Why you can’t always bank on Yorkshire

A fine Yorkshire evening at Ribblehead

Summer in Ribblesdale is almost over but I look forward to autumn and the changing colours. The dale is blessed with a good covering of native British trees. Set against the grey backdrop of limestone scars which mellow in the autumn sunshine, they will provide many memorable moments.

Settle is becoming more and more vibrant. The flowerpot festival and folk weekend along with the success of Settle Stories and improvements to the Folly and continued excellence at Victoria Hall have helped attract more visitors. Local shops pubs and accommodation providers all benefit so a ‘well done’ from me to all those involved.

Penyghent from Horton-in-Ribblesdale

I travel to Horton-in-Ribblesdale virtually every day now, helping my son who has a business based there (http://www.cravencleaningservices.co.uk). This summer has seen an incredible number of walkers arriving in Horton to tackle one or all of the Three Peaks. Weekends have seen the tiny village jammed full of cars and large groups of walkers bedecked in T-shirts proclaiming the charities who will benefit from their efforts.

Penyghent this time in the evening

I’ve absolutely nothing against these good folk testing themselves against the Dales landscape as long as they are properly equipped and prepared. But I do sometimes wonder why they all find it necessary to start from Horton. When the first Three Peakers blazed the trail they actually caught the train to Clapham and walked up Ingleborough first. Starting at Ribblehead or Ingleton are also options. And if you just want to do Penyghent, then Helwith Bridge and Dale Head are both excellent starting points.

Waterfall in Ingleborough Nature Reserve

There’s one bit of Yorkshire I’ve gone right off. I’ve been trying to get through to the Yorkshire Bank helpline for 4 days now. If I hear that guitar loop or the Scottish lady telling me I’m in a queue just once more I’ll throw the phone into the Ribble. I can’t currently access my online banking account because they’ve changed the logging-in procedure. They’re sending a passcode to a phone number – except the phone number isn’t mine. Go into the local branch and give them what for, you say? What local branch? The nearest one up to last month was 15 miles away but Yorkshire Bank’s now closed it, so the next nearest one now means a round-trip of 52 miles. A while back I was told I should get the bank’s mobile app so I can bank ‘anywhere, anytime’. That’s a laugh – I can’t get a mobile signal in my rural home. And anyway why should I buy a mobile phone and spend money phoning the bank so they can make staff redundant and close down convenient town centre premises? I read this weekend that 28 percent of the population don’t have mobiles and 18 percent don’t access the internet. That’s a big chunk of the population who are badly catered for by banks. I suppose I’ll be labeled a dinosaur, but being a fully paid-up old fart I don’t care what people think. A bit like the banks really. I’ve been with the Yorkshire for more than 40 years now but I’m afraid that particular relationship will soon be coming to an end. But maybe they’re all as bad?

A Ribblesdale summer – Stainforth Scar from Langcliffe
A few more for the train buffs…

Dales for work and play

Thousands of visitors head to the Yorkshire Dales as an escape from their workplace and urban life. It’s easy to forget that the Dales is actually an industrial area too. There are many relics of industry scattered around the hills and valleys, such as lead mines and limekilns. There is still large-scale quarrying being carried out just up the road from me here in Ribblesdale. Agriculture is an industry, too – and so is tourism.
More Dales folk are involved in tourism than anything else today. Shops, pubs and accommodation providers not only benefit the visitors but offer employment and opportunities for locals too.

My son, fed up with zero-hours contract jobs, and extremely reluctant to head to the dole office, decided to go it alone and start a care-taking and cleaning business. The venture is growing and he in turn is now providing employment for cleaners wanting work in this part of the Dales. http://www.cravencleaningservices.co.uk

There are problems though, as with many rural areas, such as poor broadband and mobile networks and a lack of affordable start-up units.

