Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Monday, 16 July 2012

Out in the Clouds and a Faithful Dog

Whilst here in Skipton, we just had to do the Settle - Carlisle train journey.
We did it last year stopping at Ribblehead to get a good view of the fantastic viaduct and wander on the moors.
Last year we had dry weather and sunshine! The views from the train were fantastic.  Today was a little different. 
The hills were hidden by clouds and the rain rather spoilt the views. 
However we stopped along the way at Settle and Appleby and of course at Carlisle. So we have been all the way into Cumbria today.
At Settle the signs tell you that Carlisle is 72 miles away, London 238 and the altitude is 510 feet.  By the time you get to Dent station the level is 1150 feet above sea level, quite a climb.
The stations along the line have been restored to a good condition in red and cream livery, very smart.
Down in the town, close to the high street is The Folly, built in 1679 by Richard Preston, a wealthy merchant as the centrepiece of his estate in Settle. It has not been used as a house for so many years it has become a bit of a folly.  It is now home to the Heritage Trust of the North West.
At Appleby station the water tower and crane stand alongside the platform for refilling the steam trains that originally ran along this line.  On special days they still do.
On the way into the town you cross over the river Eden, scene of the famous Appleby Horse Fair every year in June.
Right at the top of the town outside the gates to Appleby Castle stands the High Cross with its inscription of Retain your Loyalty, preserve your Rights, possible from time of Civil War.

This lovely little courtyard of Almshouses known as the Hospital of St. Anne, were built by Lady Anne Clifford who was born at Skipton Castle, and also inherited the family estates at Appleby and a few other places. So she was a great one for rebuilding and caring for the poor of her day. She is buried in St. Lawrence's Church at the bottom of the main street.
And into Carlisle, the station building is large and impressive.
As is the Cathedral, we didn't get to go in today as we had Jumble with us. Wet dogs and Holy places,  we thought best not.

And so back to Skipton, with one last story along the way.  At Garsdale Station we met this fellow.
On the northern end of the southbound platform, you will find a bronze statue commemorating a dog called Ruswarp, who was the faithful companion of Graham Nuttall, one of the two founders of the organisation set up to save the Settle Carlisle line from closure. Ruswarp first hit the headlines in the 1980s when he attached his pawprint to a petition to resist closure. Less than a year after the line was reprieved, on 20th January 1990, Graham and Ruswarp set off for a walk together in the Welsh hills. However, they never returned and no trace of them was found. Nearly eleven weeks later, on 7th April, Graham’s body was found by a walker. Ruswarp lay nearby, still alive but unable to walk, keeping vigil over his master. He was nursed back to health, but, already 14, he did not live much longer, unfortunately, but was able to attend Graham’s funeral. You will find the full Ruswarp story in the nearby waiting room. A bench on the northbound platform – in place for nearly 20 years - commemorates Graham Nuttall, and Ruswarp gazes steadily towards this bench.    Taken from Settle-Carlisle Partnership website.


  1. Lovely photos as always. So how much longer will your gap 'year' last for - or is that an impertinent question? I can't see how you can go back now; can you? Jill x

    1. Thanks Jill,
      It was always going to be 18 months so we got 2 summers, but we haven't covered all the waterways yet! So shall probably stay on board till next summer. 'Fraid will have to go back to real world then, and earn some more money. Sigh....

  2. These tales of faithful dogs always bring a tear to the eye.