A wet walk along the canal.

Horses and Canal stitch

Yesterday, we set off with the heartbeat gang on a walk along the canal at Mirfield. Because of my illness and also the rotten weather, we haven’t been on one of these walks for ages, and it certainly showed! The others left us for standing, and as usual the weather spoiled itself by throwing it down! Luckily I had had the foresight to take my brolly along, as a second sense told me that as soon as he who is in charge of the weather knew I was out and about, he’d send the rain. Happens every time! (somebody up there doesn’t like me!)  Kerri fell further and further behind, but T said he would stay with her and encouraged me to catch up to the others but I couldn’t do it. 

We three turned around at the ford across the canal, and then slowly made our return. By this time, the rain cloud had disappeared, and the sun came out amongst the fluffy clouds. It was perfect apart from all the puddles and mud that was now adorning the towpath.  Nevertheless, it was lovely to be with the gang again, and we eventually arrived at one of our favourite lunch venues, the Railway Inn, where we enjoyed a very tasty lunch. I had a Turkey dinner and Kerri had a burger meal. All for £4.99 each.  We swilled that down with an Appletizer and Soda with ice. 

Some of our walking friends who live not far from us offered to give us a lift home which we very gratefully accepted.

Here are the pictures taken on our walk along the canal.  Hope that you enjoy them.

TG

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Downhill all the way.

Yesterdays walk was not really all that enjoyable as far as I was concerned. We all met up in the bus station as we so often do, and from therein there was a lot of confusion as to exactly which bus we were supposed to be catching in order to arrive at the start of the walk. S was supposedly our walk leader but he didn’t seem to be too sure about the bus either, and the fact that our departure displays are all incorrect (see my previous post) didn’t exactly help matters. As most of the other walkers are car owners and don’t frequent the bus station as I do, I had to keep warning them that the information via the displays was wrong.

Watch your step!

Worse was to come when the bus actually pulled into the stand and we asked the driver. He didn’t seem to have a clue where he was going, but despite this we all took fate into our hands and clambered on board. I had to laugh to myself, imagining us ending up anywhere where we would be doing a sort of ‘mystery walk.’ As it turned out, the bus was the correct one, and we set off in good spirits only to end up turning round when it was decided that the walk leader was leading us all up an hill that was far too steep for some of the members to tackle. I quietly sighed to myself.  Recrossing the road, we then set off down a lane and at last seemed to be on our way. Trouble was, the route wasn’t really all that picturesque, having a large estate on the right hand side and not much of a view on the other. I hadn’t taken my camera with me (must have had a foretaste that there wouldn’t be all that much in the way of spectacular views to warrant it.)

The walk leader had on top of his head, one of those straw boaters which looked a little ridiculous to be honest with you, seeing as the sky was overcast and grey. We also had to watch our step walking along the path as there were many loose stones to trip up the unwary. The lady in front of me very nearly fell over one such loose stone. The only thing of note worthy of a quick photo was two horses who were resting in one of the fields as we walked past. One of them had a hood over its head for some reason. I took the shot because I knew that Kerri would love to see it.

Hooded and not

Eventually, the vista in front of us opened out somewhat to allow a view right across the valley towards Southowram and we could see as far as Clifton and even Scholes from there. It was still overcast but it was beginning to brighten up somewhat. We all took a breather half way so that some of the walkers could have a sit and a rest for a few moments, then we continued onwards down into town.  After arriving back in town, three of us, myself included decided to lunch at the Ship Inn, whilst the others went to Wetherspoons for their meal.  For me, it had been a rather disappointing walk on the whole, and I don’t think I will go on another walk around Rastrick again.

View from the top of Rastrick

Technogran

A Walk around Coley.

 

Screenshot (7)

Watch out for the horses!

Yesterdays walk was a strange one in that right up until the very last minute, we didn’t know where we were going to begin or end up. We had planned to go with the Heartbeat gang as usual, but one of the walk leaders contacted me to state that he didn’t think it would be suitable for Kerri as there were quite a few steep and very muddy sections to climb, a combination that has tended to spell disaster in the past with Kerri ending up covered in mud after a slip and fall.

At the last minute, I suggested that we walked from Coley church via Coley Hall Lane. It’s a relatively flat walk down a bridle path that I knew wouldn’t be muddy. We would eventually emerge at Leeds/Whitehall road where we would either walk through the golf course or continue down the road to Lightcliffe and our lunch venue, the Sun Inn.

