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Today’s certainly been a sociable one and very much a game of two halves – and that included the weather. This morning we awoke to what threatened to be makings of a sunny say, even though temperatures were sub-par with frost on the ground. My optimism rose with the sun, even if the temperatures didn’t. Dawn had to leave for an appointment over in Ossett whilst I stayed indoors wading through emails and paperwork, planning next week (which is looking rather diverse, providing different blogs from different locations). The pair of us arranged to rendezvous over in Mytholmroyd at lunchtime with me letting the train take the strain.

It was a great plan until it came time for me to leave the house. That’s when I realised the weather had turned to ratshit again and my plans to get pictures along the line were a wash-out. Mind you, poor Mytholmroyd’s used to washouts as its recent history of flooding attests to. The reason the pair of us were visiting was the AGM of the friends of Mytholmroyd station which was being held in a church hall adjacent to the station. Like many buildings in the village it’s been underwater several times as it sits next to the Cragg Brook which has regularly burst its banks to flood the town when the nearby Calder’s done the same. Now, some very expensive flood defenses protect the town, so although the weather was miserable we weren’t worried about being deluged.

The AGM turned out to be a great event. Dee and I have known the group for a long time and have made some great personal friends. Their meetings – which whilst they get the business done – are also social events. The food’s pretty good too! We were treated to home-made tray-baked steak pie (with a cheese version for veggies) along with peas, gravy and mint sauce – the classic pie and peas!

Suitably stuffed the attendees got down to business. Just under 30 people attended which included representatives from train company Northern, the new Community Rail Partnership which covers the whole of the Calder valley line and my wife representing Community Rail Network. Me? I was there to record the event and muck in any way I can. It was a very positive event despite the problems the rail industry’s facing at the moment. There’s lots of things to look forward to with the rail network in the Calder valley which is seeing an increase in passenger numbers with more to come as the place increases its profile as a tourist attraction and as an important diversionary route during the trans-pennine route upgrade.

To add to the calorie intake we were treated to home-made cake as a thank-you to Sue Mitchell who was standing down after many years from her role as Secretary of the group. Not that she’ll be retiring completely. Her partner Geoff was reelected as Chair! Here’s a few pictures from the event.

Meetings don’t have to be miserable. Geoff Mitchel (standing) talked about events whilst Richard Isaacs from Northern (behind the laptop) kept this part of the meeting in order.
Retiring Secretary Sue Mitchell was presented with gift vouchers and a gorgeous home-baked cake which was divvied up between attendees.
Pie and peas, coffee and cake, positive actions and laughter – what more do you need to be persuaded to join active community groups like this?

Meeting over Dee acted as a taxi to drop people off and keep them dry before the pair of us headed home for part two of the day. Having spent a couple of hours working it was time to head up to our local pub (The Big 6) to join friends for the Friday quiz. Admittedly, choosing to walk there probably wasn’t the wisest move as the rain was still pelting down but hey – at least we got in the steps!

Sadly, our regular quizmaster Mel wasn’t able to make it so the job of reading out the quiz questions fell to me by popular demand. My accent-neutral enunciated tones weren’t as much fun as Mel’s broad Lancashire but I got the job done. Dawn doesn’t normally manage to make or Friday gathering due to work commitments so today was a bonus as not only was Dee there but the rest of the ‘5 from the 6’ were too – which gave us chance to talk about our next joint adventure to Istanbul in three weeks time.

Now the pair of us are back at home having a relaxing night in. Tomorrow’s going to be another busy day but we both have hopes that Sunday many finally live up to its reputation as the day of rest – we’ll see. So, I’ll end today’s blog with a cartoon from the Pub Paper that I read the two quizzes from tonight. It seems rather appropriate…

Oh, before I go, I should mention that next weekend Mytholmroyd is hosting a very unique and very local event. The World dock pudding championships. Never heard of dock pudding? No, neither had I until I moved here. Sadly, we have an appointment elsewhere which means we might struggle to attend, but I’m determined to do so one year…

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