Of all Yorkshire’s Dales, Kingsdale probably makes me feel the most relaxed. It’s such a peaceful place; small but perfectly formed. Kingsdale doesn’t belong in the 21st century and is much the better place for it. With Gragareth rising steeply on the west and Whernside to the east, this most secluded of dales can seem very lonely on a darkening winter’s eve. But on bright autumnal days with sun shining on the limestone, and glistening on the beck as it cackles over water-worn pebbles, Kingsdale is heavenly.
I have a well-read phamplet that was printed by the Craven Herald in the 1930s, called Kingsdale the Valley of the Vikings. It was written and published by Frederic Riley of The Book Stores, Settle. In it are many photos of scenes which if I captured again today would not look any different whatsoever.
One day this week I parked in a lay-by on the narrow road from Thornton-in-Lonsdale to Dent where there is a classic view of Kingsdale. Should I head to the west of the dale and walk up the steep path through loose rocky limestone, or go east up the gentler slopes of Twisleton Scars? Thinking that my old knees would handle the latter much more comfortably I headed for the path up which I’d not been for more than 40 years, towards Whernside. Years ago, probably during a Duke of Edinburgh Awards hike, we’d camped in Ingleton and walked up Twisleton Scar and along the spine of Whernside (pictured above) before camping again somewhere near High Birkwith. No such trek today as I wandered around the fabulous limestone pavement where a few stunted trees leaned with the prevailing westerly wind towards Ingleborough. Here, odd weathered stones balance precariously which along with the trees present some classic (or should that be clichéd?) shots of the surrounding dales landscape. A lovely walk with extensive views over Wenningdale towards the Bowland Fells.
My granddad’s brother, Reuben Hepworth, survived the horrific battle fields of Flanders only to be killed in action exactly one month later on 11th December 1917 while on duty in Italy. He was just 24 and single. His mother Hannah, already a widow and with four children, received £105 10s 2d in April 1920 when the government finally sorted out his will. While we rightly remember those who died fighting for their countries we should also bear in mind the trauma felt by families back home.
I have Reuben’s Memorial Plaque – sometimes known as the Death Penny or Dead Man’s Penny. They were issued after the First World War to the next-of-kin of service personnel killed as a result of the war.
Like me, you were probably totally surprised to hear this week that some rich people get richer by avoiding tax. What shocking news. They’ll be telling us next that there are people on benefits who shouldn’t be – and folk driving round in cars that haven’t been taxed. Ah well, life just wouldn’t be the same in Little England if we couldn’t go ‘tut-tut’ about something, would it?
This week’s church is in the Mallerstang valley in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. St Mary’s chapel at Outhwaite has been around since the 14th century. The small low building contains a 13th century bell. Above the porch is a stone recording the restoration of the church by Lady Anne Clifford, who owned the nearby Pendragon Castle and lived in Skipton Castle, no doubt avoiding tax.
My old milk-bottle legs got an airing in the sunny Dales yesterday. Shorts were donned for a walk around Warrendale Knotts just up the hill from home in Langcliffe. From the top of any of the limestone knolls you can enjoy great views east and west. The mighty scars here are as impressive as any along the Craven Fault, and the limestone Dales landscape contrasts greatly from the neighbouring gritstone area where Black Hill and Rye Loaf Hill loom darkly. In the west, Ingleborough and Penyghent look down on Ribblesdale. Top photo shows Attermire Scar with Black Hill and Rye Loaf Hill in the background.
Off to Hell
Earlier in the week I drove through the Dales to the Mallerstang area, captured a steam train crossing Dandry Mire viaduct and took a trip to Hell. Well, Hellgill Force, to be precise. Sometimes this waterfall can be nobbut a trickle while other times it’s a truly spectacular sight when water cascades down from the steep fells. Hell Gill forms the boundary between Yorkshire and Westmorland and is where the water chooses which way to head to the coast – either west along the Lune and Eden route, or east and on to the North Sea via the Ure. This ‘Hell’ has nothing to do with that devil chap, in case you were wondering – the name stems from an Old Norse word ‘hella’, meaning flat stone.
