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Our routine changed today as we we’d another Red Cross run booked for Dawn’s parents by picking up various items of food shopping for them. So, once we’d got our acts together, swigged some coffee and had breakfast, we drove over to Huddersfield. The roads were busy, but we couldn’t work out where folk must be going as pretty much everything is still shut! Our first port of call was the Marks and Spencer’s food hall at Waterloo, out to the East of the town centre. Huddersfield lost its town centre M&S store last year when the whole shebang closed down – including the popular food hall. Now it’s quite a schlep to drive out to the surviving one as it’s 2.5 miles from the centre.

Still, we found out where a lot of vehicles had gone – the car park of the shopping estate was rammed! There was no point in the both of us going in so Dawn did the shopping whilst I caught up with some emails via my phone whilst staying with the car. Dee was back surprisingly quickly. Last time we’d been here the queue was extensive, but now people seem to have spread their timings out.

Our next port of call was the railway station and the Water Tower offices of Community Rail Network – just so Dee could check it was OK. The station area was still eerily deserted. No football crowds, not Rail Ale Trailers – nothing. It takes some getting used to. This is not how Saturday in Huddersfield should be!

Moving on we headed up to the farm shop at Bolster Moor, which nestles in the hills above Slaithwaite (or ‘Slawit’, depending on your pronunciation peccadillos). The quality of their produce is excellent and their pork pies are legendary, so we couldn’t resist buying a couple. They’re succulent, subtly spiced and with a gorgeous pastry casing. Neither of us are big red meat eaters (we can go weeks without) so a Bolster Moor pork pie’s a rare treat.  Dawn shopped for her parents and I shopped for us, so between us we left laden with edible goodies. There’s so many things you can’t do at the moment because of Covid, so appreciating good food becomes more important.

After we’d dropped off John and Norah’s shopping we headed home. The weather was on the turn again with dark, gloomy skies threatening yet more rain, so there was no incentive to hand around or take any detours. Once back at Chez Bigland we both got busy. Dee took over the kitchen whilst I retreated to my office to finally finish scanning yet another album of old railway slides. This seems like it’s taking a lifetime, but I am seeing the end in sight soon. There’s only a couple of railway albums to go now and I’ve been busy editing down the travel albums so I can see the scale of the next task ahead – which makes it feel less daunting.

Work and cooking done, we did manage to get out for a stroll and get our steps in too – which felt like an achievement. With it being late in the day the weather had picked up. It was still a lot cooler than it has been but the skies cleared enough to allow for a lovely still evening with some late sunshine. So much so that when we got back I sat on the front wall for a while and just took in the peacefulness of it all, which was only interrupted by birdsong.

Ok, it’s picture time now. I’m going to be busy with writing projects for the next few days which means there won’t be the same flow of old pictures being scanned as there has been recently. So here’s one of the last batch of rail slides for your delectation – plus a new feature…

07451. 47709. Regency railtour Ex-Newcastle. ECS to Bounds Green London Kings Cross. 16.12.1999crop

On the 16th December 1999 a Regency Railtour from Newcastle to London stands at the buffer stops at Kings Cross station. The locomotive is Fragonset Railways Class 47709. Fragonset had a chequered history from their formation in 1997. In 2005 they merged with Merlin Rail to become FM rail but they went bust the following year. 47709 was bought by Direct Rail Services (DRS) in 2007 and lasted in service for several more years before finally being scrapped at Eastleigh in September 2012. Now for my new feature.

Picture of the Day

From now on I’m going to add a random shot from my archive to each day’s blog. The picture could be from any category on my Zenfolio website but each one will be newly scanned from my slide archive. It could be of railways, travel (from anywhere in the world), social issues, personal or flora and fauna – there’s still 1000s to chose from. Each one will have a little story attached. Here’s No 1.

T9210. The Windmill. Cley next the Sea. Norfolk. England. 29.08.1999. crop

This is the old windmill at Cley next the sea in Norfolk, taken on the 29th August 1999. Lynn and I often used to go cycle touring and the North Norfolk coast was in easy reach of London by train to places like Kings Lynn, where we’d then hop on our bikes and explore. Norfolk may have a reputation for being flat, but I can assure you North Norfolk is anything but. We also joked that this place should have been named ‘Cley nowhere near the bloody sea!’. I’ve some very fond memories of this part of the world and you’ll see more pictures in the future.

A grade 2 listed building, built in the 18th century, the windmill is now a hotel – although its closed because of Covid right now. Here’s their website for future reference. At one time the mill was owned by Colonel Charles Blount. You probably haven’t heard of him, but you will have heard of (and from) his son. He’s the singer, James Blount.


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