Tag Archives: sundog

A Rare Visit to Gibson Mill

Tree tops 3

It is a rare thing indeed for us to purposefully visit Hardcastle Crags in summer.  Almost as rare (apart from holidays), we set off at 1 p.m. on a mid-July Sunday to catch Gibson Mill’s opening hours.

River rock art 2We took the most direct route via Hangingroyd Lane and the riverside path.  New rock art stood in the centre of Hebden Water, where the banks were adorned with green and white flourishes.

At the bottom of the steps up to Midgehole Road, loud barking caused me to jump out of my skin.   A large dog leapt up from behind tall grasses.

Phil let out an involuntary shout.  Two women appeared, along with a smaller dog causing more commotion.  The women apologised, saying it was a rescue dog responding to our fear.  That sounded reasonable, except I hadn’t even seen the mutt, so how could I be fearful in advance?  Later, Phil felt sorry for shouting at a rescue dog but I said (not for the first time) that dog owners should control their charges when they are likely to come into contact with other walkers.

Gibson Mill interior 3On Midgehole Road, signs declared the Crags car park full.  We weaved between parked cars and clumps of irritatingly slow people to the main gate.  Staying on the top track, we walked speedily to Gibson Mill.  We immediately entered the building and climbed to the top floor to be met by the sight of a Victorian-era kitchen.  An iron range arrayed with a selection of contemporaneous cooking vessels stood against the back wall. To the right, a shallow Belfast sink perched on brick legs.  Around the cracked windowsill, peeling whitewash revealed fading yellow paint.

Through a door on the left we found a larger room with tungsten bulbs suspended from a high ceiling.  The ample space was occupied by Yan Wang-Preston’s ‘Forest’ exhibition, the main object of our visit.  I had expected arty photos of trees.  It turned out to be a project documenting the uprooting of mature trees in China and transplanting them to concrete cities where of course they die.  Utter madness!  Why can’t they grow new trees?

Gibson Mill window viewDownstairs, we made our way to the café for freshly-made sandwiches and tea.  We chose a table on the terrace and got a different view of the mill pond.

From the upper floor, I had noticed small splashes hitting the water’s surface.  What had looked like raindrops, I now realised, were being made by small fish.

After eating, we went out front to finish our drinks.  On the surrounding tables, yet more barking dogs threatened to cause alarm but thankfully, they were kept at bay.  I spotted an acquaintance sitting nearby with a friend.  We exchanged greetings before they entered the mill to peruse the exhibition.

Rock with shadowsWe took the slower, but less populous and pleasanter riverside route back to the main entrance.  Tall pines stretched into the summer sky, the canopy giving respite from the muggy afternoon heat.  Impossibly large stones punctuated the paths and stream, some sporting strange holes.  Foliage made attractive greyscale patterns on eroding surfaces.  At the almost-dry weir, dippers dived among square paving rendered visible by the low water level.

As we rested on a nearby bench, I heard something drop to the ground.  At first, we could see nothing.  Then Phil realised it was his phone.  The screen had cracked (For the third time.  Luckily, he has since discovered he can buy the parts to fix it himself).

Behind bars 2On reaching the end of the crags, we continued on the riverside as much as possible, staying on the left-hand side towards town, foraging a few raspberries from sporadic bushes.

We paused briefly on Victoria Road where a tractor seemed imprisoned.  Headlights gleamed wide-eyed behind an iron gate fastened with rusty iron chains.  Polished blue paintwork reflected blue sky.  Getting ready for the local show, no doubt.

 

More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQti4JrYWA4b2_1LeHp3w

Weir 6

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Wainsgate Wanders

Bright flowers

A beautiful summer evening two years ago, we arranged to meet our walking friend for an evening stroll. She suggested getting a bus up to the tops. Finding we had missed one by literally two seconds, we went round the corner to catch another one and discovered there would be an interminable wait. Some random guy at the bus stop asked if we wanted to share a taxi up to Old Town.

The cab dropped us at the Hare and Hounds. We walked up Billy Lane to the other end of the village before turning left up Wainsgate Lane. Passing the historic Wainsgate Chapel, we continued on the path which overlooked idyllic pastoral scenes. Behind the dry stone walls, undulating fields and isolated farm buildings, we espied the church steeple of Heptonstall and the Stoodley Pike monument standing sentinel on opposite sides of the valley below.

The old well stonesAt the end of the lane, we dropped down to the small settlement of Pecket Well. We traversed a field containing what might be the actual old well of Pecket (judging by the old stones).

The next field proved rather tricky. Careful foot placing was required to find a pathway down to the road. We ended the evening at The Robin Hood pub. Pints and food in the beer garden – lovely!

Late September this year, we arranged to attend a music event at The Wainsgate Chapel. Unfortunately, I had sprained my knee the previous day making the hill climb up to Old Town impossible. Instead, we made our way towards the bus stop. En route, we laughed at middle-aged people playing dress up that had infested the town (aka Steampunk weekend).

Fluffy flowers 2After a scenic ride via Dodd Naze and Heights Road, we alighted outside Old Town Post Office.

We walked slowly up Billy Lane, admiring a variety of plant life. The fluffy thistle flowers proved particularly photogenic.

As we rounded the corner into Wainsgate Lane, I was struck by a beautiful hedgerow of brightly coloured flowers.

 

During the first half of the concert we had seats in a middle pew. Constantly bobbing heads intermittently obscured the view of Emma Sweeney and Jack Rutter as they performed a series of Irish numbers.

Wainsgate chapel kitchen 2

 

I spent the interval exploring the back rooms. Antique items in the old-fashioned kitchen looked like still life subjects.

Wainsgate chapel interior 3For the second half of the gig, we repositioned ourselves at the side of the hall.

Our friend had agreed to video the performance.

My partner volunteered to take photos.  He moved around a lot and climbed up to the balcony.

Later, he said it was like ‘doing a work’.

“You did offer!” I reminded him.

Afterwards our friend gave us a lift down to the Hare and Hounds. Initially we sat out front to enjoy the evening sun and peruse the menu. We then noticed not one, but two sundogs! And a tiny crescent moon!

Sund dog pair A local man joined our table. When we pointed out the sundogs, he said nonchalantly “oh yeah. Seen that before” like it happened every day. Well, maybe it does up there! Personally I had only witnessed this phenomenon once before; outside our local pub bizarrely enough.

More photos at: http://1drv.ms/1QSOyRI

View from Wainsgate Lane