In the Yorkshire Dales there are lots of places where you can ‘have five minutes’. I used to get so frustrated as a youngster when my parents wanted to ‘have five minutes’. This usually meant stopping something interesting or exciting and doing nothing other than having a cuppa and sitting still. Boring. Nowadays in my ancient state I love ‘having five minutes’, sitting on some rocky outcrop and staring at the Dales landscape, watching the clouds pass by and listening to the birds. As in the past, the five minutes often become ten and more. Just a short walk from home, above Winskill Nature Reserve, is a favourite place of mine for ‘having five minutes’. From here you can see the Three Peaks and Fountains Fell, look up, down and across Ribblesdale. To the south west is Warrendale Knotts, Attermire Scar and the Bowland Fells. By your feet the limestone pavement shelters beautiful tiny plants and insects typical of the Yorkshire Dales … a big, wide world and another miniature one side by side. Top photo: a good spot for ‘having five minutes’ – at the head of Barbondale where the Howgills and Dentdale add to a spectacular view.
I took a few tentative steps outside Yorkshire this week. I must add a rider here: many of those steps were within the new Yorkshire Dales National Park boundary. You know what? It’s pretty good – Westmorland and Cumberland have quite a bit going for them. Just south of Appleby is the impressive Rutter Force which just sneaks into the recently extended park. The mill there is now accommodation, reached by a ford which even on a fairly calm day like this I wouldn’t cross in my little car.
Busy Appleby is just outside the Yorkshire park boundary but a fine place to visit – made even better by being reachable via the Settle-Carlisle Railway. Before this visit I hadn’t realised the extent Appleby had suffered from the last major flooding. Many riverside properties are still being renovated or drying out. Flood prevention schemes along the riverbank are being implemented.
They like to take care of their trees in Appleby – this one has a nice woolly coat to protect it from the strong north-easterlies.
Back in real Yorkshire
In amongst lengthy thunder and lightning storms this week there were a couple of decent sunsets. The shot below was taken at Winskill Stones above Langcliffe.
There’s a fabulous 360-degree Dales view from Stone Rigg at the head of Barbondale. If ever you want to know why more parts of this area have been roped into the revised Yorkshire Dales National Park then this is the place to go. Standing on the small rocky outcrops at the top of Stone Rigg – just a short walk from the steep, narrow road from Dent – you see the Howgills to the north. The lower end of the Howgill range is already in the park but further north towards Ravenstonedale is rightly being included later this year. Swinging right you stare across at Aye Gill Pike and down Dentdale to Great Knoutberry, then on to the western slopes of Great Coum and Crag Fell.
At 180 degrees you’re looking down Barbondale itself with the steep side of Middleton Fell glaring down on your right. I’ve been here several times before and never tire of the all-round beauty. Further down the narrow dale heading towards Barbon is a little boundary stone which signals the end of the current park. The lower slopes of the dale become thickly wooded before it opens out to reveal some glorious views along Lunesdale.
Later in the week I also revisited another part of the new park, heading up Mallerstang and stopping off at the enigmatic 12th-century Pendragon Castle. The view down towards Wild Boar Fell was, as always, a pleasure to see.
From the castle it was on towards Nateby. Gypsies were camped ready for the final part of their annual journey to Appleby – it seemed an appropriate spot for their camp and surely much more of a pleasure for the horses than beside the busy A65 (where they’ve been causing enormous traffic jams). I love the journey between Nateby and Keld through Birkdale. Here is a very different Dales character to my normal Ribblesdale habitat: bleak and rough; fewer walls and tougher sheep. But you’re soon into a greener Upper Swaledale; enclosed by steep sides but gentler, with the young Swale dancing over exposed browned bedrock. A grand drive over Buttertubs Pass to Wensleydale, up Widdale and home via Three Peaks country of Ribblesdale. I might not be exercising my legs much at the moment but my eyes are certainly active.
I wonder, had Kirby Misperton fallen within their land, if the Dales National Park would have allowed last week’s fracking fiasco to happen? Seven councillors who are supposed to represent Yorkshire on matters of planning, ignored the 92 per cent of locals and instead pandered to what the government wanted them to do – a government which is currently keeping secret a report on whether fracking causes climate concern. Hell, even Lancastrian councillors had the sense to boot out the get-rich-quick fracking cowboys. Hang your heads, seven shameless Yorkshiremen.
Which brings me on to another whinge I have, stirred up by this week’s ‘news’. There’s a decline, says a study, in the humber of people using regional accents. It seems we are all starting to sound like we come from the south east. That certainly won’t do. And some teachers have been told to change the way they speak to children by cutting down on local accents. Sometimes I listen to people in their late teens/early 20s, using that very boring generic university accent, in which almost every sentence seems to end with a question mark, and I thank mi Mam n Dad for teaching me to speyk Yorksher.
