Sunday, 5 April 2020

Gas Works Bridge, Sowerby Bridge (Updated)

I previously posted about Gas Works Bridge when I had only taken a couple of pictures there, but having recently sorted through a few more of my pictures I found that I had plenty more to share here, on Clickasnap and Flickr. 

Gas Works Bridge is a pedestrian crossing over the River Calder connecting Chapel Lane with Mearclough Road via Gas Works Road. The bridge is named after what was once the site of Sowerby Bridge gas works which stood on the norther bank of the River Calder stretching to the Calder & Hebble Navigation Canal a few hundred metres to the north. As a kid growing up in Sowerby Bridge during the 1980's the site was still occupied by large gasometers but the bridge was closed to traffic, and remains so to this day.

Built in 1816 the original bridge is amongst the oldest remaining cast iron bridges in Calderdale, and was given Grade II listed status on the 19th July 1988. It is hidden from view by the riveted steel plates used when the bridge was widened around 1850 although it can just about be seen underneath. Despite being listed the local council seems uninterested in maintaining or preventing further deterioration of the bridge.

The bridge castings were produced by Aydon and Elwell of Shelf Ironworks, Bradford on the instruction of Thomas Fearnside & Son of Mearclough Bottom Mills, which stood on the southern Bank of the River Calder and were in the business of corn milling.

There are a total of 23 pictures taken over the last few years on various dates and with differing cameras, including some at the bridge during the devastating flooding that hit the Calder Valley on Boxing Day 2015.

Gas Works Bridge, Sowerby Bridge.
Use the arrows to navigate the album or click to view full size on Flickr. Selected images can also be seen on my Clickasnap profile by clicking here. The worlds largest free to use paid per view image sharing sight. The pictures below are selected from the Flickr album.

Gas Works Bridge, Sowerby Bridge

Gas Works Bridge, Sowerby Bridge, Boxing Day 2015

Gas Works Bridge, Sowerby Bridge

Gas Works Bridge, Sowerby Bridge

Looking closely at some of the pictures you can see the original bridge arch visible underneath the current structure. You can follow me on social media via the links in the sidebar. I also have a YouTube channel which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Funeral of an Unknown Warrior.

As well as enjoying taking my own photographs, I also enjoy collecting old postcards, pictures, negatives and slides. I thought it might be of interest to start showing them on here alongside my own.

I thought I would start with these 2 postcards which were taken on the 11th November 1920 during the funeral of the unknown warrior.

The unknown warrior was selected by Brigadier L.J. Wyatt who was given a choice of soldiers whose remains had been exhumed from various battlefields and brought to a chapel at Saint Pol sur Ternoise, France on the night of November 7th 1920. Brigadier Wyatt was accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel E.A.S. Gell and neither man knew which battlefield each soldiers remains had been exhumed from. The remains had been placed in individual coffins covered by Union Flags, Brigadier Wyatt closed his eyes and rested his hand on one of the coffins which was then selected. The other soldiers remains were then taken away for reburial overseen by the Reverend George Kendall OBE.

The coffin of the unknown warrior then remained in the chapel overnight, and was transferred the following day with a guard and escort, as well as troops lining the route to the castle library, within the ancient citadel at Boulogne where it was guarded overnight by a company of soldiers from the French 8th Infantry Regiment.

On the 9th November 1920 the coffin was places within a casket made from oak timbers of trees within the grounds of Hampton Court Place. The casket was then affixed with a sword chosen personally by King George V from the Royal Collection and banded with iron. The shield that was fixed upon the top of the sword and casket bared the inscription "A British Warrior who fell in the Great War 1914-1918 for King and Country". The coffin was then drawn by six black horses on a French military wagon for the mile long journey to the harbour, The wagon being escorted by local schoolchildren and a division of French troops. The French infantry playing Aux Champs as the coffin left Boulogne.

The casket was met at the harbour by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Verdun, and was piped aboard with the admirals call, whilst Marshal Foch the commander of the French Armies during the Great War saluted the casket before it was carried up the gangway. The ship left around noon and was joined by an escort of 6 battleships for it's journey across the channel. As the flotilla approached Dover it was greeted by a 19 gun Field Marshals salute.

The casket was landed on the 10th November and travelled from Dover Marine Railway Station to Victoria Station, London where it was to arrive at Platform 8 at 8.32 pm and remain overnight.

