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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Throwing caution to the winds.

Is anyone else diving out the door at the first opportunity whenever the sun peers through the clouds or is it just me? Following the lousy summer we’ve had so far, I simply can’t bear to waste a moment of it. Throwing caution to the winds and not caring if I looked like mutton dressed as lamb, I even went as far as donning my pedal pusher trousers and my open toed sandals. Even the raincoat and umbrella were left at home!  Foolhardy? Tempting fate? Once again my destination was the doctors and I had allowed a good half hour for my walk down. I can walk a lot faster when K is not with me. She is going swimming this morning with Day Care and I confess that I really envied her as she set off. 

For once I had remembered to grab my watch but a quick glance reminded me that I hadn’t made allowances for the frequent stops along the way I was tend to make these days taking snaps with my phone. I had to adjust my walking speed accordingly and although my doctor is always running late, the one time that I risk it and arrive late will probably be the one time that she is running to time. It’s a gorgeous day. Everyone I pass seem so cheerful.

Good morning! Isn’t it lovely to be out in the sunshine?”

Yes, and not before time!” I reply.

Following my stint at the doctors, I pick up my prescription and saunter down to town, no longer having to rush. Nearly every person I encounter is dressed either in shorts or cool summer clothes. Its so colourful after the dingy sight we’ve all become used to of raincoats, umbrellas and the like. I linger outside Websters furniture shop, peering in the windows at their recliner suites and chairs. I ponder for what must be the hundredth time on how they manage to be about the only shop in Brighouse that has survived. I have yet to see any customers in the shop purchasing anything. Most of their stock is very expensive and yes, okay, the best quality, but this is hardly what I would consider an affluent area. Yet I reason to myself, someone must be buying it for whilst other shops have died a death in our town, Websters marches on.

Merrie England scrumptious home made apple pie.

I enter Merrie England and stand at the ‘take away’ part of the counter to order a Turkey Salad on Gluten free bread. As usual, its quite full and there are probably as many customers sat outside in the back area enjoying the sunshine.  I was tempted to linger myself and have one of their delicious decaff cappuccino’s but had second thoughts, seeing as I intend to walk home and not waste any of this glorious sunshine. Trouble is, I am stood directly opposite the display of their fantastic home made apple pies, which are sorely testing my willpower. At last she hands me my sandwich, I pay and saunter on to Hartley’s bread shop for K’s order of a Chicken Tikka and onion sandwich with salad cream on white bread. (Yes, she has strange tastes, my daughter.)  I also purchase a side salad for my lunch and a piece of Quiche.

My walk home is very enjoyable, I’m in no hurry and anyway, its slightly uphill with some steep bits, so I take my time, greeting people who are busy in their gardens as I pass. We’re all mostly a friendly bunch, its one of the reason’s I like living here, practically everyone knows everyone else and that’s the way I like it. By the time I arrive back home, I’m lathered and have to open most of the windows to compensate. I’d much rather be too hot than cold though, and I quickly set too making my Quiche and salad lunch. It’s been so enjoyable, being able to throw caution to the winds for once and leave that blasted umbrella at home!

Technogran

A Walking Disaster.

 

Elland Bridge

On Saturday we decided to through caution to the winds, cock a snook at the constant rain and risk going on a walk along the canal.  Suitably armed with umbrellas and raincoats and optimism that the rain would hold off just for one morning, we set off to catch the E8 bus and alighted at Elland bridge for the beginning of the walk.  We have done this particular walk many times, its a pleasant enough walk along the canal towpath just as long as you don’t happen to be deaf.  If so, you are in constant danger of being run down by the numerous cyclists who seem to consider these canal towpaths as their domain.  They are requested to ring their bells twice in order to alert walkers to their impending presence, but this rule takes for granted that walkers are not hard of hearing and are able to move swiftly aside to let the bikers through.

As we began our walk, I felt quite optimistic, there was actually some blue sky to be seen and it was reasonably warm into the bargain, a good day for a walk I thought. Then we reached the canal towpath and my heart sank.  Despite the fact that the towpath along this stretch of canal is tarmacked, it was covered in a layer of thick slimy mud. It looked like someone had tried to cover the path with thick brown chocolate.  It stretched along the towpath in front of us for at least 4 or 5 metres or so.

Thick oozing mud Now anyone in their right mind would have turned around at this point and beat a hasty retreat back to the mud free road and called it a day.  Any sane mother with an ounce of brain who can recall how her daughter is none too happy walking on anything but a flat surface, and who has endured previous slides and falls in just a tiny patch of mud would have turned back at the sight of it all.  But readers, you all know me by now!  Never one to be beaten by an insurmountable quest such as thick sticky mud, I simply took hold of her hand and we both gingerly plodded our way through the first mud patch.  In my defence, I was reasoning that it was only this patch, after all (I reasoned) this path was tarmacked so it was surely just this area, and we would soon be walking on a nice dry tarmacked surface as we continued our way onward back to town.

