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Yet another day when (thanks to the glorious sunshine) it’s been anything but grim up North! T’was even cracking the flags in Manchester!

My day started pottering around at Bigland Towers before catching the train from Sowerby Bridge to nearby Mytholmroyd station to join in the Community Rail week fun with our old friends Geoff and Sue Mitchell, some of the other members of the station group plus visitors from the Calder valley Community Rail Partnership, Transport for Greater Manchester, Network Rail and others who came along to enjoy a guided walk from Mytholmroyd to nearby Hebden Bridge.

The event was meant to kick off with tours of the restored station building, but that nearly didn’t happen due to one of those black comedy moments that we can laugh about now, but at the time could have been far less funny. Since the building’s been restored it’s always been assumed there was no water supply. Today that turned out to be untrue, as when some protective coverings were being moved a pipe was exposed which then blew its plastic coupling to release a high pressure jet of water across the ground floor. Poor Geoff and Sue and another of their colleagues got absolutely drenched trying to reattach the pipe to stem the deluge, but if you’ve ever tried such a maneuver you’ll know it’s next to impossible. In the end, all we could do was open a drain in the floor, dam and divert the flow into it and wait for the water company to come and access the stopcock buried in the pavement outside. Thank God it was a bright sunny day and not January!

The irony? The door in the picture is equipped with flood protection – but only from the river outside…

Still, it provided some amusement for the visitors, who were still able to have a look around the upstairs of the old building. Tours over, everyone assembled for short welcome speech from Geoff before Sue (who’d dried out somewhat) led the walkers off on their exploration of the valley. Poor Geoff was left behind to dry off in the sun and wait for the water company!

“Can anyone hear running water”? The gang gathered outside the station building in Mytholmroyd before setting off for Hebden Bridge.

Having done all I could to help, and taken pictures of the event I headed off into Manchester for the rest of the afternoon to do some shopping and grab a few pictures. In many ways I’m still a city boy at heart, so it was lovely to be able to spend an afternoon exploring and people-watching, as well as stocking up on bits I needed that are hard to get elsewhere. I wasn’t the only one enjoying the weather, the city was very busy with many people taking advantages of the centre’s open spaces to relax or work outside.

Manchester’s old Midland Hotel basks in the sunshine.

Now I’m back at home ready for a day with a very different focus tomorrow. It’s someone’s birthday…

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