Scar House Reservoir

Scar House was the third reservoir in upper Nidderdale to be built for the Bradford Corporation Waterworks. Construction work took 15 years finally completed in 1936 with one million tons of masonry being quarried from on Carle Fell opposite. The incline leading to the large quarry can be seen in the photo. The workers and their families lived in a temporary village on this side of the dale just off to the right complete with post office, hospital, church and cinema, to service a population of 1,250. For the bringing in of materials a narrow gauge from Pateley Bridge was used that had originally been constructed for the Angram Reservoir further up the valley. Water from the reservoir finds its way to Bradford purely by gravity. In 1930 British Pathé produced an interesting (silent) film about the construction of the dam. It can be seen on YouTube:

Scar House Map



A difficult ascent of the ‘green lane’ between Scugdale and Raisdale hindered a large party of off road motor cyclists coming down. Not aggressive but nevertheless very intimidating. I did take some pictures of the bikers but eventually settled on a nice rainbow to post. instead. Several years ago there was talk of the National Park closing the lane to off road vehicles such has been done in the Peak District. A committee was set up to look into it, The North York Moors Unsealed Route Management Advisory Group (URMAG), which promptly spent the next year or so compiling a report. That was in 2012. It doesn’t look as though there has been any progress since. Or else a closure is not being policed.

Brocken spectre

I woke up to rain this morning. Real rain at that. The sort that gets you wet. I had a lift to Guisborough planned and a run back. By the time I was dropped off it had stopped raining and by the time I climbed to Highcliff Nab the sun were breaking out leaving wisps of cloud below in the valley below.

Climbing Highcliff I spotted a new mountain bike track through an area of clear felling. That’ll do. At the top a 180º vista I have never seen before. And then a rainbow over the Eston Hills accompanied me all the way to Roseberry Topping. Several photos in the bag.

And then the pièce de résistance. On Little Roseberry, a brocken spectre. In 64 years of hill walking it’s the first one I can recall seeing. Utter magic.

Red Stone

The rainbow portends a squall. It’s easy to forget winter is approaching. This boundary stone on Greenhow Moor looks 18th century, marking the limit of the Feversham Estate. Now is it the ‘Red Stone’ that’s marked on the 1857 Ordnance Survey map? The location is about right but this stone doesn’t look significant enough to warrant a name. Perhaps it replaced a more ancient stone.

Double rainbow, Saltburn Scar

Low tide at Saltburn and an afternoon wander on the beach was rewarded by this double rainbow. The darker area of sky between them is known as Alexander’s dark band after Alexander of Aphrodisias in the 2nd century AD. There is rain there but any light reflected in the raindrops is not reaching the observer.

One piece of old folklore says:

A rainbow at night
fair weather in sight.
A rainbow at morn
fair weather all gorn.

Perhaps a bit of poetic licence with the words. Night presumably means afternoon and as our prevailing weather comes from the west it’s likely that if we see a rainbow after lunch it will be in the east and the weather have passed or soon will do. But in the morning a rainbow will be in the west so the rain is likely to be heading towards us.