On Sunday March 6th another intrepid bunch of Leeds University ringers set out on what will go down in history as The Second Annual LUSCR Silly Hat Walk. Faced with the appealing prospect of clambering up onto the mountainous Ilkley Moor and completing a ten-mile walk through snowdrifts and suspicious smelling puddles, many members came up with passable excuses and stayed away. Yet there were still nine of us committed enough to catch an early morning bus to Addingham in an attempt to raise funds to replace our bell wheels at St. Matthias Church in Burley.
It took approximately two hours to reach the top of the moor; I spent most of this time grumbling and stumbling along at the back. Huge amounts of respect are due to the rest of the team for managing to persuade me I did not want to go home and that I was actually having fun (I suspect brainwashing). The considerable lack of taxis in such quiet, hilly fields also added to my resolve to stay.
After completing the assent and having a very well earned rest we scrambled onto the top of the moor. My mood changed instantly as the ground flattened and beautiful views appeared in every direction. Our silly hats soon became indispensable as what had been a cooling breeze on the way up developed into a rather biting wind. After consulting the map we set of towards Ilkley and the promised pub lunch.
Surprisingly many walkers seemed quite confused at the sight of a collection of students prancing about in strange hats. We received several wary glances, especially from a passing group of elderly ladies. One mother pointed us out to her child as if we were mentally ill and out on day release. After explaining that it was all in the name of fundraising, however, most people decided to wish us well instead.
We continued walking for several hours on the top of the moor. Highlights of this part include me losing my shoe in a bog and several people disappearing up to their knees in puddles. Somehow Sam (our Treasurer) managed to stay spotless despite walking in new jeans and slip-on shoes. I, meanwhile, fell over the grand total of seven and a half times.
The climax of the walk came at approximately three p.m. as we came to the top of the rise and saw the Cow and Calf Inn beneath us. We had finally returned to civilisation. After eating the biggest and tastiest lunch in existence we ambled slowly down the hill to catch the bus back to Leeds.
Even though I spent most of the day either grumbling or falling over I still enjoyed myself and would (probably) do it again. Although the sponsorship money is still coming in it looks likely that we have raised over £200 to go towards replacing the wheels.
LUSCR Fundraising Officer