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The Albums
The Albums
Price: £20.08

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And what a brilliant collection it is, 28 Jun. 2017
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This review is from: The Albums (Audio CD)
Harvey Ellison, one of my friends from Secondary School who was a member of the Glitter Band passed away earlier this year and I had always followed his career with interest. Therefore, as a tribute more than anything else, I decided to purchase this box set of the 4 albums that the band produced. And what a brilliant collection it is. I had forgotten how good the band actually were back in the mid 70s.

There are some great harmonies on the songs and some superb guitar and saxophone playing on many of the tracks. We do not hear enough of the band on the radio (mainly due to the GG connection) but as one of the original band members said to me recently when we were talking about my friend Harvey, "The Music has done no wrong" and it deserves to be more widely heard than it is.

These four albums are great, tracking the band's career throughout the 70s. Long live Rock 'n Roll.
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There is No Map in Hell: The Record-Breaking Run Across the Lake District Fells
There is No Map in Hell: The Record-Breaking Run Across the Lake District Fells
by Steve Birkinshaw
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.38

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing read of a superhuman achievement, 23 May 2017
In 1986, the legendary fell runner Joss Naylor became the first person to complete a continuous circuit of all 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District, covering a staggering distance of over 300 miles – plus many thousands of metres of ascent – in only seven days and one hour.
Those of us in the know thought that this record would never be beaten. It is the ultimate British ultramarathon. The person taking on this superhuman challenge would have to be willing to push harder and suffer more than ever before. There is no Map in Hell tells the story of a man willing to do just that.

In 2014, Steve Birkinshaw made an attempt at setting a new record. With a background of nearly forty years of running elite orienteering races and extreme-distance fell running over the toughest terrain, if he couldn’t do it, surely no one could. But the Wainwrights challenge is in a different league: aspirants need to complete the equivalent of two marathons and over 5,000 metres of ascent every day for a week.

With a foreword by Joss Naylor, There is no Map in Hell recounts Steve Birkinshaw’s preparation, training and mile-by-mile experience of the extraordinary and sometimes hellish demands he made of his mind and body, and the physiological aftermath of such a feat. His deep love of the fells, phenomenal strength and tenacity are awe inspiring, and testimony to athletes and onlookers alike that ‘in order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd’.

The book starts with details of his early life, his orienteering competitions as a youth and then moving onto his fellrunning exploits There are details of his first completion of the Bob Graham Round (42 peaks and 66 miles of running in just over 17 hours) and then moved onto his preparation for the attempt on the 214 Wainwright fells.

The third part of the book takes the reader on a day by day journey of the run itself, the highs and lows, the pleasure and the pain, the times Steve nearly decided to abandon the attempt and the final exhilaration of breaking Joss Naylor’s record to complete the 214 fells in six days, thirteen hours and one minute. It is remarkable to see the number of fells completed each day – 43 fells in the first 24 hours, followed by 29 the next day over the toughest section of the Scafell and Coniston ranges, two days of 35 fells, 26 on the fifth day and 25 on the sixth with a final burst of 21 fells in the final 13 hours on day seven.

The book concludes with the aftermath of the run, coping with the physical and mental impact of what had been achieved, the publicity involved and the fundraising talks for Multiple Sclerosis. In the centre of the book as well as photographs of his early career and of the run itself there is a very good map of the Lake District with each day’s route shown in seven different colours which I found most interesting to see the intricacies of how Steve had planned to tackle all the fells.

Having watched and marshalled on many fell races in the Lake District, supported on Bob Graham Round attempts and walked these fells over the last 45 years I found this to be a most fascinating read. Any lover of the Lake District or those from the running fraternity will, I am sure, find it to be equally absorbing.


Steadfast: My Story
Steadfast: My Story
by Lizzie Armitstead
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.31

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book by a great athlete, 1 May 2017
This review is from: Steadfast: My Story (Hardcover)
This weekend I received and read this book at the same time that Lizzie was storming to victory in the Women’s race on the Tour de Yorkshire. And what an absolutely fascinating and absorbing read it is; the sort of book that once started is nigh on impossible to put back down.