We caught the 10.15am bus to Coley which dropped us off conveniently right outside the church. I had hoped that Kerri would be rewarded with some close encounters of horse and riders out for a walk, seeing as Coley Hall Lane is a bridle path,  and even before we had reached the Coley Hall Lane entrance we encountered three ladies out for a ride with their mounts. Pleasantries were exchanged and as always she was eager to learn the names of the horses. Following that encounter we began our walk. It was a very pleasant day weather wise, not too hot for walking, and although Kerri does find the going tough over rough surfaces, we still managed to make good progress.

View from Coley Hall Lane

It was such a clear day that you could see Emley Moor transmitter over in the far distance. Strangely enough there were quite a few people also using this route, three young ladies went jogging past us, two or three people were taking their dogs for a walk, and one remarked that it was unusual for this lane to be so busy! There aren’t all that many homes on this route either, but what there are are really very attractive, with quite a few  barn conversions and the lovely cottages. It was so peaceful and quiet as well without the usual vehicle traffic.

love this house.

We could have continued onto Norwood Green which was forming part of the mornings walk for the rest of the Heartbeat crew, but we had already decided that we would head towards Lightcliffe instead. We passed a horse training yard where a lady was busy training a horse and Kerri was rewarded with the sight of many horses grazing in the field next to it. As we neared the end of this road, we again met the three ladies out riding who had obviously done a circuit tour and were on their return journey. They were followed by some more younger riders who stopped to have a chat. Kerri was in her element!

Too busy grazing

 Crossing over Leeds road by the White Horse Inn, no easy task by the way, as its a very busy road, we continued down Knowle Top road and then onward to the Sun Inn at Lightcliffe for our lunch. By the time we arrived it was only 11.30am so we enjoyed a relaxing drink as we waited for our meal.

I plan to do this walk again at some time in the near future, probably making  a longer and more circular route by starting at the White Horse Inn and eventually ending back there for lunch.  Enjoy the photos taken as we journeyed along, and I hope you enjoyed our walk as much as we did.

TG

This blog composed and edited in Live Writer.

The mystery of the old canal side ruin.

My post today is about one of our walks that we embarked upon a week or so ago. It’s a walk we have done many times before where we set off by joining the canal towpath at the side of the Barge and Barrel in Elland. It was a very pleasant spring day and we all set off at a steady pace along the canal towpath going in the direction of Halifax.

It’s not long before you pass an old crumbled ruin that stands on the far side of the canal bank. It’s an attractive ruin with its two almost church like windows staring out at you from across the water. There was obviously a third window but that has lost its curved mantle. The ruin is now overgrown with ivy entwined around its stonework, and through those glassless windows you can see only trees.

Why does it stand so empty and forlorn, left abandoned and forgotten on the bank of the canal? What was it built for? Was it a house? A factory? Someone spend their hard earned time building and crafting those arch windows that now peer out emptily over the water. Why?

I would love to investigate it further but in order to do so, I would have to approach it from the road which is out of view but behind the ruin. If it was some sort of factory, then it seems to have been quite a substantial one as remnants of its size can be seen further down on the far left of this photo.

The Ruin by the Canal stitch

It intrigues me every time our walk takes us past it. Doing some sleuthing online has allowed me to glean some information about the ruin.  It was a flour mill and was called Woodside Mill. As I had already concluded by the spread along the bank of the canal, it was quite a substantial building that stood between the canal and Halifax road. It actually stood 5 storeys high and in 1890 was the largest flour mill in Yorkshire. Here is a picture of it taken when it was in all its glory.

In this old photo its the very substantial building on the right. In the photo you can seen the river Calder snaking its way through the middle on the left of the canal. The mill was first owned by J.F. Milner (1890) and then Elland Flour Mills Limited from 1905. On Friday 4th March 1892 there was a dispute in the corn milling trade between the management and workers of J.F. Milner. Apparently a fire took place there on Monday, 22nd April 1907 which caused damage estimated at 2,000 to 3,000 pounds, quite a sum in those days.

