Roseberry summit, Sunday afternoon, a honeypot for the crowds, in spite of the threat of rain. Attracted by the prospect of tea and cakes provided by the National Trust.
The elusive trig point fairy has been and given Roseberry’s pillar a lick of paint. A fresh clean canvas for the graffiti artists. I happen to know the fairy goes by the name of Ray (no aspersion intended) and he lives in Great Ayton, the village just visible through the low cloud.
Lots of climbers tempted by the early morning spring sunshine reach the summit of Roseberry. By lunch time clouds were darkening but any rain held off.
Walter White spent two hours on the summit in 1858 during his grand tour of Yorkshire. He wrote that the name Roseberry comes from ross, a heath or moor, and burg meaning a fortress. The modern thinking is that the name means the hill of the Viking god Odin.
Finally Roseberry Topping appeared after a week with its head in the clouds. But I climbed up there this morning to find the summit crags defaced by a giant Vote Leave banner. I am incandescent. I do not want to see my beloved Roseberry turned into a political billboard. What irks me more is that it carries a Brexit message but even if it had been to remain I would have been disappointed. Our hills and moors are no place for this.
Now my father once told me there are three subjects that you should never discuss with friends: sex, politics and religion. I’ve largely stuck to that but I think the time has come to nail my colours to the mast. In fact I’ve already I’ve already nailed them, I have already sent off my postal vote with a cross in the remain box.
So there. But if I hadn’t already done it this would have been the final straw. The banner is tied onto bolts. The sandstone rock has been drilled and expansion bolts put in. That’s criminal damage.
So if anyone of my running mates would like to go up Roseberry and remove it, I for one would appreciate it. You’ll need a knife to cut the ropes.
I’ll be travelling north of the border later today. I’ll be away for two weeks. Little or poor phone signal and the battery life of my camera and phone will all conspire to limit my postings. So that’s me signing out. As Lawrence Oates said “… I may be some time.”
A dusting of snow last night. This is the view east with Little Roseberry on the right, Guisborough on the left and with the North Sea beyond.
This Union Flag was flying on Roseberry summit this morning. I thought at first it was a BNP publicity stunt, one has recently been erected on Eston Nab, but hand written on the flag were hundreds on names, one I recognised was Lee Rigby so I guess they’re soldiers who have died whilst serving their country.
But I am still uneasy about the flag. It should not have been erected without the consent of the landowner, for Roseberry Topping that would be the National Trust, and eventually it’ll have to be taken down. Without any disrespect to the men whose names are on the flag it could be argued it is distracting from the beauty and wildness of the place.
On the same lines the modern trend of leaving bunches of flowers around in remembrance and the depositing of cremated ashes also causes me unease. The flowers are often wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbons and wire which do not decay. Ashes are frequently left in a little pale coloured pile which actually takes quite a long time for the wind and rain to disperse. I know Roseberry’s ecology is not critical but flowers and ashes as well as banana skins, orange skins and apple cores left on the high mountains do cause a change in the ecology of the fragile environment there. They take a very long time to decay and become part of the soil and new chemicals and minerals are introduced which are alien to these places. My philosophy is in line with the Leave No Trace movement and I apply that to all countryside including Roseberry.