Friday, February 23, 2018

R & I at Hadrians Wall!

This Story and Pictures Supplied By Steve Broomhead

This selection of photographs were taken on our final phase of R&I, phase three I believe. As I remember, and believe me, its very sketchy, we were split into groups and had to come up with some kind of task/project to complete.

This group here, myself, Huw Carden, Neil Thomas, Kev Hamel, Tony Magee, and Tony Smith came up with a plan to walk a section of Hadrians Wall ( if not all of it !!). Tony Smith took his Hillman Minx (?) with Neil, Kev, and Hew, whilst I took Tony Magee on my Honda 750/4 loaded to the max.

As I recall, the plan was to drive up to Carlisle and leave our vehicles at the RAF Station there, catch a train East towards Newcastle with all our gear, and then walk back along the route of Hadrians Wall.

Tony and I obviously went via my home in Sheffield as that picture of us with the bike is taken outside it. Whether by luck, or planning, we caught up with the rest of them on the M62 heading West. I remember Neil Thomas passing sweets out of the window to Tony on the back of the bike. We got changed outside Carlisle Station, and must have left the vehicles as planned.

Whether we had a lift back to the station, can't remember. We must have got the train and got off somewhere near Newcastle as my descriptions next to the pictures stated first camp at Wylam Nr Newcastle. I remember the weather was atrocious, we were all soaked and cold. Same again the next day, more rain and not a very happy crew. The forecast was apparently not good for the whole week, more rain than not. Eventually, over a pint in a pub we hatched a plan to ditch the walk, catch the train back to Carlisle, drive back and spend the rest of the week at our respective homes instead. I recall, one of the PTI's who was tasked to check up on us occasionally did just that somewhere around this point, either in the pub, or as we set off to the nearest train station. We made up some story, got rid  of him, and carried on with our escape.

I also recall on the way back down the M6 we had a horrendous head wind, and Tony and I on the bike were really struggling to make time. The bike was doing a lot less to the gallon against the wind and I went onto reserve tank with a petrol station still some way off. The bike literally ran out of petrol on the slip road into the services and we managed to coast to the pumps.

Anyway, we all had a few extra days at home, and I think Huw had to write some kind of report on our adventure to appease the powers above pretending that we'd done the whole thing.

As a post script, this added by Huw Carden:

I remember that the trip along Hadrian's wall ended with us crawling along the platform at Haltwhistle whilst the PTI was on the other side of the train track looking for us!! The final report was an interpretation of what may have happened if we had completed the walk - such fun!

And Now The Pictures To Go With The Story.....