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12:37

After three days cocooned with the computer in my home office it’s time to escape for a few hours and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. I’m out and about with the camera in the Calder Valley today after a slaving over another batch of old slides. These are now on my website, so click this link to see which galleries they’re in. There’s another batch waiting to be scanned this evening if I can make the time. In the meantime, expect a few notes and pictures to be added throughout the day…

13:18

I walked down into Sowerby Bridge and cut through across the Calder from the main Street on the old cobbled footbridge. The river’s back to its normal level now after the heavy rains of the other week. Here’s the view from the bridge, looking East.

The old mill reflected in the river was converted into apartments many years ago. When the river flooded on Boxing Day 2015 the lower apartments were wrecked by the rising water levels and rendered uninhabitable for quite some time.

13:52

I caught Northern’s 13:22 service to Mytholmroyd, where there’s quite a bit of work going on. The old goods yard is being cleared of trees and scrub to make way for a vastly extended car park. This should increase footfall at the station considerably as trying to drive around here is a pain because the roads to the next two stations are so congested.

At the other end of the station works progressing on restoring the formerly derelict station building, which now has proper doors and windows for the first time since the early 1980s!

The work in Mytholmroyd isn’t confined to the railway. A huge amount has been done to strengthen the town’s flood defences too, as you can see from this picture taken from the beer garden of the local pub which was another victim of the 2015 floods. The pub was closed for about 18 months and the beer garden’s only reopened in time for the 2019 season.

Here’s another view from the other side of the stream.

16:49.

It’s been a lovely (if frustrating) day, mainly because so much of the Calder Valley line has become a ‘green tunnel’! No doubt I’ll be getting angry responses from Greens about this but the amount of vegetation enclosing the railway nowadays is a nightmare. My concerns aren’t about photography but safety. In the past 40 years trees have been allowed to encroach far too close to the operational railway. They pose a risk to life and also reliability, as a tree coming down across the railway can bugger up a lot of people’s day. The Greens who complain that tree cover’s being cut back have obviously never seen pictures of the Calder Valley back in the 1950s! Sadly, I don’t have any comparison shots to offer. I’ll see if I can find any ‘creative commons’ one’s on the internet.

One of the places I visited was Eastwood, between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, where the line was quite open with a valley side background that could be captured from a footbridge. Now, the footbridge has been replaced with a modern high-sided one and trees have encroached on the line so that’s another photographic location scratched off the list…

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