Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Satir/Satyr inscribed stone Wheeldale, Goathland

Near Skivick Crag - Wheeldale, at GR 809982 can be found at a small stone cairn a stone laying against the cairn with the words, Satir, or as Tom Scott Burns told me, 'Satyr', which he was informed to be the burial place of a dog of that name and there is also a date which he says is Sept 1848 or 9.

Here's two pictures taken in January 2019.

Satir or Satyr ?
I didn't notice when I looked but apparently to the left of the year date is;  'Sept' - the date looks rather like 1809 to me but I viewed it on a rather dull day 

I've walked within this inscribed stone hundreds of times since my youth and never noticed it.  I looked in the area for nearly an hour until  I was a local farmer feeding his sheep.  I asked him and he immediately took me the small cairn and pointed it out but he could add no further information.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2 Foxes Stone - Danby Head

The 2 Foxes Stone - Danby Head
2 Foxes

I was first told about this stone by Author Tom Scott Burns in 1989. I never got around to visiting it until one wet and windy day this December 2018.  Easy enough to find with his instructions but I could not find  another inscription close by, recorded by T.S.B.   "....and low down to the left - I.Peirson 1796  - is inscribed upon another rock at ground level" .  The ground is extremely steep and pretty overgrown I could not find this stone and at some time within the last several years there had been a cliff fall.  It was raining and unpleasant so I didn't spend a lot of time looking.

This is reached with some difficulty.  From Botton in Danby Dale follow the track past High Farm  it ascends onto the moor on the east side of Danby Head, following the edge of the wood.  As the track descends into the beck there is a gate.  At the west side of the beck look up and there are a few small trees along a broken crag. A very indistinct zig-zag takes you up to the right from where you can traverse to the rock face where this is carved.

Peirsons were a family of Quakers in Danby Dale at one time and it may be a memorial to a hunting accident. Who knows?  Here is a picture of the Peirson Stone,  and the location it can be found, which I was unable to local even after another visit and much longer search.
Photo taken by Jane Ellis and published by permission.  This photo was taken about 1988

Photo taken by Jane Ellis and published by permission.  This photo was taken about 1988

Monday, December 17, 2018

Farndale Cairn

Cairns are becoming increasingly common on the North York Moors over the last 20 years as more people take to the hills.  This is already causing a problem where this habit causes damage to archeological sites such as Tumulus (Bronze age burial mounds) National Park Blog=  https:/deconstructing-mounds/

Examples of well built ones with well placed stones are far less common.  Many are placed where they can be seen from a distance, such as the shoulder of a hill.  But this one is extremely well hidden and I'm not sure it can be seen from any public path or road.  I

Its in Farndale.   Its very well built - the stones are carefully selected and placed so that the cairn is a true cone shape. Someone took a great deal of care in making this a nice cone shaped cairn.   I'd probably guess its a memorial to a favoured dog..Or perhaps an accident?  But who knows?

Sunday, December 9, 2018

'Consumption Walls'

Consumption walls are so called because they are wide - this one is probably around 7ft to 8ft wide, and were made to use up (consume),

the smaller stones gathered from the field, when the process of enclosing land was first commenced.

They aren't too common, and this is the only one I've seen in the North Yorkshire Moors park.  

This specimen is at Danby Dale just south of Botton village at NZ 690031

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Two Trees growing from one.

Its not rare to see one tree growing from the stump of a fallen tree, but here we have two.  One is a Silver Birch and the other is I think a Norway Spruce.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Morse Code used at sea.

Morse code sent by  light was widely used at sea by both the merchant navy and naval ships.  It is little used now and its use has been replaced by VHF.  

A requirement by most merchant ships' deck officers was that they were able to operate signal lamps (normally a hand held light), to communicate at a speed of around 10wpm. Naval ships normally had dedicated signalmen  capable of using CW at at anything between 12wpm - 15 wpm - about the maximum possible speed by which can be read by light.     

Like all radio operators in the Royal Navy we were however required to be able to operate light signalling equipment and I did so occasionally. This normally happened when we were short staffed or I'd gone on the bridge for a break when there happened to be no dedicated signalman present.

Naval ships used the most powerful carbon arc lights (20") and you could signal to the horizon even in strong sunlight. It was also possible to signal well beyond the horizon by flashing the lamp onto a cloud base if it was overcast, or when it was dark.  Other signalling lamps were 10”, like the 20” both mounted on a swivel, and hand held Aldis lights.  Also fitted were mast head signalling lights operated from a morse key from within the bridge or bridge wings. Once switched on to use the source of the light was not then switched on and off but various types of shutters were used being opened and shut by the action of the operating ‘morse’ lever or trigger.

There were  other visual method of using Morse code apart from lights. Using a flag held in the hand and waved 180 degrees to signify a 'dash' and 90 degrees to signify the 'dit'. The ships bell could also be used and in this case two rapid rings were a dash, and one ring was a dit. Both these methods needed good spacing between letters and rhythm. Neither these two methods of signalling were used when I was at sea in the 1960’s and 70’s.  (Semaphore is not the same as cw as it is the position of the arms which directly indicate the individual letters.)

It was quite common to signal merchant ships to ask them; "Where bound and from?", if you were in some big lonely ocean. (A report of the ship and it's signalling ability were sometimes sent to Lloyds of London) Rarely would a merchant ship initiate communications. Light signalling was used in the Royal Navy for communicating manoeuvres such as turns/directions and so on. It was also used when ships were at anchor, approaching or within harbours, or  shore parties etc.  It was a quick & simple method of communications directly between ship's bridges and also had the advantage of being more secure, in that it was difficult to intercept.

Like the different procedures used by the military, commercial and amateur users of radio communications there were also some procedural differences between merchant ships and naval ships. 

I'm not aware that there were any discernible differences in operator ability to slip between using visual or sound CW to read/understand what was being sent other than the limitations imposed by the maximum speed achievable by light over morse sent by radio. 
I never met a wireless/radio operator or who couldn’t read CW sent by light and all the dedicated signalmen could read CW sent at  14wpm or less by sound!!  As a test, the few members of my radio club who can and do CW, could also read my CW sent by torch - the first time most of them had ever done so. The few merchant ship deck officers I knew could also read CW sent by sound, provided it was sent slow enough. 

Practical differences in use? You can't blink much or look away using lights so either a good memory or someone to write for you was a good requirement, or you'd read out what was being sent so the Officer Of the Watch could hear it as sent.  Bad weather also made light signalling difficult for obvious reasons.

As an aside I was once in a three car journey with a group of radio operators, long before mobile/cell phones were invented and we could and did signal, using ordinary torches, driving directions to the other cars we were with whilst the car was being driven. (it was on quiet country roads in Hampshire England!!!).

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Wrong way waterfall 2018

Filmed on the 19th March 2018.  Pretty uncommon.  Last time I saw this was earlier this year during the 'beast from the east', but not as spectacular as this which was the result of heavier earlier rainfall, then a return to strong northerly winds and below freezing conditions.  The last year this happened was 2010.  Location is below Bottom House Farm, between  Robin Hood's Bay and Hawsker Bottoms.