In the photo above, you can also plainly see the cause of the demise of the canals as a method of transportation of goods. Yes, the railway steaming its way through the photo from left to right. Whether it was this that sealed the fate of this once huge building which had obviously been built alongside the canal for ease of transportation of its products remains to be seen.

Of course, during the summer months, the ruins are almost completely covered over with flora and the trees encroach almost entirely through those empty windows obliterating their stare across the canal.

How many feet used to walk behind those walls I wonder? How many people’s lives revolved around the Mill? How many bags of flour were produced and loaded onto those waiting barges, and what would be those workers thoughts if they could return and see it as it is now? As with any ruin I come across in my travels, I always wonder about the people who inhabited it, how they lived or worked and what life was like for them. Thanks to the Internet I’ve been able to find out at least a small amount of information about that intriguing ruin by the side of the canal.

TG

A Winters Walk.

We decided that rather than wait until today to go on our usual Saturday walk with Heartbeat, we would enjoy one yesterday instead. After all the sun was shining even if it was giving off no heat whatsoever, the sky was blue, what more can a walker ask for? We donned our warm winter coats and hats and set off in great spirits.  First stop down the hill was to chatter to a lady who was busy feeding the ponies in the field with wholemeal bread. She insisted that they loved it and I remarked that they were probably grateful for anything at all as the field in which they graze is more mud than grass at this time of year.

Then it was onward and upward up Catherine Slack where we could enjoy the view looking down onto Harrison’s Dairy farm below us. We spied a man walking quickly through the far field towards a huge fallen tree trunk where another man was waiting with a car. I surmised they were chopping and collecting firewood, but I could have been wrong.  At the top of Catherine Slack, I spied some colourful yellow crocus’s peeping out of the grass verge just outside the entrance to some new houses which are just being erected.

The first crocus

We continued onwards, past the golf course and had a brief pause whilst I took a quick shot of one of my favourite houses. Its not easy to get a shot of it as the frontage is obscured by a very high privet, so the only gap where you can take a picture is over the wall at the side, and even then you need to be standing on tiptoe. I love old houses such as this one and note the lovely little lamp on top of the wall.

Over the Wall

The next leg of the walk was through a narrow lane that runs behind the houses and which turned out to be quite muddy to negotiate. Mind you, most of the mud was frozen solid, but it took K all her time to walk from one end of the path to the other. She is never at her best on uneven surfaces despite all those walks she has done over the years. She heaved a sigh of relief once we joined the main road, and we both gathered pace towards some horses who were busy grazing in a nearby field further along the road.

He's big!

Despite the fact that she loves horses, she’s still very wary of stroking them as you can plainly see in this photograph.  He was quite a size I will admit, but he had made his way through acres of mud in order to greet us both at the wall and I was only sorry that we hadn’t any treats to give him.

Under the bridge.

Onward along the road and under the railway bridge to join the main road. The sky was an absolute unbroken blue by this stage of the day but the sun gave off no warmth at all. We had to stride out and keep moving in order to keep warm.

Cottages.

Onward past the park and school then past Lightcliffe church and this gorgeous row of cottages which again are some of my favourites and then down towards the old church tower opposite the Sun Inn. 

The old church tower.

Unbeknown to me, at the time that K and I were taking a short breather before tackling the rest of the journey home, my brother was not far from this spot walking his dog Willam down Bottom Hall which runs alongside this churchyard. We must have missed one another by minutes. Onward across the road and down passed both the Comprehensive school, where several buses were parked patiently waiting to take pupils back to their respective localities. As we walked past, some pupils were playing a game of hockey and we could clearly hear the clash of sticks echoing through the cold winters air. We began recalling playing hockey when we were at school, and getting frequently whacked around the ankles during a match!

Onward past the newly built Cliffe Hill junior school with its rather unusual modern design a far cry from how it looked all those years ago when I attended! Past the farm and a last photo of the small stream (I’m sure it used to be much wider than it is today when I was a youngster!) back up the hill past the ponies and back along the lower estate road to our humble abode.

Miniature stream

Coats and hats removed, shoes exchanged for comfy slippers and a nice hot cup of tea! That’s what life’s all about!

TG

A Lakeside Ramble.

