Sunday, 28 September 2014

A Walk Along The Rochdale Canal. Hebden Bridge to Mytholmroyd.

In addition to my previous post's about the history of, and my walk along the Rochdale Canal Yorkshire section is the section covering Hebden Bridge to Mytholmroyd.
This post covers approx. 2 miles of the canal from Stubbing Upper Lock 11 at Hebden Bridge to Bridge 10 Burnley Road at Mytholmroyd. This section is accessible by walkers of all ages and abilities although you do need to cross the busy A646 Burnley Road Nr the former Walkley Clog Factory. You will pass locks 11 to 7 and under or by bridges 18 through to 10. It takes approx. 45 min to 1 hour to walk along the Rochdale Canal at this point.
 Stubbing Upper Lock 11.
 Bridge 18.
 Taken from the aqueduct that crossers Hebden Water is lock 9 Blackpit.

 Hebden Bridge Wharf.
 Bridge 15.
 Bridge 14. This is where you have to cross Burnley Road whilst boats continue through the tunnel.
Bridge 10 which carries Burnley Road over the Canal.

I will upload all the pictures taken on this section of the canal to Flickr shortly.
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Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Last Stretch.. A Walk Along The Rochdale Canal from Luddenden Foot to Sowerby Bridge.

Carrying on my posts about my walk along the various sections of the Rochdale Canal through West Yorkshire is this section of canal from Luddenden Foot to Sowerby Bridge.
This section of the Rochdale Canal passes from Bridge 6 at Luddenden Foot to the canal end of the canal at it's junction with the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Sowerby Bridge Wharf. The canal also passes through 3 locks along this route. The distance is approx. 2 miles and takes about 1 hour at a steady pace to complete. There are no facilities along the route but there a few bars, restaurant's, and takeaways once you have arrived at Sowerby Bridge.
 Bridge 6 Station Road, Luddenden Foot.
Bridge 2. Hollins Lane Tunnel.

 Towpath Nr Bridge 2.
 Iron Footbridge Nr Sowerby Bridge.
 Bridge 1. Tuel Lane Tunnel, Sowerby Bridge
Lock No. 1 at Sowerby Bridge.

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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Halifax Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist / Halifax Minster, West Yorkshire.


Halifax Minster is a Grade 1 listed church that became a Minster in 2009. The current building has existed since the mid 15th century and is built on the site of an earlier Norman built church. There has been a church on this site since 1120 and there are still a few stone features thought to be from the earlier 2 churches that have been here.
The church closed in May 1878 to undergo major restoration and reopened in October 1879. The work was directed by Sir George Gilbert Scott who removed the 18th century galleries, lowered the height of the pews, altered floor levels, removed all the plaster, and provided a new organ designed by John Oldrid Scott, the work cost approx. £20,000.
The tower is about 118ft high and was built between 1450 to 1480. The clock dates from about 1774.
The church is the site of the Halifax War Memorial and since the 1960's the remains of the Halifax Stocks have stood by the West Gate.
 Halifax Minster from above.
 Eastern side of the Minster.
 The Stocks outside the West Gate.
Halifax Minster from the South.
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Monday, 25 August 2014

The Peoples Park, Halifax

The Peoples park is a Grade II listed Victorian recreational and leisure ground in Halifax, West Yorkshire designed by Joseph Paxton who was better known for designing the Crystal Palace. The park was paid for by Sir Francis Crossley and cost £50,000. The park was opened in 1857 and transferred to the Halifax Corporation in 1858.
The park features a small canal which is crossed by 2 iron bridges, a children's play area, a number of marble statues, bandstand, and a terrace area with pavilion.
The park was in a sorry state of neglect during 1980's / 90's and was restored and reopened in 2002 hanks to a £1,000,000 grant from the national lottery.
The park is open daily from until dusk and is secured by iron railings, gates, and CCTV cameras.
 The park entrance from Hopwood Lane.
 The Thorp Fountain.
Joseph Thorp donated the fountain in 1857 and it bears the following inscriptions,
Thank God For Water.
Water Is Best.
It no longer dispenses water.
 The Bandstand.
Built in 1872 and made from cast-iron, wood, and a zinc roof.

