Sunday, 26 July 2009

Ribblehead in the rain!

It's been a hugely busy weekend, with work starting on alterations to the Broughton Hall studios on Saturday morning, me at Ribblehead and Julian at Richmond Swimming Pool on Sunday. Saturday was the better day weather wise; in fact Sunday was pretty appalling really, as we had to walk the length of the Ribblehead viaduct and conduct several interviews in the pouring rain. It might not sound very far - crossing Yorkshire's most famous viaduct - but the total distance was around two miles.

I wasn't particularly suitably dressed, having put on jeans, waxed jacket and wide-brimmed leather hat, but my companions on the walk, Tom Lister (Carl King on Emmerdale) and ITV weather man Jon Mitchell had obviously put more thought into their attire. Jon in particular was dressed in waterproofs from head to toe, I guess having had inside information! Another little secret I can let you into is that Jon has a personalised, weather-related number plate - I wonder if you can guess what it includes?!
Jon Mitchell (left above) and Tom Lister (right)

I met up with Tony Doveston of the Yorkshire air Ambulance, who told me - despite the lousy weather conditions - he was hoping the helicopter would fly in for the event - and it made it! The cloud base was obviously very low and there was driving rain, but the aircraft flew in virtually on time. We reckon somewhere approaching 4,000 people turned up to take part in what will be the final chance to walk over the viaduct for many years, which was simply staggering. Money raised from the event will benefit (amongst others) the Cave Rescue Organisation, the Air Ambulance and the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Railway. Other people I met on the day included old friends Keith and Linda, who reminded me the last time I met up with them was around seven years ago at Pateley Show, Ruth Annison of the Wensleydale Railway, and lots of the guys from Appleby Rotary who were doing a fantastic job of marshaling traffic. I was delighted to have been invited along for the day, and I must thank Keith Lumley of Network Rail for organising my visit. I'll find out how Julian got on in the warmth of Richmond Pool in the morning!

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