It’s been one of those days where just opening a single newspaper has highlighted why the UK’s ‘green’ movement simply isn’t fit for purpose. They’re more part of the problem, not the solution. I say this with a huge amount of regret as I see myself as someone with a real concern for the environment with a fear of what we’re doing to the planet, but the past few years has seen me look at these groups with fresh eyes.
Let me explain. I saw a paper copy of yesterday’s Guardian earlier. On one page it carried a story reporting on a new report from the Office of National Statistics that says traffic on our roads has increased by 33% in the past 30 years. Here’s a link.
The article by Gwen Topham quoted someone called Jenny Bates, from (what are supposedly) ‘Friends of the Earth’, who said “Despite noise made by vehicle manufacturers about cleaner petrol and diesel technology, transport is still the most climate-polluting sector and it’s clear petrol and diesel sales have to stop as soon as possible…The only way to stop transport from leading us to further climate breakdown is to drastically cut the miles travelled by car. Cleaner options such as bicycles, buses and trains need to be made more accessible and more affordable” .
Perhaps FoE could explain exactly how they propose we can do this when they actively oppose building the high-speed 2 railway (HS2), the only way our increasingly overcrowded rail network will ever be able to cope with a modal shift from road to rail?
To add insult to injury and highlight just how much environmental groups in the UK have totally lost the plot, the opposite page carried a piece on how the Woodland Trust have secured delays to clearing some of the tiny pockets of UK woodland that will have to be cut down to make way for HS2!
I mean, seriously? They’re going to take the fundamentalist approach that ignores the bigger picture? Every single tree and patch of UK woodland is inviolable. Forget tackling global climate change if it means a single hectare here has to be sacrificed for the greater good…
This is why I’ve no time for UK environmental groups like the Woodland Trust or ‘Friends’ of the Earth. They’re not part of the solution, they’re part of the problem. They’ve no real answers to anything. In fact, they oppose the only workable solution we have to vastly increase capacity on our railways and tackle Co2 emissions from transport! This is through the looking-glass stuff! The road lobby and oil companies must be pissing themselves laughing at the way ‘Green’ groups are doing their job for them. What annoys me is the mealy-mouthed statements we get from these groups, where they say “Oh, we’re not opposed to high-speed rail in principle” (just don’t ever try to build it in practice, because we’ll scream blue murder!).
I’ve written about the hypocrisy of the Woodland Trust in this matter before here. Since then, myself and a few other people have been doing some digging and it turns out their hypocrisy verges on the downright dishonest. I’ll be blogging about that in greater detail soon. So, next time you get bombarded with requests for money from these people via Facebook or whatever, just pause for a moment and wonder, are they really offering any solutions, or are these campaigns just a cynical way to raise more money?
Meanwhile, here’s an illustration of the problem. These are the Medway viaducts in Kent, where the M2 crosses next to HS1.
The M2 requires two massive viaducts, each one far wider than that used by HS1. In the background you see an electric train capable of 140 mph that can carry 352 people seated (and many more standing). Unlike the 60-70mph vehicles on the motorway, it can be carbon-neutral. Yet (supposedly) green groups oppose this as a way to link our major cities! Madness, utter madness…
After a reflective weekend I’m back into the fray with a vengeance. I’ve been playing catch-up with editing last weeks rail and travel pictures to get them up on my Zenfolio website, which happened this morning. If you follow this link, you can see which galleries have been updated with new images. Here’s a couple of samples to whet your appetites. Anyone passing through the Calder Valley by train will probably have looked up at the hills above Todmorden and noticed Stoodley Pike plus the monument atop it. This was completed in 1856 and replaced an earlier one that was constructed to commemorate the end of the Napoleonic wars. 121 feet tall, it has an observation deck 41ft above ground that’s reached by internal stairs. It looks impressive from a distance, but it’s even more so close up. I can’t imagine what it must have been like as one of the people trying to build such a structure in such a windswept and desolate place with the tools available at the time.
That done, I’ve been busy sorting out other pictures for a couple of clients as well as trying to prepare for the week ahead. It’s a busy week as I’ve got a lot of travelling to do, catching up with the ever-changing rail scene as the introduction of new fleets ramps up and the withdrawal of old trains escalates as a consequence. There’s some major changes happening out there at the moment and that’s going to continue for some time. I’ve also a blog on the Trans-Pennine route upgrade to update after attending a Network Rail consultation over the weekend as I’ve a lot of new information to add.
