Posts Tagged ‘tramper’

The day the Tramper was finally at home at Malham Tarn

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”

Malham Tarn

Malham Tarn

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

Making the dales the Dales



The wonders of the Dry stone wall

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.

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

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!


Emmeline Butler

Business Support Senior Co-ordinator

National Trust

Yorkshire Dales

01729 830416


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

A delight to be out in the Dales

tramer launch 459 tramer launch 233 tramer launch 338 tramer launch 374 tramer launch 417 tramer launch 375 tramer launch 394





The Terrain Hopper

There are long words. Short words. Medium-sized words.

And the thing about words is that, generally, they mean something; although I have to admit I’d be stumped to give dictionary definitions to ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘floccinoccinihilipilification.’

But I am in a quandary to find a suitable word to sum up the afternoon of Sunday June 23rd 2013. Amazing and fantastic just don’t seem to do it justice at all.

What was the cause of all this? What had me diving – not literally, you understand – for my dictionary?

Well, last week, I was taking a well-earned break from my chronic pain. When I say taking a break from it, I mean I was lying on my bed trying to distract the bastard. The pain. Not the bed.

There’s something about chronic pain that I don’t think anyone can fully understand unless they suffer from it. Politicians seem to be particularly lacking here. And Chief Executives of Primary Care Trusts. And readers of The Daily Mail.

Anyway, I was hanging upside from my trapeze. I find it eases the pain around C5. I wasn’t really. I don’t have a trapeze. I heard a voice calling me.

It was Andy.

“Will you get off your trapeze and come and look at this!” he called.

I creaked through to the living room to find Andy planted in front of BBC Look North. There was a piece about an all-terrain vehicle, The TerrainHopper, which had been spotted in Lincolnshire!

We both watched the piece open-mouthed. Andy from amazement. Me simply because it’s a really bad habit I have. I bite my toenails too.

The TerrainHopper was launched by Sam and Deborah Dantzie in 2010 and is an off road mobility product. The couple have driven their project forward with a passion and vision that led to them self-financing the opening of a manufacturing facility, patenting and launching the All-terrain mobility vehicle.

“I like the look of that,” I said.

“I thought you would,” Andy replied.

“I want one,” I continued.

“I thought you would,” said Andy.

“I’m going to get in touch with them…”

“I thought you would,” said Andy, passing me their telephone number.

After a phone call to TerrainHopper HQ and chatting with Debbie – another person I am adding to my list of Earth angels – a meeting was arranged.

The plan was for me to have a spin in the TerrainHopper, whilst Debbie filmed for a promotion video. It sounded perfect.

The weather on the actual day was… How do I put it delicately… pissing it down… but, thanks to some weather system or other piling in from somewhere to the left of where we live, it cleared up.

Debbie arrived at our home and, my immediate thought was: She’s forgotten the TerrainHopper. Well, this surprise number one. It was in the back of her car. No trailer required. Granted, it wasn’t a Mini, but it as a surprise!

Our first port of call was a nearby woods. My last expedition into woodland was in Nethy Bridge in Scotland. There was a lovely footpath that went through the middle of it. It led straight to the local pub. Andy was convinced it was a magic footpath. The problem with the wheelchair though was it simply cut out on the bumps.

I needn’t have worried with the TerrainHopper. It simply ate up the ground, which was bumpy, muddy and littered with lumberjacks and fallen trees. In fact, the only thing that stopped us getting deeper into the woods was a fallen tree and the sight of a small cottage made of gingerbread.

Next, it was the beach.

I have been to the seaside since being in a wheelchair. In fact, I enjoy a walk (I can’t say ‘wheel’… I’m just going out for a wheel…) along the front at Mablethorpe, followed by chips and steaming hot tea. We both avoid the foot long sausage.

The TerrainHopper just took the beach in its stride. I drove over the dunes, the tufted grasses and drifting sand.

The TerrainHopper caused quite a stir – as did my driving – and something of a crowd built up and then dispersed again – because of my driving.

Everyone who was around stopped to watch it in action. Every comment I heard went along the lines of “That looks über cool! Fancy a go on that! Mind the dog crap!”

From my point of view, whilst the TerrainHopper is ideal for the disabled, I felt it really has an appeal that goes beyond that.

One of the things I loved – other than its very obvious high quality capabilities – was the fact it looked so bloody cool! It felt great to be whizzing around the beach in it and not have to face the looks of people who thought they were watching the ‘stereotypical’ disabled going through their paces on a motorised scooter.

When we’d finished, I turned to Andy and said, “I want one.”

“I thought you would.”


Out on the Dunes