If 1992 was the Queen’s Annus horribilis, then most of 2016 was Lizzie’s. Just days before the Rio Olympics she was in Switzerland sitting before three arbitrators at the Court of Arbitration for Sport defending herself following the suspension two weeks previously on 11 July when she had been suspended by the UK Anti-Doping authority for receiving three strikes within the Whereabouts system (a system that monitor’s an athlete’s availability for random anti-drugs testing) and this court would decide if the three “strikes” she had stood or not. This decision was one that could totally affect her future career in cycling.

As it turned out, one of those strikes was proved to be unsupported; one of the arbitrators said, “This should never have come to court; you are wasting everyone’s time” and the case was thrown out. This enabled Lizzie to fly to Rio where her parents were already waiting to compete in the Women’s Road Race but even as she prepared to do so, the story broke in the UK press and rather than this helping, the story was misreported over and over again as “three missed tests” rather than the actual facts of one missed test, one filing failure and one alleged missed test which was the one that was overruled earlier that week in Lausanne.

This book covers these events in detail but also is very frank and shows that Lizzie is a passionate ambassador of clean sport, wants to inspire young athletes by her dedication and example and the amount of hard work she has put into her training and racing over the years which led to her becoming an Olympic Silver medalist in 2012, Commonwealth Gold medalist in 2014 and Women’s World Champion in 2015.

The book follows her life from a youngster at school at The Whartons in Otley and then at Prince Henry’s where at the age of fifteen a “British Cycling Talent Team” came and carried out a series of tests on pupils which eventually after more tests at Bradford and Horsforth led to Lizzie being chosen to join the British Cycling squad. The book goes on to follow her over the next decade progressing up the ranks, winning European and World Cup medals travelling the world participating in the sport that she loves.

It deals with the support she has had from her Mum and Dad, Carol and John, her sister Kate and brother Nick and her grandparents Ray and Marjorie plus the various trainers she has had over the years and in particular Phil West, her first coach. It covers the highs and lows of the sport, fabulous victories but also crashes she has had to put up with over the years. Finally, it covers probably the happiest moment of her life so far meeting the Irish cyclist Phil Deignan, becoming engaged and finally marrying him in September 2016 at the URC Church in Otley where her parents had married some thirty-six years before.

I found this a fascinating read and for anyone from Yorkshire this is a book about our local heroine which I am sure others will find equally as interesting.


Walking in the North Pennines: 50 Walks in England's Remotest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (British Walking Guides)
Walking in the North Pennines: 50 Walks in England's Remotest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (British Walking Guides)
by Paddy Dillon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.70

5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous set of walks in one of the North of England's more remote areas., 15 Mar. 2017
Paddy Dillon, whose walking guide to Malta I previously reviewed, has just produced a new book much closer to home and covering an area where many people from West and North Yorkshire take either day visits or holidays. This is the area of the Durham Dales and parts of Cumbria and Northumberland. It covers the area from the North Yorkshire boundary in the south to the A69 Newcastle to Carlisle highway in the north and stretches from Barnard Castle and Consett in the East to Brampton and Penrith in the west. This area contains some magnificent walking country within these boundaries.

Paddy has researched and written about 50 walks in this area, 44 of which are circular and 6 are linear but for these he includes details of local transport back to the starting point. The longest of the walks is 15 miles and the shortest 5½ miles so there is something to suit all capabilities.
Included are moorland walks, walks around the river valleys of the rivers Tees, Wear and South Tyne and also some high level walking around Cold Fell, Cross Fell and Mickle Fell. There is also a walk which includes a visit to the Tan Hill Inn, the highest public house in England.

As well as the walks themselves, Paddy has included details about Geology, Landscape, Mining, Weather, Plants and Wildlife, Access to the countryside, Travel details about both getting to and getting around the North Pennines, Tourist Information and visitor centres, Maps and, if needed, what to do in an emergency in this area. The book is divided into 13 sub-areas with approximately four walks from each of these.
A detailed map accompanies the text for each the walks and the book is also punctuated with over 80 full colour photographs of landscapes and places encountered on route.

I have completed a number of these walks over the years and note that there have been some recent access changes which is always very useful for the walker but there are many walks in the book that I have not done in the past and which I look forward to completing over the next few months and years.

It is a book I would recommend as it contains something for both the seasoned walker and also the newer walker embarking on this highly pleasurable pastime.


The Snowdonia Way: A Walking Route Through Snowdonia from Machynlleth to Conwy (British Long Distance)
The Snowdonia Way: A Walking Route Through Snowdonia from Machynlleth to Conwy (British Long Distance)
by Alex Kendall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous new walk through Snowdonia., 15 Mar. 2017
Snowdonia holds a special place in my heart as it was here where I carried out my Mountain Leadership training course and assessment and also an intermediate rock climbing course back in the 1970s.

