Hereíre some photos of walk to Bleaklow (with my friend Pumper) to see the remains of a bomber that crashed nearly seventy years ago. We drove up the A57 on the Snake Pass as you climb out of Glossop in Derbyshire and set off walking to the trig stone at High Shelf Stones.
From the road it only takes about forty minutes to walk up to the stones. We saw what we first thought was a bright white lost dog scampering across the moorland. Later we saw another two and worked out from their movements they were big wild hares. We did not see any dead bodies (human ones) but Iím sure there must be some out there. That boggy peat is Earthís blotting paper and would eventually suck in anything.
We looked at the carvings on the rocks dating back decades. The rocks afford views across Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire but visibility wasnít good. In exceptional weather youíre supposed to be able to see Snowdonia in North Wales.
We sauntered across to the nearby scattered remains of the Fortress bomber. On the 3rd November 1948 thirteen men were taking the hour-long flight from Scampton to Burtonwood. The clouds were so low they had to navigate using the dashboard instruments. At a set time they calculated they had passed a hill and started to descend. However they were not quite passed the hill, hit the ground and crashed.
The sudden loss of radio was soon noted. The RAF Mountain Rescue Service team was set in action but when they arrived at 4:30pm the following day all thirteen bodies were lifeless and charred by fire. As it was winter daylight was fading they left the bodies overnight, returning the following day to retrieve them.
We had a look around the remnants of engines, wings and gun turrets in silence. It was all a bit sad. Pumper had been before and said there were even less wreckage left. Surely people didnít take stuff away? I wondered what sight the Mount Rescue Team saw when they first reached the crash site - was the plane still on fire? Only smoking? Had any of the crew tried to get out of the burning fuselage? As we looked around it was obvious which parts had been made from mild steel and from stainless steel - the latter looking as new and shiny as they day it was manufactured.
A man looking over the rusty remains said he had got a book for Christmas about all the aircraft crash sites on the moors. Think Iíll be getting that soon.
Thereís a link to the crash here...
There was a poppy in the bottleÖ
I know, Pumper, sad stuff. Thirteen peopleís lives ended in an instant here...