Saturday, 17 October 2020

Todmorden Unitarian Church

 Todmorden Unitarian Church is located at Honey Hole Road, Todmorden, West Yorkshire. The church was built in the memory of John Fielden a local mill owner, social reformer and member of parliament for Oldham between 1832-1847. Fielden was also a prominent member of the local unitarian movement. Building work began in 1865, paid for by his 3 sons Joshua, John and Samuel on land the Fielden family donated, the budget was not limited by them with the final bill over £35000 ( over £3.5 million at 2020 rates). The work was completed in 1869 with the church opening in April with a sermon preached by William Gaskell to a congregation of over 800 people.

The church continued to grow until the early pert of the 20th Century when like most other religions in the UK, congregations started to decline. As numbers decreased it became increasingly harder to fund the upkeep of the building and by 1987 the decision was taken to close the main church building and move services to the nearby lodge at the entrance to the church grounds. These services continued until 1992 when the church and grounds were closed completely.

After the complete closure the church decayed and was subject to large amounts of vandalism. In 1994 the Historic Chapels Trust took over the church and over the next few years spent over £1million pounds on repairs. The church is licensed for weddings and is used locally as a meeting place.

The church was granted Grade I listed status on the 22nd November 1966, with the lodge at the entrance gaining Grade II listed status on the 22nd February 1984.

The pictures below were taken in July 2020.

Todmorden Unitarian Church (2019)

They are also featured in an album of pictures I took around the church in 2013 and 2017 which can be seen in the album below.

Todmorden Unitarian Church.

The pictures below are taken from the July 2020 set.

Todmorden Unitarian Church

The church pictured from the eastern part of the grounds.

Unitarian Church Spire and Golden Lion Pub, Todmorden

The 196ft high spire pictured from the Rochdale Canal rising above the Golden Lion Pub.

Todmorden Unitarian Church Lodge

The lodge at the entrance to the church grounds.

Todmorden Unitarian Church Roof

The impressive church roof at the southern side of the church.

All the pictures taken in my various visits can also be seen in my video on YouTube. Please take a moment to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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Sunday, 4 October 2020

Slaithwaite Railway Station

Slaithwaite Railway Station is a village stop 4 miles west of Huddersfield towards Manchester. Opened in December 1982 to replace a earlier station.

The original station was a larger complex, consisting of 4 platforms all with canopies and waiting areas, and all in alignment with each other, and it also had a large goods area, the modern day Manchester bound trains platform is now sighted here. It remained a popular busy station until closure in October 1968, despite campaigns to keep it open, these continued after closure and site clearance until the early 1980's when Metro (West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive) revealed plans to re-open the station.

The new station features 2 platforms staggered either side of Crimble Bank Bridge. There are limited facilities, only basic cover, no toilets or refreshments and the station is unmanned. Step free access to both platforms is available. Passenger numbers in 2018/19 were 208000 per year at an average of approx. 4000 per week.

These pictures were taken  on the 25th July 2020 using a Nikon d3300 SLR camera. There are a total of 15 which can be seen here, on Flickr and Clickasnap.

Slaithwaite Railway Station

Use the arrows to navigate the album. The pictures below are selected from the same set.

Slaithwaite Station Cobbled Entrance
The station entrance to the Manchester bound platform. The cobbled road used to lead up to the goods yard.

Train Approaching Platform 2, Slaithwaite Railway Station
Train passing platform 1 for Huddersfield bound trains. Platform 1 sits upon the site of the original  station which featured 4 platforms including a central island one. When the original station closed the line capacity was halved.

Platform 2 from Platform 1, Slaithwaite Railway Station
Looking towards platform 2 from platform 1. The Manchester bound platform is built on the site of the former goods yard which was closed in 1964.

Platform 1 Entrance, Slaithwaite Entrance
Platform 1 station entrance, this was also an entrance to the original station.

Welcome to Slaithwaite Bench at the Station
A artistic bench at the entrance to platform 1.

The pictures can be seen on YouTube, please take a moment to subscribe to my channel there.

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Sunday, 27 September 2020

Copley Footbridge over the Calder & Hebble Navigation

 Copley Footbridge

Use the arrows to navigate the album or view below.