Snow surround

Yesterday morning we set of for a walk which initially was intended to be around the entire area of Shibden Park. A cursory glance outside the window that morning dictated that we might both be wiser wearing our Ugg boots rather than our walking boots because the ground was covered in ice and looked extremely slippery to walk on. I find that walking boots are brilliant for muddy or wet slippery conditions, but not so useful for keeping one upright whenever its icy. Trouble was as it turned out, the boots that we decided to wear were not much of an improvement.

We had a terrible time during the trek through the local cemetery, ending up having to resort to walking along the grass adjacent to the path in order to make any headway. It didn’t help that we had a bus to catch. Arriving at the bus stop outside Shibden Park only to be greeted by a steep downhill walk covered in wet soggy leaves and sheets of ice didn’t fill us with enthusiasm either, and it was only my lifetimes experience of being a pedestrian that helped to get us safely down the hill without a fall. By using a tactic of carefully weaving our way through natures winter hazards did we make it safely to the car park, only to be greeted by a really icy covered path leading to the Cafe. Gripping the fence  which thankfully ran the whole way along it with both hands and stepping gingerly one careful step at a time was the only way to arrive safely at the Cafe door without taking a tumble, and we sat down to catch our breaths and enjoy a welcome hot drink. We were very early but catching the later bus would have meant that we would have arrived too late for the arranged meet up with the other walkers.

Setting Off

Although our reasons for braving the icy and thoroughly treacherous  conditions was questionable, we were far from being alone in being in the park in this weather. There were not only some dog walkers already walking along the skating rink like paths in the park, but also many families who had thrown caution to the winds and arrived with their offspring. Mind you, children do tend to enjoy this kind of weather and walking in icy conditions probably doesn’t hold the same fear for them because they haven’t as far to fall as adults. Even so, I did question in my head the sanity of the parents. After everyone foolhardy enough had gathered in the car park, and one member had done a quick reconnoitre to inspect the paths for the safest route, it was decided that the lower path was considered safe to walk on, and so after a brief wait whilst all those wearing  walking boots added Crampons to their soles, we finally set off.

I was mainly left to my own devices because daughter used her usual tactic whenever the ground is unsafe underfoot, and  hooked herself up with the nearest male she could find. At one point during the walk she had one on either side of her. As we circled the lake via the safe path I busied myself taking shots with my camera. The sky was clear and blue and the sun was shining down but not having al that much affect on melting the ice. The party broke into two at one point during the walk, when a few foolhardy souls took their life in their hands and decided to tackle a path which had the additional hazard of water melt running down it, we with more sense took a lower route which all though it was safer, ended up consisting of mud, twigs and wet leaves as it meandered through the trees.

Gulls on boats

Despite the icy conditions, the miniature railway was running once the engine driver had inspected the route. He passed us during the inspection because our so called safe route took us across the railway lines. If it hadn’t been for the muddy conditions this part of the walk would have been very enjoyable but I found myself spending most of my time climbing up grassy banks trying desperately to avoid the very muddy path. At one point we passed a blocked off area surrounding what appeared to be an old mineshaft which then became the focal point for a lengthy discussion from one member about Anne Lister who used to own the whole of Shibden Park. As interesting as it was to hear the history of Shibden Park and why the fenced off area was probably a mine shaft, I was beginning to loose all interest as it can be so tiring to walk whilst picking one’s way around mud and ice. Eventually we arrived back at the Cafe for lunch where most of the others had to remove their Crampons from their boots before entering.

Muddy path through the trees

I ordered a salad, strange I know considering the cold icy conditions we’d just ploughed through, and K ordered a Pasta Bolognese which was far more sensible. We accepted the kind offer of a lift home from one of the other party, and after giving our mud covered boots a good clean I could eventually sit down and ponder on the days walk.

 

TG

Walking on the frosty side.

We went on a walk yesterday along our local canal.  As in other parts of the country, our canal has become a haven for walkers, joggers and also cyclists. Yesterday was one of those days when your not quite sure how to dress, it was bitterly cold and there had been a sharp frost during the night, causing the pavements to glitter with a thousand tiny stars as the sun shone down on them. We were all dressed in warm coats scarves and the like, and in my case gloves as well. Determined to get some really good shots of both the canal and also try to capture the frosty conditions, I also toted my camera with me. As soon as we set off, daughter ‘hooked’ herself up with the tallest member of our walk that she could find who is well over six foot, which looked rather comical as they both strolled along seeing as she is only five feet tall.

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