Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Back to cold spring morning walks,same time but now in daylight

this morning we saw a roe deer cross our path,all around are signs of the new season,after days of sorting out the pecking order the ducks are all paired up.woodpeckers can be heard as they declare their manhood by headbutting tree trunks.

all in all the mornings are noisier,even the runners with the bike outriders have increased in number.
"And the obvious reason is because of the season

yes it's spring spring spring"

This last month me and brother David had the unenviable task of moving our mother into a care home as her ability to care for herself diminished so much we had fears for her safety.
since a series of small heart attacks her dementia had got steadily worse.
she is now being well looked after near her old school where she spent many years teaching english.
My mother entered teaching quite late (40's) having had to leave grammer school early in order to bring a wage into the family home and was soon bringing up her own family of 3 sons and didn't get the chance to pursue her own ambitions until much later. culminating in a masters degree in science from Bradford University in 1985.
shortly before that in 1984 Rosie and I married in Halifax West Yorkshire also the year of the miners strike in England so here we are 25 years later planning to walk the Calderdale Way in late April a 50 mile 80k circular walk above the Calder valley.
the picture of Halifax was taken in 1958 and like the mining industry has changed dramatically our travelodge hotel for the weeks holiday is housed in the former Dean Clough mill on the right of the photograph.A place reverted back to the place of beauty it was before the heavy industry that blighted the area and made the north of England the place that made Britain rich .

"The Calderdale Way - History and Landscape
Place names, mostly of English origin, around the Calderdale Way hold ancient meanings. 'Calder' means 'rapid water', 'ley' as in Stoodley and Midgley means clearing, 'dene' means valley as in Todmorden, Ripponden and Luddenden and 'tonstall' means farmstead, as in Heptonstall. Scandinavian influences can be seen in names like Sowerby meaning village on sour or muddy land.
Up until the latter part of the 13th century most settlements were hamlets on the valley tops such as Heptonstall and Mankinholes. As the population increased, so the valleys were gradually cleared - Mytholmroyd means 'clearing at the water meetings'.
Developments in the valley floors such as Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Sowerby Bridge took off at the beginning of the 19th century, alongside the increasing mechanisation of the textile industry - the power loom replacing handlooms in the 1820s and the increasing use of steam power replacing water power prevalent in the area by about 1840, and the development of transport - of turnpike roads and canals initially, then later the railways. Increasingly the population moved down into the valley floors to work in the large Fielden Mills in Todmorden for example. Old villages such as Heptonstall have remained much as they were in the pre-Industrial Revolution period".

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