As if that wasn’t enough I’ve got to dust off my ‘penguin suit’ ready for Thursday’s National Rail Awards in London.
After working as the event photographer between 2003 and 2017 I’ve been honoured to be a VIP guest for the past few years along with my wife, Dawn. Now I can relax and spend time with friends and enjoy the awards rather than be on duty, wondering just how many people will turn up on stage to collect each trophy. Don’t get me wrong, I loved working there, but it wasn’t without it’s stresses when you knew you had to deliver great pictures of such a prestigious event. It’s good to see Huw Edwards returning as presenter this year, he’s been one of the best. That said, we’ve had some great ones over the years and it’s always been a challenge to get pictures of them as they pace the stage.
As you can see, there’s going to be plenty to blog about over the next few days – and that’s without the long-running farce that is British politics and the Brexitshambles. The latest tragi-comedy has taken place in Luxembourg where Johnson’s utterly stupid remarks comparing himself to the cartoon character the ‘hulk’ have backfired in spectacular fashion. Here’s a headline from Rupert Murdoch’s ‘Wapping Liar’ – sorry – the ‘Sun’
The reality? Johnson went from ‘Hulk’ to sulk and ran away from a joint press event with Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel! Christ on a bike, how stupid we look to the world right now, and it’s all our fault, despite the blame game the Brexiters are desperately playing. This is the political equivalent of “a big boy did it and ran away” – and the rest of the world knows it. In fact, everyone does but the Brexiters. Start stockpiling those foodstuffs folks. This has no happy ending – unless you’re a millionaire hedge fund manager…
Today’s not a day for blogging. The things I want to say are far too personal and complex. What I will say is that today would have been Lynn’s 60th birthday, but one that she never got to see. To celebrate her life and remember her Dawn arranged a day full of activities and events, including breakfast at a café, walking up Stoodley Pike outside Todmorden and shortly, a meal at a famous Indian vegetarian restaurant near Bradford – all things Lynn would have loved.
“Let’s love, listen, take time when time is all we have. Let’s be unafraid to be kind, learn to disregard the bad if the good outweighs it daily.
Let’s make a gift of silence, the day’s hushing into dark, and when we hold each other let’s always be astonished we are where we want to be”
“Let’s hope to age together, but if we can’t, let’s promise now to remember how we shone when we were at our best, when we were most ourselves”
The skies are blue today so I’m making a bid for freedom from the office to head out hunting some of the new Northern trains that were introduced into public service from Monday. The Class 331 electrics have spread their wings from operating solely on the Leeds to Doncaster route. They’re now on diagrams between Leeds, Bradford and the Aire Valley services. They’re also out and about on the Blackpool North to Liverpool Lime St route, displacing more old diesel units to allow more Pacers to head to the scrapyard. I’ll update this blog throughout the day. Let’s see what happens and where I get to…
I thought I was being clever by hitching a lift into Huddersfield with Dawn, but it’s all gone pear-shaped at the station. Track-circuit failures at both East and West mean hardly anything is running to time. Delays are averaging 15-20m. My next service to Leeds is 16m late, leaving me lots of time to admire Northern’s shiny new Class 195s which are stood idle in the sidings.
My trip to Leeds was spent standing in a vestibule aboard a 3-car Class 185, so no change there then! The service was busy with holiday makers including a gaggle of middle-aged professional women who were already on the Prosecco, but they were very well behaved, so no bother to anyone. Once in the city I caught the first available train for the Aire valley, the 11:12 to Bradford Forster Square which is worked by a refurbished Class 333. In fact it’s the first of the class – 001!
My first port of call was the new station at Kirkstall Forge, a brownfield site that’s rapidly redeveloped. As I stand here all I can hear is the clanking of catapillar tracks and the warning horns of earthmovers. A new 7-storey office block immediately outside the station’s already open for business.
I’ve moved on a couple of times now, first tk Shipley, then down to Bradford Forster Square for a brief photographic stop before returning to Shipley, which is a rare beast on the UK rail network. It’s a station built in the middle of a triangle of railway lines that has platforms on each side of the triangle. Only one other exists, at Earlestown on Merseyside. There did used to be several others, including nearby Queensbury, but they’re long gone. Shipley still has 5 out of the original 6 platforms as well as an old Midkand Railway station building which contains a booking office and traincrew depot.
After several stops heading West up the Aire valley I’ve pitched up in pretty Skipton for lunch.
