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Thread: Carrock Fell Race

  1. #1

    Carrock Fell Race

    Carrock Fell Race

    According to Wainwright, in his Northern Fells pictorial guide, Carrock Fell is something of a rebel, a nonconformist, the odd one out.

    There was a time when I thought I could relate to those sentiments.
    Back in the day I thought I was going to be a rock star: a rebel, a nonconformist, the odd one out - bringing thrash metal to the Chorley masses and beyond.

    I was destined for Rock ‘n’ Roll debauchery but my mum put her foot down!

    At the age of eight I bought ‘News Of The World’ by Queen. I made the purchase from Pencil-head. He was one of the older lads on our street, the narrow construction of his head earned him the nickname. He was the stereotypical rocker: long hair, denim jacket covered in band patches and he reeked of patchouli oil. He’d got bored with Queen, they were no longer heavy enough since he’d discovered Motörhead. When us younger kids were bored we’d mercilessly shout “Pencil-head” and then revel in the fear-inducing chase. Once caught we’d be on the receiving end of a slap, nothing too brutal. Pencil-Head was no more a sadist than we were masochist. Occasionally I’d feel sorry for our intimidator, especially during the winter months, as he’d be the only one without a hat. The unfeasibly small circumference of his crown played havoc with the potential purchase of headgear. I once offered to ask my mum if she’d knit him a small bob hat. My good natured gesture was obviously taken in the wrong context, as he gave me a ‘dead-leg’ for taking the piss.

    I seem to recall ‘News Of The World’ cost me two pounds, but has proved priceless throughout the rest of my life as it introduced me to rock music. I’ve not seen Pencil-head in years, I’m hopeful that in today’s world of compulsive shopping he’s now found headgear to serve a variety of purposes. In time I hope he’s also forgotten about the name calling: kids can be so cruel. In truth adults can have their moments, recently a mate said I reminded him of Frank Sidebottom...oh blimey! No worries, I’ve been called far worse.

    When I’d started work my first ever wages were spent on a guitar and lessons. I thought after a few lessons I’d be playing guitar like Jimi Hendrix. How disillusioned can one be? Basically I was shit at playing the guitar, so decided I was going to be a drummer. One of my mates had volunteered his services as a bass player, only to then renege on his offer. His rock star credentials didn’t bare fruition once he’d met a girl from Liverpool. I told him that once we’d become rock stars we’d need ‘shitty sticks’ to ward off all the female attention that would be coming our way, he was having none of it as he was loved up. In hindsight he should’ve joined my fledgling band as the social differences of city living compared to Chorley suburbia put a strain on their relationship. Chippy tea on a friday night was my mates ritual highlight of the week. Unfortunately his city dwelling girlfriend was accustomed to grandeur on a larger scale than the occasional bag of chips. They soon separated.

    In the meantime I’d informed my parents I was going to purchase a set of drums. My mum was having none it as she was concerned about what the neighbours would think. My dad sided with mum, anything for a quiet life on both fronts. I protested that our neighbour Albert spent most of the week working away as a electrician. His domestic electrical skills must’ve been far superior than his auto electrics handiwork. He once did some work on my first ever car, and thereafter every time I used the indicators the windscreen wipers came on. The car in question was an Austin Allegro, it was a proper fanny-magnet...ok maybe it wasn’t. Albert’s wife Hilda had impaired hearing and was an obsessive watcher of soap operas. Throughout the day we’d hear the opening theme tunes of Crossroads, Coronation Street and Emmerdale. She didn’t like Eastenders, she found it depressing. I tried reasoning with my parents that we could have payback for Hilda’s loud television attics: I’d drown out the soaps with percussion. My protest fell on (my parents) deaf ears.

    Starting my career in rock was proving to be harder than I’d envisaged. I’d prematurely come up with a band name and album title for my as yet unassembled thrash metal band. My parents thought ‘Seepage’ was a ridiculous name and thankfully they’d not worked out the album title ‘Cupid stunts’ was a spoonerism. Teenage angst had obviously played a large part in my choosing of this title in homage to anybody who’d been less than supportive towards my potential career in rock.