Top shot shows Ingleborough in evening light. Above, steaming through the Dales over Ribblehead Viaduct on the Settle-Carlisle line http://www.settle-carlisle.co.uk

Happy birthday Dalesman

Last week I also visited the village where another successful business began – Clapham, the original home of Dalesman, my former employer. The magazine celebrates its 80th ‘birthday’ this month and it amazes me to think it was only 54 years old when I joined. Working for the publisher helped cement my love of the Dales landscape, its people and traditions. I wish Dalesman every success for the future in what is a changing marketplace. http://www.dalesman.co.uk

Cyclist heading down towards Hellifield with rain clouds gathering over Penyghent
Stop the world from spinning … slanty pic of Penyghent

I’ve not posted many pictures over the last month on the blog or on Facebook and Twitter, even though the camera’s been well used. I had a flick through what I’ve taken, choosing what I thought might be of interest. I selected more than fifty so I’ve had to whittle the selection down even further. Hope you enjoy this short trip around Ribblesdale.

This week a peewit (tewit, lapwing – whatever you want to call the bird) swirled around just above my head as I walked through the disused quarry which is now part of the nature reserve at Ribblehead. It screeched at me for being too close to its nest. Not my fault the daft bird built the blooming thing so close to the permitted path.

The memorial fountain in Langcliffe has been having a spruce-up. Before and after pics. Good job done in my humble opinion.

Hot iron

There’s some tremendous architectural work on Hellifield Railway Station if you look closely enough.

The visiting engines aren’t too shabby either.

Light fantastic

Sunny evening in Langcliffe seen from St John’s (pictured below).

The blossom came early and disappeared quickly in some strong wind.

Lamb basting

When you’re just too hot and fed up with posing for stupid photographers.

What does tha think’s on t’ other side o’ yon ‘ill?
Mum sez it’s Lankisher an’ Ah must nivver go theer.

Spectacular Dales show without Ant and Dec

DalesThe Dales shower didn’t bother me; I wasn’t cold. There was no fierce easterly wind biting as it did last week. I stood on Winskill Stones and watched a perfect semi-circle rainbow form above Ribblesdale. There was a dusty mist in the valley, dark streaks of rain drifted into the distance as the shower passed through. A grey veil hid Ingleborough’s flat summit.
The underside of heavy cloud to the west was tinged purple by the glow of a magnificent setting Sun. Just for a few minutes I forgot about problems caused by humans and marvelled at the wonder of a far superior Nature. Too briefly, shades of gold and red filled a stage in the sky. A beautiful Saturday night performance played for the benefit of many but attended by few. And people say they’ll miss Ant & Dec.

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A friend asked me to settle an argument about where the River Ribble starts. I’ve been through this before via the blog, with me spouting some high and mighty claptrap about it never starting or finishing, as it is just rain water which heads to the sea, evaporates and falls again.
Not satisfied with my theory I was told to point to a place on a map. Annoying my pal further I insisted that there isn’t one particular source. There are so many tributaries, some just starting out as trickles of water off the highest fells or from springs dotted around the dale.
I’ve read a dozen books in which the authors have put forward arguments for different ‘sources’. There’s a spot on Cam Fell where water can either go east through Wharfedale or west through Ribblesdale; water from Batty Moss can head off to Morecambe Bay via Chapel-le-Dale or join the Ribble for a longer journey west. From up around Newby Head and surrounding fells, water can head down into Wensleydale to the Ure or find its way via various gills to help form the Ribble. Even the mass of Park Fell and Ingleborough on t’ other side of the dale can lay claim to providing a ‘source’ for the Ribble.
The people at the Ordnance Survey aren’t much help, either. On a Dales map from the mid-1800s (reproduced here) is marked a spring, and beside it is printed ‘Ribble Head’. Later editions of the map don’t include this. In fact, the terms River Ribble and Ribblesdale do not appear on the later versions of the OS map until various water courses have joined forces near Selside.
We ended up agreeing there are bigger things to worry about in life, like whose round it was.

