Heading out of Ribblesdale over Newby Head into Widdale you’ll find this old Yorkshire barn, now in a sorry state. I’ve noticed its gradual deterioration over many years travelling along this route and I guess there’s not much hope for it now.
Stuck at home during one of the many wet days this week I trolled through my photo archive to see if I could find an earlier picture of the barn but instead dug out several other shots of sad-looking farm buildings, all located in Ribblesdale. I hadn’t realised I’d taken so many – they do make interesting foregrounds, and subjects in themselves – nevertheless it’s a shame such fine structures have been allowed to fall into unusable condition. The reasons behind their decay are many and varied, and here in my little photo-blog is probably not the place for an in-depth report on the condition of buildings within the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
I believe that my little cottage in Ribblesdale was once part of an 18th-century barn. It was converted into three small houses for mill or lime workers some time during the early 1800s … a good example of reusing old buildings to suit conditions at the time. Today, planning rules would be restrictive – especially within the National Park – and 21st-century needs would probably prove too disruptive for reusing the more isolated buildings. And many of our rural villages no longer provide work, schooling, shops, pubs etc to make it viable for the redevelopment of the more accessible deteriorating buildings. In urban areas these old structures would just be considered a hazard or an eyesore, bulldozed and the land bought by developers who will erect some boring ‘boxes’ thus lining their pockets with a fat profit.
I read an interesting blog on the subject of rural house building here https://cpreviewpoint.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/the-housing-bill-bad-for-villages/
I had to twice read this section to make sure I’d understood it correctly … “One senior Tory told me that no one has a right to live in a village any more than someone brought up in Mayfair has a right to live there. Someone may have grown up in a village and work in it, but if they cannot afford to buy a house in it, they should move to the nearest affordable town.”
In other words, if you’ve got money you can live where you want; it doesn’t matter whether your ancestors have lived there for generations or your family and friends still live there; it doesn’t matter if you can’t afford to travel to work or that there isn’t any transport… etc etc. So basically, he’s saying if you’re poor, you’re not allowed to enjoy a life in the countryside and must go live in a town.
Weather or not
I was due to show some friends the delights of the Dales during the week but the atrocious weather put a stop to that, and after their caravan almost blew over in a gale they abandoned ship and headed home. Hope this doesn’t leave a lasting bad impression on them, but we should realise it is winter, and that this is the Pennines not the Med. For their benefit here’s a few things they missed which are worth returning to see: above, Ashley Jackson’s frame at Brimham Rocks www.framingthelandscape.co.uk/ ; below Pecca Falls, Ingleton, the view from Buttertubs and from Winskill
We got into a discussion about dialect and agreed that when we are with close friends and family we often speak in a kind of lazy ‘shorthand’ which we all understand but probably wouldn’t use in general speech. So I set my friends this teaser to see if they could translate. I call it Yorkshire Teatime – a working class Yorkshire family discussion over the tea table. See how much you can read (it’ll blow the mind of any auto-correct software)…
Twin 1: Wotwehavinferusteamam?
Twin 2: Duwiattergerruzandsweshed?
Twin 1: Eh?
Twin 2: Avbinlaikinart.
Twin 1: Passustbutta.
Twin 2: Thamungerritthissen.
Twin 1: Giuzit.
Mam: Oowurreewi? Wurreeweeizsen?
Twins 1&2: Awwdad!