Placed on a gun carriage and drawn by 6 horses the casket began it's final journey on the morning of 11 November 1920 passing through large, silent and respectful crowds. Upon departure from Victoria, there was another Field Marshals salute fired in Hype Park. The cortege route passed Hyde Park Corner, The Mall and Whitehall where King George V unveiled the Cenotaph. It was then followed by the King, the Royal Family and ministers of state to Westminster Abbey where it was interred in the far western end of the nave, in soil brought from each of the main Great War battlefields. The grave is capped with a black Belgian marble stone and is the only tomb within Westminster Abbey that people are forbidden to walk. The ceremony included a guard of honour by 100 recipients of the Victoria Cross. The guest of honour at the service were a group of about 100 women who had lost their husbands and all their sons in the war. After internment the armed forces stood guard as tens of thousands of mourners filed past to pay their respects.

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Sunday, 22 March 2020

Sowerby Bridge, Then and Now

Sowerby Bridge, then and now is a short video I put together for my YouTube channel that features a collection of postcards and images taken around Sowerby Bridge at the turn of the 20th century, and a collection of modern images taken in similar positions to the original image.

The video includes street scenes, waterside scenes and architecture from around the town.
All the pictures feature details of where the image is.

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Sunday, 8 March 2020

Jubliee Class Locomotive 45562 Alberta.

The video that follows is a short one taken on the 29th February 2020. I also took 3 images from the video which can be seen below. 

On the day I was out for a walk through North Dean a woodland that stretchers along the valley from Copley to West Vale and up towards Greetland and Norland. The main railway line between Brighouse and Sowerby Bridge runs along the bottom of the woods and whilst out for my wonder I was made aware that a steam train was due to run along the line shortly, so I decided to set up along the line from the bridge that crossers the River Calder, arriving just as the Train was approaching from Greetland Junction. I had enough time to set up my action camera facing east and my phone facing west near to the track but a safe distance away, I didn't want to become a safety issue. 

The end result is the short video below, which can be seen here or on YouTube.

I can't push the point enough that although it may look close to the railway at no point was I anywhere near the trackbed. The following pictures are from my Flickr account, 3 have been taken from the video footage, 1 was a quick snap using my SLR camera.
Steam Train at Copley

Jubliee Class 45562 Alberta Passing Copley

Jubliee Class 45562 Alberta Passing Copley

Jubliee Class 45562 Alberta Passing Copley
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Sunday, 1 March 2020

North Dean Woods 29 February 2020

North Dean is a woodland that can be found along the Lindwell Bank hillside from Copley to Norland, and from West Vale to Greetland. There are many footpaths through the woods including part of the Calderdale Way, a 50 mile long footpath that runs around the district of Calderdale.

The wood gives a look in to the past as North Dean is a fine example of the type of woodland that used to cover large parts of the north of England. There are many different tree types visible whilst walking the woodland paths, they include Beech, Birch, Sycamore, Ash, Holly and Alder trees. In addition to the trees there are also many different plant types visible including Heather, Bluebells, Daisy's, Bilberry and Wood Sorrel.

Much of the wildlife that inhabits North Dean is nocturnal, with Squirrels, Rabbits, Foxes, Shrews, Voles, Mice and Hedgehogs all making the woods home but rarely seen. In the wetter part of the woods Frogs, Toads and Newts can also be seen, and there are over 50 species of birds recorded to have been in the woods depending on the season.

The woods main entrance can be found near Clay House at West Vale, although there are many other ways to enter the woods along the valley bottom and top. I entered at Copley near to ST Stephens Church at Copley. The River Calder and Railway run along the northern area of the woods and the Stainland Branch Line used to run through the north eastern section of North Dean too.

There are a total of 10 pictures to view, with the full set available here, on Flickr and on Clickasnap. They include a picture of a steam train running along the main line between Brighouse and Sowerby Bridge, as well as a single picture of St Stephens Church as I entered the woods.

North Dean Woods 29 2 2020
Use the arrows to navigate the album or click to view on Flickr. All the pictures can also be viewed beat quality or downloaded on Clickasnap. The following are selected from the above album.

St Stephens Church, Copley

North Dean Woods

North Dean Woods

Steam Train at Copley

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Sunday, 16 February 2020

Copley Toll Bridge. Before and after the 2015 Boxing Day Floods

I have previously posted about the bridge at Copley and its replacement in November 2017.  Click here to view the post which gives more information, history and pictures of the original bridge and it's replacement. I was reminded of the damaged bridge due to the recent flooding again through the Calder Valley caused by Storm Ciara, and so far anyway the threat of flooding by Storm Dennis, as well as recently acquiring a Victorian picture of the bridge at it's finest, which will be posted below I thought would revisit my original pictures taken in February 2014 showing the bridge in good condition, my set taken on New Years Day 2015 showing the badly damaged bridge. I'm not gonna go over the details previously posted about the history of the bridge, they can be seen via the link above.
This Victorian picture is one I recently purchased of the bridge, I am informed that it is out of copyright protection but have no details as to who took it or owned the copyright so am unable to credit them. I will happily do this if it advised who to credit.