    In a last throw at the dice I answered an add in ‘Sounds’ music publication. A lad from Oldham was after a vocalist for a metal band he was starting. He was influenced by bands such as Motörhead, Venom and Slayer. We were definitely singing from the same hymn sheet, I couldn’t wait to meet my potential band mate. I was no vocalist but I was getting desperate, I’d only been in work for six months and hated it. At seventeen the thought of working 9 to 5 for the rest of my life left me feeling cold. Given the style of music we’d be playing I started practicing guttural singing. Thick strawberry milkshakes helped, as the consistency of the shakes lingering around in my throat would give a guttural tone to my vocals. However, taking deep breaths from my diaphragm would often result in the milkshakes being brought back up. Being a thrash metal vocalist was going to messy.

    I met up with the Oldham rocker before a Celtic Frost gig which was being held at Manchester Apollo. He was absolutely crackers! He turned up pissed and discarded his last remaining bottle against the outside front wall of the Apollo, shattering shards of broken glass hither and thither. Luckily for him the bouncers hadn’t witnessed his act of dickheadedness. I however had witnessed it and was shocked by his wanton act of vandalism. Inside the venue his behaviour remained excessive, from barging his way to the bar oblivious to those already in waiting, followed by head butting the edge of the stage. His butting escapades raised more than a few eyebrows, including my own. He took rudeness onto another level. I’d decided there and then his outlandish self-indulgent demeanour wasn’t for me, so I slipped away. There’s no way I could’ve been a larger than life frontman in a band with this head-case. My mum would’ve had a dicky fit.

    Maybe I wasn’t rock star material after all? I couldn’t play any instruments, guttural singing made me sick and I was horrified by rebellious antisocial behaviour. There was only one thing for it, I joined the rat-race and got mortgaged up following the advice of a financial advisor. How very Rock ‘n’ Roll of me!

    Carrock Fell Race lived up to Wainwright’s description of its namesake fell top.

    REBEL: it was almost impossible to run into the headwinds we experienced during the race.
    NONCONFORMIST: isn’t that what basic fellrunning is all about? Pay four pounds in a cattle shed for the pleasure of running up, along and then down the nearest hills. Return back to the cattle shed for an excellent selection of tea and cakes whilst viewing the onboard sticker results.
    THE ODD ONE OUT: it’s the only fell race I can recall where the organiser opens up their house for all and sundry to use the toilet facilities, race hospitality on another level.

    Many thanks to Natalie and family and all helpers.
    Well done race winners Noah Hurton and Hannah Horsburgh.

    Coincidentally, Carrock Fell means ‘Rock Fell’ in old language. Thus making perfect sense where this ‘race report’ is concerned.

    Rock on!
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    “ Thick strawberry milkshakes helped, as the consistency of the shakes lingering around in my throat would give a guttural tone to my vocals. However, taking deep breaths from my diaphragm would often result in the milkshakes being brought back up. Being a thrash metal vocalist was going to messy “

    Utter poetry - you started that book yet Darren?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Derby Tup View Post
    “ Thick strawberry milkshakes helped, as the consistency of the shakes lingering around in my throat would give a guttural tone to my vocals. However, taking deep breaths from my diaphragm would often result in the milkshakes being brought back up. Being a thrash metal vocalist was going to messy “

    Utter poetry - you started that book yet Darren?
    No mate, I'm just mixing up a milkshake. I'm in the mood for some thrash metal Karaoke!
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tindersticks View Post
    No mate, I'm just mixing up a milkshake. I'm in the mood for some thrash metal Karaoke!
    Where do you stand on Leonard Cohen Darren? Or Randy Newman? Bob Dylan maybe? Surely not Van Morrison?
    "...as dry as the Atacama desert".

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Breeze View Post
    Where do you stand on Leonard Cohen Darren? Or Randy Newman? Bob Dylan maybe? Surely not Van Morrison?
    I don't mind Cohen and Dylan. I'm not familiar with Newman's material and I don't like the Morrison stuff I've heard.
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Summertime in England by Van the Man or anything off Veedon Fleece

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Derby Tup View Post
    Summertime in England by Van the Man or anything off Veedon Fleece
    I've just been listening to 'Summertime in England' and I can confirm that Van the Man doesn't do anything for me.
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

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