The Saville Fountain.
 The original Crossley fountain was the centrepiece of the water feature from 1864 until it was replaced by the current Saville fountain in 1914. The fountain is now known by both names.
 The Pavilion.
The Pavilion was opened in 1860 and features a statue of Sir Frank Crossley inside.
The Terrace area features a number of marble statues sculpted by Francesco Bienaime
The Smith Sundial.
Donated to the town of Halifax in 1873 by Matthew Smith.

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Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Halifax Gibbet

The Halifax Gibbet was a guillotine used for executing people publicly in Halifax, West Yorkshire from the 13th century to the final execution though to have been in 1650.
The current gibbet is a replica built near the site of the original one which was uncovered during building works in 1839 and the current platform upon which it stands was built in 1645. The gibbet platform stood about 4ft high and 10ft square and was reached by a flight of stone steps. In the middle of the platform stood the gibbet which was made up of 2 parallel beams approx. 15ft high, a traverse beam connecting the upright post's, and grooves down the parallel beams which features a block of wood with an axe head. The blade was not sharpened and the condemned prisoner would lie on there back and face the blade as it fell towards there neck. There are known to have been 52 executions on the Halifax Gibbet but it is thought the number is closer to 100 men and women.
Gibbet law stated that any condemned person who withdrew his head as the blade fell and escaped over the nearby Hebble Brook he could not be brought back against his will to face justice. 2 men are known to have escaped the gibbet in this way, they were a man called Dinnis and another called Lacy who returned to Halifax in 1623 and was executed.

 The last view a condemned prisoner would see.
The original gibbet blade which is on display at the Bankfield Museum.

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Saturday, 23 August 2014

A visit to Shibden Park and Hall, Halifax.

Shibden Hall and Park grounds are approx. 1 mile from Halifax Railway Station, it takes about 20mins to walk there from the station and it is up quite a steep hill. There are buses passing regularly on the A58 that runs past the park. There is plenty of car parking on site but there is a small charge for this. These pictures were taken on June 1st 2014.
Shibden Hall.
The hall is a Grade II listed building that was built in 1420 and is now operated as a museum. The timber framed buildings most famous resident was Anne Lister a noted diarist who died in 1840. The house and grounds were bought from the Lister family by Arthur Selby McCrea and immediately given to the Halifax Corporation in the 1923. The hall is open to the public and costs £4.50 for adults and £3.50 for children and senior citizens. There are also offers for group bookings and families.

Shibden Park.
Shibden park was opened by the Prince of Wales on 15th October 1926 and was restored during 2007 / 08. Activities available in the park include a boating lake, pitch and putt, miniature railway, children's play area, pond, tunnel, and plenty of area for walking and relaxing.
 Recently reopened tunnel that runs from the hall to what was the kitchen garden.

 Pond near Shibden Hall.
 Waterfall at the end of the boating lake.
 Looking down from the hall across Shibden Park.
 Stone feature at Shibden Park.
 Boating Lake.
Miniature railway crossing.
Walker Pit Tower.
Not in the park grounds but only a few minutes walk from the hall is the Walker Pit Tower. The pit was dug in 1835 and the tower is named after Ann Lister's partner Anne Walker. The coal supplied the town of Halifax.

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Vista Bahia Hotel, Portimatx, Ibiza.