We ploughed our way through the next patch, even deeper and stickier and harder to get through than the last one.  I couldn’t understand it!  What had caused this mud to appear on the canal path? As we struggled on, both of our shoes began to become covered up to the laces with slimy gooey mud, and we made some vain attempts to get it off with grass, puddles anything bar dangling our feet into the canal, and at one point I have to confess that I did even consider doing just that.  By now, we had reached a sort of en passé.  In front was yet another huge patch of thick mud, but behind us were all those patches that we had just struggled through.  A vivid illustration of being between a rock and a hard place I thought to myself, as I looked guiltily at my daughter clutching grimly to the fence at the side of the mud covered path.  What sort of mother was I?  Dragging her Down’s Syndrome daughter on one perilous venture after another, and for one horrible moment I remembered the nightmare incident where I foolishly took her up the 275 spiral staircase steps in the York Minster tower and how that incident had left me with nightmares!

The lesser of two evils was to negotiate this last patch as there was a canal lock where we could hopefully get back onto the main road. As I stood there contemplating which was the best way forward, two cyclists rode past us, churning through the mud with their bikes as if it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Ah hah!  Now it all fell into place!  This stretch of the canal is a very well used route by cyclists, so maybe they were the reason why the mud was all over the path!  They were covered in it, all the way up their legs, but the bikes went through it like a knife through butter.  Meanwhile, we squelched our way through the remaining patch of mud, walked across the lock gates and out onto the main road. 

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We must have both looked a sight, with mud covered shoes on! Luckily there was a pipe gushing water out further up the road, so we both stuck our shoes under it to hopefully remove most of the mud. I had some tissues on me and we did manage to get quite a lot of the mud from each shoe, before continuing our walk along the road which is not a easy task in itself.  Elland Road is a very busy road, lined with trees on either side and snaking continuously as it does from left to right, and yet for some strange reason,  everyone seems to drive like lunatics on this particular stretch of road despite the poor visibility around corners.  It has always been a notorious road for accidents, and I was more than a little apprehensive as we both walked along. The pavement isn’t all that wide either, so eventually I rang our local taxi service to come and collect us to take us the rest of the way back into town. 

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We decided to have our lunch in Wetherspoons for a change, and as we sat waiting for our meal, mud stained shoes tucked under the table in the vain hope that no one else would notice them, I went over in my mind the whole mornings adventures.  Instead of being thwarted by the weather as we had expected, we had ended up being stopped in our tracks by mud, thick mud of the kind that I had never seen before in my entire life, probably churned up by all the cyclists who were probably revelling in it.  And for me a stark and valuable lesson. Stop being such an idiot and admit defeat when its staring you in the face, and stop dragging your daughter through impossible tasks!  I rewarded her for her all her endeavours with a luscious chocolate sundae! 

Not a lot of photos I’m afraid, as I was far too busy helping Kerri and myself stay upright to take many pics.

TG Confused smile

Over the hump.

As planned by my daughter the day before, we set off after breakfast towards the entertainment centre where the four wheeled bikes were kept. She kept insisting that some of them were go-karts, which she has recently been apparently excelling at whilst with Day Care.  I kept trying to explain that some were actually four seater bikes which had two pedal powered seats at the rear for adults, and two smaller seats on the front for children. Because these sort of bikes had steering wheels rather than handle bars, she considered they were not bikes but go karts.

Pedal pushers.

The bike that we hired had only one wheel at the front so it was actually a trike of sorts. As the first leg of our journey was to be downhill, I insisted that I took charge of the steering (these bikes can really shift downhill!) but once we arrived on the flat, making any progress   took on a different perspective entirely.

Speed ‘bumps’ or humps were placed strategically along the path to stop any foolish car driver from exceeding the speed limit of 10 mile per hour and running over unsuspecting campers as they sauntered along it, or even worse, colliding with foolish  novice peddlers out for a spin on one of the parks bikes.  Once we reached the flat, we ground to a halt at the first speed hump we encountered, and I then spent most of my time pushing and shoving at the back of the bike whilst Kerri made some vain attempts to steer and keep us on the path. She does tend to suffer from a certain amount of delusion where being able to drive is concerned.  She insists that she could jump into any vehicle tomorrow and drive away safely, easily able to handle steering, changing gear, the car itself, mirrors etc. It’s all a piece of cake in her mind, whereas in reality, as I discovered as I very nearly did myself an injury at the rear, she happily steered us into the grass and between the vans, colliding with refuse bins and so on in the process.

