New Year’s Day in Hebden Bridge

There were no buses on New Year’s Day but the trains were running. So a quick 20-odd minute train journey from Burnley to Hebden was called for. A deserted station with a Xmas tree greeted me but I hoped for more.p1040187

I’ve got to say that when I walked into town, past a deserted play area, there wasn’t a lot going on with many of the shops closed and some people having the impression that the trains weren’t running either.p1040189p1040190p1040191p1040192

However I had a great meal in the Old Gate pub and restaurant. It wasn’t the quickest service but it was packed and the staff were friendly.

It was also the best burger I’ve had for ages, and the kids meals were enormous.img_0844

So a decent meal before we embarked on our journey from a deserted platform back to Lancashire.p1040194

Not the first visit and it won’t be the last.



Hebden Bridge revisited

We said we’d go back and we did. A short train ride from East Lancashire and a walk from the vintage station, crossing the river, and along by the canal to the wonderful play area (where all I heard were southern accents, not a local one in earshot).P1030895

P1030897P1030898P1030896Then a stroll into the town centre – which seems to have recovered  from the floods. Watched the ducks, which seem to have multiplied since our last visit and  have made one side of the river bank a virtual no-go area with all their excrement, and listened to a busker nearby.

We had a decent lunch, did a bit of shopping, the rain held off and we enjoyed the relaxed vibe before heading back across the border.




Skipton……….gateway to the Yorkshire Dales (and a cracking farm shop)

Excellent post & photographs

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The route of the Leeds – Liverpool Canal


As it was such a lovely day last Monday I set off to visit Skipton with the primary aim of taking a walk along the Leeds – Liverpool canal as well as photographing all the narrow boats that converge in the basin virtually in the town centre.


A wrong turning on the outskirts of the town meant I ended up driving towards the town via a circuitous route. Whilst at first this was a bit of a bind it tuned out to be a very fortuitous “wrong turning” as I came across the “Keelham Kitchen”, an out-of-town farm shop (a very big one) selling meat, fruit / vegetables and a particularly wonderful selection of Yorkshire beers.

DSC_0026.jpg Canal basin at Skipton

If you are a “foodie” this is like an Aladdin’s cave with a wonderful choice of meats, green groceries, preserves and beer /…

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Christmas arrives in Hebden Bridge……in June!

Some feel-good news from my friend at kindadukish

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)


Anyone who has followed my blog will remember the one about the floods in West Yorkshire and which featured the above distressing image of the devastation of the floods. It was at Christmas time and for whole communities their priority was getting through the chaos caused by the floodwaters, seasonal festivities were the last thing on their minds.

Well, people in Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale are now celebrating “the Christmas that never was”, six months after flooding devastated the area. Thousands of homes and businesses in the region were damaged when Storm Eva battered the north of England during December’s floods.


Organisers said it was an opportunity for the whole community to have a proper party.
The event features six snow machines and Christmas trees. There was also a surprise guest at the celebrations

There was also a Christmas lunch for volunteers who helped when the floods hit, with an…

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A quick trip to Hebden Bridge

P1030556A few weekends ago we visited Hebden Bridge, a small market town not far from Halifax and Rochdale in the Upper Calder Valley.

An old industrial mill town more famous of late for its bohemian character due to people with arts and crafts skills settling there and also for being the lesbian capital of England.

We travelled by train from Burnley, a mere 18 minute journey, and at times we were high above the houses at ground level.P1030544


As we walked into the town centre we crossed the Rochdale canal, a 32 mile stretch which runs from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge and which was re-opened in 2002.P1030550 P1030546 P1030545

Seeing the railway and the canal makes you realise what feats of engineering our  forefathers carried out at the start of the Napoleonic Wars as the canal also passes high over the Pennine Moors rather than having tunnels (92 locks instead which were cheaper).

Crossing the town centre by the river we met a couple of the local residents by a fine stone bridge before making our way to our rendezvous in a local pub.P1030549 P1030548

Hebden Bridge suffered badly from the floods earlier in the year as my colleague kindadukish has blogged. There are still signs of the flood damage with several shops displaying notices thanking customers for their loyalty and patience and asserting that they will be back!

On our way back to the railway station via the park and play area it was noticeable just how the town is surrounded by hills providing a wonderful backdrop.P1030552 P1030551


We finally arrived back at the railway station, originally built in 1893 and renovated in 1997, from which people were travelling to Manchester for a night on the town judging by their attire.P1030557

It was always the case. When the station opened in the mid 19c there were regular trains from Manchester to Leeds every day.

But we were heading back to East Lancashire vowing we would be returning in the very near future.


Marsden Cuckoo Day, 2016

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IMGP7838.JPG Cottage at the canal side

Being an “incomer” to West Yorkshire having only lived in the white rose county for thirty-eight years, I am still catching up with all the festivals that are held in individual villages along the pennine route from Yorkshire into (utter the word very quietly) Lancashire.

IMGP7870.JPG Is that Nora Batty I see………….?

The three villages that lead you out of Huddersfield are Golcar, Slaithwaite (or Slawit to locals) and Marsden. The latter was used to film much of “Last of The Summer Wine” although everyone thinks it is Holmfirth.

IMGP7868.JPG Heben Bridge Hill Millies………….

Each village has various annual festivals but the main ones around here are “Golcar Lily Day”, Slaithwaite Moonraker Day” and “Marsden Cuckoo Day” and today was Cuckoo day. The cuckoo is a harbinger of spring and each year the residents of Marsden mark the welcome change in the season with their Cuckoo Festival. Legend…

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