I have recently returned from 11 nights at the Vista Bahia Hotel from the 6th / 17th July 2014. I took a number of pictures of the hotel, grounds, and views and thought I would share a few of them and give a small review about the hotel.
The Vista Bahia Hotel is about 15mins walk from the centre of Portimatx and about a 40min transfer from the airport. The hotel is situated on a hillside and is ideal for families but not advisable for people who struggle with walking as it features lots of steps and steep slopes to get around, the travel agent I booked with advertised there was a lift on site in the main building but this was not the case. There are 175 rooms split over 8 buildings and each building features 2 floors. The rooms are quite clean but could do with a little decoration to freshen up the look of them. They feature air-con, bath and shower, and were advertised as having Satellite TV, whilst this is true the satellite TV was German or Spanish the only British channel being the BBC world service news channel, whilst I do not go on holiday to watch TV I booked this hotel with the satellite TV in mind for my daughter. The walls between rooms are quite thin and I was woken by the kids being kids during my firdt week there, on the 2nd week the family staying were a lot quieter. There is a little terrace area outside the door but unfortunately the view from my room 208 offered only the back and roof of level 1 of the hotel room, I asked for a sea view and if I stood on the path at the front of the room I could see the sea, but whilst sat on my terrace this was impossible.
 The path that ran along the front of my room.
The steps up between the buildings to the rooms.
The hotel also features a main building that houses the reception, restaurant, bar area, lounge area and internet terminals. This is built over 3 levels with a mid level reception area, with lounge and shop. The lounge furniture is dated but is comfortable. There is a balcony area with pool table, table tennis, air hockey and this area offers extensive views of the hotel, pool areas, surrounding woodland, hills, and bay. The upper level is the restaurant area which is clean and comfortable, and features a terrace area for eating meals again offering excellent views of the surrounding area. The food in the restaurant is very boring with chips, pasta, and white rice offered twice daily and not much of the international offering my travel agent promised, I go on holiday to Spain I expect to eat Spanish food but this was only offered on the Friday evening menu. I booked all inclusive but ate out in local restaurant's 5 times during my stay due to the bland food offering, Another criticism of the restaurant when eating breakfast on the terrace if you left your table unattended then the seagulls tended to eat your breakfast for you and were always hovering whilst you ate. There were a lot of flies that became very annoying whilst eating but this was general to the area not just the hotel. The lower level of the main building had bar and stage area which also had a pinball machine, basketball game, and 2 pool tables, this bar area closed during the day but featured a tea and coffee machine and could be accessed to enter the upper levels or the terrace that overlooked the pool area.
 The slope down to the main building.

 The main building that houses the restaurant, reception, lounge, e.t.c.
The lounge area looking towards the reception.
When I booked the hotel was advertised as offering tennis, basketball, football, archery, and many other forms of on site activities, this was simply not the case the only activities offered during my stay were sunbathing and a choice of 3 swimming pools. There were a couple of kayaks on the rocky sea front area but no information on hiring them. The 3 pools area were generally clean and tidy but the sunbeds were quite dated, the sea front rocky area again featured a number of sunbeds which were dated but this area was covered in cigarette ends and empty plastic drink cups I never saw this area cleaned during my stay. There was a tennis court in need of repair, a football / basketball court that was covered in glass, and a archery court that I don't think has been used in many years despite being advertised by my travel agent at the time of booking as an activity to enjoy this has now been changed on there website. The hotel was also advertised as offering nightly entertainment this has also been changed by my travel agent to occasional entertainment. The evening entertainment offered was a Argentinian dancer, parrot show, singer, bingo and a quiz during my 11 night stay.
 The swimming pools.
 The rocky seafront sunbed area.
 The archery lane not been used in a long time.
 The football court which was covered in glass.
The tennis court in need of repair and covered in sand  and glass.
Overall whilst the hotel is supposed to be a 3 star I have stayed in better 2 star hotels, the views from the hotel are amazing and the sunsets even better, the staff are friendly and work hard but they do not seem driven to do any more than they need to, if they had more of a can do rather than a that will do attitude this hotel could be so much better. I did not book here expecting a 5 star hotel at a 3 star price but I did expect with a 3 star that I would have my towels and bedding changed more than once during my stay, I did not expect to have to go to reception for toilet rolls 4 times during my stay, I would expect the garden area outside my room not to be covered in plastic cups, cigarette ends, and even plates from the restaurant, and I would expect a better food offering with more variety. I would recommend this hotel for a short stay of up to 4/5 nights but 11 nights was far too long. This hotel is ideal if you want nothing more than to spend your holiday sunbathing, but the lack of activities on offer and there is not much to do in Portimatx either make it a poor choice if you are bored easily.
 The view looking south from the lounge terrace area.
 One of the amazing sunsets I view whilst at the hotel.
 Looking up towards the hotel from the rocky sea front.
Interesting piece of graffiti on a building site near the top of the hotel.
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