Frustratingly, the only Class 331’s I’ve found are all here – laid up in the carriage sidings! On the bright side, I’ve git several decent library/client shots and recorded the imminent demise of the trains Northern will be surrendering – the BR built Class 321/322s, known affectionately as “dusty bins”.
They have an interesting history. The Class 321/9 fleet were bought by the local passenger transport Executive especially for Aire Valley and Leeds-Doncaster services. The 322/4s have had a peripatetic existence. Originally built for ‘Stansted Express’ services from Liverpool St in London, they were displaced and ended up in Scotland where they worked Edinburgh – North Berwick services. Displaced once again, they ended ul being transferred to Leeds Neville Hill depotto strengthen services in the Aire Valley.
Having ‘acquired’ copies of the two diagrams Class 331s are meant to be operating it’s clear that there are a few issues. I’ve found one running at Skipton but that’s on a training run to Shipley, which is where I’m going to head for as almost everything passes through there!
Despite my best efforts 331s in traffic proved elusive. Services were’t performing well today so it was very muuch the luck of the draw. However, my luck did hold at Keighley where I managed an interesting historical comparison which I’ll upload this evening. As it’s Friday I called it a day early and headed into Bradford. A sprint between the two stations meant I made the 16:30 from Interchange back to my starting point in Huddersfield. It’s worked by one of the Pacers formerly based up at Heaton in Newcastle, so I’ve a vintage ride home and chance to enjoy one of these old workhorses before it takes its final trip to the scrapyard.
There’s not much blogging from me today as I’ve been spending another day cooped up at home for most of it, trying to get catch up on DIY, chores and paperwork. Add to this the fact the weather here’s been ‘mixed’ and there’s been little opportunity for photography. Here’s the view across the Calder Valley and Sowerby Bridge earlier when I wandered out to do some shopping. The latest rain shower’s sweeping up the valley from the West.
I do love the view from here. It’s a cobbled hill just above our home. You’d recognise it if you’ve ever watched the opening episode of the TV series “Gentlemen Jack” which is based on the life of Ann Lister. Let’s face it you don’t often get views like this walking to and from the supermarket – or the local pub!
Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be out and about again. Let’s see what happens…
As the old Chinese curse goes, “May you live in interesting times” – and we certainly do. So far today the Scottish Court of Session has ruled that Johnson’s proroguing of Parliament was unlawful, Meanwhile, the government is refusing to publish details of communications between No 10 aides about Parliament’s suspension, despite MPs voting for their release.
Now remind me, what was the Brexiters slogan? Oh yes – “take back control”. I wonder how many of the mugs who fell for that now feel that they’re remotely in control, never mind Her Majesty’s Government! In the space of a few short weeks we’ve go gone from a Brexitshambles to an complete clusterfuck. Johnson’s proved how utterly incompetent he is and the whole edifice of Parliamentary democracy has crumbled and fallen. And all for what?
In other news I’ve been working from home today but I managed to brave the gales in order to nip out and get some shopping whilst traversing the scenic woodland route to the supermarket to get my exercise steps in. What I didn’t do (for once) was get any pictures, so this blog is presented to you in glorious black and white text. Sorry about that folks!
I’m hoping to renew normal service over the next few days as there’s lots of exciting trips and events lined up right now. Right now I’m busy juggling the work/life balance, so this is all you’ll hear from me tonight. Cheers folks!
Regular readers may know that I’ve a cynical streak when it comes to academics. Sadly, there’s a number of them who seem to think their undoubted expertise in specific fields makes them a sage on all things, including complex subjects they know absolutely nothing about – not that this stops them pontificating!
The latest to come to my attention was this load of unmitigated tosh from Professor Dieter Helm, who’s an economist and lecturer at the University of Oxford and also an advisor to the Government.
Sadly, the professor seems to think that his knowledge of economics means that he doesn’t need to do any proper research when it comes to writing about the railways and HS2. If he had, he would have been very quickly dissuaded from writing the nonsense he’s produced. He starts badly, then rapidly goes down hill from there!
Here’s his opening stance:
“What is the question or questions to which HS2 is supposed to be an answer?” Do go on? “When it comes to HS2, the search for a justifying rationale has gone through many episodes. Only one, the original idea, has some merit, but HS2 is no longer an answer to it.” Really? And that original idea was what, exactly? “The original idea, the good one, was to integrate the UK into a European increasingly interconnected high-speed network” Err, Professor, if you’d bothered to do the slightest bit of research you’d have known that’s complete cobblers. Helm is talking about the link between HS1 and HS2 that was dropped by the Higgins review back in 2014.
