North York Moors CAM

Monday 4th September 2000

( weather: fine & warm)

Today's short walk: Cringle Moor

( 2 miles )


I'd like to dedicate today's page to my great soccer pal, Willie Maddren (above),
who sadly died last Tuesday, after a brave 5 year battle against Motor Neurone Disease, at the early age of 49.


30 years ago we both played together for Middlesbrough FC and, of course, fitness training was part of our everyday life

Most Monday mornings the whole squad would be taken by bus to Carlton Bank from where we'd run up and down
the Cleveland Hills (above) - I often ran alongside Willie and enjoyed his company and words of encouragement

From left to right: Hasty Bank, Cold Moor, Cringle Moor, Carlton Bank

Nowadays, walking these beautiful hills with my wife, Jean, is as strenuous as it gets, but it only seems like yesterday
that we used to don our tracksuits and gallop along the 'tops' which in those days we had almost to ourselves


We would frequently set off running from near this point close to what is now Lord Stone's Cafe ( Grid Ref: 523 030 )


Little seems to have changed here - the grassy track leading up to Cringle Moor still looks inviting


However, the path follows the popular Cleveland Way trail and many parts have been 'paved' with
natural stone to prevent further erosion


As the purple heather blooms in the foreground, we look back towards our starting point and beyond, Carlton Bank


Today we brought some flowers in Boro's red and white colours to lay as a mark of respect for Willie


We chose to place them in a position with lovely views of Cold Moor ahead . . .


. . . and across the Cleveland Plain towards Roseberry Topping


A little further along, the rocky outcrops above Kirby Bank - our return path can be seen far down to the left


The steep descent down the eastern flank of Cringle Moor would always cause Willie problems -
he suffered from a knee injury very early in his career and this was not the best terrain to put it to the test

Perhaps the view eased the pain a little for him - I never heard him complain - that wasn't his style


At the bottom of the hill we would sometimes carry on along the path ahead and over the top of Cold Moor . . .


. . . or other times, as we chose today, we'd turn and follow the old miners' track
along the bracken covered northern slopes of Kirby Bank


This particular path could get quite boggy in parts and I well remember leaping across them at speed


There are still obvious signs of the bygone days of jet, alum and sandstone workings


Near the end of the walk - looking west from the miners' track towards the Pennines
- not visible today due to the haze . . .


. . . and from the same spot a final look back across the Cleveland Plain towards Roseberry Topping


On the way home I couldn't resist stopping and taking this photograph of Roseberry Topping -
another hill Willie and I would often have to run up


Willie Maddren running on the moors - c. 1970


When Willie was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 1995 he immediately decided to fight it
and set up the Willie Maddren MND Fund which to date has raised over 200,000 for research into this terrible illness

He also wrote his autobiography, 'Extra Time', which in many people's opinions
is one of the finest football books ever written - the book costs 9.99

I thoroughly recommend it - all profits go to Motor Neurone Disease research

Willie was one of the nicest lads you could ever wish to meet and I can't speak highly enough of him -
all I can say is "Thank you, Willie, for being a friend".



back to top of page

go to Homepage

or to my Archives Page