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Clagh Ouyr and North Barrule

For a while now I'd had a list of walks I wanted to do once I'd lost a little weight and got a bit fitter. One of them was North Barrule and today was the day I decided to go for it.

I packed my small cycling rucksack with some Lucozade and a Twix and part filled the water bladder so I could take sips on the way. I also added my small Canon S90 camera, having decided to leave my heavy Canon 5D, grip and 24-70 lens (aka The Brick) at home. My iPhone 4 was in my pocket, loaded up with podcasts, and I was quite keen to try the new HDR photo option that came with the recent 4.1 operating system update.

Photo: Clagh Ouyr and North Barrule

I parked at the Black Hut and set off up what I soon realised was Clagh Ouyr and not North Barrule. From the summit of Clagh Ouyr I could see the North Barrule ridge "stretching" all the way to North Barrule itself. I know for most walkers this was a trifling distance, a mere stroll, but for me it was one of the longest walks I'd done in many years and last time I'd tried to climb one of the Island's hill I was severely out of breath and quite distressed.

I set off and was quite enjoying the walk. I had to stop on some of the steeper uphill bits but was pleased that it was because my legs were tiring and not because I was totally out of breath. I asked one walker passing in the opposite direction if he knew where the crash site of a World War II bomber was and he told me to look for a small flagpole in the right hand (easterly) side of North Barrule itself.

Photo: North Barrule WWII crash site
Once I'd reached the trig point at the summit of North Barrule I set about trying to find the flag pole and eventually spotted it some was down a rock scree slope and scrambled down to it. There were some small parts of airplane wreckage left and a commemorative plaque was mounted on one of the rocks. I was also pleased to see a couple of small wooden Remembrance Day crosses on the ground in front of the plaque.

Photo: The memorial plaque

The plaque reads:

"On this hillside at 10:25 a.m. on the 23rd April 1945, a flying fortress B17G – 38856 crashed with the loss of 31 American servicemen. The aircraft belonged to the 381st heavy bombardment group, 533rd squadron based at Ridgewell in Essex and was on a ferry flight to Nutts corner in M. Ireland

This memorial was erected in memory of those who list their lives here and in other aircraft accidents in these hills, by Maughold Parish Commissioners and the Manx Aviation Preservation Society on 5th August 1995.

It cost me about an hour in time to scramble down to the crash site, take some photos, and then regain some height and get back to the style over the wall and fence to get back on the path that would take me back along the ridge back to Clagh Ouyr and my car. 

By the time I returned to the car I'd been out for about five hours. My feet and legs were aching but I as happy with my small accomplishment this afternoon. The HDR iPhone photos were a mixed bunch. Some of the normal photos were better, in my opinion, than their HDP counterparts but in a few instances, e.g. mixed lighting conditions, the HDR version was better and in one case it was startlingly better where a blown out sky was totally saved.

Photo: iPhone HDR example