Only two hours on the motorway (except at bank holidays) from my home in Wharfedale and one can be in the middle of the Snowdonia National Park making it a popular venue for either a short break or a week’s holiday.

This new book from Cicerone takes the walker from Machynlleth at the southern end of the National Park to Conwy on the coast in the north and passes through some magnificent scenery on the way. The Snowdonia Way has been devised by Alex Kendall who is a mountain leader specialising in supervising Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions. The book contains two routes, a lower level route of 97 miles with 17,000 feet of ascent and a more mountainous route of 122 miles with just short of 40,000 feet of climbing.

The lower level route can be completed in either 6 or 8 days – the longer period by splitting two of the sections into two days rather than one – whilst the mountainous route is a nine day expedition. Additionally the two routes can be amalgamated at a number of points so if for example the walker wants to ascend either Snowdon, the Glyders or the Carnedds they can revert from the low-level route to the more mountainous one and add an additional day or two to their itinerary.

In addition to the two routes which both include very detailed descriptions and maps, there are also sections in the introduction about details of the best time of year when to undertake the walks and also how to get to and from the start and finish points, geology, history, landscape, maps to use, plants and wildlife, the Welsh language, what equipment to take and a section on safety. There are also four appendices on accommodation, facilities available on route such as shops, cafes, campsites, buses, trains etc., useful contacts and further reading about the Snowdonia National Park, place names and the mountains themselves.

This looks a superb walk and one that any seasoned walker should put on their “bucket list” of things to do.


Walking on the Costa Blanca (Cicerone Guides)
Walking on the Costa Blanca (Cicerone Guides)
by Terry Fletcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walks in the sun by the former editor of Dalesman and Cumbria magazines, 31 Jan. 2017
Many people these days, particularly those of retirement age, are choosing to spend some time each winter in warmer climes. And even those going to the Iberian Peninsula for a week do not necessarily want to spend all day sitting by the pool sipping their Spritzers and Pina Colladas.

So what else do you do? Well there are the ancient ruins often to explore from the Greek or Roman Empire occupations in many of these Mediterranean coasts but for those who like exploring there are also many walks in these areas.

The latest book for travellers is “Walking on the Costa Blanca” by Terry Fletcher. Beyond the high rises of the coastal hotels lies a breathtaking world of accessible rocky mountains and gleaming limestone pinnacles. This book describes 50 circular walks and scrambles in these mountains from the three resorts of Alicante, Benidorm and Calp. These range from gentle strolls to much more demanding days with steep climbs. The walks vary in length from 3km (2 miles) to 20km (12.5 miles). Something, therefore, for everyone whatever their age or abilities.

There is also information on the geology, wildlife and history of the areas and also planning details on where to go, where to stay and what equipment to take on the walks. All the walks include a simple map of the route, start/finish points, distance, grade of walk (Easy / Moderate / Strenuous), anticipated walking time, type of terrain encountered, height gained, which other maps to use, car parking or transport details and other relevant notes.

The author Terry Fletcher is possibly best known for his time as editor of The Countryman, Cumbria and Lake District Magazine and Dalesman. He has visited this part of Spain and walked and climbed along the mountains of the Costa Blanca for over 30 years giving him an intimate knowledge of the area.

This pocket sized guide is published by Cicerone, is in full colour throughout including a number of superb photographs for each walk and contains 224 pages detailing these 50 walks and also useful information including a glossary of walking terms from Spanish and Valenciano into English.

A lovely walking guide that will encourage travellers to this area of Spain to look beyond the beaches and bars and venture into the hinterland of the Costa Brava.


The Coast to Coast Walk: St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay (Cicerone)
The Coast to Coast Walk: St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay (Cicerone)
by Terry Marsh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.15

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most up to date Coast to Coast Guide, 31 Jan. 2017
It is now 45 years since Alfred Wainwright devised and wrote his guidebook of the Coast to Coast walk. By this time in 1972 he was well known for his seven Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells and decided to create his own long distance walk that linked the two coastlines of England. Starting at St Bees Head on the Cumberland coast and finishing at Robin Hoods Bay on the Yorkshire coast, this walk was a masterpiece of inspiration and a touch of genius taking the walker through three major National Parks – The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to link the two chosen ends by a more satisfying route.