DalesI have a treasured signed copy of Bill Mitchell’s book, Summat & Nowt, which is looking a bit tatty now having been read half a dozen times and referred to on numerous more occasions. I’d already known and worked with Bill for about five years when in 1998 he dropped off copies of that newly published book at the Dalesman office. He liked to pop in to talk of journalistic matters and be reminded what life was like ‘at the coal face’, as he would say.
The book has a chapter called The Long Drag, which is culled from a book he wrote of the same name. It’s a lovely piece on the Settle-Carlisle Railway – not about the intricate technical details the train buffs prefer, or a dry account of its construction and history – but of the characters who brought the line to life. The drivers, signalmen, station masters, tea lady – and a host of other volunteers who dragged the line through its darkest days.
So this week it was a great pleasure to be invited to the unveiling of a plaque at Settle station to commemorate Bill’s contribution to the railway. His son David and daughter Janet gave moving accounts of their dad’s affliction: Settle-Carlilitis. Photo shows David and Janet beside the plaque (yes, it was cold, Janet).

Talking about the Ice age … here’s a good example of how those vertical cracks form and destabilise rock faces (near Ribblehead):

Some more shots taken on a freezing trip around the former quarry at the top of Ribblesdale:

Further into the Dales: I had a quick trip down Widdale into Wensleydale early in the week – stopped to capture snow blowing up Burtersett High Pasture:

Another shot of Ribblehead Viaduct:

 

Weather watching in the Dales

Somebody famous once wrote, ‘There is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather’. I suppose that could well be a motto for landscape photographers and artists. As long as you are still able to get out and about, different and difficult conditions offer new opportunities – even on familiar territory. I hope my selection of photos this week of mainly local (to me) places, which I’ve pictured many times before, prove the point.

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Top photo: snowy lane in Langcliffe, Ribblesdale. Above: cold and moody Penyghent from Selside.

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Ingleborough often seems the most formidable of the Three Peaks, with its nose facing the weather from the west.

I’ve no idea how many photos I’ve taken of the Three Peaks – they seem to put on a fresh dress every time I travel up Ribblesdale.

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Whernside and the viaduct from Ribblehead.

Cold weather stations

Two stations on the Settle-Carlisle line: Ribblehead with Park Fell in the background, and Garsdale, where Ruswarp patiently awaits his owner.

Whenever I take this shot of Brokken Bridge in Clapham – this one snapped on Friday – I’m reminded of the late Bill Mitchell. Bill and his family would have been celebrating his 90th birthday this week. A few years ago he and I cheekily knocked on the door of Fellside (the top house of the row to the left). We announced that we both edited Dalesman and that Bill had worked from this house when it was the magazine’s headquarters. Thankfully the owners recognised Bill and let us in to enjoy some of his reminiscences.

This Ribblesdale view at Helwith Bridge always reminds my of a Welsh mining valley. The 19th-century quarry workers’ cottages at Foredale were the setting for a cracking film released in 2013 called Lad: A Yorkshire Story. Staring down at them from the other side of the valley is Penyghent – many a mini blizzard on the top there this week.

Thanks to one of my neighbours thinking about the birds during cold weather I’ve been able to take a few more wildlife photos from the comfort of home. Taking photos through double-glazing can prove difficult but this doesn’t spoil my enjoyment. I think this is a female blackbird but I’m sure an expert will let me know if I’m wrong.

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I liked all the shapes and angles of this snowy scene at St Oswald’s, Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

A different light on the Dales


dales16 Dales photos here. Did you feel the season turning this week? Is the central heating back on? When September opens the door to let in autumn we all feel the draught. It did lead to some lovely evening light on Wednesday around my Langcliffe home in the Dales, and I was able to take the camera out for a stroll …

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Superb bench around a tree in the new allotment site in Langcliffe.

