High Lane Logo Walking Weekend 2007
The Friday Walk  -  Pictures
The Saturday Walk  -  Pictures
The Banquet  -  Pictures
Roman Army Presentation
Click for Walking Group in 2007

High Lane U3A Walking Group
Hadrian’s Wall Weekend – June 2007
  The Wall 
The Hadrian Hotel
In flaming June, as most of England struggled to keep ithead above water, a  group of recruits chosen for their fitness and also keen to fight for the glory of Rome were despatched  to Hadrian’s Wall for an induction weekend.  Unfortunately since the barracks at Housesteads Fort were full they were billeted at the Centre of England Hotel at Haltwhistle, close to the line of the wall.

The Friday Walk

Twenty-six brave foot soldiers, led by Centurion Stevius Reynoldius rendezvoud at lunch time on Friday and in the afternoon, with lovely sunshine, set out on a six mile training session from Haltwhistle.   On low ground, occupied by grazing cattle, a couple of the  recruits fell foul of the boggy conditions but gamely continued back to base – needless to say, they were not the first in the showers!!!! However it was observed that they could have been the forerunners to the very expensive mud spa treatment now enjoyed in the 21st century.   After a wholesome three course evening meal all retired to their bunks for a good sleep ready for the main expedition the following day.

Ready to goCrossing Haltwistle BurnMike at Haltwistle BurnBy Haltwistle Burn
Rest StopBy Cawfield QuarryBy Hole GapBy Hole Gap
on Cawfield CragsLooking West from Cawfield CragsAlong Cawfield CragsClimbing Thorny Doors
Climbing Thorny DoorsOn Hollin Crags
The Saturday WalkThe Once Brewed start
Despite the threat of torrential rain the troops were mustered by Centurion Stevius and ready to catch the wall transport (a bus) at 8.17am to take them to Once Brewed, the start of the eight mile march which included a visit to Housesteads Roman Fort and finished at Vindolanda.  One thing is certain, the wall was not built on level ground!! but has many risings and fallings. However that did ensure that the troops stayed fit.  A highlight for one member of the group was visiting a section of the wall used in a Robin Hood film.  Robin successfully fought the Sheriff of Nottingham and his men, after landing on the south coast and  heading for Nottingham, via Hadrians Wall!!  Obviously a compass or GPS would have been a useful birthday present to Robin of Loxley, but it all looked authentic in the film.  After a morning of sun and fresh breezes the English drizzle started in the afternoon, so refreshing cups of tea at Vindolanda  helped to revive the troops before they caught the transport back to the hotel to bathe, use essential oils?, eat grapes?, or put their feet up and then prepare themselves for the evening Roman Banquet.

 On Peel CragsDescending to Cat StairsJohn Speakman & Richard ClarkBy Steel RiggCrag Lough and the scarp of Great Whin SillMilecastle 39By High Shield CragsThe formal poseLooking West (towards Carlisle)Above Crag LoughPlantation above Crag LoughLooking back to Crag LoughOn Hotbank CragsFlowering Ling at Ranishaw GapBy Housestead CragsWall, ditch, and path, approaching HousesteadsFreda, John McCartney, Steve, and Alison at HousesteadsWalter Mason at HousesteadsFreda and WalterPart of Housesteads
The Banquet
At the banquet a wide range of Roman delicacies (food not ladies) were on offer – Panis Glires (stuffed Dormouse),  Patina de Piscis Fricta (fried fish in an egg and curry batter), Pullus Pathicus (chicken breast in caraway and red wine sauce) being just a few of the wonderful offerings.   Replete with good food and muchius wine they reclined gracefully for a Roman Army Recruitment Presentation by Centurion Jefficus Flavius Courtantis.

Hail Caesar
Centurion Jefficus Flavius Courtantis.
Much essential information was obtained from this seasoned soldier and after being told that weekly training would involve a 22 mile route march  carrying 45kg backpack whilst wearing full armour and with leather open sandals on their feet (not Sherpa boots), the initial enthusiasm to help Hadrian began to fade.  The lessons on swift, bloody but effective killing with various weapons revived their spirits but the pay was not good, life expectancy was short and women were not allowed in the barracks, so the general view was NO THANK YOU.

After another good sleep the troops packed their kit and then were led on a gentle stroll round the town of Haltwhistle to learn more about its history.

Lanercost PrioryAfter lunch the main part of the cohort travelled on to Lanercost Priory for a chance to add to their knowledge on monasteries and, sadly, their destruction.  

A BIG thank you to Steve and Anne, and all involved, for arranging such a splendid weekend which was thoroughly enjoyed by all concerned.

Reportia Scribia to the Cohort – Judith Ridgway