Friday, September 02, 2011

Solfest 2011

Solfest 2011.

Yes when going to a festi it's good to travel light...... thing is that it did add up how much extra kit we really need, such as Pamela needs an airbed. Plus we took a re-usable barbecue to get hot food Thursday evening.

Last year one of the hardest parts of the journey had been the change at Preston, Pamela is mobility impaired. Thankfully we came back via the Settle to Carlisle rail so this year I made sure we went via Settle to Carlisle railway, so only one change at Carlisle. Pamela was impressed even took pics.

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Staggering that they even considered closing this line.

'underneath, the Pennine way, the bodies lie in rags'



made it to Settle

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England's Mountains Green

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So yes, that;s it, it need not have been built, was built at great cost, and defiantly goes over the Pennines. Not a mountain railway but a mainline railway over the mountains.

And so to the Ribblehead viaduct. Thankfully there was a train guide who told us when we were approaching so........

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but going across it would hardly have guessed that we were 30 metres up in the air.....

Pamela's Bluebells

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A beautiful vale

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the guide also sold me a booklet about the line.

'The route was surveyed in the autumn of 1865 by the General Manager James Allport and the Chief Engineer, John Crossley. It tells us much about the gung-ho spirit of the age and the hands-on approach to management that these two senior figures in the Company actually walked much of the route. Starting from Settle, they trudged up to Ribblehead, over Blea Moor, on past Appleby and most of the way to Carlisle.'

'Hardly seeing a soul, they crossed bleak moorland, squelchy bogs and windswept fells in all weathers.'

Try indeed imagining a CEO of a giant corporation (the Railway Companies were the giants of their day) surveying the route without a company car (there were no cars).

'Their conclusion? That the line could be built. Not forgetting that this was no single track 'tourist' railway but a working two-line expressway capable of handling fast passenger trains and heavy freight.'

Here is the statue of Ruswarp. As a fare paying passenger his pawprint was accepted as a valid signature along with tens of thousands of hom-saps who objected to the closure of the line.

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'Graham Nuttall and Ruswarp hardly had time to enjoy the railway they helped to save for on 20th January 1990 Graham (then aged 41) and Ruswarp (14)went walking in the Welsh mountains but did not return. Graham had died. It was not until 7th April 1990 that Graham's body was found near to a mountain stream. Close by was Ruswarp who had stayed with his dead master for eleven winter weeks. Ruswarp was so weak he had to be carried off the mountain bur recovered and lived long enough to be at his master's funeral.'

a mars a day.....

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we arrive in Carlisle and do a bit of train-spotter-spotting....

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and on to Aspatria!

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Had to wait for the next shuttle bus to Solfest. Along with the drunk-in-residence and his companion......

But the weather was holding and finally shuttle bus arrived.

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got the tent up!

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Pamela supervises.....

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curry and rice for tea cooked in mess tin on a re-usable barbecue...

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likeso

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tossing the caber

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It's Solfest! YAYA!

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Bluebell and Pamela

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two happy campers....

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the main stage

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Pamela does Solfest

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the drystone stage

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Bluebell and Pamela

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the finger puppet man....

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Rory McLeod at the Drystone Stage

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Politically cool, banter a bit long. Music OK.

And over to the Main Stage for the SawDoctors

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likesay!

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what can thou say.....

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the morning after

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Saturday nite at Solfest is Fancy Dress!

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On a mission, caught this band playing raggle taggle gypsy at the drystone stage...

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here they are bootlegged



thats it! I was fetching Pamela's Oats, couldn't find the porridge van anywhere.....

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right in front of me...

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procession innit

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A Solfest wonderland!

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twits

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in the tent

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a spot of rain.... then a rainbow

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red sky at night...

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Mr and Mrs Solfest pay a visit to the q for chips

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Speaking of Chips, would you believe it the magic chip van had no chips..... I cried all the way to the... er......

Due to the weather we couldn't get our costume on Saturday nite, but we made it to the main stage. Saw The Damned complete with Captain Sensible!

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Following day we got our fancy dress on and went for dinner

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tiger tiger

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hi di hi

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the illuminated

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a view of the Solway Firth and Scotland

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and it was time to go. An early nite and packed ready for the first shuttle bus just. Who should we meet but drunk-in-residence and companion. They did help us get our luggage on and off train all the way to Carlisle.

Didn't manage to get any pics of the Q for the shower. Managed to get a shower then gave up. I thought this was Solfest not Crustymania.......

Architectural features at Aspatria Station...

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freight train at Carlisle

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Carlisle Castle

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And the station itself

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England's Mountains Green Again

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coffee.....

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And safely back to Leeds. Now, had anticipated that I might have a problem getting a taxi with it being Eid. Was asked by Amber if I could get to my flat without going through Chapeltown Road which was closed off for the Chapeltown Carnival. Sure, could go via Spencer Place. Only thing was Spencer Place was closed off. Seems rather than close off the streets on the Carnival route, a whole chunk of Chapeltown is Quadrangled. Taxi driver tried all sorts of routes to no avail. Asked the police who said that until the procession had gone, there was no chance even for a Chapeltown Resident. And had got back early as possible in order to head on to Mansfield for one of Pamela's family gatherings. Was offloading my camping gear etc before getting coach to Mansfield. Eventually after over an hour we got there....

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