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Back in the mid to late 1960s when I was a teenager I often visited Stainforth Foss at this time of year. We either stayed in The Hut or camped in the field where it is housed as we undertook the Duke of Edinburgh Award. ‘The Hut’ was the nickname WRCC’s Outdoor Education Centre set up in the early sixties which you can still see in a field above the Ribble. It looks a bit forlorn and underused nowadays but the Foss still draws in visitors. While I was there one evening this week a young family were staring at the falls waiting to see salmon leaping. Doing my best impression of that old country character from TV, Jack Hargreaves, I told them it was probably a little bit early for the fish to be jumping. Just then up popped a salmon. I skulked away embarrassed, still mumbling about it being early.

Of course I didn’t catch it on camera. I also struggled to snap one of the many rainbows created by the combination of water and evening sunshine. There was a dead lamb floating in the Ribble by the old packhorse bridge, perhaps caught out by the heavy rain we’d had earlier in the day – the river rises quickly here.

Train of thought

I was waiting for this steam train to arrive at Ribblehead. It was raining and the west wind was blowing strongly in this exposed part of the Dales. The tops of Whernside and Ingleborough were covered in cloud and there were few people about given the time of year. Even the hardy train buffs were absent. Bill Mitchell once described this area as having a ‘frontier feel’. In his book, Summat and Nowt, Bill tells of the time in the 1950s when ‘the station had a harmonium in the waiting room and a wind-vane on the roof – the station combined its railway role with that of a church and weather station’. In 1954, 109 inches of rain were recorded here.

There’s an easy pleasant walk of only a couple of miles I do which takes in the pretty little waterfall, above, of Wharfe Gill Sike (off the road between Austwick and Helwith Bridge). From there I follow the path through Wharfe. The hamlet has some lovely old Dales buildings and residents like this horse, which insisted on showing me its ‘best side’.

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Some lovely views along this walk, too.

 

Dales tree petition

Campaigners trying to save the 150-year-old beech tree at North Ribblesdale RUFC in Settle are ramping up their objections against the tree’s planned execution. They have started a petition on the website 38 Degrees – join the campaign here http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/think-again?bucket=email-blast-15_9_2017_settletree_cby_blast

 

Going off the grid in chuffing Ribblesdale

RibblesdaleYou’ll not find the name Beacon Scar on a modern OS map of Ribblesdale despite the place being higher and more significant than many of the surrounding named hills. Go back to the 1800s when they were fond of lighting beacons and you’ll find the hill on maps, 1,426ft above sea level beside Warrendale Knotts on the edge of Stockdale near Settle. Presumably the good folk at Ordnance Survey thought there were too many ‘Beacons’ around the north so they decided to cull a few.

RibblesdaleThey did however note that it was in such a strategic position that they placed a trig point where the ancient beacon would have been. If you stand there, looking west, you’ll note you are lined up almost in a straight line across Ribblesdale with Smearsett Scar and Ingleborough (see pic above) which also have trig points and were once beacon sites – and ideal places for warning locals of invading Scots in days gone by. The 360-degree view from Beacon Hill is superb. There’s a short video of it here if you’re interested. https://youtu.be/kQQwk7PebPM It wasn’t the clearest of days when I went up there on Monday and you’ll note the furthest fells are melting away a little.

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Looking south from Beacon Scar across Stockdale toward Rye Loaf Hill.

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Zoomed-in views of Penyghent and Ingleborough across Ribblesdale.

 

I’ve bumped into a lot of chuffing train enthusiasts on my saunters around Ribblesdale this week, as there’s been a lot of steam action on the Settle-Carlisle line. Here are a few of the shots I’ve taken:

Ribblesdale
Above, Flying Scotsman on a wet day near Helwith Bridge; below, yesterday passing through Settle and Giggleswick.

I see Tan Hill pub is for sale at £900k. When it was up for grabs in 2008 it was on the market for £1.1m although I don’t know what it eventually sold for. Pictures show the place some 50 years apart.

If you haven’t yet tried Ribblesdale’s newest Coffee House at The Folly in Settle then I can highly recommend it (they also do tea for tea freaks like me). https://www.facebook.com/follycoffeehouse/?rc=p Mind you, all the cafes and pubs in Settle are worth a visit – but don’t attempt to do them all in a day, you’ll put on two stone such is the quality of available cakes. Some of the creations for this year’s Flowerpot Festival are also impressive – another reason to visit the town. I hope to bring photos of the festival next week.

