Sunday, 24 October 2021
Saturday, 23 October 2021
Since Covid struck, I have rarely been on a train and rarely been to a city, but there were a few things I needed from the shops and it was a beautiful day so I braved both train and Leeds city centre. Ironically, the main shop I intended to visit was closed 'for the foreseeable future', so that was a nuisance. Never mind, I amused myself by 'looking up' at the wonderful Victorian buildings that grace the city. I often wonder whether the glass and concrete structures springing up all over the place nowadays will age as wonderfully as these have.
Friday, 22 October 2021
Thursday, 21 October 2021
Wednesday, 20 October 2021
Tuesday, 19 October 2021
I had an errand to do in Baildon so I walked up to the village along the lane through the hamlet of Baildon Green. Tucked under the quarried crags of Baildon Bank, it's a hotch-potch of old houses and small mills, mostly related to the 19th century textile industry. Some are now converted into residences, whilst some are still used for businesses. There's also an historic non-Conformist chapel, all overlooking an extensive 'green' or common.
Further down towards Saltaire there is what was once an old farm and barns, now converted into residences.
The view from Baildon Green is pretty spectacular, looking down over Saltaire and Salts Mill... although my photo really isn't, being a grainy crop of a phone pic. Still, you get the general idea.
Monday, 18 October 2021
It seems ages but also bizarrely only like yesterday that she made her appearance in the world, rather suddenly and 8 weeks early. If I'd known then how healthy, strong, brave and bright she would be by the age of ten, I wouldn't have worried nearly as much!
I love you to the moon and back, my precious first granddaughter, and I always will. ❤︎
Sunday, 17 October 2021
There are numerous possibilities for walks around the extensive Bolton Abbey Estate. I often walk north along the river, through the woods and past the famous Strid gorge. This time I chose to cross the river and do a circular walk to the south. The bold cross the river on the stepping stones. I opted for the safer footbridge alongside!
The path climbs steeply and affords lovely views of Bolton Priory, through the trees.
The route eventually drops down, following old trackways, through fields and back to the river.
Intermittent showers never lasted too long but made for some interesting cloudscapes.
Saturday, 16 October 2021
I count myself very fortunate to live within a 40 minute drive of the Bolton Abbey Estate, since people travel from far and wide to visit the area. It all belongs to the Dukes of Devonshire, who ensure that the priory and surrounding estate are well-managed, well-maintained and welcoming to visitors (though you do pay handsomely in the car parking fees to enable that!)
Originally an Augustinian priory founded in 1154, it thrived until 1539 when Henry VIII stripped all monasteries of their assets. Most of the original buildings now lie in ruins but part of the priory nave (to the left on my photo above) was saved, when Prior Moone negotiated to keep it as a place of worship for the local community. It continues to serve as a parish church to this day.
Another famous Yorkshireman is buried here: Fred Trueman, the cricketer who played for Yorkshire and England in the 1950s and 60s. He's acknowledged as one of the greatest fast bowlers in history, and is equally remembered for his outspoken and often controversial views. His grave has a photo and a couple of cricket balls that have been placed there in memoriam.
The Priory Church was closed when I visited (though you could peep through a screen into the nave). It had some beautiful flower arrangements on display, probably left from a wedding. Such an attractive and historic spot means that is frequently used for weddings. Indeed, Fred Trueman's daughter Rebecca was married here, amid much fanfare, to Damon Welch, the son of the film actress Raquel Welch, though the marriage proved to be short-lived.
Friday, 15 October 2021
Thursday, 14 October 2021
Confusingly, there are two railway stations in Bradford. The one I use from Saltaire is Forster Square - and it's quicker and easier to take the train (about a 15 minute journey) than to take the car and find somewhere to park. It was a beautiful, blue sky day when I made the trip recently to do a bit of shopping.
The area around the station, St Blaise Court, is pedestrianised and the arches that support the road alongside are floodlit with coloured lights at night. (St Blaise was apparently the patron saint of wool-combing.) It has sculptures: Fibres, by the artist Ian Randall, which use old rail lines and coloured fibre optic capsules. I quite like them.
Across the road, there is another sculpture: Connecting the City, by Rick Faulkner. It is like a giant steel needle, which of course references the textile history of Bradford. The fibre optic thread through it lights up at night and symbolises the road and railway connecting people to the city.
Elsewhere in the town centre, an empty bank building has been used to display large photographs by Carolyn Mendelsohn, a Saltaire-based photographer. These are part of an ongoing and long-standing project to photograph girls aged between ten and twelve, exploring the complex transition between childhood and young adulthood. I've seen several exhibitions of some of these portraits and they are immensely touching (especially for me, being the gran of a similarly aged girl). I'm not entirely sure they translate well to being printed up so big and placed outside but they are nice to see.
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
It has won CAMRA awards, for Club of the Year and gets five star reviews: "friendly; helpful staff; good prices; great beer." And its website features one of my photos! (I can't honestly remember if that is with permission or not. I can't say I mind.)
It'd be lovely if a millionaire came along and offered to demolish the pre-fabs and build a replacement, with a similar purpose, that would fit in better with the village's general attractiveness but I don't suppose that's likely to happen. As it is, I'm sure it's fortunate that they have managed to keep going through this pandemic, with all the challenges it has posed for hospitality venues. It probably all runs on a shoestring and they have to be continually innovative to survive. So - well done, I say.
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
It was a blustery day. The scudding clouds, driven by strong winds, kept releasing intermittent but insistent bursts of rain - but there were rainbows, as if to compensate for the wildness. It was, however, an appropriate sort of wildness since I was intent on walking up to Top Withens again. The pub sign in the hamlet of Stanbury, overlooking Haworth Moor, rather gives the game away. Top Withens is reputed to be the farmhouse that inspired the location of the Earnshaw family house in Emily Brontë's 1847 novel 'Wuthering Heights' - and this, of course, is prime Brontë territory.
Helpfully, the pub frontage also gives a definition of 'wuthering' - 'a Yorkshire word referring to turbulent weather'. As I've said, it was certainly that kind of a day, though to be honest I have rarely been up there in anything but wuthering conditions! You kind of expect it, as you almost expect to catch a glimpse of three sisters hurrying along in long skirts and Victorian bonnets!
I always feel a sense of satisfaction when I get up there. The long and somewhat challenging walk is worth it, since the view is awesome, and the cloudscape quite thrilling.
Then it was back down to Haworth, via the stream, bridge and small waterfall that they call Brontë Falls - another location that the novel-writing sisters, who lived in the parsonage in Haworth, are known to have visited quite often on their walks.
Monday, 11 October 2021
There was some lovely light on Saltaire's Victoria Hall as I walked past. The 'Peace' lion seemed to be enjoying the warm, late summer sunshine, and was licking his paw contentedly (though he does that in the snow too!)
The gardens in front of the Hall were looking good as well, with colourful bedding plants and lots of berries on the rowan trees. I'm sure Sir Titus would approve.
Sunday, 10 October 2021
I love all the patterns made by reflections on the canal. The area just beyond Bingley's Five Rise Locks is a rich hunting ground for these. There are always boats moored there with different colours to add interest, though I did tweak a few of these to suit an overall blueish theme.