Archive for Newtondale

Just like the good old days…

Posted in Snow, Uncategorized, Weather, Yorkshire with tags , , , , , on January 5, 2010 by ayrshiretiger

The recent wintry weather has brought back memories of those proper winters we used to get in the seventies. Of course 1947 and 1963 were really bad winters but even I am not old enough to remember them! The really memorable one for me was 1979 when I was on a Geography A Level field trip to Newtondale on the North York Moors with about a dozen sixth formers from Hornsea School along with our teachers Mr LeVine and Mr Elmes.

Now my recollection is a little hazy now thirty years on but it was mid February and we were staying at Raper’s Farm (Grid Ref SE 823938) which at that time was run as an outdoor centre. I was up there last year and it now looks like it has been converted back to a residential property.

Raper's Farm, Newtondale as it is now

Raper's Farm, Newtondale as it is now

Anyway, we were there for a week and did various things that A Level Geography students were meant to do. However towards the end of the week it started to snow as we were doing a shopping survey in Pickering. Fortunately we made it back to the field centre and then finished up being unable to get the minibus back out on the forestry roads that were the only access. So we just sat it out and finished up staying there for an extra three or four days during which time we had to get supplies brought out to us via the North York Moors Steam Railway (except it was a diesel they used!).

Picking up supplies

Picking up supplies

We also spent time wandering over to the Hole of Horcum which was a fair hike down into the bottom of Newtondale and back up the other side.

Doing fieldwork in the Hole of Horcum

Doing fieldwork in the Hole of Horcum

And before anyone comments on the photos being in black and white I was doing O Level Photography at the time and doing my own developing and printing!

We also improvised with large empty plastic coke (the fuel, not the drink!) bags to slide down the forestry tracks before we got a bollocking from a local farmer for making the road into a version of the Cresta Run! After that we used the slopes of Levisham Moor.

When I look back I do wonder what the procedure would be if the same thing happened today – for starters I suspect the trip would not be run in February in the first place but if it was we would probably have been confined to the field centre for fear of coming to any harm in the snow!

A weather chart leading up to that snow event and some more photos can be found at:

The Weather Outlook 1979 Part 1
The Weather Outlook 1979 Part 2
The Weather Outlook 1979 Part 3

I know I’m going to regret this but for your amusement I’m also publishing a photo of our sixth form group when we left school in 1980. Now that’s when I had hair! Happy days!

Hornsea School Upper 6th 1980

Hornsea School Upper 6th 1980

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