The following 3 were taken in February 2014.

Copley Toll House and Former Bridge 2014

Copley Toll Bridge 2014

Copley Toll Bridge 2014

The following 3 images were taken on New Years Day 2016, the week after the floods destroyed the bridge.

Destroyed Copley Toll Bridge after the 2015 Boxing Day floods

Copley Toll Bridge Remains after the Boxing Day 2015 Floods.

Remains of Copley Toll Bridge after the 2015 Boxing Day Floods

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Historic Pictures of Sowerby Bridge

Historic pictures of Sowerby Bridge is a set of 3 YouTube videos I have done featuring images taken in various areas of the town of Sowerby Bridge taken in the last 150 years. The images are part of a collection I recently acquired and I am advised are all public domain, copyright free images with some being part of a Lilywhites postcards collection of over 100 years plus in age. If I am not informed correctly regarding the copyright then I will happily credit or remove the picture at request.

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Kincardine Bridge, Scotland.

Kincardine Bridge is a new video I have uploaded to YouTube showing a crossing of the bridge in both directions in November 2019.

The bridge crossers the River Forth approx. 25 miles north west of Edinburgh, and was the nearest road crossing to Scotland's Capital until the Forth Road Bridge opened in 1964. Kincardine Bridge is still the alternative crossing to the Forth Road Bridge and Queensferry Crossing when they are closed or restricted due to accidents or severe weather. The bridge connects the boroughs of Falkirk and Fife.

Built between 1932 and 1936 by designers Sir Alexander Gibb and Architect Donald Watson, the opening having been delayed due to a steam ship crashing into the construction in February 1935. The decision to build the bridge having been made when traffic levels at Stirling Bridge, which then was the nearest point of crossing the Forth other than by ferry had risen from approx. 150 per hour in 1922 to over 400 per hour by 1932. Built with a central section a of 364ft that acted as a swing bridge to allow ships to pass through to the Port of Alloa, this section remaining in use until 1988 and being locked shut in 1989. The mechanics are still there to operate the swing bridge but it is unlikely ever to be used again. The bridge has a total length of 2697ft and cost £327000 to build. Whilst still in use it was replaced as the main bridge crossing in 2008 by the Clackmannanshire Bridge which cost £120 million to complete.

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Saturday, 8 February 2020

Road Views of Britain, A Drive from Ross on Wye to Monmouth.

A drive from Ross on Wye to Monmouth is a new video I have uploaded to YouTube. The stretch of road driven along is probably one of the most scenic in Britain and the video takes in approx. 12 miles from the end of the M50 motorway, along the A449 and A40 and completes just after I emerged from the Gibraltar tunnel at Monmouth. It was filmed on a dash cam from a higher up vantage point than normal as I was driving a long in my DAF XF truck.

The video was filmed on Wednesday January 29th 2020.

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Saturday, 1 February 2020

Vintage War Posters

A few years ago I bought a collection of copyright free posters and images off a collector and if I'm honest I was stuck for an idea of what to do with them, so they just sat on a hard drive waiting. I recently remembered I had them and came up with tidying them up a little and using them as slideshows for my YouTube channel.

The first set of pictures I used were selected from an album of wartime posters featuring propaganda for women to work, men to be recruited to various forces, rationing, promoting peace and nationalism. They are taken from many conflicts and various countries involved. I have done this slideshows more as a historical propaganda show reel rather than promoting conflict and they are to show how propaganda was used to help with wartime efforts.

I will be working on more over the next few weeks to upload to my YouTube channel from travel posters to vintage pin ups to more wartime posters as well as continuing to upload my own collection of images. Click here and take a moment to subscribe to my YouTube channel. The vintage pin ups will not be posted here but will be available to view on YouTube. Below is a selection of the posters featured in the videos


Sunday, 19 January 2020

Ravensthorpe Railway Station

Ravensthorpe Railway Station is a small suburban stop on the Huddersfield Line between Mirfield and Dewsbury. West Yorkshire. A little used station with only 35342 passengers using it in 2018 - 19, approx. 680 people per week, you can't help but think it would be a much busier with station if platforms were added to the lines towards Wakefield which branch off just before arriving at Ravensthorpe. 

Opened in 1890 this was the 2nd station to serve the area with the first station opening in 1869 on the Ravensthorpe branch of the Spen Valley Line. This station was closed in 1962. This station was built with a good shed to attract freight traffic, some 42 years after the line was opened and quite grand station buildings which were listed prior to a fire which led to them being demolished and replaced by basic shelters. The station has a unique character which is hard to explain, it's location in an industrial suburb of Dewsbury means it should have the feel of a busy commuter but when your stood on the platforms you get the feel of rural countryside stop.

