Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 89 – Hull To Withernsea – 11 April 2019

Chilly this morning, the car is frozen over as I get the 05:00 bus to Manchester. However, an early start means I get to Hull by 08:45 and can set straight off on the final leg of this coast to coast (or at least I hope I will manage to get the walk done today, Its a long stretch).

Philip Larkin is waiting for me at the station.

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How’s that, a modern statue that looks like the person it is meant to depict, quite different from the Ernie Wise one at Morley

And don’t even get me started on the proposed Victoria Wood one.

Hull is quiet, and this shows the buildings off to their advantage. I sense a spirit of civic pride here which does not seem to exist in Manchester. Onthe way back I notice an impressive fountain in Gardens that remind me how Piccadilly could look, and I am not one who hankers back to the guano soaked mess it used to be in the 1960s.

It’s a positive pleasure walking through the almost deserted town, and I come to cross the River Hull at a striking swing bridge, reminding me of Hull’s maritime history.

After all those treats in the town, it is a rather long slog down along the docks road populated with seedy hotels and takeaways, passing the prison and busy traffic until I turn off the main road to join the old Hull to Withernsea rail track which is my route for the next few hours. It is easy going, and the old stations have been turned into houses, with many keeping the platforms to maintain the appearance of a train line.

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I rested here for a while to take on water, eat my bananas and remove a pesky pebble which had lodged itself in my boot. The interesting thing about this station is how long the platform is on the right hand side, I would say it could have accomodated a 13 carriage train with ease. Why such a long platform was built on holiday makers line (the railway was made to attract people to the small coastal village of Withernsea). This station was at Ottringham, approximately the half way point, which in 1823 had a population of 637. They could have all been accomodated in a train stopping at the station.

Ottringham’s other claim to fame is that during WWII it housed a jamming station to block German propaganda broadcasts.

The weather, which had been overcast now improved, as the sun broke through the clouds. It was still chilly, but walking kept me warm, and more importantly I wasn’t overheating, ideal walking weather infact.

The landscape remained flat, and the path kept straight ahead.

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Just around here I had a chat with a man walking his dog, who asked me about this keystone in a bridge a little further up

I wouldn’t have noticed it had he not pointed it out to me, however I can’t tell you anything about who KLD was in 1847. It is not a rail bridge as it was parallel to the line, and predates it, that is all I know.

After a long trek along the line, I left the line near Halsham, and the rest of the walk, approximately 6 miles was along B roads. They were quite busy, and it was a surprise after my last few days’ walking in relative isloation to have to move over for traffic.

Still the rapeseed was out. Browning probably never saw fields of rape, but it is now a sign of spring, and the mustard yellow flowers do inspire me to Home Thoughts from Abroad, which is my favourite poem, about my favourite time of the year.

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Oh, to be in England,
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England – now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows –
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge –
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower,
– Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

And he wrote that in an Italian spring, hence the last line. Spring in England is magnificent,  red admiral butterflies fluttered around me as I walked.

Three miles out of Withernsea, I passed a water tower.

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And then in the distance I could see the town. At this point, the countryside decided to start rolling, and I had a few small hills to climb up and down, probably the first I have encountered since Leeds, as I was approaching 17 miles walking, it was slightly tiring, still, I soldiered on and then came by surprise on the Greenwich Meridian.

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I didn’t think it saw England again after leaving Norfolk. Adjusting myself to the change in gravitational field and time zone, I moved on and the lighthouse in Withernsea made me think that it would be  Southwoldy type place, twee and English.

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Unfortunately I was disappointed, it is a little run down. Nevertheless on entering the main street I rushed down to the beach and to the sea to complete my coast to coast trek, really chuffed I had achieved it, and took pictures to prove it, including a selfie.

At least the bus service back was reliable and regular. A record breaking 20 miles covered today , giving a total of 192 for my coast to coast trek ( I did not follow a particularly straight route!)

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Copyright 2019 Allan Russell

 

 

 

 

 

Author: allanprussell

Big houses in the Heatons and others that take my interest.

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