Away from the madding crowd in Ribblesdale

Yesterday I managed to squeeze in a stroll around one of my favourite spots, Thorns Gill and the derelict settlement of Thorns at the head of Ribblesdale. Ribblehead, looking more like Blackpool prom on a Bank Holiday Monday, is nobbut half a mile away yet there I was completely alone for an hour in this beautiful glen with its waterfalls and fascinating rock formations.

Sheep don’t often pose for me but I think this one’s a bit of a diva …

And finally…

A neighbouring cat gives me the eye for disturbing the peace. I wonder if cats dream in black and white?

During the week I also post shots and opinions on Twitter. Visit @paulinribb

 

 

Malls, Malham and Dales magic

Dales15 Dales photos here – agricultural show or shopping mall? – glory of Ribblesdale – trainy days – Dales art – Malham magic and tasteless stupidity. Above is one of my favourite Ribblesdale views taken from Giggleswick Scar this week. On the horizon is Pendle Hill.

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A different angle: Giggleswick quarry – still for sale as far as I know.

Biggest doesn’t always mean best. Take the Great Yorkshire Show, for example. Yes it’s the largest agricultural event in the country and a tremendous showcase for the county and its farmers. I went on Thursday but can’t say I really enjoyed the day. Too commercial for my liking – and too many people. More than 40,000 trying to force their way around what is in effect an enormous shopping mall, with some fairly unhappy looking animals being paraded or caged up around the edges. Give me the small Dales village shows any day. Thank goodness I decided to go by train to avoid being stuck in some horrendous traffic congestion.

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Orchids and other wild flowers in ungrazed areas of the Dales were looking lovely after a drop of the wet stuff this week.

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This orchid was close to Salt Lake Cottages, Ribblesdale, from where I took this photo of Flying Scotsman.

This ancient wall near Colt Park in Ribblesdale exhibits plenty of character. You can find art all over the Dales when you slow down and take in everything around you. Here are some other examples from Ribblesdale:

A couple of shots as I passed through Malham…

A short walk from home to Stainforth on a grey day …

And on a sunnier day, two shots of Ribblesdale showing Stainforth Scar and the village of Langcliffe.

One evening this week I went for a short walk and got bitten by midges. I was itching all night and dug out some cream to slap on. In the morning after a bad night I went to brush my teeth, but squeezed Savlon on my toothbrush instead of toothpaste … not recommended – breakfast did not taste good at all.

Three Peaks rules and a girly Scotsman

Three PeaksThere’s barely a day goes by when the Three Peaks or the Settle-Carlisle Railway don’t crop up in conversation around this part of Ribblesdale. In the last seven days we’ve seen a massive influx of folk from all over the country head our way to watch Flying Scotsman – which apparently is a ‘she’, not a ‘he’ (I blame the confusion on kilts) – travel up the line to celebrate the reopening of the stretch between Appleby and Carlisle.

Three Peaks

Three Peaks

The old ‘girl’ certainly has pulling power, not only in the physical sense … just how many people lined the whole route from Oxenhope, where it started the journey on the Keighley & Worth Valley line, to Carlisle I can’t imagine. I got a photo as it passed Langcliffe in the morning, then I joined hundreds of people at Ribblehead Viaduct for the evening return beneath Whernside.

Three Peaks
Best David Attenborough impersonation: ‘Taking place at dusk on the bleak wild Yorkshire moors, we witness the ritual gathering of the lesser-spotted train photographer. As the night clouds gather, this sub-species known as bearded camerus, are drawn – as they have been since the dawn of railways – towards the great rumbling giant which grunts and belches clouds of steam as it crosses the marshland on enormous stilts. As soon as the rumbling monster has passed them by, the bearded camerus disappear quickly, anoraks rustling in the wind, back to their solitary dark rooms.’

