Always keep an eye on the neighbours – especially if you lend them something. They don’t always look after it the way you would and that’s why I went over to Mallerstang this week. In the 1974 political reshuffle the newly formed Cumbria district took over the administration of this beautiful bit of Yorkshire between the Moorcock Inn at Garsdale leading up and beyond Kirkby Stephen where the young river Eden begins its journey towards the sea. I’d read that a bit of a fuss had been kicked up about the railway people erecting a radio mast (with more planned along the dale) and spoiling the scenery, so I thought I’d take a peek. Judge for yourselves from my photo whether it’s an eyesore. I’m not sure if the mast is any worse than the railway itself, constructed when the Victorians bludgeoned their way through the countryside without a care for scenic consequences. Network Rail say the masts are necessary for driver radio links which will help improve services and develop the line for new traffic. I took this opportunity to revisit the atmospheric Pendragon Castle and the tiny church at Outhgill before heading over the moor towards Ravenstonedale and down beside the Howgills to Sedbergh. This wet and dreary summer did at least create some of that dramatic changing light to enhance the views as the day wore on, but it would have been pleasant just for once to sit out and enjoy some sunshine.

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  1. Paul Booth

    Definitely an eyesore. What’s wrong with bouncing their driver communications off a sattelite. Yes some parts of the countryside would be better without roads and railways that have long been established. Equally do power cables have to go overland supported by masts. The Russia/Black Sea oil pipe line built by BP went underground for example.


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