Bell-ringers’ Walk: Brathay to Chapel Stile

Name of walk Bell-ringers' Walk: Brathay to Chapel Stile
Date of walk 2015-04-11
Distance walked (miles) 7
Duration of walk 4 hours 30 minutes
Weather Good visibility, some blue skies.
Peaks on walk None
Walked with Andy, Alan, Geoff, Sue and Linda.
Parking Brathay Church

On Saturday Andy, the Tower Captain of St. James’, Barrow, had organised a bell-ringers’ walk from Holy Trinity Church at Brathay, near Ambleside, to Holy Trinity Church, Great Langdale which is in Chapel Stile, and where the Furness Branch of the LACR half-year AGM would be held that afternoon, following general branch ringing. We had the Brathay bells from 9am until 10am. There are six bells, there were six of us…..perfect!

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Holy Trinity Church, Brathay, was built in 1836 and is a Grade 2 listed building. The hilltop site for the church was recommended by William Wordsworth who, when describing it in a letter in 1836, said "there is no situation out of the Alps, nor among them, more beautiful than that where this building is placed". He had a point!

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Access to the ringing room is up a ladder through a trap door.

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Andy poking his head through the trap door photographing me photographing him!

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Alan perching on the top of the ladder.

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Vertically challenged ringers need to stand on boxes of various sizes. Andy reckons that the ringers' positioning suggests a 'Boy Band' album cover.....I suggest we call ourselves 'No Direction'.

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The St. James' Crew. Andy's T-shirt says "Don't follow me I'm lost!" Appropriate for both ringing and the walk. We are amused by Sue and Linda standing on boxes for the photo.

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We concentrate on ringing call changes. Andy calls each ringer down to lead. Then we swap ropes every ten minutes, forgetting what rope number we are almost immediately! But we have a lot of fun! We produce some excellent striking too!

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The Sunday School and Parish Rooms below. The church is situated in the middle of nowhere, our walk route takes us to the top of the rise.

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After suiting and booting we cross the River Brathay by the bridge and head up into the woods.

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The church is on the left.

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Andy has packed his rucksack for an Arctic Expedition as well as carrying all the equipment necessary to film it.

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Alan takes a photo of us girls enjoying the view. Linda rewards Alan's efforts with her usual polite response.

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Windermere.

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A boat on the glistening water.

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View over to Ambleside and Wansfell.

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One of the many small tarns on Loughrigg Fell.

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Lily Tarn.

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Linda with the Fairfield Horseshoe behind her.

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Alan's photo of us braving the wind!

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We head for the track below Ivy Crag on the right.

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Loughrigg Fell ahead.

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The Langdales on the right. There is snow on Bowfell.

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The same fells in close up.

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We take a short detour to Loughrigg Tarn.

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A Buzzard flies overhead.

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The shores of Loughrigg Tarn.

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Alan photographs me checking my GPS to check our mileage.

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Lambs!

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We reach Skelwith Bridge. Coffee time!

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Geoff and Andy.

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Linda, Sue and Alan. Proof that a Scotsman has no understanding of the concept that "coffee breaks" actually involve drinking coffee!

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We detour to Skelwith Force.

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Alan's photo.

37

Coats on again as we get a touch of hail, but it doesn't last long. Black clouds over Harrison Stickle.

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We head alongside the River Brathay to Elterwater.

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Elterwater Village.

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We cross the bridge and take the lane up on the left that will lead us in to Chapel Stile.

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Lunch at the Wainwright Inn, Chapel Stile. I was only here two days ago. My usual please Landlord!

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At 3pm we head for the church. Ringing is between 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

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Holy Trinity Church built in 1857, has a six bell tower. Photos of the splendid church interior are found in my previous post, a walk from Grasmere over Silver How down to Chapel Stile.

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The ringing room can get a bit crowded at times, at one time there were 22 ringers in the room. Sardines! I have an aversion to lots of people in small spaces, so after I joined-in to ring a touch of Grandsire Doubles, I extricate myself from the hoards and sit on top of a high platform out of the way, only to be persuaded to come down by the offer of coffee and cake at 4.30pm.

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A couple of photos of Andy, Geoff and Sue ringing, taken from my high-up sanctuary.

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Compared to the ringing room the church is freezing. Coats on! After we have scoffed the cake it is time for the Furness Branch of the LACR half yearly AGM. Now I know why Andy came fully equipped for an Arctic Expedition! Brrrrrrrr!

It was a very easy, gentle walk over very good terrain. My GPS said 7.47 miles. The walk took us four and a half hours, but an hour and a half of that was spent sitting in pubs!

Enormous thanks to Andy for organising such a fun activity. It is definitely something to repeat in the future. Thanks to Clive for opening up Brathay Tower for us and allowing us to park the two cars we brought in the church car park all day. To Alan for the use of a few of his photos. To John from Hawkshead Tower for taking our photos at Brathay; and to the ringers who gave us all a lift back to our cars after the meeting.

A super day combining two of my favourite activities and sharing them with excellent company.

A reminder that If any nice, kind, generous people want to sponsor me for the 40 mile Keswick to Barrow Walk on May 9th, (I’m walking for HEFF – Hospital Equipment Fund for Furness), and at the same time appeal to your inner sadist by helping to inflict pain and torture on to these old, arthritic bones, my sponsorship page is: https://www.keswick2barrow.co.uk/sponsor/welcome.asp?ID=10204

Thanks! 🙂

Jo

 

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