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Funny old world isn’t it? Late yesterday the Government issued details of a series of local ‘lockdowns’ in response to growing numbers of Covid cases. One of the lockdowns is here in Calderdale.

We’d been blessed with very few cases for many months but within the space of a couple of weeks the numbers doubled. I can’t say I’m surprised because whilst many people have been taking Covid seriously it’s been obvious some really weren’t. They seem to have been (mostly) young people and sections of the Asian community. The latter is especially daft as the evidence is that BAME communities are more susceptible to Covid than others.

I visited our local Asian supermarket a couple of days ago and saw the problem first hand. Only 70% of shoppers were wearing masks, the majority of those who weren’t were Asian women. As the Asian community here is overwhelmingly Muslim you can appreciate the irony.

We’ve had the hottest day of the year so far and I’m fed up of being cooped up so I packed the camera, a book I need to read for researching my next RAIL article and wandered down into Sowerby Bridge where I sat on the station for a couple of hours. It was like being a kid again – only it was a bottle of IPA I had in my bag, not Tizer and I had to break off for a Zoom meeting after an hour!

Whilst I was at the station I noticed trains were the busiest I’d seen them since Covid hit. What was depressing was to see the amount of people who were boarding without wearing masks. Sometimes I wonder how on earth you get through to some people.


At least this young lady had got the message about masks.

Train services are gradually returning to normal as the number of services continues to ramp up. More changes are due in September but what I dread is us returning to the levels we had pre-Covid where we’re running far too many trains on a network that simply can’t cope – so punctuality and reliability suffer. Now’s the time for a rethink, but do the Department of Transport have the imagination to do that? I’m doubtful. 

On the bright side, it was good to see open access operator Grand Central running trains again – even if it was off their core route and shuttling between Leeds and Hebden Bridge running services for Northern!


Grand Central’s 180102 working 1T28, the 1343 Hebden Bridge to Leeds, passing through Sowerby Bridge.

It was lovely to be out and enjoying the sunshine and the heat, although there was no way I was going to be visiting any pubs as it was obvious the lockdown message was being widely ignored – especially by young white males who were packing the beer gardens of certain pubs. Mind you, some of the older generation were doing their best to make a mess of things, but that’s Wetherspoons customers for you…


Just an average Friday afternoon as a drunken Wetherspoons customer needs medical treatement in the street outside, blocking a main road out of the town…

Strolling home along a deserted canal bank I spotted this lovely idyll.


Shire cruisers are a narrowboat company based in Sowerby Bridge. It’s great to see their boats out and about again as life returns to the canals. 

Finally getting home I had a blissful hour in the garden before the rain arrived! Yep – despite it being the hottest day of the year we still had a storm. At least it saved me watering the garden!

I’ve a favour to ask…
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Thank you!