The station has basic facilities with limited shelters on both platforms, no toilets or ticket purchase machines. There are information boards and timetables, the station is unstaffed. Access to platform 2 is via the bridge and steps.

There are a total of 16 pictures of the station taken on 2 occasions, they can all be seen here and on Flickr, with selected ones also available to view and download on Clickasnap.

Ravensthorpe Railway Station.
Use the arrows to navigate the album, selected images from the album can also be seen below.

Different Directions Merged

The Red Bridge Crossing.

Station Bridge at Ravensthorpe

Train at Ravensthorpe Station

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Saturday, 18 January 2020

From Hull, Hell & Halifax, Good Lord Deliver Us. The Halifax Gibbet

The Halifax Gibbet is a set of 8 pictures I took on a couple of occasions whilst passing. The current gibbet is a replica of the original method of execution sat upon a raised refurbished platform that was the site of the original gibbet. The full set of pictures can be seen here and on Flickr with a couple of the pictures also available to view on Clickasnap.

Halifax Gibbet
Use the arrows to Navigate the album, more pictures below.

The Halifax Gibbet was a guillotine used for public execution, first used locally in the 13th century, some 500 years before it became more popularly associated with the French Revolution. The first man executed on the gibbet was John of Dalton in 1286, with the last thought to have been John Wilkinson and Anthony Mitchell of Sowerby who met their fate on the 30th April 1650. Between them dates their were 52 confirmed executions although it is widely believed that over 100 took place. 

The gibbet was built centrally upon a platform 4ft high and 13ft square. The gibbet stood approx. 15ft high with the blade fastened to a block of wood between 2 lengths of wood. The blade was fixed in to place by a pin which was withdrawn by a cord at the moment of executions. The blade was approx. 10 inch x 8 inch in size and was not sharp, relying on speed and weight part the criminals body with head. The criminals were charged under Gibbet Law.

The Gibbet law required that any thief who was caught stealing or who confessed to stealing cloth, goods, or animals within the boundaries of Sowerbyshire or the Forest of Hardwick, of which Halifax was part to the value of 13 1/2d, with the value assed by 4 constables, would be arrested. The criminal would then be tried by a jury and if convicted, they would then be places in the town stocks for 6 days and then executed on the 7th day on the gibbet. Gibbet Law made no allowances for man or women and it is known that at least 5 women were executed by this method. They were as follows,

July 13th 1588 Wife of Thomas Roberts, Halifax
February 22nd 1603 Wife of Peter Harrison, Bradford
November 23rd 1623 George Fairbank & his illegitimate daughter Anna
July 5th 1627 Wife of John Wilson, Northowram
December 8th 1627 Sarah Lum, Halifax

The Gibbet Law allowed for an accused to escape the blade, it said that if the accused was able to with draw his head after the pin was released, and escape across the Hebble Brook, the then boundary approx. 500 yards from the gibbet, then they would be free. 2 men are said to have escaped the blades justice, a Mr Dinnis, and more well known John Lacey also known as the Running Man. In 1617 he escaped the gibbet by running beyond the boundary defined as the Forest of Hardwick or Sowerbyshire after the blades release. Unfortunately for him whilst Gibbet Law allowed for you to escape the punishment, provided you never returned to the boundaries prescribed in the law. He returned to Halifax a few years later, was captured and executed on the 29th January 1623.

The gibbet was outlawed by Oliver Cromwell in 1650, the last 2 victims of it's harsh justice,  Mr Anthony Mitchell who was convicted of stealing 16 yards of cloth, valued at 9 shillings, and a Mr Abraham Wilkinson who was convicted of stealing 2 horses, one valued at 9 shillings and the other 48 shillings. They were executed on the same day April 30th 1650.

The site was lost to time, hidden beneath rubbish and soil until a Mr Bates bought the land in 1839 to build a warehouse. In June that year workmen discovered the bodies and heads of 2 people, thought to be Mitchell and Wilkinson and further excavation revealed the gibbet platform. This was eventually restored and in August 1974 a 15ft high replica of the gibbet was constructed upon the platform to highlight it's grisly past. The original gibbet blade is still in existence, having thought to have been lost it was discovered in 1970 at a solicitor's office in Wakefield, it can now be seen at the Bankfield Museum, Halifax.

The following pictures are selected from the album available on Flickr.
The Gibbet, Halifax

Halifax Gibbet

The Last View.

Thanks for looking and please fell free to share, all I ask is that you credit me for my pictures. You can follow me on social media via the links in the sidebar, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking here. I also have over 1700 pictures that can be viewed on Clickasnap by clicking here. Please take a moment to view them.