Over the years, this walk has been completed by thousands, if not millions of walkers and in a recent international poll of long distance walks was voted the second best walk in the world, only being pipped by a walk on the South Island of New Zealand.

Throughout the last forty-five years, minor changes to Wainwright’s original route have been made either on grounds of environmental sustainability for example over Nine Standards Rigg, or those made available as a result of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Terry Marsh, the author of this new guide, has many walking books to his name, mainly in Cumbria, The Lake District and The Yorkshire Dales. He wrote his first guide to this walk in 1993, a year before Chris Jesty revised Wainwright’s original guide for Frances Lincoln, the publishers of the Wainwright series. Now, twenty-four years later, Terry has brought this up to date with a number of changes. The most striking of these is the avoidance of much of the road walking in the Vale of Mowbray and a small detour off-route to Osmotherley to give a comfortable 13-day itinerary for the walker with an average of 14 miles per day. Accompanying the book itself which contains a step by step guide each day, is a 98-page route map booklet on a scale of 1:25,000, the scale to be found these days for all Explorer maps.

The route guide is clear and concise and traverses the walk from West to East which is the most common way of completing the Coast to Coast Walk. Some people I know prefer to walk in the opposite direction in order to finish with the Lake District section last. However, most travel West to East in order to have the prevailing winds behind them. For those travelling in “the opposite direction” Terry has included a couple of pages at the end of each stage with the East to West route annotated.

As well as the 187 pages of route descriptions (1 page for each mile) the guidebook also contains sections on Planning your walk, Planning day by day, All about the region (Geography and geology, Wildlife and plants, History and pre-history), Useful contacts, Accommodation along the route and Further reading (Books about the areas through which the route passes).

The book and route map booklet are well protected in a waterproof cover as well as the books themselves having a waterproof cover, a necessity considering the fickle North of England weather encountered on this walk.

This is the most up to date guide of the Coast to Coast walk, and well worth investing in by anyone planning to walk the route over the next year or two.


Walking on Malta (Cicerone Walking Guides)
Walking on Malta (Cicerone Walking Guides)
by Paddy Dillon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.75

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for anyone holidaying in Malta or Gozo, 31 Jan. 2017
Last year nearly 40,000 passengers flew from Leeds Bradford International Airport to Malta making it one of the top twenty destinations from West and North Yorkshire for holidaymakers. And whilst most of these will have gone for the sun and the sea, an increasing number go there in the spring and autumn to go walking when the temperatures are ideal in the low to mid-twenties for this type of activity.

I received this book from Cicerone a week or so before we headed off to Malta in October and found it very useful as we undertook two of the thirty three walks whilst we were there. Malta is often classed as Great Britain with the sun as it was a British colony for over 160 years from 1800 to 1964 when it became independent but still retains its membership of the Commonwealth to this day. As a consequence virtually everyone in Malta speaks good English, the road signs are all in English and all transport drives on the left hand side of the road.

Of the thirty three walks in the book, twenty four are on Malta itself, eight are on Gozo the neighbouring island to the north of Malta and one on the smaller island of Comino situated between Malta and Gozo. Eight of the walks are circular with the remainder being linear but in the book Paddy Dillon, who has over seventy walking books to his credit, has included three pages about the public transport system and how easy it is to get from one village or town to another using the local services making it easy to complete the walk and then to return to either the starting point or back to one’s accommodation.

There are also sections about Access, Accommodation, Geology, History, Language, Maps to use, Money, Religion, Weather, Wildlife, plus details about the Ramblers Association of Malta which has now been in existence for just over a decade and who we noticed organise a couple of guided walks each week on the island.

The two walks that we undertook whilst we were in Malta were very clear to follow, highly descriptive of places to see on route and where food and drink is available. This is the same for all of the walks in the book and each one is accompanied by an easy to follow sketch map of the walk. At the end of the book there are four appendixes – Route Summary Table, Useful Contacts, A History of Malta and a Topographical Glossary of Place Names.

The walks range from short two mile walks to a full day’s walk of 11¾ miles with every distance in between. In the Gozo section of eight walks, six of these can be joined together to form a full circumnavigation of the coastline of the island. By joining two of these together each day for a walk of about twelve miles, the whole island can be walked over three days. Likewise the walk on Comino is a five mile circuit of the island that can be completed in a morning or afternoon.

