave me another possible grid reference which was on the north side of the hill, so I returned a couple of weeks later to search that area, but again failed to find anything. I was told by a local I passed who was out walking his old Golden Retriever that the wreckage is very hard to find in the deep heather.
Queensberry Hill from Wee Queensberry.
The other grid reference was near the bottom right of this photo.
After failing to find any wreckage on my first visit I went to the top of
Queensberry Hill just to make sure it wasn't at the co-ordinates given in
the reference book.
Wee Queensberry taken from Queensberry.
Above and next 4 photos:-Views around the summit of Queensberry Hill.
I sat in the sun on the summit cairn of Queensberry Hill for quite a while and was entertained by a Butterfly sitting on a nearby rock. It would take off every few seconds to fight another passing Butterfly, then having stuck the nutt on the intruder it would land back on the same rock looking well pleased with itself.
Nae Bawbags haivin ma rock yeh ken! (scottish butterfly)
Although the day had started off nice and cool, as I made my way back down the hill it was definately a case of 'Taps Aff' and I started to suffer from sunburn on the top of my head, ears, nose and the back of my neck. As usual I had not thought to take sunblock, and a hat of some description would have been nice. I did have a tube of germolene in my rucksack so smeared that over the affected areas, this worked OK until the germolene started to melt in the heat and run down into my eyes.
above and next two photos:-Descending off Queensberry into the Capel Glen.
Two abandoned cottages at New Burleywhag, a third farther up the Glen called simply Burleywhag is in use as a Bothy.
About to pass around the base of The Law.
Just before I reached a small hill called 'The Law' I was caught up by two
other walkers, one of whom was from Belfast, although mistaking his accent
I asked him if he was from Kelso, the other one was from Scotland. Peter from
Belfast was carrying a window, he had taken it up the hill in case the
became too hot so that he could open it to cool down.
A brilliant idea that I wish I had thought of!!!
Peter, carrying his window. In reality they had been up to the Burleywhag Bothy to carry out maintenance and they were taking this window to be used in another Bothy.
Although I failed to find any sign of the Hind crashsite (twice) I still had a very enjoyable walk (twice) in some lovely sunny weather (twice) and I forgot to take sunblock again (twice) but luckily I only got sunburnt the once.