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Countrystride #66: ESKDALE - Rain & recollections which we embark on a wild, wet-weather wander from Boot in Eskdale to explore the valley's folk history through the memories of residents. Striding out from Boot Inn, we talk with Patricia Nolan, whose mother once owned the Post Office, about an Eskdale childhood. And after rising by Eel Tarn to seek Aga-side shelter at Howes Farm, we talk with Janet and Noel Baines about a lifetime farming on Scafell. As we cross boggy Great Barrow, we discuss the names of locations from Doctor Bridge to Peel Place Noddle; we learn about long journeys on the Whitehaven bus – and the intoxicated trips home; we wonder why Wainwright overlooked striking Great Howe; we talk soggy bottoms in the Eskdale Show; and we consider why this long-isolated valley evokes such strong feelings of home.

Orange Hill.

Patricia Nolan with her book, in the Boot Inn.

Janet and Noel Baines.

Boot Mill.

The white water of Willan Beck.

Stepping stones..!

Doctor Bridge.

Warm welcome at the Woolpack.

Stanley Force and Green Crag.

Great Howe and Scafell.

Wet and windy outgang.

Lovely old painting of Howes.


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