27 December 2017

Hideout

Boxing Day and along the moorland track there are people burning off Christmas calories. They are about to turn left and head over Brown Hill back to the Redmires reservoirs. But I am carrying on all the way to a remote moorland pool that I previously named Oaking Clough Reservoir. This name does not exist on any maps. I chose it because there is a small cluster of windswept trees  nearby called Oaking Clough Plantation. My rather unimaginative label is beginning to take hold - gradually being absorbed into the geographical lexicon.
It's a place I have been to several times before. There's an abandoned building there which has two entrances and in each of the separate rooms there is a fireplace. Some visitors have suggested it was a small grouse shooters' cabin but my investigations lead me to the conclusion that the building was erected by a local  water board over a hundred years back. It overlooks the reservoir and the associated weir. I think it provided temporary accommodation for water board workers.

It is quite dry in the old building even though some roof slates are missing, It's pretty sturdy which it needed to be given its location high on the moors west of Sheffield. This might sound crazy but I have often thought of spending a couple of days there. 
I guess it's just a fantasy... I would be curled up in my sleeping bag as the wind howled about the place and deep in the middle of the night I would hear the padding of a beast. An escaped  panther or a puma. My heart would be racing. It would sniff the air in the doorway and I would see its silhouette against starlight. It would bed down in the other room and in the morning it would be gone save for its unmistakable  footprints in the mud.

From the old building at Oaking Clough Reservoir I zoomed in on the highest residential building within the City of Sheffield's boundaries - Stanedge Lodge. It is situated at the end of a long private track and was built as a shooting lodge for wealthy grouse shooting parties. No one I know has ever been there. I would love to see inside it.
I headed homewards - glad I had brought my gloves but wishing I had remembered my thermal hat. My cheeks were reddened by an unforgiving Arctic wind. The gloom of dusk was descending and as I looked back along the track I thought I saw the outline of a beast - black and feline moving stealthily across the rough moorland, seeking shelter.

27 comments:

  1. We may venture to Prestatyn beach to tip toe through the plastic bottles and condoms

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  2. You have a rather vivid imagination as far as large beasts go.

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    1. At least it was a big cat at the doorway and not Derek Faulkner!

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  3. There was a new Zealand blogger who used to stay in similar huts quite often when he did overnight hikes. I think it would be an adventure, especially if you saw the feline....

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    1. I could live there and grow cabbages right outside my door.

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  4. Does seem rather a great place to stay overnight, something I'd certainly consider in the Spring.

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    1. I hope you don't snore Derek!

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  5. How intriguing! You should write a book about life in the abandoned building, as it used to be and as it is now, mixing the past and the present.
    Hopefully, nobody buys it and turns it into a "glamping" location.
    Fantastic light, by the way. We've had two sunny days here, and now we're back to solid grey, of the kind you know won't shift for a while.

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    1. Vehicular access would be very difficult and besides the reservoir and its environs are governed by The Yorkshire Water Authority so I can't see any glamping happening here.

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    2. ...the German librarian and her nameless sister had to admit that they were totally lost. Why had Yorkshire Pudding sent them up here anyway? The fool!

      Mist was falling along with the darkness of a moonless night and the nameless sister had sprained her ankle crossing over a slippery stile. It dawned on them simultaneously that they would have to spend the night in the old waterboard building.

      "I'm cold," grumbled the nameless sister.

      Meike made a pile of sticks in the fireplace. She rooted in her rucksack to find her matches which she always kept with her Marlboro cigarettes and her pipe tobacco.

      Soon a little fire was blazing in the pitch darkness of that moorland night. Huddled together they fell into a fitful slumber often disturbed by cold wind whistling down the chimney.

      It must have been around 3am that they both sat up startled for there was something outside, something prowling and predatory.

      "I'm scared Meike!" whispered the nameless sister. She was trembling with fright.

      Just then a figure appeared in the doorway...

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  6. The Librarian makes a valid suggestion though. Research the place, perhaps get some old photographs from the water company and at least write a nice blog with your findings.

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    1. Hey! I'm not your slave Derek. Besides, previous research threw up very little indeed. That's why I had to invent a name for the little reservoir.

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  7. It looks a bit bleak for my liking. Bitterly cold outside today.

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    1. Ye southern softie! A bit o cowd ne'er did t'folk any 'arm.

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  8. I think you should definitely do an overnighter---its dry ---why not. I always think its better to have no regrets in life and you've thought about it a lot. I wouldn't advertise the date you are doing it too much in case some cheeky friend decides to dress up like the hound of the baskerville .Jean/Winnipeg

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement Jean. Now I am starting to feel I must make a bridge from my imaginings into reality.

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  9. I think you should definitely camp there overnight. Think of the writing you could do in such a location!

    Bitter cold sweeping across the East coast of the USA this week. We might even have some snow and ice this weekend! I love it. Especially since I don't have to go out in it!

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    1. Well I hope you survive the wintry spell. Wrap up warm young lady.

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  10. If you had a good hiking companion dog, staying a couple of days in an abandoned house would be lots easier.

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    1. I could take a cuddly toy instead of a real dog. Would that do the job Jan?

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  11. good title. Long abandoned buildings are a good source for stories.

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    1. "Red and the Werewolf"... "Red and the Creature from the Moors"... "Red and the Blonde Bombshell from Edmonton...

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  12. It appears you walked off some of that delicious Christmas fare, Yorkie. :)

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    1. I need to walk about 150 miles to burn off all those calories.

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  13. After four straight days of cleaning, cooking, entertaining and lack of sleep, I feel like overnighting alone there myself! Or perhaps someplace closer to where I live, with coyotes instead of a puma :D

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    1. You can come and share the hideout with me Jenny. I promise to be gentlemanly and will not ply you with Irish whiskey from my hip flask. We can sing old Nova Scotian fishing songs deep into the night.

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