With thanks to Flanders & Swann.
When I first received this picture it brought back so many memories of my childhood and beyond.
My late friend Brian Storey and I were great ramblers from a fairly early age, we walked from our homes in Billingham to places such as Thorpe Thewles, following the beck, or to Greatham Beck and across to the old brickyard and Cowpen marshes.
When we went to “The Big School” at the age of eleven we were both given bikes, from then on we cycled to places such as Guisborough, Eston and Great Ayton so we could wander around the hills.
As we grew older the Cleveland Hills became our target, this is where Crowe Brothers came into their own, we would set out early on a Saturday morning from Billingham and catch the Crowes bus to Clack Lane Ends at Osmotherly, a climb into the village followed by a good walk along Black Hambleton to Sutton Bank or across the escarpment to Hasty Bank and a walk into Great Broughton to catch a Middlesbrough bus, great days.
In 1960 Brian read about a walk across the highest and widest part of the North York Moors and we decided to give it a try, every opportunity during the Summer holidays we travelled to Osmotherly on a Crowes bus and walked a little further every time, once we had managed the walk from Osmotherly to Castleton we decided we would be able to complete the walk.
In the October (Tatie Picking) holidays we set of on the 5pm Crowes bus out of Stockton, I seem to remember it was almost a full hour to get to Osmotherly in those days, at about 6:30 in the evening we set off from the Trig point above Mount Grace Priory, our school had provided a map and compass and we had our army surplus haversacks and water bottles and mothers sarnies, it was an excellent crossing which we both enjoyed and when we reached the Trig point above Ravenscar we whirled each other around in glee, that was the first of many “Lyke Wake Walks”.
In later years when Brian was teaching at Sheraton Comprehensive School he would organise hiking trips for the pupils and I would be seconded to act as marshall and back marker so that we didn’t lose too many pupils, nowadays, of course , this wouldn’t be allowed, but life was simpler then.
We continued our rambling for many years taking in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales as well as the North York Moors, Brian continued organising outdoor pursuits and qualified to teach rock climbing and canoeing, he also organised the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at his school and I acted as marshall and timekeeper when needed.
Workload, marriage, mortgages and children certainly restricted our hiking days but we did manage quite a few walks before age took its toll.
Our last “Lyke Wake” was in the 1980s but I have many terrific memories of the many crossings we made.
Details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.