Earlier in the week I took a quieter (and less expensive) train for a day in Appleby. There are some pleasant easy walks around the town beside the River Eden, lovely churches and buildings, but it was a shame the castle gardens were not open on such a lovely day.

Three Peaks

Three Peaks
St Lawrence church Appleby


On the train I ear-wigged a conversation between three young walkers (young to me being under 40) who were chatting about the Three Peaks walk which they were now thinking of taking on after seeing the view through the windows. They were talking about Three Peaks ‘rules’ – which I thought was a shame really … ‘You’ve got to do the ‘official’ route, log in and out, complete within the time allowed etc.’ they said. What tosh – just go out there and enjoy the walk and scenery, I thought. There is no ‘official’ route – it can be between just over 23 and just under 26 miles depending on which way you go. The walk takes as long as you want it to, or are capable of.
Author and writer Alfred Wainwright was a miserable old fart like me, and he wrote about the Three Peaks: ‘Some participants have chosen to regard the walk as a race, and this is to be greatly regretted, walking is a pleasure to be enjoyed in comfort …,’ he grumbled.
According to that ever-reliable (!) source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, the first recorded ascent of the three hills was in July 1887 by J R Wynne-Edwards and D R Smith in a time of 10 hours.
Amongst my collection of old books (which I refer to as Jackopedia) I uncovered this paragraph from Victorian artist and rambler G T Lowe, written in 1892: “Looking round from the viaduct at Ribblehead, one can appreciate the feat which of late has occupied the attention of a few of our Leeds pedestrians: the ascent of Ingleborough, Whernside and Penyghent in under ten hours. Starting from the Flying Horse Shoe at Clapham, the whole journey over the three summits to Horton-in-Ribblesdale is over twenty-five miles as the crow flies, and affords a grand variety of views of mountains and moorland. Being in good training, we found it a comparatively fair day’s work.”
A love the Victorian understatement – and the fact they used the railways for their day out: Leeds to Clapham – walk the peaks – return Horton to Leeds. I wonder if that version of the Three Peaks can still be done using today’s timetable? Over to you train buffs.

Three Peaks
Hopefully the many Flying Scotsman fans boosted the coffers of the Station Inn, Ribblehead. Love the old sign.

Three Peaks
While waiting for the train I popped in to Ribblehead quarry to capture this small waterfall. The top picture in the blog, showing one of the Three Peaks, Ingleborough, was taken in the quarry.

We’re short of nowt in Yorkshire

Yorkshire bridgeI received a card this week wishing me a Happy Yorkshire Christmas. It got me imagining Santa wearing a festive red flat cap, shouting ‘Ey up! Narthen! Sithee!’ as he travelled across the Broad Acres on a sleigh pulled by half a dozen whippets. Then I read somewhere that some chap was complaining about not seeing any sweeping plantations in the county where Yorkshire Tea is grown. I tweeted that despite the lack of tea-growing, folk can visit the forests of Pudsey where Yorkshire Puddings are scratched from the ground by specially trained ferrets. And that you can watch traditional divers off the coast of Scarborough who risk their lives searching the Great Yorkshire Reef for Yorkshire Mixtures. Yorkshire Parkin is still quarried from prehistoric deposits in Giggleswick of course. And Yorkshire Curd Tarts are produced in darkened sheds throughout the Yorkshire Dales by Yorkshire Women in pinnies mixing Yorkshire Water and Yorkshire Milk while supping Yorkshire Best Bitter. We’re short of nowt here.

