March’s Burnley and Pendle run was a reprise of our pre-lockdown stay in Ravenscar on the North York Moors coast, at the Raven Hall Hotel, organised by Mick and Barbara who were not, sadly in the event, able to join us. Eleven of us set out – later joined by four more – taking the scenic cross country route via Skipton with a lunch stop in Pickering, the home of Bangers and Cash! Of course, we (well, the gentlemen of the party) had to make the obligatory pilgrimage to Matthewson’s, didn’t we? Passing the other worldly RAF Fylingdales, we arrived in good time at the hotel for pre-dinner drinks in front of an open log fire. This set something of a trend for the next few evenings …
Ravenscar certainly lived up to its Victorian reputation for “bracing air and sweeping views”. Nevertheless, despite wind, snow, fog but mercifully little daytime rain and even some sunshine, we visited Saltburn by the Sea, Whitby, Filey and the astonishing Fraisthorpe Beach. There, erosion encroaching on its sweeping beach, a line of wrecked concrete pill boxes and fortifications stand sentinel in preparation for the anticipated invasion across the North Sea. The health giving properties of the “German Sea” and the Scarborough to Whitby train line inspired local entrepreneurs to plan a resort in Ravenscar but it never actually happened and the line closed in 1965. Even so, the route of the line – “the Cinder Track” – makes for a fascinating walk and sympathy for the little steam engines struggling over the rough terrain, including the remains of the brickyard intended to build the new Ravenscar and its sidings.
Thanks once again to Mick and Barbara and don’t forget to check out the details of June’s Pendle Run on Sunday 4th.