Talking of moaning – an acquaintance was moaning about pot-holes in Ribblesdale’s roads the other week. This week he is moaning that ‘they’ are closing the roads throughout the region to mend those potholes. Now I’m moaning about him moaning.
Bridge of Sighs
I was very saddened to see that someone had a go at demolishing the pretty packhorse bridge over the Ribble at Knight Stainforth this week. Obviously, the person didn’t go out to deliberately wreck the ancient structure – whether it was caused by someone using a sat nav instead of a brain cell, or by careless driving, I don’t know. But it’s going to be costly to repair the National Trust-owned bridge. The original stonework is going to have to be recovered from the river before it is washed away, and the bridge will probably not look the same when rebuilt. It wasn’t meant to take motorised traffic. I realise this will inconvenience a few local users but I think the current diversion via Stackhouse Lane or Helwith Bridge should be made permanent and the bridge left for cyclists and pedestrians only. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that during the Bank Holiday weekend, which brings all kinds of folk to Stainforth Foss, we don’t see more damage or accidents.
It’s been a pleasure hobbling around Ribblesdale this week while spring really blossomed. By the Ribble in Langcliffe were thousands of rampant ramsons like riotious football fans charging down the packed terrace, hopping over the fencing and spilling on to the pitch.
Sitting here listening to the birds and a gently trickling river was simply beautiful. However, one youngster licking its lips as it approached me was a little disconcerting…
Funny how we take everyday things for granted. Postboxes for example. On my regular Ribblesdale stroll this week I noticed snowdrops growing by a postbox — and have to admit that until I’d seen both snowdrops and postbox together I’d not taken much notice of that bright red metal thing. It got me thinking about other postboxes around the Dales. I hunted through my photo archive for some more examples … and found these in Chapel-le-dale, Langstrothdale (above) and Mallerstang.
If you know of any postboxes in picturesque Dales locations let me know – I might do a bit of ‘collecting’ myself. Apparently there is such a thing as the Letter Box Study Group www.lbsg.org with a website and more than 600 members. I shan’t be joining, but surely taking photos of postboxes is more acceptable than searching the country to capture gas holders? I read this week about one chap who has this as a hobby. His pastime came to the notice of the newspapers when it was decided that the famous gas holder beside the Oval cricket ground in London (yes, non-cricket fans, it really is famous) is to be saved from demolition because it is seen as some kind of icon. Historic England adds: ‘…but our other beautiful gas holders are going’ [to be demolished]. Beautiful? Come on! Seems it is acceptable to churn up hundreds of miles of priceless countryside for the pointless HS2 railway, and to allow our green and pleasant land to be fracked up to kingdom come, but not to knock down a rusting, useless gas holder? It’s a mad, mad world.
Took my first sunset shots of the year last Sunday up on Winskill Stones in Ribblesdale. The late evening sunshine lit up the limestone and also the distant western side of Penyghent. The last few minutes before the sun disappeared over Lancashire provided some startlingly vivid colours.
The following time-lapse shots are a bit arty-farty for me, I know, but I display them only to show the speed of the water at Stainforth Foss on Tuesday following heavy overnight and morning rain in Ribblesdale. The shutter speed is set at just one-fifth of a second which tells you much about the volume and speed of the water passing in front of my camera lens. If you’d like to join me for a couple of minutes at the popular spot you can see a video here https://youtu.be/Agba6D6Txvg Excuse the quality — it’s taken on my normal camera not a video camera, and I was being buffeted by a strong wind.
After the rain came Wednesday’s snow. The village (Langcliffe) took on a different persona — cosier, somehow. The photo of St John’s church (above) looks like a black-and-white, but it isn’t. And despite seeing them a thousand times before, I just had to take a trip further up Ribblesdale to see how the Three Peaks were looking in the snow – and they didn’t disappoint.
This week I’ve had to endure one of life’s greatest hardships. It’s not been easy for me, especially living on my own. Having no kids or partner around to help out has been a total nightmare. Yes, the TV remote broke. Getting up to manually change channels or just to turn the damn thing on and off has left me exhausted and frustrated. Must be the batteries (the remote’s, not mine) I thought, so off I trotted in the snow in search of power. Alas, new batteries didn’t solve the problem. So, another trip to town for a replacement zapper — no one had anything suitable for my TV. Amazon it was then. Three days delivery they said. Aargh! Just how did folk manage before remote controllers?
