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Today’s a bit of a mixture. After a slow morning I’m currently on the train to Leeds in order to fulfil a magazine commission. It’s only for a couple of hours as this evening the pair of us are out for a meal with my in-laws. Whilst I’m doing this Dawn’s busy with one of her favourite hobbies – baking (at which she’s exceedingly good), so I expect to return home to a house full of wonderful smells!

The weather’s still mild here in West Yorkshire so the walk to Halifax station was a pleasent spot of exercise. I must admit to being surprised how busy the town centre was. The roads and pavements were packed, but then I noticed the fairground in the courtyard of the Piece Hall, which is obviously proving to be a draw.

I arrived just in time to catch the 11:53 to York via Leeds which was very busy.


We’ve left Bradford and the train remains packed with a mix of day-trippers, shoppers and a handful of long-distance travellers encumbered with suitcases. Sadly, mask-wearing is minimal. Only a handful of us are taking such precautions. Clearly, the news of how the pandemic is growing in Europe or the number of UK cases means little to many people, who seem think Covid has magically disappeared.


That was an interesting couple of hours. Leeds station was absolutely heaving with people, with lots of younger ones dressed up to the nines for a night on the town – although how many of them will survive that long is a good question as several seemed ‘well oiled’ before they arrived!

No-one’s using trains anymore, allegedly…

People-watching aside, trying to get the shot I had in mind proved to be quite a challenge, not least because the sun appeared when I least wanted it to! Hopefully, what I have captured will work.

One unexpected pleasure was seeing a Pathfinder railtour arrive and bump into an old friend travelling with it. ‘Cookie’ used to drive coaches on some of our epic tours across the channel to join railtours in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands organised by Mercia charters. Brexit has put an end to these events as the logistics (and cost) have made them unworkable. Still, it was a pleasure to swap stories of ‘the old days’ back in the mid 2000s when the world was a much freerer place.

Now I’m heading back to Halifax on a rammed 2-car Class 195/0 operating a Leeds-Chester service. Normally you’d expect these services to be 3-car 195/1s, so it’s ‘cosy’ on here to say the least. 3 into 2 really doesn’t go – especially on a Saturday.


Bugger! The good weather we’d had early in the day turned to murk and drizzle by the time I arrived back in Halifax meaning the walk home was damp to say the least. Even so, I decided to takea quick detour through the Piece Hall just to see what was going on. This…

It wasn’t just the Piece Hall that was busy, the rest of town was packed too. The Westgate Arcade that is lined with bars and eateries was just as rammed. If I hadn’t already had something else booked I’d have been well tempted to hang around.

By the time I descended the hill to home trying to see the world through my ‘specs was like looking out of the ripple glass in a bathroom window! Still, I made it home in one (soggy) piece and now it’s time to dress up for the next act, so it’s off with the walking boots and on with the brogues as we’re off to this place. Devour in Holmfirth.


We’re now home after a lovely evening. The four of us were joined by an old school-friend of Dawns (Viv), her new husband Gary and Viv’s step-mom, Marge. The atmosphere at Devour was really good. The place was extremely busy and the food we had was very enjoyable. Dawn and I shared a starter of King Scallops, braised sticky Pig cheek with budino nero puree and apple crisp.

For my main course I enjoyed the braised lamb shoulder, handmade wild mushroom tortellini, rec hard, confait shallot, sauteed wild mushroom and masala wine.

My only complaint about the place was the ambient noise and music, which made it difficult to hold and hear conversations. Maybe I’m just getting old, but then I wasn’t the only one who noticed…

Tomorrow is another, rather different day. I’ll be taking portraits of a Lawyer friend to be used in his new chambers, after which, our little band will probably adjourn to a pub in Halifax for a couple of drinks…

I’ve a favour to ask…
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