This is a book well worth taking on holiday to Malta as it provides opportunities to see and explore parts of the island that would otherwise be missed as well as giving much additional information about various aspects of island life there.


Mountain Walking in Snowdonia: 40 of the Finest Walks in Snowdonia (Cicerone Guides)
Mountain Walking in Snowdonia: 40 of the Finest Walks in Snowdonia (Cicerone Guides)
by Terry Fletcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book by the former editor of Cumbria and Dalesman Magazines, 31 Jan. 2017
When this new publication from Cicerone Books arrived and I started reading it, it transported me back forty years to the mid 70s when I attended my Mountain Leadership Training and Evaluation Courses at the Plas y Brenin Outdoor Centre near Capel Curig and also to Scout camps I had organised and led at Bala some forty eight miles further south.

Many of the northern areas in the book – the Carneddau, the Glyderau, Snowdon and its satellites, the Eifioneed and the Moelwyns were visited during my Mountain Leadership Training Board weeks in 1975 as training exercises and during the assessment week the following year, whilst the Rhinogs was the area where I took part in the Karrimor Mountain Marathon in 1979. Walks around Bala were completed during the Scout camp there in 1978 with the 9th Airedale Scouts.

The book has been compiled by Terry Fletcher, best known as the former editor of Dalesman and Cumbria magazines, who has been walking and climbing in these parts of Wales for over 50 years. The book is divided into nine sections, with mostly 4 or 5 walks in each section (two smaller sections have 2 walks each whilst the Glyderau has 7 walks) with the 40 walks ranging from 3 miles and 230 feet of climbing up to 12½ miles with 3350 feet of climbing and all distances and ascents in between.

The book concludes with a two day walk over the fifteen Welsh 3000s, covering 31 miles and 13,000 feet of climbing which Terry describes as “one of the most demanding challenges of British walking”.

Each walk has a detailed map of the route to be undertaken and an excellent route description. At the beginning of the book there are details of the Geology, History, Transport, Accommodation, Equipment, Mountain Rescue, Use of the Guide and Place Names, whilst at the end there are appendices of a Route Summary Table, a Welsh/English Glossary and a list of useful contacts. The 220 page book is also punctuated with 110 full colour photographs taken on the various routes.

For both newcomers to Welsh mountaineering and also seasoned veterans this is a superb pocket sized publication that is easily followed and will lead to many happy days in these magnificent mountains of Northern Wales.


The North West Way: A 13 Day Walk from Preston to Carlisle
The North West Way: A 13 Day Walk from Preston to Carlisle
by Steve Garrill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A New Classic Walk, 31 Jan. 2017
Alfred Wainwright, the Lakeland guidebook writer, said at the end of his Coast to Coast book that individuals should look at devising their own long distance walks. And that is exactly what Steve Garrill has done with his book The North West Way.

This 205 mile walk, split conveniently into 13 days walking of 16 miles average per day, takes the walker from Preston to Carlisle. When I first saw the book I naturally assumed that between these two cities the route would make its way through Cumbria and the Lake District but this is not the case at all.

It is a much more circuitous route making use of four major long distance trails – The Ribble Way, The Pennine Way, The South Tyne Trail and Hadrian’s Wall National Trail. And as such, the route takes the walker through some of the finest scenery the North of England has to offer. Malham Cove, Penyghent, Great Dun Fell, Cross Fell, High Force, High Cup Nick and Hadrian’s Wall are just a few of the highlights visited on this walk.
In the book Steve has included details of distance, ascent, type of terrain, anticipated walking time and the Ordnance Survey maps needed for each of the days’ walking. He has punctuated each day’s walk with his own full colour sketch maps and there are over 50 colour photos in the book as well.

Steve, a history teacher at St Bede’s High School in Lytham St Anne’s is a Duke of Edinburgh assessor and has completed many long distance walks in England and Scotland and each year organises a team to tackle the Yorkshire Three Peaks for charity.

Much of the book contains links to the history of the area being walked through and Steve’s particular interest in Roman History is clearly brought to the fore in the latter part of the book whilst following Hadrian’s Wall to Carlisle.

With each day’s walking starting and finishing at suitable places of habitation with transport links the walk can either be done in thirteen separate sections or as a whole over a two week period. Why not give it a go!


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