Andy and I had a most fantastic time in the Dales last week.
The reason for our visit was to attend the launch of the Tramper at Malham Tarn.
The Tramper is now owned by the National Trust and is available for hire from the National Trust office at the Tarn for only £5 per day.
For Both Andy and I there is something magical as well as homely and beautiful about the Dales.
We travelled up the day before the launch and had a leisurely drive through the Dales.
As soon as we turned off the A1 and made our way through Ripon, Leyburn and Bainbridge, the Dales begin to open up in front of our very eyes.
The tissues were out – the tears had started.
The hills, the limestone dry stone walls, the barns and the lambs just tell you that you have arrived at “Gods Own Country”
My mom, bless her, had some sort of fascination with dry stone walls.
She never stopped talking about dry stone walls.
Wherever we went in the Dales she would jabber on about dry stone walls.
One of the most embarrassing moment of a trip to the Dales one time was when mom asked a farmer, who was mending a gap in a wall, how he managed to disguise the cement on both sides of the wall , so that the stones looked like they were just piled up on top of each other!
She was so obsessed about dry stone walls we though of buying her a day’s course on dry stone wall building, but thought it a bit cruel for her 73rd birthday. So we booked her a helicopter flight instead.
Making the dales the Dales
The wonders of the Dry stone wall
In the evening we had arranged to meet up with some friends who had travelled up from Sheffield for the launch in the Lion Inn in Settle.
The number of times we have finished off a day’s walk with a pint of bitter shandy in what was then The Golden Lion.
The pub has since changed hands and name. The interior was quite different.
Whilst waiting for them to arrive I interrogated the poor young barman the refurbishment and especially about what had happened to the Unicorn tapestry that hung on the back wall, near to the open fire. I’d read a historical novel, the name of which I can not remember, which was about the tapestry in question. He kept saying he didn’t know- he’d only worked there for a few months and the alterations had already been made. That didn’t stop me from asking even more questions about the other pictures and objects that I had noticed were no longer on display.
Poor lad, I think he was pleased when I finally our friends arrived and I left him alone.
After having something to eat and an exchange of gossip with our friends we left them to enjoy the rest of the evening and we made our way back to the Craven Arms where we were staying.
It was early to bed as we had an exciting day to look forward too.
I woke early the next morning and looked out through the curtains to see thick fog.
Andy asked how I was feeling.
Have you ever been so excited about something that your stomach does forty two cartwheels a minute?
When your heart rate feels like it is beating faster than Roy Castle’s record breaking fastest tap-dance of 1,440 taps per minute which averages 24 taps per second ( a record set on 14 January 1973 but was beaten in 2011 by Anthony Morigerato Who tapped 1,163 in one minute; a little bit of pointless trivia for you)?
Well that’s how I felt as I tried to eat breakfast.
As we drove into Malham the sun burnt through. It was going to be a bright sun shiny day – good words for lyrics for a song I think.
The first time I saw the tramper it was on the back on the trailer. The trailer was ready to be on the move as BBC Look North film team wanted the tarn as a back drop for their report on the Tramper. We were told to follow on.
It wasn’t until the tramper was off the trailer that I got to see it in its full glory, with the accessthedales logo on the front the chair. A few tears of joy were shed.
The tramper was reversed off the trailer and I was told to ‘get going’. Unfortunately I had forgotten that the Tramper was set to go backwards and headed straight down a pot hot. Six other people took a sharp intake of breath. There was a freeze frame moment of shear panic.
I called out ‘It’s ok, I’m in control’ ( thought I did panic for a moment but like a true professional I kept smiling). Once I found the forward button the Tramper climbed easily out of the hole.
The onlookers began to breath again!
Watch out! Debs is about.
Despite that first hiccup the Tramper glided over the rough terrain.
Andy strolled on besides me whilst Jenny( the camera wizard) kept running ahead of us to capture the moment when I first reached places that without the use of the tramper would otherwise be inaccessible. Poor Jenny- the camera was really heavy and it was a really warm day for running around with a camera on her shoulder.
Sally made the interview so relaxing. I was dreading the interview. I get so tongue tied and all ways use wrong words or even make up words.
Sally Young and Jenny from BBC Look North
When we got back to the National Trust office for the official launch of the tramper, I was surprised to see so many people there. It was lovely to see my friends who had come up especially for the day, but also to meet people who I only know from the twitter family who I have built up a relationship with over time, this included Nicola and Roy other wheelchair users.
David, the regional link for the Tramper company bought another tramper along so Roy was able to use it. He too was every impressed.
Lovely speeches were made from different people, for which the tissues were needed.
After tea and cake, we set off around the tarn – approx four and half miles.
That was it – I was out in the Dales,soaking up the scenery, the sunshine and the atmosphere of the Yorkshire Dales. I was like a dog with a bone; the cat that got the cream; the blonde that got her tramper! Words just can not express the emotion of the day. I was on a high all day, but this time I can National Trust blame the morphine for it.
The interview was aired on Look North – Yorkshire, at 6.30pm Friday. Since then so many people have been in touch to send their congratulations. My five minutes of fame
In the press release I wasn’t allowed to thank Emmeline from the National Trust or Rachel from the Access Development team for all their support thoughout my campaign to raise the £7,000 needed to buy the Tramper, but as this is my blog, I can do as I want:
so thank you Emmeline and thank you Rachel for your continued support throughout my campaign and fund raising.
The. Tramper is now available to hire out by anyone for just £5 per day. You out will be given routes to follow and instructions on how to use the tramper, so that you don’t go down a pot hole!
Business Support Senior Co-ordinator
Now start planning my next fund raiser- to buy a Terrain Hopper for the Calvert Kieder Trust.
For that I am doing the Coast to Coast off road in a Hopper.
Will keep you posted.
A delight to be out in the Dales