Monday, 27 April 2015

Spring sunshine sets seal

on Silsden's scenic splendour

Above: a circular walk along the canal and back through lanes illustrates why Silsden takes some beating as a place to live. Here, modern homes overlook moorings for the nearby busy canal boating centre.
Above: this imaginative development is in striking but not unpleasant contrast to the sturdy Victorian terraces which housed textile-mill workers. 
Above: colourful gardens are a feature of the canal-side fringes of Waterside.
Above: this willow weeps with a reflective sweep.
Above: the Howden Park settlement has ancient roots.
Above: pylons 'march' across old field systems between Holden Bridge and Alder Carr Wood. Howden and Holden have caused what one historian describes as a "serious confusion of nomenclature". Holden is a Norse word meaning "hollow in the valley".
Above: looking back beyond Holden Bridge towards Silsden.
Above: mother goose takes a bow in presenting her eight greylag goslings.
Above: a landmark house near the towpath at Lower Holden. 
Above: view towards Silsden from the towpath below Alder Carr Wood. 
Above: a distinctive bend in the canal at Lodge Hill, which was called "blood dell" by older Silsdeners who played here as children. The path to Lower Holden leaves the towpath opposite the dell. 
Above: the track from Lower Holden Farm towards Howden House, which was once a farm with an immense corn barn that has been converted into luxury homes.
Above: the track from Howden House in the opposite direction to Lower Holden, which was part of the much larger pre-Norman manor of Holden. The area has a fascinating history.  
Above: Holden Beck nears the River Aire. The beck in Lady Anne Clifford's time powered a corn mill at Howden Park.
Above: panoramic view of the Aire Valley from Hainsworth Road. 
Above: where sheep may safely graze and rest in the shade. The green lane that became Hainsworth Road had served farming settlements for more than 500 years.
Above: Hainsworth Road farmland has given way to housing in recent times. 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Blossom by blossom, the spring begins

Above: hedgerows are frothing with blackthorn blossom, which appears before the leaves. This native shrub forms dense thickets, affording protection for nesting birds. The blue-black fruits, known as sloes, can be made into jam and wine, and to flavour gin.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Affordable housing planned for waste-transfer site

Above: skip-business owner Chris Atkinson is pictured by part of his land where housing aimed at young couples could be built. Mr Atkinson, who is the town mayor and a Bradford district councillor, has submitted an outline plan for 20 homes. The site, bordered by The Green and Bradley Road, is bisected by a ghyll, which would be filled in and the stream piped. He envisages "affordable and sustainable" two and three-bedroomed houses being built for young or elderly couples.  
Above: Councillor Atkinson is pictured at the business part of the site, which has a 60-year association with scrap metal. It periodically has angered neighbouring residents. The site became a waste-transfer station when environmental legislation led to the introduction of skips. The land was part of High Green Farm and housed hen huts until passing to Councillor Atkinson's late father, Trevor, in 1955. Trevor Atkinson and his close friend Peter Narey were well-known dealers for many years.
Above: Throstle Nest Farm, demolished in 1926, stood on the site adjacent to Bradley Road. Foundations beyond the gate in the first photograph may be those of the old farm cottages. This photograph and the picture below were published in books by the late Neil Cathey.
Above: another view of Throstle Nest. A nail-maker's smithy adjoined the two farm cottages.
Above: this characterful-looking couple pictured at Bolton Road End are Johnny Munro and Tom Mason. The Munro family had occupied Throstle Nest since the early 1860s.