Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Leeds Link

Navigable water once determined the location and growth of towns and cities. The city of Leeds was no exception for it grew from a small market town on the Rive Aire trading wool in the West Riding of Yorkshire to expanding in the boom times of the mills of the Industrial Revolution and trading with the world. Today it is the UK's fourth largest urban economy.  Here at Granary Wharf near the city centre the whole area has undergone a massive regeneration since 2009 with residential building, restaurants, hotels, bars etc. The photograph above shows on the left the copper cladding and cedar panels of Waterman's Place apartments. The dome in the middle is the recently completed southern entrance to Leeds Railway station consisting of 2000 pieces of steel which sit on top of the Victorian viaduct of 1869. When you take the path towards the station entrance with its escalators before you get to it the first amazing sight is of the rushing waters of the River Aire cascade down to the left under the viaduct, or what is called locally the 'dark arches'.

But let me take you away from here
 past the yarn bombed boat
and away from modernity and continuing along the waterside.  This is the short canal that was built by the Aire and Calder Navigation Company to link the riverside industries to the Leeds-Liverpool canal. A lock separates the two waterways
but this is Lock Number 2 - Office Lock, so named because the bridge I am taking this photo from is where the Canal Offices are.
and the mile post tells one how far it will be before reaching Liverpool. A local wag saw me taking a photo of this and dryly said "there will be another one in a mile".
Millennium Milepost for Route 66 'The Fossil Tree'
But that is not the only way for we are also on Route 66, unfortunately not the one where one can
"take that California trip", to "get your kicks on Route 66" but a cycle route that crosses England from Manchester on the west side to Hull in the east (Spurn Head) and spends 13 of its 132 miles peddling alongside the canal.
 But I'm walking away from Leeds and looking back at the Italianate chimneys of what was the Tower Works whose Victorian owner was so fascinated by Renaissance Italy he built his chimneys in that style. The white modern building is Bridgewater Place, nicknamed locally 'The Dalek'
The canal towpath is also popular with runners so I could not resist a reflecting bridge and a red topped runner photograph, happily despite being a bit slow I got him in the picture.
St Anne's Ing Lock (Lock 3)
Canal boating in contrast to cycling and running is languid leisure interspersed with great activity when going through the lock systems (a total of 91 of varying flights on the full stretch of canal).
Oddy Two Rise Lock (Locks 4 and 5)
Being an urban area there are splashes of graffiti along the start of the canal, especially where concrete road bridges have been built over it but some are on a different scale altogether
like this funky frog enjoying his canal side view.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at L here 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Knock Knock

Lions are popular holders of door knockers - you could give this one a nice hefty knock and it would echo in the hall beyond.
 at Sizergh Castle.
A smaller knocker with a nautical theme might give a more tip tap noise, or you could choose the bell.  Why an anchor?
 It is on the door of the Ship Inn
I imagine Door Kraft will have a variety of door knockers to choose from behind the green door.

Knock Knock
Who's There
Boo who?
Don't cry. Its only a knock knock joke. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday,  a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at K here

Tuesday, 13 September 2016


From a distance this is a typical canal view complete with a couple of boats and a bridge but lets stroll nearer
to Bridge Number 208 on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, a modern building reflected beyond, but take a different perspective from the other side
as it would have appeared in the 18th Century, although there would have been no trees and the house would not be falling into dereliction.  Both structures were built in 1774 but whereas Junction Bridge is a historically listed and protected, surprisingly Junction House is not.  In its time it has been a warehouse and home to millwrights and engineers and in the 19th Century one half was lodgings for old boatmen and the other half housed a canal toll office.
The bridge is structurally sound but in the 1970s rather than sympathetically restoring the sets they just slapped concrete on it. 
This stretch of water is the reason it gets the name Junction.  I managed to squeeze into a bit of banking to get the bridge into the photograph but the more pristine view without all the metal
would be this.  What at the time was the junction of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal with the Bradford Canal and at the height of the Industrial Revolution mills would have been spinning wool and this little corner would have been throbbing with the activity of industry and transport.  Problems with the water supply to the Bradford Canal closed it in 1867 but despite a stretch reopening it proved unprofitable and closed for good in 1922.  All that is left today is this 30 metres (98ft).  On the plus side there are 127 miles (204K) of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal to enjoy.  Even better with an unintended piece of synchronicity I'm spending a few days by the side of it this week.
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at J here

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Ice Cream

I was sitting in Hartley's Beach Cafe at St Bees and looked up at the ice cream on the wall,  noticed the numbers and puzzled what they indicated, was it flavours or sizes, and then belatedly realised it was actually the time.  I wonder how long this ice cream clock has been telling time?  The Hartley's Ice Cream they sell is made to the same recipe as when the founder started out locally in the 1930s selling ice cream from a motorcycle and sidecar and although the number of flavours sold today has increased vanilla still remains the best seller.

I was idly wondering how I could pad out one photograph to make an ABC post about ice cream and then unexpectedly last weekend I was taken to an ice cream farm, Yay, result.  So I take you from a beach cafe on the Cumbrian coast
south to the Cheshire countryside and to something on a far bigger scale, the Cheshire Ice Cream Farm at Tatttenhall.  This also started out as a family business and sold ice cream from the farm shop, fast forward 30 years and next to the unit making lots of ice cream for the retail trade is a large 'Adventure Park'.  Spot half a strawberry to the left?
This is Strawberry Falls part of the ice cream themed adventure golf course which winds around it (I snatched a photo while trying to negotiate the obstacles to pot golf balls). 
Being a sunny bank holiday weekend the Adventure Park was crammed. Apart from adventure golf, a visit to the animals in Fudge Farm the other objective of our visit was the giant Ice Cream Parlour, and yes the long queue meant I had lots of time to make up my mind to what flavour to choose. Unfortunately the ice cream tree
was decorative rather than edible although on a practical note
it does have a temperature gauge.  I believe when the temperature indicator drops from "I'm Melting" to "Snow Time" at the bottom there is a snow explosion from the top accompanied by music. It is timed for every half hour.  Is someone in this picture wondering how to make it happen sooner?

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at I here.