Regular readers will know of my fondness for the deserted Ribblesdale hamlet of Thorns (pictured above), just a mile or so from Ribblehead Viaduct. Thorns was an important location on a former packhorse route. Records of the settlement I often visit for quiet contemplation, date back to 1190, when it belonged to Furness Abbey. Wills, parish records and censuses indicate that there were five tenements in 1538, three households in 1841, and one uninhabited dwelling in 1891. Those stats are courtesy of the charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) which this week announced it was looking for budding archaeologists to take part in an archaeological survey of Thorns. Visit the website www.ydmt.org for more information.
Yesterday was my birthday. It’s the 63rd time this as occurred so I’m used to birthdays and I don’t take much notice of them now. However, I must admit I was a bit taken aback when I read that a birthday flypast tribute by the Red Arrows had been arranged. How pleasing too that my big day was also the 80th birthday of the Spitfire and I could share my special display with that great invention.
The village school closed back in 2007. It was sold six years later for £230,000 and remains unoccupied, the new owners’ plans being refused permission by the National Park. I’ve often wondered who pocketed the money and what was done with it. What I do know for certain is that some accountant somewhere declared that the school as an education establishment was ‘economically unviable’ and shut it down. Its closure certainly wouldn’t have been decided by locals or teaching staff. Village schools help keep dales communities together – but that’s not something an accountant working on behalf of government can quantify in monetary terms so it is ignored.
I know a lot of teachers – or more precisely ex-teachers (many of them jumping ship as soon as their pensions would allow them to do so) – and I’m probably more sympathetic to the plight of teachers and how the education system is being run than a lot of the general public. I attended teacher training college before finding an opening in journalism and I was married to a teacher for many years. So I’ve kept an eye on education matters – as we all should, really … after all, this is the country’s and our children’s/grandchildren’s future we’re talking about.
The problems and solutions are far too numerous and complex for me to go into in depth here. But I will say that I wish politicians would just leave alone something about which they know and understand very little. Many of them attended expensive private schools which bear no co-relation with the education of the masses. Most have no idea about the everyday life of teaching a class or running a school, yet ministers (and accountants) decide the rules and regulations by which our children are educated. I have the feeling that government would prefer if teachers just brainwashed children so that they don’t have any individual thoughts, or think creatively or question their elders.
One of my singer/songwriter heroes is Tom Paxton, and this week I listened again to one of his songs from the 1960s, called ‘What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?’. The verses, although based on the USA at the time, could well ring true today in this country and elsewhere. Here are some of the words which his little boy said in response to the question:
I learned that Washington never told a lie.
I learned that soldiers seldom die.
I learned that everybody’s free.
And that’s what the teacher said to me.
I learned that policemen are my friends.
I learned that justice never ends.
I learned that murderers die for their crimes.
Even if we make a mistake sometimes.
I learned our government must be strong.
It’s always right and never wrong.
Our leaders are the finest men.
And we elect them again and again.
I learned that war is not so bad.
I learned of the great ones we have had.
We fought in Germany and in France.
And some day I might get my chance.
Bill Mitchell’s funeral service at Skipton Parish Church on Monday proved to be a fitting send-off for a Dales icon. His children David and Janet spoke eloquently as they recalled life with their famous dad. He would have been very proud of them. After the service I thought I’d pay a private little tribute to Bill by visiting one of his favourite spots. I once asked him to tell me of his best-loved places in the Dales – a terrible question to ask, and one to which I usually give a very wishy-washy answer. He preferred peaceful out-of-the-way locations where he could contemplate life rather than those featuring great long hikes over mountains. He liked Cotter Force (pictured above) and other waterfalls, and also Thorns Gill, near Ribblehead, where I took a little wander on Monday afternoon. The beck was low and the trees were changing colour and losing leaves, which meant I could see more of the quaint old bridge.
When I joined Dalesman Publishing Company in 1993 Bill had retired from being editor of Dalesman and Cumbria magazines some five years earlier but he still contributed to them and for a while continued to edit from home another magazine which the company owned called Pennine Magazine, later to become Peak & Pennine. Alongside Bill I subedited and laid out the pages, the old fashioned way to begin with – cutting and pasting bits of paper for an outside typesetter to prepare for press. Bill was very fond of the magazine. It gave him chance to write about areas and subjects not necessarily associated with the more rural dales region. His interesting and popular Milltown Memories articles stemmed from this. On Tuesday I had the chance of a whistle-stop tour of some of the areas featured in the magazine which sadly is no longer published.