In fact, that was never “the original idea” at all. HS2 came about because the then Labour Government asked Network Rail to look into the need for new rail capacity. The study, “Meeting the capacity challenge: The case for new lines” was published in 2009. Here’s a link to it. But the idea wasn’t new even then. An earlier feasibility study by W.S. Atkins was commissioned by the Strategic Rail Authority in 2001.
the 2009 Network Rail study considered four corridors and came to the conclusion that the best value option and the one that addressed future capacity constraints was a new high-speed route from London to Scotland.
Note that there was no mention of a link between the new line and HS1. This came about later.
The Network Rail study was the basis for HS2. It was taken forward by the Labour Government under Lord Adonis who’d already set up HS2 Ltd. HS2 Ltd reported back at the end of December 2009 and the then Transport Secretary, Andrew Adonis, published the Government’s response in a Command Paper, ‘High Speed Rail’, in March 2010. It was only then that a possible HS1-HS2 link was suggested as an option. It was never the “original idea” at all. That year, Labour lost power and the new Government confirmed the HS1-HS2 link as a firm proposal, until it became obvious it was a non-starter.
So, Helm’s fallen at the first hurdle. Let’s have a look at some of his other claims. Having got the first one badly wrong he claims that
” First, it is not true that the existing lines could not be upgraded and carry more capacity. Railways are basically empty for almost all of the time, and the distance between and number of trains depends upon stations and signalling. Standing on a mainline station platform at say Didcot Parkway, staring at the empty lines, reflects the fact that for most of the time there are no trains”.
Where to start with this nonsense? No-one has claimed that existing lines can’t be upgraded. Clearly, Helm has no idea that we spent £9bn upgrading the West Coast Main Line just 12 years ago! The point is that upgrading the Victorian network is complex, expensive and disruptive and it adds very little extra capacity compared to building a new high-speed line!
The next one’s even more laughable! Railways are “basically empty for almost all the time” Are you serious? This is weapons-grade nonsense. As for standing On Didcot Parkway, what on earth is that meant to prove? The levels of ignorance of how railway capacity actually works here is stunning. It would be laughable from an ordinary member of the public, but this man’s an Oxford Professor!
OK, let’s have a look at those ’empty railways’ in the real world. Here’s a copy of today’s actual train workings from ‘real time trains’ for Roade, which is on the two track section of the West Coast Main line South of Rugby. This is the section that phase 1 of HS2 is designed to relieve. This is what passed between 07:00 and 08:00 this morning. A note for those unfamiliar with this, the times in the two right hand columns show first the working timetable times, then the actual time the train passed.
There were 31 trains out of 32 scheduled, as one was cancelled. There’s 16 trains heading for Euston alone, that’s roughly one every four minutes. Some “mostly empty” railway, eh? Right, let’s have a look at the next bit of nonsense.
“Few mainlines carry trains less than 10 to 15 minutes apart. Existing lines could be upgraded, and they have the great merit of already existing and require much less extra land and demolitions that the new line must have. For £100 billion, the existing rail network could be upgraded almost everywhere, with comprehensive modern signalling, station enhancements and a coherent fibre enabled communication system to run it“
Yet again the Prof falls flat on his face in the first sentence. How many other main lines do I need to provide real-time running information to expose this nonsense on stilts? Has the Prof any idea of how much of our railway network HAS already been upgraded over the past few years, or how the fact Network Rail’s spending record amounts doing more?
How does any of this remove the need for HS2? It doesn’t. For example rebuilding Reading at a cost of £1bn a few years ago has done nothing to add capacity to the WCML, only HS2 can do that. OK, let’s plough on.
“Far from dispersing growth to the north from the south, it could easily work the other way around. Furthermore, it is not obvious that the economic growth problem in the north is caused by lack of connection to London, or that the £100 billon spent on HS2 is the best way of increasing the northern growth rate”.
Here we see the usual obsession with London, ignoring all the other places HS2 connects. But let’s tackle this one head on as I’m a perfect example of why this is a fallacy. I live in West Yorkshire but I often work in London. Where do I spend the money I earn in London? Most of it in West Yorkshire, where I live, not where I work. When I get the morning Express to London and home in the evening there are hundreds of other Yorkshire folk doing exactly the same, only now it’s getting increasingly difficult to work on the trains as they’re full. If I get the Grand Central service from Halifax to Kings Cross I’ll be lucky to get a seat, even in First Class, making me less productive. This is the difference between economic theory and reality. Right, next..
