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It’s another dismal day here in the Calder Valley as we’ve suffered from high winds and waves of sleet and snow showers. In fact the whole weekend’s been a washout due to the changeable weather. It’s prevented me cycle training and left me catching up with household chores, paperwork and some picture editing.

Some of the pictures are from Friday’s visit to nearby Mytholmroyd, which is still recovering from the devastation caused by the Boxing Day floods of 2016. For those of you unfamiliar with events, have a look at this article from the Guardian newspaper.

Whilst most homes and businesses have now been re-occupied, a row of shops that were sandwiched between the main road and the river Calder were seriously damaged and have been demolished by the Environment Agency, they’ve been replaced with these ‘Lego’ blocks which form part of the new flood defences that are still under construction around the town.


The view from the road bridge over the River Calder, showing the new flood defences which occupy the site of former homes and shops.

A few hundred metres up the road, behind the Shoulder of Mutton pub the Environment Agency’s rebuilding the shattered banks of Cragg brook that were overwhelmed. Flooding the pub, nearby homes and the housing estate opposite.


Looking upriver along Cragg Brook towards Cragg Vale. The housing estate behind the wall was under several feet of water after the floods.


Looking in the opposite direction to the previous photo. The Shoulder of Mutton pub can be seen on the right. The River Calder is a few hundred metres beyond the railway viaduct.

I only hope that once the Environment Agency’s finished the work Mytholmroyd will be protected from such devastation in the future and the problem isn’t simply moved downriver…

On another front, the resignalling of the Calder Valley line is continuing apace. More and more new signals are springing up along the route. Some are straight replacements for older signalling such as this pair at Mytholmroyd where the new signal has been moved forwards


Others are new, installed to reduce the size of the signalling sections, such as this one in Sowerby Bridge which is protecting the station.


What’s immediately noticeable about the new signalposts is the absence of ladders that previously allowed S&T staff to reach the signal head. These have been made redundant as the post is hinged at the base so that it can be lowered to the ground.

It’s now Sunday evening and the weather’s deteriorated as the temperature dropped. One minute you could see the other side of the valley – the next you were lucky to see 50 metres!


The calm before the next storm. Looking down over Sowerby Bridge from by the Wainhouse Tower. The next snowstorm is coming in from the West  (to the right of the picture).

The wind whipped the snow flurries so that they were almost horizontal. Then, suddenly – blue skies would appear, giving a blissful few minutes peace before the next lot of flakes stormed in. We abandoned attempts to go walking and sought solace in the local pub for an hour of fun and laughter with friends.


The Big 6 is a traditional pub of the old school. There’s no wifi or TV, you go there to drink good beer and engage in conversation with people. Beer like this…


After the pub the two of us settled in for a productive evening at home. Dawn had promised to make another batch of her Thai style chilli pickle so the pair of us spent ages cutting up a large bowl full of red and green chillies which produced these jars full of weapons-grade pickle for ourselves and some friends.


This stuff isn’t for the faint-hearted & should probably be banned under the Geneva convention – especially the next morning when its had chance to work its way through your digestive system. Johnny Cash summed up the effects perfectly…

Goodnight folks!