Copley Footbridge is a pedestrian crossing over the Calder and Hebble Navigation Canal. The bridge carries a path the originally connected Skircoat Green with Norland, but now provides a convenient shortcut between the main A6026 Wakefield Road and the general Copley area.

Copley Footbridge is of iron construction and when I took these pictures in 2019, was in need of some TLC, the bridge as of July 202 is being refurbished and is currently closed to the public. I have been unable to find the age of the bridge, but on a map of Copley published in 1854 the bridge is clearly marked as there. I'm not sure if it's the same bridge that is currently standing though.

The pictures were taken on the 20th July 2019 using a Nikon d3300 SLR camera. They can be seen here, on Flickr and Clickasnap where they can also be downloaded from.

Copley Footbridge
The bridge pictured looking eastwards along the Calder & Hebble in the direction of Copley.

Steps to Copley Footbridge
The steps up to the crossing, the cobbled path providing a short sloped access from the canal towpath.

Northwards over Copley Footbridge

South across Copley Footbridge
The top of the bridge looking north (Pic A) and south (Pic B). In the background of pic b you can see a train crossing Copley Viaduct.

Calder and Hebble from Copley Footbridge
The steps down on the north side of the Canal.

Cobbles from Copley Footbridge
The path connecting the canal with the A6046 Wakefield Road.

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Sunday, 13 September 2020

Sgurr Nan Gillean and the Cuillin Hills, Isle of Skye.

Just a short post featuring a picture that forms part of a collection of images I am currently digitising, this shows the peak of Sgurr nan Gillean in the Cuillin Hills on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Sgurr nan Gillean rises 3169ft above sea level and is stunning triangular profile can be viewed for miles around the hills. The reflections on the front of the image is of Loch Sligachan.

Sgurr Nan Gillean and the Cuillin Hills, Isle of Skye

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Saturday, 5 September 2020

The Great Wall of Todmorden

The great wall of Todmorden was built as a supporting wall alongside the Rochdale Canal. The wall starts it's rise near to Lock number 19 Todmorden or Library Lock before curving away towards Dobroyd Bridge number 30.

The canal was first to be completed in 1804 and faced little competition until the arrival of the Manchester and Leeds Railway in 1841. As the railways grew and began to transport more goods, stations were looking at expansion and Todmorden Station looked to enlarge the goods facilities it had. In 1881 the wall was completed having used over 4 million bricks and the new goods yard stood on the land above the retaining wall. The goods facilities were withdrawn on the 1960's and the land is now covered by wooded footpath.

There are a total of 13 images that can be viewed here, on Flickr and on Clickasnap. They were taken using a Nikon d3300 SLR.

Great Wall of Tod'. The Rochdale Canal from Lock 19 to Bridge 30
Use the arrows to navigate the album, view full size on Flickr or Clickasnap where you can also download copies. The pictures below are selected from the album.

Great Wall of Todmorden

Great Wall of Todmorden

Great Wall of Todmorden

Todmorden (Library) Lock 19 on the Rochdale Canal

Thanks for looking and please take a moment to share. The following video features a slideshow of the images and can be seen below and on YouTube.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Blackpool Illuminations from the North Pier- Vintage Postcard

 Currently trying to sort through my large postcard collection and came across this interesting one by Valentine & Son of  Dundee, Scotland. Titled Blackpool Illuminations from the North Pier and printed in an artistic painted style.

Blackpool Illuminations from north pier

The card is dated from 1933 by it's serial number 221812 and has never been posted, it's quite worn but for a card aged around 87 years old it looks well.

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Sunday, 16 August 2020

Peoples Park then and now. A vintage postcard and a modern look.


Peoples Park Historic and Modern Comparison

I recently added the bottom postcard to my collection, it shows a view of Peoples Park, Halifax looking from south to north towards the Crossley Pavilion. I thought I'd go take a look at the same view now a couple of weeks ago and the top picture shows the modern scene. The park is now more tree lined and covers the spire of the Park United Reformed Church, which stills stands across the road from the park's north western corner although I am told is now a business centre.

Rear of Peoples Park Postcard

The rear of the card gives no indication to when it was posted, only wishing best wishes to its recipient, a Mr & Mrs Butterfield of Leeds.

