While it’s always good to see Ribblesdale featured on the box I wasn’t too impressed with the programme on Friday in which Julia Bradbury walked up Penyghent. I liked the people in it, but I was left wondering what the real point of the programme was other than to give Julia something to do.
I’m all for promoting walking and the area, but in this programme everything appeared so manufactured, even by TV standards. I suppose that with it filling a slot between Coronation Street episodes I shouldn’t have expected anything of great depth. If I’m sounding pompous I apologise but I was put off in the first few minutes on hearing the term ‘Ribblesdale valley’ which always annoys me – a dale is a valley so why double up? And I’m not sure Horton-in-Ribblesdale can be classed as a ‘town’ as described – a population of around 400 with a shop is not a town in my book. And Hull Pot: a canyon? Mmmm.
There was plenty more hyperbole scattered throughout. Hull Pot was ‘totally unexpected’ enthused Julia. What was totally unexpected was the sight of Mr Lord with his fossils laid out on a sheet beside the ‘canyon’. Lucky he was there at the same time as Julia’s unexpected visit. Anyway, I’m glad she made it up ‘the sheer limestone cliff face’, and that the wind ‘put hairs on her chest’ (What?).
I was also disappointed the walk ended halfway round. A mention of all the hard work put in by volunteers to maintain the paths and environment wouldn’t have gone amiss, but I suppose I’m being picky – the shots from up above were great. By the way, is Minnie Caldwell still in Corrie?
I’m not free from criticism myself either – a chap wrote to me after I enthused about the return of steam engines through Ribblesdale, asking why we should be celebrating the reappearance of these ’noisy, dirty, expensive, environmentally-friendless monsters’.
Yes, they are outdated, I replied to him. But they pull in visitors to the area and it’s not as though they slog up the ‘Long Drag’ every day is it? I added. Then, rather embarrassingly for me, I read this week that some steam trains are to be scheduled into regular slots up the Settle-Carlisle Line! Ah well, still not as environmentally unfriendly as the planes I see leaving their marks across the sky above the Yorkshire dales, hey?
For further details of the timetabled steamers and news of the Flying Scotsman on the line, visit http://www.settle-carlisle.co.uk
I didn’t get out much this week for one reason or another but I did manage a few Ribblesdale snow shots. A snowy Ingleborough is shown at the top of the blog.