The gritstone towns and villages clinging to the steep hillsides here are full of character. They sit in dramatic country where for centuries Man has tried, usually unsuccessfully, to tame inhospitable land and conditions. The higher boggy moors of the South Pennines are really fit for nothing bar rearing game birds and a few hardy sheep. But it is the perfect place for collecting water, as witnessed by countless reservoirs which supply major industrial towns and cities of the north. They break up desolate landscape and provide some fine photography.
At Dovestone (pictured above), close to where the four counties of Yorks, Lancs, Derbyshire and Cheshire shake hands, the autumn colours brightened up for me what can sometimes feel to be a dark, claustrophobic – but exciting – landscape.
The sky and weather changes rapidly here on the high hills and this has proved inspirational for many leading artists, writers and poets. Holmfirth-based artist Ashley Jackson loves these moors and he has helped people visualise their beauty with the installation of metal frames around the district – see www.framingthelandscape.co.uk. I called to see one at Wessenden, a bleak spot on the edge of Saddleworth Moor, and after a brief stroll around the picturesque Digley Reservoir, it was up the winding route to Holme Moss, 1719ft above sea level. Here another of Ashley’s frames (pictured above) highlights a wide-reaching and varied panorama of moorland, industry and history.
As if the hills aren’t already high enough in these parts, Man has decided to extend his reach even further. Holme Moss transmitter station stretches another 750ft high above the frame, while in the distance the giant TV mast of Emley Moor stands a whopping 1084 ft high with its tip almost touching 2,000ft above sea level. Tall wind turbines grab the considerable breezes to the south-east, while in the centre of the scene the grand Victoria Tower of Castle Hill is clearly visible. While I’m in full-flowing anorak mode, I can tell you that the tower is 106ft high, which means that by standing at the top you are 1,000 feet, plus however tall you are, above sea level.
I drove down to the monument (pictured above) before dusk and although it wasn’t the clearest of evenings the 360 degree views were still a joy to behold. I then watched Huddersfield Town win 2-0 … also a joy to behold (but not as frequently available).
Being very busy for the rest of the week I’ve had little chance to do much more photography or walking, but strolling into Settle along the Highway on Friday I was rewarded with a view of some fine autumn colours.
Pleasing news this week is that the government have at last (it’s taken more than two years) decided on enlarging the Lakes and Dales national parks to bridge the gap between the two. Important places like Orton Fell, Mallerstang (pictured below) and the northern end of the Howgills will from next summer fall under the Dales authority. The government now has to find a way to pay for this extension at a time when they are slashing all park and local authority budgets. Will they eventually decide to sell off the Dales National Park to the highest bidder? Will my forecast in an earlier blog of there being a McDonalds or a Starbucks at the top of Penyghent one day become reality? Let’s hope they remember that the national parks were created to protect our countryside for future generations, not to solve financial cock-ups, or make someone a fat profit, or place in private hands.
Last Sunday was one of those grey Dales days which have been all too familiar this summer. Nevertheless I drove to Ribblehead where often on a summer Sunday there can be more people than on Blackpool prom – but it wasn’t too bad. Knowing that a steam train was due to be heading back from Carlisle I walked up to Blea Moor until my head almost reached the height of the low cloud. Approaching Blea Moor signal box I recalled a diary piece I wrote around five years ago for Dalesman concerning the lonely house which is situated next to the box. It was in a poor state and the ‘garden’ was covered in tons of scrap metal – a real eyesore. This was the first impression many travelers got of Ribblesdale as they entered from the north-west and so the owner was asked to clean it up, which he did to a fashion. As seen in my pic above, It doesn’t look too good again today and the house seems deserted – a great shame.
However, looking back down the dale I managed to capture something more cheerful as a brief shaft of sunlight illuminated the valley while Penyghent remained shrouded in mist.
I could hear the cat growling while he was sitting on the internal window ledge. This usually means there are birds outside which he can’t get at. Together we watched a group of sparrows and finches having a bath in the puddles – but our thoughts about ‘capturing’ them differed somewhat.
It’s steam train season here in Ribblesdale and during the peak summer period there can be five a week passing up and down the Settle-Carlisle railway. They attract people to the area and help keep the grand old line open. The politically correct may consider these great machines as eco-unfriendly. If they were running an hourly service every day of the year I might agree with them. But I’d still rather see one of these chugging up the dale than a hundred polluting cars any day. On Tuesday I captured this one as it was leaving Settle.