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Saturday, 15 August 2020

Lockwood Railway Station

 In 2015 I set out to picture the railway stations along the Penistone Line between Huddersfield and Penistone, on the day I managed to picture Berry Brow, Honey, Brockholes, Stocksmoor, Shepley and Denby Dale, missing out on Penistone and Huddersfield which I still haven't visited, and Lockwood as the time got away from me. Recently in Huddersfield I decided to visit Lockwood and finally picture that stop, these pictures were taken on the 25th July 2020.

Lockwood Railway Station

Lockwood Railway Station opened along with the line on the 1st July 1850 as a double platform twin track stop. Located just south of the Lockwood Tunnel approx. 1.5 miles from Huddersfield . The station became a junction stop in August 1868 when the Meltham Branch line opened to goods traffic, passenger transport commencing in July 1869, until the line was closed in 1965. Lockwood Station was staffed until the 1960's and after the closure of the Meltham Branch spent many years as the subject of closure speculation along with the entire Penistone Line. In the 1980's the decision was made and the line was to remain open, although it would now be a single track. The remains of the closed platform can still be seen at Lockwood although overgrown, the connecting tunnel blocked by a door.

The station has minimal facilities with a small car park, step free access, a basic small shelter. In 2018/19 it was attended by 40006 passengers at an average of 769 per week. That's a drop of over 11000 passengers compared to 2015/16, but despite this drop the line remains popular and is growing steadily year on year. Lockwood Station is served hourly in each direction daily.

Immediately north of the station is the 255 yard Yew Green Tunnel, better known as Lockwood Tunnel it has been the scene of a couple of incidents. The first tragedy to effect the tunnel occurred before it opened.   In July 1849 the tunnel was complete although the railway line was, a group of men had been drinking at a nearby inn, when they challenged each to a race through the tunnel. Upon completing the race they realised one of their number was missing and tracked back through the tunnel until they came across the body of John Godly, who it was said had tripped and broken his neck whilst racing through the tunnel.

Lockwood (Yew Green) Tunnel, Huddersfield
 The tunnel was the scene of a rail crash in March 1869 when a passenger train and a goods train collided in the tunnel, the driver error resulted in 3 people being injured.

To the south of the station lies the Lockwood Viaduct, I'll try to return to picture that but was short on time on this occasion, between the viaduct and station are the remains of the coal drops. The set of 8 former coal drops still stand, now being used as a car park. They also feature a tunnel connecting both sides of Howarth Lane.

Former Coal Drops at Lockwood Station Monar

There are a total of 14 pictures taken in and around the station using a Nikon d3300 SLR camera. They can be seen here, on Flickr, and on Clickasnap where they can also be downloaded. The pictures shown here are selected for the album.

Lockwood Station Disused Platform copy

Lockwood Railway Station

Lockwood Station Entrance

You can now see the pictures as part of a video slideshow on YouTube. Please take a moment to subscribe to my channel there.

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Sunday, 9 August 2020

Happy Birthday Mollie - Vintage Postcard

 In my collection of celebratory postcards I have set that were sent to Mollie from various family members over a number of years, I thought I would start by sharing this one from her Dad which she received on the 14th September 1936.

Best Wishes for a Tenth Birthday Postcard

The rear of the card is simple with only her name Mollie Stuart and signed as from Dad and the date showing. I will sharing more cards from the Mollie collection over the next few months, some have a bit more to say and some include the postal address.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Cliviger Gorge

Cliviger Gorge

 A short set this time of a couple of pictures taken whilst parked up having a break on the A646 Burnley Road Near Holme Chapel, Lancashire. They look up the valley side in a south westerly direction.

The steep sided valley that rises up and gives outstanding views of the near Lancashire and Yorkshire districts of Burnley and Todmorden. The gorge was formed during the melt of the last ice age and it's in the slopes down that the source of the River Calder can be found.Cliviger Gorge

The pictures were taken on 23rd March 2020 using a Nikon d3300 SLR, they can be seen here or full size on Flickr and Clickasnap.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Mirfield Railway Station Revisited

In April 2015 I was in Mirfield and took the opportunity to picture the Railway Station and posted the pictures taken that day in a post on the 11th December 2017. I was again in Mirfield late last year having walked the Spen Valley Greenway from Low Moor to Thornhill, I then walked the Calder & Hebble Navigation to catch the train home from Mirfield and thought as I was there I may as well picture the station whilst waiting. In 2015 it was undergoing some repairs and refurbishments.

