Askham in the winter

I do an annual dip at Askham, its not really a dive and could be done with a snorkel, but I do kit up

It’s not to do anything but clean up the coins thrown onto a stone that sticks up from the relatively deep water and then drop them in a charity pot and as you may expect the first year we did this I got tonnes and now I ‘just’ get the annual throw so maybe two fist size amounts- of coins.

On the bimble about Ullswater pre-dive I spotted a few chaps getting kitted up at a free car park to the East of Glennridding, I remember that many moons ago, probably half a century of moons a group from Bishop Auckland Club dived the site as a ‘Rolls Royce’ had crashed off the road and into the lake years before, isn’t it strange that its always a marque car, my son was watching a youtube video where the chap was magnet fishing near a bridge in the middle of a Balkan country and ‘A Lambourgini’ had crashed off the bridge…..Anyhow there was a car there and from memory it was an old Austin that had probably been dumped when it died!

We also called at Glennridding steam boat pier and in the course of my chat I asked if they had any image of the original Ullswater steamer, PS Enterprise, a ship that was lost near Howtown in what seemed to be an insurance job! They didn’t, but were keen to know its state, probably to try and fund some salvage or other but the way that the Lakes bodies treated Turbo Bill I have no desire to share the ‘numbers’ and perhaps donate any trinkets that may have been acquired years and years ago.

So the dive/dip/walk!

Well, I went along the Southern bank to the ‘money stone’ and came across a funny little lump, see the photographs, I have no idea what it is but my initial impression was some sort of missile warhead. Why? Well, at the open-end there is a brass ring which ‘retains’ the circular shape and at the top it is rounded and has a hole where some sort of fuse could be fitted. A quick look on google would perhaps indicate that it would be a similar size to the RP3 unit as used in WW2, interesting. That said it is mainly lead construction whilst I am pretty sure that production rocket heads were made of spun copper, maybe some sort of lash up? Certainly there was an R&D centre near Howtown but how it would have got in the river is beyond me, so perhaps some reader could shed some light.....

Miscellaneous Stuff - 2023

There was a reasonable haul from the stone, and I used the magnet used by my lad to pick up large quantities of the ‘copper’ coins which are now mainly iron .- I forgot the hammer and chisel as the cracks in the bedrock just upstream of the stone are full of concreted coins of ages, years ago I took away a chunk and the oldest coin was a penny from the 1920s but next time……next time!

The low point of the dive was undoubtably loosing a glove, to easily pick up coins I took off a glove and held it in the other hand, well the water in this river is bloody freezing, probably around 3 or 4 degC so after a few minutes my gloved hand was loosing feeling and the glove just dropped out and drifted away down-stream, I did do a dash to try and recover it but the river shallows so I could only watch it waving me goodbye!

I do these dives when the sea is out of commission and whilst my m id-week dive was great the conditions are again best described as ‘seasonal’ so no sign of getting back in for a while, although I do regularly check and hope for that window that allows everything to calm down enough to sneak in a dive or maybe two!

Dive safe


Weight this dive – 3.1 kg

Weight this year – 78.2 kg

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