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Friday, 18 August 2017

Policing Bradford City Centre

This picture has popped up on a retired (thank God!) police Facebook group:

click to enlarge

It serves as a reminder that police officers in city centres like Bradford, where I started in January 1966, patrolled on foot in all weathers armed with a bit of wood in an elongated trouser pocket and a whistle.   No car, no radio, no body armour, taser - and definitely no baseball cap.

It sort of summed up for me a, thankfully, bygone age when coppers got wet and cold.   But I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Thursday, 17 August 2017


This lovely picture has appeared on Facebook and has attracted quite a few likes and shares

click to enlarge

It was taken soon after our big tree was felled and shows how the view of the water tower from the station has been opened up.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Water Tower Boy's Toys as Catalogue Props now Online

These three pictures are from Settle firm Piccalilly's autumn catalogue range of children and baby wear, just released.   The backgrounds certainly do not detract from or eclipse the models and their clothes do they?

A New Angle on Settle

This spectacular picture of Settle railway station and its setting has appeared online.    It is a drone shot looking north from somewhere higher than the station footbridge:

click to enlarge

As you can see I have used it for my computer's desktop image.   It reveals several interesting features:

1.   the water tower on the right
2.   the straightness of the railway line at Settle, exposing how mercilessly it marched across the town without the slightest deviation.   
3.  the double line of trees to the north of the station conceals the reality that the railway right through the town of Settle is on a high embankment between two substantial viaducts - Marshfield and Church
4.   its construction involved using the grounds of once grand houses - Ashfield, Marshfield and Whitefriars
5.   the building to the left of the station is at a crazy angle to the railway line and station, with a high retaining wall separating them.   It pre dates the railway and is shown on the original plans of Settle station in all its absurdness.   Land and building owners were compensated handsomely.
6.   it also invaded the lands of Settle church and even Settle cricked ground!
7.   Pen y Ghent is just visible on the horizon.

The Sky at Night

Even Settle is not too bad for light pollution in the night sky, especially as they have recently converted our few street lamps to downward facing LEDs.   From the top of the tower we get a reasonable view of the stars but nowhere near as good a view as at Ribblehead, not too far away.

Ribblehead is fast becoming a haunt for night sky photography.

click to enlarge

The viaducts itself provides a dramatic foreground and any remnants of the setting sun below Chapel le Dale behind it provides contrast with the dark sky above.   This long exposure shows the current Perseid meteor shower obliging.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

I Have Opened Giggleswick Horticultural Society Show

Well, today was the BIG day for many in Settle and Giggleswick - the 76th Annual Giggleswick Horticultural Society Show and I had rashly agreed to open it.   Believe me this is an honour in these parts.

Pat and I were hosted to a super lunch and then had time to look at some stunning exhibits before the official opening at which I made a speech, of sorts, before declaring the thing open.   Afterwards I had to present the prizes.  My word, after 76 years there wasn't half some silverware to be presented.

In all humility and modesty it was a great honour to be asked to play a part in an event that had been going even longer than I have.   The first GHS show was in 1940  when the country was at war and 'digging for victory'.   Had Captain Mainwaring and the boys walked in they would have felt quite at home today.

 Up in lights on the front of the programme

 At the magnificent venue of Giggleswick School

 This rather appealed to my quirky sense of humour.

 Somebody here knows his onions.

I am not ofter seen in a jacket and tie in Settle.

The prize winners were young and old.   Aaaah, bless her.

Altogether a magical, very English country occasion.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Afternoon Tea at the Traddock - via Buckhaw Brow

Last Christmas the family gave us a present of an afternoon tea voucher at the very posh Traddock Hotel at Austwick and today was to be the day.

Off we set for Austwick in the Model T, via Settle's notorious hill called Buckhaw Brow (pronounced Bucker Brow).   Buckhaw Brow was a dreaded ascent in the early days of motoring.   It is a long, steep climb, which gets steeper the higher you get.   The final 50 yards or so is the killer.

The Model T has sailed up BB many times before but this time she decided to konk out near the top.   Fortunately the hand brake held and we did not roll back.   The trouble was too little petrol in the fuel tank, meaning that the thirsty engine ran out of gravity fed sustenance and stopped.   This happened three times and each time the engine restarted after a minute or so as the carburettor bowl slowly refilled.   Anyway, we reached the top eventually but it underlined the need to keep a Model T's tank full.

On to the Traddock and a wonderful afternoon tea with champagne.

click to enlarge the Traddock

Gladys behaved perfectly on the journey home, largely downhill.   But we went straight to the garage and filled up.