Category Archives: Uncategorized

Honorary Life Membership for Alex

Alex McManus, former Footpaths officer for the Dales Way Association who retired from active duty earlier this year, was formally handed his “Honorary Life Membership” certificate today.

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Alex McManus receives his award from Colin Speakman

The presentation was made by the chairman of the Dales Way Association, Colin Speakman, at a special lunch attended by most of the DWA committee near Harrogate. The honour was unanimously approved at this year’s Annual General Meeting in October.

Colin said: “Alex is one of the heroes of the Dales Way. For so many years he has been our tireless Footpath Secretary, doing great work working with all the local authorities along the Dales Way to ensure that stiles, gates and bridges were in good order, waymarks were in the right place and problems sorted as soon as possible, not to mention his work as a great ambassador for the route, in person and on his DVDs. In making him only our second Honorary Life Member in our history (the first was the legendary cartographer Arthur Gemmell) the Dales Way Committee is merely recognising his outstanding achievement over so many years”

Alex first joined the DWA committee in 2003 and became Footpaths Officer in 2005. He also served as Newsletter Editor from 2010 to 2014 and turned his hand to a number of other roles, including minutes secretary for a while.

Alex will continue to contribute to the DWA through articles on the website and Newsletters. We hope to see him at a number of next year’s 50th Anniversary events.

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Bolton Abbey Road Closure – Diversions to DalesBus Services

874 at Bolton Abbey

Due to a road closure at Bolton Abbey until around the end of November, bus services between Ilkley, Bolton Abbey and Grassington/Skipton are diverted. Passengers visiting Bolton Abbey on Sundays should catch the bus to/from Bolton Bridge Devonshire Arms, which is approx. 10 minutes walk from Bolton Abbey village green.

Minibus service 74A between Ilkley and Hebden on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays is diverted between Bolton Abbey and Barden Tower via Embsay, so the stops at Strid Wood and Barden Scale are not served in either direction, but buses will still stop at Bolton Abbey village green.

Cravenlink Sunday service 873 between Ilkley and Skipton operates via the A59 between Bolton Bridge and Embsay, so the stops at Bolton Abbey, Strid Wood, Barden Scale, Barden Moor and Eastby are not served in either direction.

DalesBus Sunday service 874 between Wakefield/Ilkley and Buckden operates via the A59, Embsay, Eastby and Barden Moor between Bolton Bridge and Barden Tower, so the stops at Bolton Abbey, Strid Wood and Barden Scale are not served in either direction.

Check the revised timetables at the DalesBus website here.

Update: The route has now reopened and buses are running normaly.

Bridge over “gurgly” waters.

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Smithy Beck is a small stream that enters the River Lune North of Hole House Farm, which is mid-way between Lincoln’s Inn Bridge and Crook of Lune Bridge. The small bridge over it was damaged, thanks to Storm Desmond, still safe to cross, but needing repair. On Sunday, 14th October, Graham Pye, Access Ranger YDNPA, and a team of 4 Dales Volunteers rebuilt the footbridge. There had been some concern that the bridge build might not be possible owing to the weather forecast. As it turned out, the weather improved on the Sunday and even though the beck was described as ‘gurgly’ by one of the team, the conditions were good enough to continue. Well done Graham and the team.

The Dales Way Association was thanked for their donation. Picture by YDNPA

Alex retires

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Alex McManus – Cam High Road, 2 May 2011.

Alex McManus, our Footpaths Officer for many years, has decided to retire from active service with the Dales Way Association.

Alex has served the Association in this capacity for very many years and has worked hard to help improve and maintain the Dales Way path for the benefit of Dales Way walkers.

He first joined the DWA committee in 2003 and became Footpaths Officer in 2005. He also served as Newsletter Editor from 2010 to 2014 and turned his hand to a number of other roles, including minutes secretary for a while.

He helped steer the Association through two major crises – in 2008 and 2012, when the DWA faced closure. As Footpaths Officer he was particularly busy following the disastrous floods in the winter of 2015, when several bridges and sections of the path were swept away. Alex worked tirelessly to help walkers find their way around detours, in some cases engaging in a spot of guerrilla waymarking.

Over the years, through his dedication, hard work and persistence, he built up the respect and admiration of many of the local authority Rangers who look after the trail.
But the time has come for him to hang up his boots, put his feet up and enjoy a bit of respite.

Alex is going to be a hard act to follow – in fact we aren’t going to try to replace him. Instead, the DWA committee is going to divide the route up into sections according to the responsible local authority and take on a section each as members, returning to a working pattern adopted early on in the Association’s history.

We’re going to miss Alex.

However, we’re hoping that Alex will still find time to contribute occasionally to this News Section, and our Newsletter.

The Buck . . . . . . is back.

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The Buck Inn re-opened for the Bank Holiday week-end after a year and a half. This news was sent to us by Lynn and Stephen, from West Wind Tea Rooms and Walker’s Lodge in their popular Newsletter. The Buck has been taken on by Jeremy and Joanne, both of whom have parents living in the village. We hope that walkers take advantage and give this important village business their support.

Lynn goes on to inform us that this brings to five, the number of places to get an evening meal within 2 miles of Buckden. As well as the all-new Buck, there is the George Inn at Hubberholme, the White Lion Inn at Cray and the Fox and Hounds and Cellia’s Pizzeria at Starbottom.

The Dales Way Association welcome its return and hope that it prospers, along with the other accommodations listed on our Home Page. Buckden is an important staging post on the Dales Way journey.

Nothing lasts forever . . . . . . . . . .

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Over the years, the Dales Way Association has been asked for advice by walkers as to how they can place, maybe a seat or sapling etc together with a suitable plaque along the Dales Way to mark a special event. A few have been successful, as observant walkers may have discovered, but in general, the Authorities and Councils along the way are not in favour. However, those who wish to do any of the above, could find a solution with the Lake District National Park Authority.

Last year the DWA produced a video in their Dales Way. By gate, stile and fingerpost series, Staveley to Bowness. This video can be viewed, along with the others, on our Home page. All current fingerposts are in the video. Following on from this we asked the Authority if some of the fingerposts could be replaced. They agreed, and we offered to contribute. They in turn said that they had in place a procedure whereby items could be sponsored and an appropriate plaque put in place.

5 replacement Dales Way fingerposts have now been added to their web site available for adoption. The fingerposts will have Dales Way on the blade, some with a destination  and mileage. To view, follow instructions below.

Go to http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk  and scroll down to the bottom of the home page, click on to make a donation. Scroll down to Pick an area to sponsor then click the tab Central and South Eastern area.

The Dales Way fingerposts are the last additions and are in a West to East sequence.

Why do landowners always put gates in the middle of a puddle?

DWay Gate Tennis ClubThis photo was taken on Tuesday 26th March by committee member Tony Grogan. This is the third gate after leaving the Ilkley Tennis Club at the start of the Dales Way. Walkers were avoiding this altogether and walking on the other side of the fence in the farmers field leading to the farmers gate. Apparently this is not an isolated case. The Area Right of Way Officer of Bradford Metropolitan District Council has been informed. They, in turn, have contacted their Countryside Team to see if the drainage can be improved.