The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Huddersfield yet again.

This weekends trip to Huddersfield was not of my making. Instead it was a birthday weekend of a mate of ours. He doesn’t live in Huddersfield, but in Manchester. He decided that it would be a better pub crawl in Huddersfield. Better in the way of less crowded, cheaper beers, no Christmas markets, less hassle and a bit of a change.

We are now getting quite good at finding our way around Huddersfield and i think we all had a good night despite the heavy and prolonged rainfall. It was waterproofs to everywhere.

Our friends had to get back home on Saturday which left Sheila and i with an empty day and night, so we made the most of it and found a few more pubs to add to the list.
Saturday evening we visited an excellent curry house called The Chilli Lounge and apart from an annoyingly squeaky table, the wine, food and service was 1st class. It gets busy mind and it was pretty full by the time we left at 7.30pm.

We also wanted to find a curry house open at lunchtimes so that we could organise a “Curry Walk” at some point in the future, but we didn’t find one. They all seem to open at around 5.30pm.

We did find a pub that sold good value for money food and cask beers, so this one just might get on the list. The County. Otherwise we will have to hope that The Head of Steam has a curry on the menu on the day.

At this point you may be forgiven if you thought this post is just about beer but you would be quite wrong. We did do a nice tour of some wonderful buildings and the photo set attached here shows just how nice Huddersfield is. Our walkabout took just under 5 hours and included a visit to the covered market which was full of stalls selling collectables and just about everything else and of course coffee and cake.
The first nine images below are inside the Town Hall-Concert Hall. We had hopes of entering the concert hall but because a rehearsal in progress we were not allowed. However the rest of the building was still worth a visit. The receptionist was very helpful and he was quite apologetic that we couldn’t get to see the whole building at this time.

The following images are random shots of Huddersfields architecture.
 Huddersfield Town Hall and concert Hall was built between 1875 and 1881 and designed by John H Abbey. All the stone is local and the carvings made by Thomas Stocks.

 The concert hall. (Which we couldn’t go into) Courtesy of Huddersfield.Gov
The Concert Hall Organ. Again courtesy of Huddersfield. Gov
 The Court of Requests. Built 1825 Now used as The Old Court Brewhouse and Pub. We didn’t have time to visit inside so we will just have to go back soon.

 The Lawrence Batley Theatre. Originally built as a Methodist Chapel in 1819 becoming a Mission in 1906 until 1970 when lack of numbers meant a change of use.
 Queenies Coffee shop.

 Huddersfield Parish Church of St, Peters. Built 1834 -1836. There has been a church on this site since the 11th century.

The Ramsden Building. Part of the University and was the Technical School and Mechanic Institution.

 Leaving Huddersfield and still raining.
It’s that fine rain that wets you through.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Walna Scar Shepherds Meet 2015.

Well enough of this fine weather, blue sky and basking in a hot sun, wearing shorts and tee shirts and forgetting where we had last used our waterproofs.
This weekend was back to more proper weather, rain, more rain, wind, waterproofs, mud and sheep.

The Walna Scar shepherds meet is an annual event that has 3 bases, The Newfield Inn at Seathwaite, Duddon Valley, The Church House at Torver (although the Wilson’s Arms stepped into the breach when the Church House closed but it has now re-opened) and The Blacksmiths Arms at Broughton Mills. The Meet alternates between the three, annually.
This year we were at Broughton Mills.
Herdwicks, always seem to smile.

It’s an event that we like to support and help out with as we have many friends here and it’s nice for us to offer them our time in a kind of re-payment for that friendship.

Our job was collecting gate money. A difficult task but someone has to do it.

Our drive over from Seathwaite to Broughton Mills was quite atmospheric, hill fog surrounding us and heavy showers intermittent.

First job is a coffee, followed by a slice (or maybe more) of home made cake and then a drop of port or rum just for medicinal purposes. As luck would have it Hilary had made a lovely cream sponge cake and then dropped it in the mud. It was heading for the bin before i salvaged some and scraped the mud off. It seemed such a waste and mud never killed anyone, he says.

Then it rained, and it rained. But the show goes on. There’s a lot at stake at these shows and those sheep have to be judged. Hours of washing, clipping, plucking and pampering getting them ready to show cannot go to waste.

