Two more …

… recent rides out on the BMW GS.  In the first, a brief journey to Derwent Reservoir in County Durham where, like most places at the moment, the place was teeming with visitors. This included one very adventurous young boy who was running along the dam edge in pursuit of his friend on a bike.  He survived …

Everyone agreed, it was a miracle indeed that the boy survived …

Gone fishin’

Open Water

A few days later I headed west to Anthorn, the home of the Pips:

The airfield was built in February 1918 as a Fleet Air Arm (FAA) airfield. It was abandoned after World War I ended, however the RAF reinstated the airfield at the beginning of World War II as an emergency landing ground for nearby RAF Silloth.

The site was taken over by the Royal Navy in December 1942, and renamed as RNAS Anthorn. It was commissioned in September 1944 as ‘HMS Nuthatch’. The airfield served as No.1 ARDU (Aircraft Receipt and Dispatch Unit), a unit that accepts aircraft from their manufacturers and prepares them for operational use. The last official flight took off from the airfield in November 1957. It was then put on Care and Maintenance, before it closed down in March 1958.

In 1961 the site was chosen to become a NATO VLF transmitting site for communicating with submarines. One of its main functions is to transmit Greenwich Mean Time to the rest of the world. This time signal is heard as ‘pips’ on the radio and is used by everything from train companies to speed cameras. The aerial masts can be seen from miles around, especially at night with their distinctive red lights.

Text from the Solway Military Trail website.

Anthorn – home of the Pips

I dream of wires

The result of all these two-wheeled miles is that I am now just 4 miles short of achieving the 2020 #ride5000miles target. There was a time, earlier in the year, when this seemed a very unlikely objective.


  1. Graham · August 25, 2020

    Will be returning to this and Blipfoto when I get my head around everything that has been going on with COVID-19 and part of my family, I still get notifications of your WordPress articles which I do read with great interest.

    • northumbrianlight · August 26, 2020

      Hope everything resolves itself and look forward to seeing you back on Blip

      • Graham · August 26, 2020

        Thank you so much, life can sometimes throw curved balls which upset things.

  2. sustainabilitea · August 25, 2020

    Hurrah for getting to your target, as I imagine you can polish off the remaining four miles quite easily. I like the photos and the history. In that first shot, the position of the clouds make it appear smoke is coming out of the tower. Just thinking about that boy running along there is enough to give one pause! Glad he made it safely.


    • northumbrianlight · August 26, 2020

      As soon as it stops raining, it will be done 🙂 Thanks for the generous comments as ever. That boy got an ear-bashing from his mum, a few moments later. It’s not quite as daunting as it looks – there is a gentle grassy slope on the dam side of the wall. For some reason all the local reservoirs are low despite the wet summer – I don’t remember the winter being dry either. Very strange – hope all is well with you and yours, Janet. All the best, R

      • sustainabilitea · August 26, 2020

        I imagine his mom was less than thrilled, but he probably love it. 🙂 Dry? Well, now that we’re in Arizona, with 9″ of annual rain, dry takes on an entirely different meaning. 🙂 All’s well here, thanks. Looking forward to a road trip on Saturday (car/van, not motorcycle) with a husband who’s been on call either days or nights for at least two months. He’s going to be really glad to get out!!

  3. HogriderDookes · August 25, 2020

    I’m embarrassed by how little I’ve ridden this year, to be honest though I’ve had other things on my mind.
    Good to see you’ve been out and about, fantastic photos as always!
    Keep the shiny side up!

    • northumbrianlight · August 26, 2020

      Many thanks – it has been good to get the miles in. I have always found riding therapeutic, a form of meditation, it always seems to restore my equilibrium. Hope you can get out soon.

  4. Graham Stephen · August 26, 2020

    🤍 “I dream of wires”


  5. Aviationtrails · August 26, 2020

    A very interesting write up, I never realised the ‘Pips’ originated from Anthorn, and well done on managing to achieve your target. A great achievement considering the restrictions we’ve been under!

    • northumbrianlight · August 26, 2020

      Thanks – news to me as well, until recently. It was an interesting ride out to a very quiet, unspoilt area.

      • Aviationtrails · August 26, 2020

        Sounds perfect. Just what is needed these days.

  6. Su Leslie · August 27, 2020

    That first shot is a ripper! The poor kid’s mum; bet she was freaking. I was struck by how low the reservoir water level is; probably because being in the middle of a drought here (yep, in winter) we Aucklanders are all obsessed with water levels.

    • northumbrianlight · August 27, 2020

      Thanks Su – I really can’t understand why this is so low. Apart from a splendid Spring when we were all in lock down, it has done nothing but rain for months. I have seen the same comments said of of some reservoirs in Scotland. No talk of water shortages in the media – all very strange.

  7. socialbridge · August 27, 2020

    Love the boy photo. Oh the ear-bashings we mamas of wild sons have to deliver. I wonder if they have any effect at all!

    • northumbrianlight · August 27, 2020

      Glad you liked that one Jean – in my case, no effect whatsoever 🙂

      • socialbridge · August 27, 2020

        I should have said ‘particularly liked.’
        Not surprised about ‘no effect.’

        By the way, simply loved seeing Northumberland on Country File recently. Stunning, as I knew from your photos.

  8. J.D. Riso · August 28, 2020

    Congratulations on almost reaching your goal. You will get there.🙂 That boy will never hear the end of it, for sure. Hope all is well with you, Robin.

    • northumbrianlight · August 28, 2020

      Thanks Julie – should be easy to finish off the 5000 miles if it ever stops raining and we don’t get locked down again 😦 All good here thanks – our youngest announced he was going to be a dad just the other day. Great news but under no circumstances does this make me a ‘grandpa’! 🙂

      • J.D. Riso · August 28, 2020

        Congratulations again, Gramps.😉

      • northumbrianlight · August 28, 2020


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