Yorkshire quarryI see that Giggleswick Quarry (that’s the limestone one, not the Parkin quarry) has been put up for sale. It will be interesting to see what happens to it – and what is allowed. I always thought that quarry owners in the Dales were supposed to restore any former workings once they’d been plundered, not just sell them off to the highest bidder for the new users to take on responsibility. So I looked on the Dales Environment Network website – it states:
‘We have an obligation to restore quarry sites once we have finished working them, and in the Dales we do so in partnership with a number of organisations such as the National Park Authority, Natural England, the Wildlife Trust and Dales Millennium Trust. Giggleswick quarry was closed in 2009, and is now undergoing the process of restoration. As with Old Ingleton quarry, we will be primarily relying on natural regeneration – however this is being supported by native tree planting and broadcasting of wildflower seed mixes across the site.’
So I’m left a little confused. Not being one of Her Majesty’s card-carrying investigative journalists any more, I won’t be following this up but wonder if anyone else has bothered to ask what’s happening? Perhaps the quarry owners have actually fulfilled their statutory obligations – I don’t know, but viewed from the path above, the quarry just looks like a big Yorkshire Hole.

Yorkshire birkdaletarnOne hole in the Dales is Birkdale Tarn – the third largest expanse of water in the Dales after Malham Tarn and Semerwater. At 1600ft it’s the highest of the three, best for solitude and hardest to photograph!

Yorkshire blackIt’s a bit black ovver t’back o’Bill’s mother’s.

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I couldn’t go a week without a photo of Winskill, could I? ….

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Fabulous sky above Ribblehead Viaduct…

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Small screens don’t do justice to panoramic views but I recommend looking at this one of the Howgills, taken a little while back, on a computer if possible.

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Penyghent made but a brief appearance from under its shroud during the week…

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Despite slipping and landing on my backside in the mud, a trip down to Stainforth Foss this week was worthwhile. The repaired packhorse bridge (top photo in blog) looked much better and the river was lively. Here are a couple more photos and video link.

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Dales art whether you like it or not

dales wharfeartsSometimes I’ll post on social media a Dales photo which I’m particularly pleased with only to find there’s but a trickle of interest in it. Other times I’ll pop up a quick snap which I feel is quite ordinary that causes a torrent of interest and admiration. The reasoning behind these reactions I’ll leave for the social media gurus and psychologists to fathom. I hate to use the phrase, but here goes anyway … ‘whatever floats your boat’. This week I dabbled a bit with Photoshop on a couple of shots (at this point half the audience throw their hands up in horror, their faces showing utter disdain). But I don’t care what people think of my resulting ‘artwork’. For me, Photoshop, and any other picture manipulation method, is just a medium, or a paintbrush. There’s satisfaction about creating something unique – which you personally enjoy. And anyway, the forming of the ‘watercolour’ of the area near Wharfe, Crummackdale, (above) helped pass away an otherwise miserable day in the Dales.

dales waterfallClose to where I took the original for my ‘artwork’ is this small dales waterfall along Wharfe Gill Sike. It looks serene here but after heavy rain it can be dramatic.

dales gearstonesYou’ll need to view this panorama large on a computer screen to appreciate the detail – clouds are still hanging in the dale to the north of Gearstones, seen from the limestone pavement above the former Ribblehead Quarry.

dales artypygSimilarly, this one showing the outline of Penyghent, taken from near Colt Park, will be nobbut a black blob if you view on a little phone screen. There’s some subtle light in the foreground and I was pleased with the redness of the cloud tops.

dales sunset1

dales sunset2I wasn’t lucky enough to see the aurora this week but did manage a couple of stunning sunsets from up on Winskill Stones, above Langcliffe.

dales austwickOn a walk between Wharfe and Austwick the autumn sky cleared briefly to light up this lovely scene.

More dales views

A few more shots from my stroll around the former Ribblehead Quarry… the first three showing the Three Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and a distant Penyghent.

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The top of the stone bench mirrors the background shapes of Park Fell, Simon Fell and Ingleborough. The stone make-up of the bench also replicates the geological strata of the hills.

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I bet the waller was a dab hand at jigsaws

I popped into the impressive Village Store at Clapham for an open night this week. Besides sampling some impressive dales produce I bought Dalesman’s latest book, Bill Mitchell’s Yorkshire. Bill’s son David and daughter Janet were both there and it was a delight to see them both again. David compiled the book – you can see my thoughts about it on the Reviews page.