Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

Signpost Synergy

Murray Fullerton, Member

This article is from Signpost 64, Summer 2020

I am writing this in the sixth week of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown. By the time you read this I hope that we shall be well on a path back to normality, or at least be on a path across some of our favourite countryside again! However, an unanticipated bonus of my enforced domesticity is that many paperwork tasks have now been completed, and my library of Signpost is again neat and tidy. Whilst sorting and tidying this I re-read some and discovered a curious coincidence. The Seven Signposts Walk described by Shirley Addy in issue 62 Spring 2020 is the same route I’d walked in ‘A Walk in Virtual Reality’ in issue 61 Autumn 2019.

I would not have made this connection had it not been for her images of PNFS signs, especially the more unusual fingerpost variety. I’d taken this picture on my walk and immediately recognised it as the same sign as in Shirley’s article. I then followed the advice in her article to visit and identified it as ‘Fingerpost 30 SD 67469 19067 Old Lyons Farm, N of Belmont; adj to S304’. Even more impressive, this revealed yet another image of the sign, also with blue sky in the background, which for Darwen Moor is a highly unusual coincidence.

©Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey.
Media 028/20

As you can see, the PNFS website also provides an OS 1:50000 map view of all sign locations. I usually study OS maps and plan my route before setting out and have latterly been plotting them as GPS eXchange format (or GPX) files, so that the route appears on my Smartphone. This is a great help when walking as I can always check that I’ve not strayed off my intended route. It’s therefore a pleasant surprise to encounter a PNFS sign, and I always stop to admire them and often take a picture.

My article described that I’d managed to convert the GPX format file into Google Earth’s KML format and then retrace my steps in Google’s 3D virtual world. Using the PNFS website’s Google Earth view of sign locations, I’ve now been able to show my route together with the positions of Shirley’s Seven Signs. Fingerpost 30 is the one with a yellow pushpin marker.

So thanks to some extremely hard work from the PNFS team it’s now possible for me to anticipate what signs I may encounter on my walks. Even more intriguing is the potential for walk routes to be planned around PNFS signposts. If the lockdown continues for much longer, I shall attempt to discover routes that include more than Shirley’s Seven in 5.5 miles of this walk. Perhaps other readers would like to take up the challenge?

Next: Gap at Wheston

Page title:Signpost Synergy
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