As I began to recall from my younger days spent as children at Wallis’s holiday camp at Cayton Bay Scarborough, these vehicles are fine when you are travelling downhill but sadly come to a grinding halt on any other type of surface, where even if you are lucky enough to be accompanied by someone who has very powerful pedalling legs, they are really hard to move. They seem to become virtual tanks, weighing tons with no means to enable any motion from the pedals at all.  Nor did it help that the one in charge of steering whilst I battled to get the bike to move forward, couldn’t even keep it on the relatively smooth path.  My legs were aching, my back was aching and so before I fell to the floor with exhaustion I threw in the towel in defeat and we limped back (well, I limped, she rode) to the hire area and parked up the bike.

By now I was about ready to pass out, so we had a welcome cup of coffee in the small cafe nearby so that I could get my strength back. For lunch we decided to take the reverse walk down the cliff path down to the Bluff Inn. As you can see from this photo that Kerri took, I’m still managing to remain upright and smiling despite my ordeal earlier.

A sunny smile from Mum.

We had our lunch in the Bluff Inn and on our return up the road back to camp, we met a lady who was obviously staying in one of the holiday villas that line the road up from the Inn to the Park. She was about to take a gorgeous long haired white Alsatian dog out for his walk. Kerri and I stopped to admire him and in our usual fashion we asked her about him. He was only eight months old and already quite large. I made her laugh by saying that if he was mine, I would have called him Ghost after the white wolf owned by Jon Snow in the Game of Thrones series.  Kerri took some photos of him as did I.  As with all young dogs, he was very skittish and didn’t know what to look at next!

So far, we hadn’t really ventured from the holiday park, but as the bus service from the park left a lot to be desired, we were somewhat handicapped as to venturing any distance. They didn’t arrive outside the park until 8.45am at the earliest (to Penzance) and the last bus was about 18.00pm! Not a lot of time to enjoy a day out further afield.  We went for another swim in the pool later that afternoon, and then made plans to visit St Ives the following day.

I’m enclosing  some more photos of our day which you can view as a slideshow by clicking on them.

TG

A Walk around Coley.

 

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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.

A lonesome Easter walk.

I’ve been on a walk. A rather lonesome walk taken to blow some of the cobwebs of indoors away and freshen up my lungs. A walk I have taken alone before and one that is fairly safe for a lone female, passing as it does amongst bungalows and houses full of people no doubt making the best of their Easter break.

Firstly I briskly walk past the ponies in the field stood waiting for their treats from passing children and their parents. The weather overhead is cloudy with occasional glimpses of a weak sun trying desperately to battle its way through. A gentle wind tugs at the ponies mane as he patently waits at the fence.

Windswept pony

I cross the road and begin the climb up Catherine Slack. Every time I walk up this road I always wonder who she was. A woman of ill repute? There are many Catherine Slacks available if you decide to do a search, she’s even on Facebook! Hmm.

I spy a bank of buttercups at the side of the road. If there are many buttercups its supposed to be a sign of a very hot summer…….or so my mother used to say.  One of the newly built houses is now for sale, though I can’t quite make out if its the show house or one that has not yet been completed. Whoever buys one will have some wonderful views across the valley.

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Continuing on past the golf course where you can enjoy a Sunday Carvery for £10 and get another free at the Rookery Restaurant. Tempting.  Onward towards my two favourite houses, one of which I will definitely buy if ever I am lucky enough to win the lottery.

Giles house is tucked away from the road in such a way that you cannot see it in all its glory without entering the gates and drive, where you would definitely be visible from the house and probably considered a trespasser or worse. Not wanting to be arrested for loitering I have had to resort to stealing this picture of the house from the internet where it was available to buy as recently as last year for about £900,000 and unfortunately as that is somewhat out of my current spending league I had to give it a miss. Still, there’s nought wrong with dreaming as they say…….

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Onward then past my other lovely house Lower Edge house, which is no doubt in the same price bracket, and then up the slight incline of Finkel Street. Where do some of these streets get their names from I wonder? A small white poodle stares out from one of the houses as I past by, so still that at first glance I take it for a china ornament.  Now I am on the homeward stretch going down towards the cemetery, which these days is looking so so forlorn and unkempt. I can remember when a head groundsman actually lived in the large house at the entrance and the whole cemetery was kept so tidy and well looked after. Now because of the usual cutbacks and other demands for council money, its become overgrown and full of weeds. Its such a shame. Its still there though, as a timely reminder to all who reside near its locale that none of us are here forever.

I arrive back at my abode, refreshed and ready for my lunch.

TG

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