The railway first reached Mirfield in 1840 when a line connecting Normanton with Hebden Bridge was constructed, this was later extended to Manchester when the Summit Tunnel was completed in March 1841. Despite this Mirfield didn't get a station in the initial phrase of construction. In April 1845 trains finally stopped in Mirfield as the station was opened prior to the Manchester & Leeds Railway applying for permission to build a branch line to Bradford along the Spen Valley, this was sighted a few hundred metres west of the current station.

The new station opened at it's current location on the 5th March 1866 and featured a large island platform with a roof covering the entire station, this was removed in 1977. Other facilities included a hotel, ticket office, buffet restaurant and billiard room.

Mirfield remains a busy station today despite the loss of the Spen Valley Railway and some of the direct connections the station has had over the years. The station now has a third platform reached by exciting the island and passing underneath the bridge that carries the line over the road, this was added in the 1980's. There are limited facilities at the station with only step free access to platform 3, no toilets and is unmanned. It has small bus shelter type cover on all 3 platforms and bike safe racks.

The station served over 452,000 passengers in 2018/19 at an average of 8692 per week and there are currently plans to rebuild the station to offer a better passenger experience when the Trans Pennine Route gets upgraded. Rumours suggest the station may be re-sighted again and merged with Ravensthorpe Station which is approx. 2 miles to the east of Mirfield Station.

Mirfield Railway Station (2019)
Use the arrows to navigate the album of images taken 30th December 2019. You can see them full size on Flickr with selected ones also available to view and download from Clickasnap. The ones below are selected from the above album.

Train at Platform 1. Mirfield Railway Station

Welcome to Mirfield at Mirfield Railway Station

Mirfield Railway Station Platform 3

The following album of images are the set I have previously posted about. These were taken in April 2015. Use the arrows to navigate the album of view full size on Flickr.
Mirfield Railway Station (2015)

The following video can be seen on YouTube and features the images I took at the station.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Vintage Postcards - Ellingham Church, Ringwood

This post features another of the postcards I have collected. It shows Ellingham Church, Ringwood and is a Judges of Hastings card. The card has only a postal address and King George IV stamp which was released in 1937. 

Ellingham Church, Ringwood - Vintage Postcard
The church is St Mary and All Saints Church and is approx. 2 miles north of Ringwood in the village of Ellingham.

Obviously the person who sent the card was a person of few words, with only a deliver address provided, with no information of who the card was from indicated in the text.

Thanks for looking and please have a look at some of my other post featuring postcards I have collected.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

10.46 Newcastle to Liverpool Lime Street at Standedge Tunnel

This set of 3 pictures was taken on a recent visit to Marsden, Huddersfield. Whilst their I thought I would catch the train up from Slaithwaite to Marsden and walk back along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. As quite often happens with me I got distracted and headed for the Standedge Tunnel a short walk from Marsden Station. Whilst there I was trying to get a clear shot of the tunnel entrances, however I failed in this but whilst searching for a higher vantage point I took a moment to film and picture some of the trains on approach to the tunnels.

10.46 Newcastle to Liverpool Lime Street Train at Standedge Tunnel

10.46 Newcastle to Liverpool Lime Street Train at Standedge Tunnel

10.46 Newcastle to Liverpool Lime Street Train at Standedge Tunnel

The train is the 10.46 Newcastle to Liverpool Lime Street service and is seen crossing Bridge 61 over the Huddersfield Narrow Canal on approach to the tunnels entrance. The train was passing at 12.47, the UID number was N03709, and headcode 5341.

The following video was taken later in the day and features a number of trains exiting and entering the tunnel.
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Saturday, 25 July 2020

Vintage Postcard - Manor Gardens, Burnham on Sea

A postcard taken from my large collection, this one features a scene taken in Manor Gardens, Burnham on Sea with the band stand central to the picture. The picture although written on has never been posted so I am unable to date, although I guess it's from around the post First World War period. The Gardens are still there today.

Manor Gardens, Burnham - Vintage Postcard

The back of the card has been written and contains the following text,

As best as i can make out the text reads as follows,

Dear Phyliss we are having a lovely time plenty of attractions and crowds of people we are getting along nicely we have lovely lodgings and quite near the sea front you'll wish you were here we are first going to the Manor Gardens love _____ and _____.

Sadly i can't make the names out.