“Promoting the economic growth prospects in the north is much more about connectivity within the north” The Prof seems blissfully unaware this is exactly what HS2 does. If we take “the North” as being out of the M25! The current rail services between Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester are slow and not fit for purpose. HS2 will cut journey times between B’ham and Manchester by 52% and B’ham and Leeds by 58%! It will make a huge difference in connectivity between those major cities – and many more.
“In transport, there are two main alternative options. The money could be spent on upgrading the existing rail network, with smart signalling and metering, and smart system coordination, better smarter stations, better access to stations, more and better stations, and better rail lines”.
Frankly, some of that doesn’t even make sense. What on earth is “smart signalling and metering“? If he’s referring to digital signalling like ATO, he’s clearly unaware of the limited capacity gains it offers on mixed traffic railways like the West Coast Main Line (the busiest in the EU). It’s estimated by signalling experts that digital signalling could offer around 15% extra capacity on mixed traffic lines. At the current rate of growth, that would be eaten up in just a few years. Then what? We’re back to square 1. In contrast, HS2 offers a massive capacity increase by moving non-stop express trains off the existing lines onto dedicated lines where digital signalling really can help because all trains are running at the same speeds. It also frees up lots of capacity on our existing network. Not just on the WCML but also on the East Coast and Midland main lines.
” If autonomous electric vehicles develop, controlled by smart systems, and powered by low carbon electricity generation, then roads may be better than rail in the future, having greater flexibility and able to take denser traffic.”
“If”? We need solutions now, not play wait and see! As it is autonomous vehicles have been overhyped and underachieved. I may not see eye to eye with the commentator Christian Wolmar on HS2, but he’s done some excellent work debunking the hype around driverless cars. Even “if” they did arrive there’s no way we’d be seeing what the Professor is suggesting as every vehicle on the road would need to be autonomous before you’d see this pipe-dream happen. But just say it did. Electric vehicles are still far more polluting than trains. Oh, and how an electric car carrying a max of 5 people and limited to 70mph will be ‘better’ than a 200mph train carrying 1100 is stretching reality to breaking point. This is no ‘alternative’ to HS2.
Finally, we get this old cherry.
“If the counterfactual is the infrastructures more generally, then the first candidate would be fibre and broadband. This would cost less than £100 billion to complete and one of its impacts would be to reduce the need to travel and hence the demand for travel.”
Really? As we’ve had fibre and broadband for many years now, perhaps the professor could say when it’s ever reduced travel demand? Rail passenger numbers are still growing and hitting record numbers. Here’s West Coast operator Virgin trains figures. Virgin has grown passenger numbers from 30.4m in 2012-13 to 38.3m in 2017-18, an increase of 25.98%!
Here’s the statistics for the other West Coast operator, West Midlands Trains. They’ve grown numbers from 60.5 million in 2012-13 to 74.9 million in 2017-18, that’s a growth of 23.8%. So much for broadband reducing travel…
In fact, it’s arguable that improved wireless communication and technology has helped increase, not cut, travel as less and less people are tied to their offices – hence so many people working on trains! OK, next…
“It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the future is more likely to be cars and vehicles than trains”
No, it’s really, really not, this is more nonsense on stilts. High-speed rail is the land transport of choice in the 21st century, which is why so many countries are investing in it. China has built 25,000 km already in just a few short years. Now we have Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia and Morocco added to the list. Soon there’ll be Indonesia, India, Thailand the USA and many others.
Like the professor, I could go on, but there’s little point. I think my job here is done. It’s a great shame when academics get so carried away with themselves they trot out stuff like this. I could call it badly-researched, but it’s not. It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that he’s not done any research.
The weather that is! It’s hardly stopped raining all day here in the Calder Valley. I don’t think I’ve seen the top of the opposite side of the valley as it’s been hidden behind low cloud that’s haunted us all day. I’ve been grateful that I’ve been busy at home as the occasional foray’s I’ve made into the murk have been damp and dismal experiences even though the effort’s been worth it to keep my exercise regime up. That said, the views from the promenade were actually worth seeing today as they were so different.
What wasn’t different was following the news of our political implosion and descent into chaos. Johnson was in Ireland today where he made another of his meaningless speeches. Lite, trite and shite, it didn’t address a single serious issue. Instead it was full of references to ‘hard work’ and ‘opportunities’ – real Unicorn Stuff. His attention seeking antics at the podium also made him the butt of some hilarious memes.
Johnson’s prorogued Parliament today, but not before it’s caused him some more headaches.