At this show there are two breeds of sheep, The Herdwick and The Swaledale. Both hardy hill sheep.
And judging is a serious business and can be a bit stressful.
 Herdwicks being judged. No it’s not strictly come dancing.
Jock judging the Swaledales.
The beautiful setting for the Meet.
Quite a few visitors came and kept us busier than usual on the gate. The photographs of previous years Meets displayed in the marquee being particularly popular. Unfortunately the heavy showers made it that folk didn’t hang around too long.

Time went quickly and the smell of lunch at the Blacksmiths made us hungry. Michael and all the staff did a great job of getting everyone in and fed with a wonderful Lamb Tattie pot with black pudding and red cabbage. Followed by sticky toffee pudding and ice cream.
Then it was back on duty for a couple of hours as the folk arrived for the hound trailing and the pet show.
Around 3.00pm the wind had picked up quite a bit and before long the Marquee became a parachute and took off.  Luckily very little damage was done and all the trophies stayed on the table.

Champion Herdwick went to Kevin Wrathall from Cockley Beck Farm. Champion Swaledale went to Arnold Lancaster. He also took overall Champion.
 Arnold Lancaster collects his prize.
Kevin Wrathall collects his prize.
In the evening and late into the night a fine celebration of the day was held in the Blacksmiths where there was much singing and more judging. And just a little drinking. I think.

A most enjoyable day. And there are more photo’s here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A short walk! Oh Yes.

Sunday 1st November.

We missed Conrad’s departure from our accommodation. We believe he had to go round the village dowsing the gas lamps or something like that.
The remaining folks also had long journeys ahead of them and so it was a farewell to so many so soon.
Martin, Sue B, Sheila and I, JJ and Martin from Berlin set off on a short walk, Martins idea of a short walk that is. To me it was just a normal day walk for a Sunday.

The day was incredibly warm and still and even the sheep were taking the shade.

Heading out of Leyburn towards Harmby a whole batch of white fungi spread before us. They looked good enough to eat and so thats what we did. Just to see if they were poisonous or not. Well i am still here to tell the tale.
We gather mushrooms whilst Martin from Berlin looks to be calling an Ambulance.
A very old green lane led us south out of Harmby towards the River Ure. Lots of wild flowers and autumn berries. A very large Heron was keeping a beady eye on us as we approached his perch on the rail of the bridge we had to cross. Then he was away.
All too soon JJ and Martin had to depart, Martin had to catch his flight back to Berlin. So that left four.
We were heading now for the village of Middleham. Once across the castellated bridge over the Ure 
the track was a muddy one and then up hill through a field full of spiders webs that shimmered in the sun.
As required by law, at the top of the hill we stopped for a coffee and brownies. Then onward to Middleham.
We were quite taken with this very old village with its lovely houses, old school and of course it’s castle. (Yes Alan S another castle).
Almost at coffee stop with a wonderful vista.
A walk around the outside of the castle. No we don’t pay to go into castles. 
We set off for a gallop, not us of course, we are in race horse country and we were on the gallop. It was a long pull up to the top where a trig point was marking not quite the highest bit in our opinion.
It was hot now, 24 degrees C by Sue’s thermometer. It seemed to take ages to get to the watershed but eventually we got there and sat down by the track side for another brew.
 The Gallop
Almost at the Trig Point.
We had a bit of a meander as we tried to find the stile in the wall separating us from Millers Gill plantation. A dark wet and slippery woodland. It was soon located and more very large fungi studied but not tasted.
Martin chose a slightly different route to us through the dark forest but then again he had the map.
Martin found a huge mushroom or toadstool that reminded me of an Irish Bodhran.
A decision was made to cut short the short walk as time was getting on. Crossing the River Ure again to the west of Wensley we picked up our outbound route from yesterday and returned to Leyburn.
The River Ure at Wensley.

Our route. Clockwise from Leyburn. 15.4km.

And that was the weekend over apart from the foggy drive home. Thanks Martin and Sue for the invitation. Also thanks to everyone there for making it an enjoyable event.
We hope the book on the GR.11 does well and for anyone wishing to do that walk the book will be worth getting.
Check out Martins blog for details. Here.

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