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Monday, 18 August 2014

Harold Wagstaff

Two Fartown events this week. First we beat Widnes in the league. Always a satisfying thing to do considering the crap that came our way from the Widnes branch of the family when they thought Wembley was a home game.
  Second, we visited Harold's grave, part of a walk to commemorate him and the era of rugby in which he played. It's on cemetery road outside Holmfirth. Pink marble gravestone. A nice thing, albeit overgrown. See http://www.huddersfieldrlheritage.co.uk for further detail.

Social Cricket and Musical Meanderings flounder - Aug 2014

Social Cricket
There is no support for social cricket at Thongsbridge and Almondbury Casuals is moribund. There are still teams at Upperthong and Holmbridge.
  It's all very sad, but I'm not being involved from now on.

Musical Meanderings
After making many contacts, the prospect of driving through personally a book project is daunting. It may be a website. Pity, because a second edition of Musical Meanderings would be a great thing.
  It all depends on energy.

Shroppie Aug 2014


              Mooring in Chester


It didn’t start well and the finish wasn’t perfect, but in between it had its moments. The highlight was teaming up with a couple from Wigan to go up the double locks from Chester to Bunbury and then mooring for drinks in the evening.

I didn’t go into Chester itself.


We had a look at the basin down by Telford’s Warehouse. More moorings and good facilities apparently, but not obvious. So progress.


                                                                                     

New Mill choir flyer delivery August 2014



Why did five singers, a wife and two sons meet at 10am last Friday morning outside the Carding Shed at Hepworth? Well, we were planning to have coffee and a bun at the cafe there, maybe around lunchtime, but before that we intended to post 1000 flyers around the New Mill district.
  Let’s start at the beginning. A bit more than twelve months ago (March 2013) a group got together to manage the sale of choir merchandise. Pretty soon this group morphed into wider choir promotion: raising the choir’s profile and helping with campaigns to sell concert tickets.
  So this was our latest venture. We were advertising a concert at Christ Church, New Mill, featuring St Buryan Male Voice Choir from Cornwall, friends we made at a music festival in 2013. Equally important will be the ‘afterglow’ at New Mill Club; another way of saying food, drink,  entertainment and a good time to be had by all. 
  Steve Flynn designed and arranged the flyer printing. You can commission companies to do the delivery, but Steve Davies volunteered his two sons. Along came John Middleton, Robert and Liz Coombs and we had a team.
  Amazingly, within two hours we had covered Hepworth, Scholes, Totties and Pule Hill. If 5% turn out on the night, the club will be bursting at the seams. Not too many yappy dogs, just the odd one that banged and crashed in ‘ff’ to get free of its chain. The letterbox on the outside wall is a brilliant and rare beauty. Mostly they are knuckle-grazers as your hand tries to negotiate brushes and internal spring-loaded finger traps. Some houses did not have a letterbox. One of mine was selotaped up. The occupants might not be coming to the concert.
  I have to say that town planning does not take account of the postman. Long drives and awkward steps will certainly keep them fit, but won’t help them meet their time targets. It’s no wonder they all wear shorts, even in deepest winter.

  We finished with coffee and a bun at the Oil Can, pleased and smiling amidst old cars and motoring memorabilia. We may never know the results of our efforts. At least, those that read the flyer will realise they have a local choir and two hours one Friday morning was not a lot of skin off our noses, or knuckles.

Clayton West Line Aug 2014


This was the last Huddersfield branch line to be built, connecting with the Penistone line near Shepley and Shelley station. It opened September 1st, 1879. There is a tunnel 611 yards long at Skelmanthorpe. The line was wide enough for a double track, but it was never required. 
  
  The website http://www.kirkleeslightrailway.com includes ‘With two thriving communities each with a colliery to serve, the railway soon proved its worth. Aside from regular goods and passenger trains the line was also used for excursion trains for workers to travel to places further afield.
  Coal traffic was the backbone of the railway and ensured that it survived Dr Beeching’s modernisation plan of the 1960s which saw many similar lines closed.’
  It did close in 1983.
  Since October 1991 it’s the Kirklees Light Railway. The website explains this development

  ‘Around this time Brian & Doreen Taylor had established a miniature railway at Shibden Park in Halifax. This had become a great success and continues to please many visitors to the park today. Brian however wanted to get his teeth into something bigger and began a search for somewhere to build a 15 inch gauge railway.
  Attention finally fell on the line to Clayton West which had lain dormant for only a short time. After negotiations, and with support from Kirklees Council, a Light Railway Order was applied for and this was granted in September 1991, one of the last to be made under the 1896 Light Railway Act.  
  During this time the Taylors had been busy, with assistance of a small team of paid and voluntary staff, constructing the railway. This opened in stages, firstly to Cuckoo’s Nest in October 1991, Skelmanthorpe in December 1992 and finally Shelley in May 1997, the latter being completed with assistance from the European Union’s coalfield regeneration schemes. 
  In the early 2000s Brian and Doreen decided that they wished to take life a little easier and retire. The railway was acquired in 2006 by Stately Albion, a family owned company that specialises in the manufacture of park and leisure homes. With 6 locomotives, 12 coaches, a new engine shed and station building at Clayton West the Taylors had laid solid foundations. Since purchasing the line Stately Albion have made many improvements these include new carriages, two large play areas and a new tearoom and picnic area at Shelley.’


  We took Jenson. He was frightened to start with, but soon came round. The trip is 25 minutes each way and overlooks farmland with livestock. There are two stations, Skelmanthorpe and Cuckoo’s Nest, but no one got on or off. Seems a well organised set up.