Doing it in Style !

by Administrator 17. June 2008 19:02

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This may seem a curious post but I can assure you that considerations of style assume huge importance when carrying a 18kg pack; not only stiles and the chances of getting over them, because of their design or their decrepitude, without ending up in a bed of nettles (always closely associated and often over growing),






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   but also kissing gates the precise size of which seldom seems large enough to   accommodate both walker and pack. This produces some bizarre contortions,  inching up backwards on the surrounding fence until the pack rests on top and the gate can pass freely in front of one’s knees being a favourite. It is strange that even on long distance footpaths where walkers might be expected to be carrying ridiculously sized rucksacks there is often just not enough room to get through resulting in a situation not unlike being in a no frills airline seat in front of a bulkhead when the person in the seat in front lies back for a snooze, just NOT enough room.



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A fine example of recycling was spotted in Dorset, with a stile from an old tractor tyre and a used telegraph pole.









Stiles may be of stone over walls, usually firm and reliable even for the excess weight of a pack,









or wooden and with steps of wildly varying quality, and occasionally two steps over a fence of a height calculated to induce vertigo in my good friend Geoff. These, with a full pack by the end of the day, induce a feeling of venturing into the death zone on Everest.

  PICT0004 (Medium)   talstile(Medium)   PICT0007 (Medium)

 french stile (Medium)


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The best however was passed late one morning and is undoubtedly how all stiles should be styled!!!!!!!!!!!!








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An improvement in manufacturing was seen in Normandy where the cross piece of many styles was fixed with galvanised roofing bolts instead of the usual pair of rusty nails in England.








A further addition to this post observed near Laval in northern France is a remarkable field gate. This looks as if made by some one with no preconceptions about what a gate should be, and, as Betsy pointed out could be 3,000 years old each part being replaced over the years, with the possible exception of the rock. It has an enormous advantage in design over conventional farm gates, the uprights of which, within a short time, lean inwards due to the weight of the gate, making it difficult to open. This counter balance design puts no strain on the posts and is easily lifted slightly to open. A second one, inferior, without a rock has also been spotted.

gate1(Medium)                            Gate2(Medium)


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