Where does this leave the UK? Up shit creek without the proverbial paddle. Our EU friends are running out of patience. They’re far more prepared for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit than we are, because they’ve never lied about the consequences, have prepared in a meaningful way, and they’ll share the pain. Us? Pfft! Many in the UK are still believing in Unicorns and they idea none of this will really happen to us because, somehow, we’re ‘special’. I still overhear pub conversations where folk talk of the ‘will of the people’, completely ignoring the fact we’re three and a half years from the referendum where Leave promises have turned to rat-shit and the demographic’s changed as people have changed their minds – not to mention the way the names on the electoral register have. As someone put it “you mean we’re meant to leave now because that’s what a lot of dead people voted for in 2016?”
Such hubris isn’t going to turn out well. What’s painfully obvious is the complete lack of any plan from Leavers, other than to crash out of the EU whilst blaming the EU. This is going to get messy.
Away from politics, I’ve finished uploading all my Sowerby Bridge rush-bearing pictures to this gallery. There’s a couple of hundred pictures from this last weekend in there now along with rush-bearing pictures going back to 2010 when I first moved up here from London.
I’ve also been busy on the cooking front and tried something different tonight – a Goan Pork Vindaloo. I’m leaving it to steep and fester overnight as these things are like cheese – they need time to mature!
After the fun of rush-bearing yesterday today’s a bit of a come-down. The procession does continue but its focus is more rural and I’ve got other things to do – like edit the hundreds of pictures I took yesterday, as well as houshold chores, cooking and some DIY. It’s not exactly the rock and roll lifestyle, but it keeps me occupied!
That said, so does trying to keep track of the latest iplosions/resignations/floor crossings in UK politics! Today the headlines are all about the latest Cabinet Minister to abandon Johnson’s sinking government. That would normally be extraordinary enough but we live in such bizarre times we also have news that the Prime Minister is allegedly prepared to break the law to deliver Brexit. Meanwhile, the Lib-Dems gain their third defector in a week in the shape of former Labour MP Angela Smith. Truly, the old political party system is broken. Tribal allegiances have been torn apart. Brexit’s broken everything as both Labour and Tories have drifted to the extremes of left and right but neither have any answers to the mess we’re in. All we have now is voices of reason on both sides who cut through the crap and deal with the realities of the situation. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be on the side of Michael Heseltine and Ken Clark, but that says it all really.
The depressing thing is seeing how many UK citizens are so ignorant of the trouble we’re in. As long as ‘Eastenders’and ‘Coronation St’ are still being broadcast, all’s well in their world. Apparently, we’re British, so we’re immune to all the world’s normal travails. Shit will never happen to us. Only it is and sticking one’s head in the sand isn’t going to help.
On the bright side, I’ve managed to start uploading yesterday’s pictures to the rush-bearing gallery. You can find them here. For now, here’s a couple of samples. I’ve a lot more to add over the next few days.
Today’s the first full day of the Sowerby Bridge rush-bearing festival. A two day annual event that dates back to 1977 when an old local tradition of delivering rushes to churches was resurrected. It’s a day full of fun and a great event to take a camera to -so watch out for pictures throughout the day. Here’s a starter from 2012. Right, I’m off to catch the rush-cart, see you later…
It’s been all go so far! I decided to catch the procession in some different locations this year so I walked uo to Warley village and caught the procession at St John’s church, Warley just before they started off. It’s quite a climb from there to their first stop outside thd Maypole pub in the village so I hooe i’ve managed to get some decent pictures. The weather’s been ideal, dry but not too sunny. Here’s a couple of shots I’ve taken on the phone. I’ll add camera pictures later.
Right now I’ve got ahead of the procession ready to get shots of them dropping down into Sowerby Bridge.
It’s been a great day so far with a real carnival atmosphere in Sowerby Bridge as the cart goes from location to location. Some of the cart pullers are on their 9th pint by now. Notice the tankards they have clipped to their belts?
What a cracking day! The weather got better as the day went on, so the turnout increased. The procession’s now over but the town is absoluteky buzzing. Many of the pubs have laid on outside bars and barbecues so the carnival atmosphere continues. Admittedly, I’ll be calling it a day soon and heading home to sort out today’s pictures, that said, I’ll bet the ‘Bridge’ will be having a busy night tonight. Rush-bearing continues tomorrow but I’ve got domestic things to focus on.
Every year a commemorative leather badge is produced to celebrate the event. You’ll see them on the hats and waistcoats of those taking part. Here’s this years.