From Holmfirth we were on familiar territory. We had crossed the moors and dropped down into ‘my’ neck of the woods; not quite home… but still… we were in West Yorkshire. The county (whatever various governments may have tried to tell us with their misguided bureaucratic meddling) consists of three Ridings, West, North and East, with York, our capital city at the centre, in the Ainsty. Just because the aforementioned governments have failed to recognise this in their paperwork over recent decades makes little difference… I’m a Yorkshire lass and I do. Yes, I’m fierce about it. It’s a Yorkshire thing… why muck about with our borders?
So I was home. The buildings looked right. The great sandstone-slabbed roofs looked right. It felt right.
We no longer need the map, the winding moorland roads are familiar from here back through the edge of Derbyshire to our destination in Sheffield, which is in the mythical South Yorkshire… an administrative construct, but still the West Riding, whatever they say. Some parts of it used to belong to Derbyshire, it is true, but some movement of borders is permissible…
We stopped above the revervoir at Strines to check the tyres after a particularly vicious pothole had bitten a chunk out of one… you’d think governments would be better occupied fixing the roads really… and I managed to get a reasonable shot of the tower that sits above the water.
Strines Tower is also called Boots Folly or the Sugworth Tower. It was built in 1927 and was once panelled and had a room at the top where legend has it the owner could see High Bradfield Church and the grave-place of his late wife. It seemed fitting… another Prisoner in the Tower, this time bound by love. Although there had been another… a cow got stuck halfway up the spiral staircase, an incident that caused he staircase to be removed for safety.
By this time we were getting hungry, so decided to try the Yorkshire Bridge Inn for a bite to eat. The pubs are all decorated for Christmas and I can heartily recommend their warm turkey bap with stuffing, cranberry sauce and roast potatoes… a token bit of greenery on the side, ignored in favour of the warm mince pie…
We’d made good time, in spite of the detour and had the whole evening to look forward to. We even managed to work on the next workshop. And we had a Monday to come too!