The Florida Trip.
Airspeed Oxford LX518
and Airspeed Consul TF-RPM
(Distance covered = 9.7 mile/Ascent =+463m)
Never one to miss an opportunity; the Wife, Son and his Fiance and their daughter, aka our Granddaughter were off for a 14 day holiday in Florida and they wanted me to drop then off at Manchester Airport. Manchester Airport as I may have mentioned in previous stories is just down the road from the Peak District, giving me the aforementioned opportunity to finish off a walk I had attempted in 2021, but had to abort part of the way through because of extreme weather conditions.
Back in 2021 I had set off on a kind of circular route which encompassed the crashsites of Vickers Wellington DV810, Short Stirling LJ628, Airspeed Oxford LX518, Airspeed Consul TF-RPM and Hawker Hunter G-BTYL, as well as a couple of craters made by a German parachute mine and a V1!. I made it to the Wellington, Stirling and Hunter but had to miss out the Oxford and Consul, and the craters, due to exceptionally hot weather and dwindling supplies of H2O***.
Parked up in a large laybye adjacent to the A616 near Langsett.
On my first attempt I had walked in from the east allowing me to visit the Wellington and Stirling on the walk out and the Hunter on the walk back, this time as I didn't need to do that I walked in from Langsett Reservoir to the north, which meant it was actually a completely different walk albeit to some of the same destinations as last time.
First task; crossing the busy and fast moving A616 without being run over.
Once over the road it was straighjt into some very pleasant deciduous woodlands.
The first mile of so through the woods needed a little bit of navigation to ensure I emerged from the trees on the correct path, but once the western end of Langsett Reservoir was passed it was simply a case of following a well used path to the south then south west until reaching the beginning of the drop off down to Howden Reservoir.
Choice of 3 paths here, the one I wanted was off to the left.
above and next 7 photos:-following the well used Cut Gate path to Howden Edge.
Once I reached Howden Edge I needed to pick up a path that ran north onto Featherbed Moss, at that point I was very close to the summiti of Margery Hill where I had aborted my walk last time; but on this occasion despite the weather being very warm again and more akin to what you'd expect to experience in Florida not Manchester, it wasn't quite as hot as my first visit. Also this time I had fetched along more than enough water.
Approaching the very large crater left by the mine.
I decided to go and look for the two craters that had been made by German ordnance first. The crater left by the Luftmine B parachute mine was quite large and quite easy to find. Although refering to this as a crater it is actually now just a peaty scar, as over the years it must have infilled itself. There were a couple of fragments of metal lying in the scar and a rather foolish attempt to reach one of these resulted in me almost becoming the latest casualty of german bombing activity in the Manchester area when I sank up to my knees in the peat. It would appear the crater was filled with very soft wet and gooey mud with just a thick crust on the surface, so once I broke through that crust down I went!
Two arrows, one pointing at the piece of shrapnell and one pointing at where I sunk in the mud. Note that someone has placed a small cross on the tussock of grass in the foreground, perhaps in memory of the last person before me who tried to reach that piece of shrapnell.
above and below:-Two more views of the scar left by the aerial mine on Featherbed Moss.
Another piece of Shrapnell that was lying within reach of solid ground.
4 Aircraft flying over Featherbed Moss seemingly having a race to somewhere. (The 4th one can barely be made out near the top of the photo)
After extricating myself from a muddy demise I headed off a short distance to the north west to look for another crater this time made by a Fiesler Fi-103, more commonly known as a V1 and even more commonly known as a Doodlebug.* Halfway between the two craters I found an old artillery shell lying in a peat grough.
above and next two photos:-Halfway between the Parachute mine crater and the V1 crater I found this artillery shell, was someone trying to shoot the V1 down???
Above and below:-Crater left by the V1, this time filled with water.
Despite having a good search around the V1 crater I failed to find any pieces of shrapnel and because it was filled with water I didn't have any foolish notions of walking into the middle of it, instead I struck off to the west to find the remains of Oxford LX518.
above and below:-final resting place of Airspeed Oxford LX518. The wreckage wasn't discovered for 5 days after the crash, partly due to the fact it had crashed in an area used as an artillery range, which would better explain the artillary shell I found earlier!**
Strangely on this walk I had been finding all the craters and crashsites just using my map and compass, but for some reason I initially kept ending up 50 metres south east of them and I did exactly the same with the Consul, perhaps my sense of direction just needs a little recalibration.
above and below:-a couple of nice views taken from 50 metres south east of the Consul wreckage.
I sat in the sunshine for quite a while at the Consul site just admiring the views , so it proved quite a task getting myself motivated to get moving again, as the temperatures now were uncomfortably hot and I would say 'energy sapping'.
Back on the path heading south east to Howden Edge.
Back on the Cut Gate Path.
While walking back along the Cut Gate Path I was passed by several fell runners one of which was a lass in her 30's I would guess, she was quite fit but also quite dehydrated so I gave her one....
View over towards Stainery Clough and the crashsite of Short Stirling LJ628.
...of my 500ml bottles of water of which I still had plenty. My good deed for the day done!
above and next three photos:-views along the Cut Gate path on the way back to the car.
*-Information on the two craters taken from https://peakwreckhunters.blogspot.com/search/label/V1.
**--Information about the artillery range taken from https://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk.