Tuesday 29 March 2022

Worsbrough Mill And Country Park

The Saturday before last, we decided to cross the border into South Yorkshire and visit Worsbrough Mill and Country Park. 

The mill is a 17th century working water mill set in 240 acres of parkland.

The first recording of the mill is in the Domesday book of 1086, though the oldest part of the mill still standing today dates from about 1625. This is the part which houses the waterwheel.

You're able to go inside and see all the workings and there's great information boards which tell you about the process.

Water power comes from the River Dove. The mill now produces a range of premium quality organic flours and associated products for trade and retail customers. There's a new shop on the site where flour and gifts can be purchased.

We were lucky with the weather when we visited, beautiful blue skies and just look at the blossom waiting to burst.

It seemed the world and his wife were outdoors enjoying the sunshine but, as the country park is so large, we had plenty of space to ourselves.

We took a walk along the side of the reservoir. As you can see, it was rather muddy. We passed a few dog walkers but it was so tranquil with only the sound of birdsong breaking the silence.

Worsbrough Reservoir was built in 1804 to supply water to the new Worsbrough spur of the Dearne and Dove canal.

I'm not sure if you can walk the whole way round the reservoir, I'm sure you can, but we doubled back on ourselves as it would have been much too far for Archie's little legs. He doesn't walk very far these days before he gets tired.

The reservoir is now home to many different species of insects, mammals, birds and flowers.

We stood for a while watching a cormorant, he was diving for fish but I was much too slow to get a photo, so I'll leave you with this photo of a juvenile swan instead.

It was a lovely way to pass a couple of hours on a sunny day.

Friday 25 March 2022

A Whistlestop Tour Of The Yorkshire Dales

Mick's holiday year at work runs from the 1st of April to the 31st of March and he still had sixteen days left to take before the end of this month. He's added ten of those days onto next year's allocation but that still left him with six days to take, so he decided to take last Friday and all this week. We struck lucky with the weather, it's been glorious.

Last Friday we decided to head off into the Yorkshire Dales but instead of sticking in one place, we drove around and spent a shorter time in a number of places. We started off in Ingleton, known as the Land of Waterfalls and Caves. Ingleton Waterfalls Trail is a 4 1/2 mile trail through ancient oak woodland and Yorkshire Dales scenery via a series of waterfalls. We didn't follow the trail, preferring to wander through the village. St Mary's Church dates from 1886, though it's possible that there's been a place of worship on the site since the 12th century.

The viaduct with eleven arches is an imposing structure in the village and was designated a listed building in 1988. It's been redundant since the closure of the Clapham to Low Gill railway line in the 1960s.

It's always good to find a yarn shop on our travels. Amanda Bloom who runs Little Box of Crochet used to be the owner of this shop but it was taken over and reopened last year with new owners. It's a lovely shop stocking both commercial and hand-dyed yarn. I didn't make a purchase on this occasion but it was lovely to have a look around.

After a mooch around Ingleton we headed off to the much larger market town of Settle. The market is held each Tuesday, but there's lots of independent shops to visit on other days of the week. There's an abundance of lovely cafes and places to eat here too.

Malham is a village a little over six miles from Settle so that was our next destination. The white area in the photo above is Malham Cove, a huge curving cliff formation of limestone rock. The vertical face is about 260 feet high and the top of the cove is a large area of deeply eroded limestone pavement. The scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where Harry Potter is camping was filmed on the limestone pavement. There are steps which you can climb to the top of the cove onto the limestone pavement and though we didn't visit Malham Cove on this occasion, we have climbed the stairs up to the top of the cove previously.

Wherever you are in the Yorkshire Dales, the scenery is stunning. Acres upon acres of land and miles upon miles of dry stone walls.

Sheep can be seen grazing all over the Yorkshire Dales and there's lots of newborn lambs too at the moment.

Malham is only a small village but it's picturesque and Malham Cove, Gordale Scar - a huge gorge, and Janet's Foss waterfall are all within walking distance.

A stream runs through the village and Archie always likes to have a paddle. He had a little more difficulty getting in and out of the stream on this occasion and it's at times like these that we can see how he's becoming more unsteady as he gets older. He'll be twelve in a couple of months.

The ducks were enjoying the stream too.

Our last port of call was Grassington, another market town and also the fictional market town of Darrowby in All Creatures Great and Small. When we arrived there was a film crew getting the village ready for filming. The house you can see above is Skeldale House in the programme where James Herriot lives and works. The man in the photo was dressing up the exterior with fake flowers.

Grassington's Devonshire Inn had been converted into Darrowby's Drovers Arms. Apparently, scenes from inside the pub are actually filmed in The Green Dragon Inn in Hawes as the interior of the The Devonshire is too modern.

Many of the shops in Grassington were all ready for filming. Darrowby Ironmongers is actually Walkers Bakers and Chocolatiers and though the exteriors have been changed, the shops themselves are still trading.

I never tire of my days out to the Yorkshire Dales, I've been visiting the area since I was a babe in arms when my parents used to take us for days out and it's somewhere we've taken our children too.

So that was the first day out while Mick's been off work, but we've visited other places too, blog posts to follow.

Monday 21 March 2022

Last Of The Summer Wine Country

Do you watch Last of the Summer Wine? It's only repeats that are shown now but it was a long running British sitcom shown between 1973 and 2010, there were thirty one series. It was one of my dad's favourite programmes. It's quite surprising then that I've never seen a full episode, I've caught the odd five or ten minutes here and there but that's about it, it's never held my interest.

Last of the Summer Wine was filmed in Holmfirth, a West Yorkshire town about six miles south of Huddersfield nestling in the Pennine hills. Both the scenery and the filming locations attract thousands of tourists each year and though I never watched Last of the Summer Wine, we decided to go and have a wander round the town last weekend. I have to say that we've visited before, quite a while ago, and I wasn't really taken with it then but it was somewhere to go.

We decided we'd seek out the buildings used in the filming of the programme, something we haven't done before, and the first one we came to was Sid's Cafe. This really is a fully operational cafe and the menu looked good.

We then came to The Wrinkled Stocking Tearoom, named after Nora Batty's (a character in the show) ill-fitting hosiery. The exterior of this building was used as Compo's (another character in the show) house, though I think it was the back of the building which was used in filming.

So here we are round the back. There's a Last of the Summer Wine museum housed here too.

A blue plaque confirming that this is, indeed, Compo's House.

Right next door to Compo's house is Nora Batty's blue door.

How about a little holiday in Holmfirth? You could even stay in Nora Batty's cottage.

Of course, with so much beautiful scenery on the doorstep of Holmfirth, filming wasn't confined to the town. The Summerwine Magic tour bus will take you on a ten mile journey to see some of the filming locations.

After seeking out the Last of the Summer Wine points of interest we decided to have a wander around the town. All of a sudden we heard lots of horns blaring and a convoy of tractors had taken to the streets. It turned out to be Holmfirth's Tractor Run, a charity event to raise funds to help 6 year old Eden beat Neuroblastoma. The tractors were travelling from Holmfirth to Penistone via Holme Valley.

There's a decent selection of independent shops in Holmfirth, always nice to look around and perhaps make a purchase or two.

I was looking at all the mouth-watering bread in the window of this bakery when I noticed the stone built into the wall.

On the 5th of February 1852, the embankment of the Bilberry Reservoir collapsed causing severe flooding and claiming the lives of 81 people. The stone marks how high the flooding was in the town.

Ashley Jackson, the watercolour artist, lives in Holmfirth and he has a gallery here.

We passed a community garden where veggies are being grown in tyres and containers. I'm not sure it's in the best place though as it's by the side of a busy road in the centre of town. All those exhaust fumes!

The River Holme, a tributary of the River Colne, runs through Holmfirth.

I've only visited Holmfirth once before, quite a long time ago actually, so it was somewhere different for a drive out and made a nice change.

Thursday 17 March 2022

Oakworth Station

After we visited Haworth Again, which I wrote about in my last post, we decided to call in at Oakworth Station. It's less than two miles from Haworth and was made famous when The Railway Children was filmed there.

When you enter the ticket office at Oakworth Station, it's like stepping back in time. There's no mod cons here and that's its charm. While we were there the station master took a phone call, not on his mobile phone as you might think but on an old-fashioned candlestick telephone.

It was a chilly day, we were only just into March, and it was lovely to get warm by the real fire, which was lit in the hearth, before we walked through to the platform.

The station was built and opened with the rest of the line for passengers in 1867. It's part of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.

The line was closed in 1962 but the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society took over the line and station and reopened it in 1968. It now runs a regular weekend service up the valleys of the River Worth and Bridgehouse Beck to Oxenhope, as well as special events throughout the year.

We'd arrived after one train had left and another was due so we didn't get to see a steam train on this occasion but we enjoyed our visit to the station just the same.

As I've mentioned, The Railway Children, which was released in 1970, was filmed at Oakworth Station and there's plaques pertaining to this on the walls. I believe some scenes from the recent remake of All Creatures Great and Small were filmed here too.

I enjoyed seeing all the old signs on the fencing, some of these bring back memories.

There's even an old handcart and luggage.

At the other end of the station building is the Ladies' Waiting Room.

I can just imagine the ladies in Victorian times waiting for their train in this room. There was another lit fire here too and the clock gave a lovely loud tick tock sound. There's even a tablecloth and flowers on the table and a rug by the hearth, things were done properly in those days.

Lighting is still by gas lamps.

I'm really pleased we called at Oakworth Station, it's a shame we missed seeing a train but it gives us an excuse to return, and perhaps we'll even take a ride rather than just watching, who knows.