With a good forecast for Wednesday I’d planned to pollute the dales myself by driving over to Wensleydale through Mallerstangdale, then head back via Birkdale and Swaledale. Perfect timing saw me meeting another steamer on the line near Aisgill (above pic) where the line leaves Yorkshire and enters Westmorland. This is the final major climb for the train and a popular location for train buffs.
On clear days the views as you climb the road out of Nateby are breathtaking. With the Eden Valley, North Pennines, Howgill Fells then bleak Birkdale and Ravenstonedale plus the uppermost reaches of Swaledale all visible, this journey is one of the best in the dales. In the distance can be seen the Air Traffic Control’s radar station on top of Great Dun Fell (2782 ft), in the North Pennines. The private road which ascends to the ‘giant golf ball’ is the highest surfaced road in England. Slightly further up the Pennine chain is Mickle Fell (2585 ft) whose summit is the highest point in Yorkshire (proper boundary).
Sadly I couldn’t manage the rest of Swaledale as the road was shut from near Thwaite (where I took the above pic) because of work on Usha Gap Bridge. Not for the first time a vehicle failed to negotiate the narrow bridge – and also Ivelet Bridge further down the road. These bridges weren’t built for big loads so the authorities need to do one of two things: forget about preserving the past and knock them down and build ones suitable for the 21st century; or ban unsuitable vehicles from the road. Knocking some common sense into drivers might also be a solution.
After being in the car for such a long period I needed a walk that evening and managed to capture this heron when it dashed passed me as I walked by the Ribble. Technically it’s not a good shot but it does show the superb aerodynamic nature of this ancient bird.
Thursday: the farmer created a new view on my regular walk by cutting one of his fields, while back in the village the memorial fountain was colourfully dressed for today’s VJ Service.
Lo and behold, I also encountered another train this time completely by accident. As I walked to the Hoffman Kiln in Langcliffe I saw photographers waiting for the arrival of the engine Galatea. The footpath is right next to the line and you can feel the ground rumble as the great monster gets up close and personal.
Yesterday was a big day in the village as the efforts of talented locals were on view at the annual show. Sadly I was otherwise engaged but I did participate and was lucky enough to earn a first for three of my photos and a second for this black and white photo of New Street…
Every now and then I’ll do something very unYorkshire-like by stepping outside the county boundary. There’s some method in this madness … you see, I have a Senior Railcard and it is my duty as a Yorkshireman to make sure I get my moneysworth out of it. The nice man at Settle station worked out the cheapest way to get me to Scotland’s north-east coast town of Stonehaven and back – just £64 which is cheaper than it would have cost to buy petrol for the car journey. Despite being only 15 miles from the bustling city of Aberdeen Stonehaven is peaceful and picturesque and within walking distance of the impressive Dunnottar Castle. If you’re interested in my snapshots of the area click here.
From whichever way you reenter Yorkshire there’s always some landmark that confirms you’re back on home soil. From the north west by train it’s the highest point of the Settle-Carlisle line at Ais Gill for me. The Scottish coastline has some terrific scenery but I still adore traveling down Mallerstangdale, crossing into Dentdale and then emerging from Blea Moor tunnel into the land of the Three Peaks. The picture above is looking across to the Yorkshire side of Mallerstangdale beneath Great Shunner Fell.
I was back in time to celebrate Yorkshire Day in Ribblesdale where in Langcliffe we had a Jacob’s Join and sang the full version of Ilkla Mooar Baht ‘at. As I’m completely tone deaf I just drank beer.
The start of the week was dismal with little chance of photography due to the weather. I managed to spot a short-lived spell of light among the grey of Stainforth Scar (above), and noted that the weir on the Ribble (below) was a bit livelier than of late.
Yesterday afternoon the mill pond looked grand as it caught the sun. Shortly after taking the photo I was spotted by about 30 ducks that all started paddling frantically towards me. I made a hasty retreat as the hungry birds seemed determined to find something to nibble.
The brilliant flowerpot festival in Settle has attracted much interest this week but I wonder how many visitors lift their eyes to see this little chap (below). He has a cartoon pal nearby too, and they’re both on permanent display. I’m not telling you where they are, you’ll just have to come and find them.
Another place on the western fringes of proper Yorkshire which deserves ‘framing’ (see previous blog) is Mallerstang. The B6259 which runs through this lovely dale starts off in Yorkshire, following the Settle-Carlisle railway, and enters Westmorland around Aisgill. To the east rises Great Shunner Fell while to the west (pictured) is Wild Boar Fell. The river Eden flows down this valley and it certainly is a paradise.