Lake District


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About Summiteer

~Brighouse to Halifax~

24th January 2015

St Martins Brighouse

St.Martin's Parish Church, Brighouse

Newspapers, Ideas, Plans, Tickets, Maps, Timetables, a type of chaos in my thought processes lead to this unforeseen hike across Pennine territory, completely unplanned and somewhat by accident.

Grand Central Train Hebden Bridge Station
"Grand Central" Train
Hebden Bridge Railway Station

Two tokens from the local rag and Northern Rail were offering a "Rover Ticket" for £10, allowing one day's unlimited travel on the local network, so Molly and I caught the 08:12hrs from Burnley to Halifax. The plan was to take a train to Huddersfield and then, maybe, Honley for a walk to Slaithwaite and a different train back to Huddersfield etc. But, in short, I went for a butty in Halifax and returned to miss the hourly service to Huddersfield, by one minute. In even shorter ... we rode a train to Hebden Bridge and back and then took the later train only as far as Brighouse as time was moving on. The walk started from Brighouse station at 10:35hrs.

Calder and Hebble

Calder & Hebble Navigation, Brighouse

The Calderdale Way leaves Brighouse and heads for Bailiff Bridge. Once, a railway line took a track from Brighouse to Bradford on much the same way as the early part of this walk - "The Pickle Bridge Line".

On the Calderdale Way

Did I mention that I left my wallet at the railway station? Consequently paid for my butty with a combination of small change and a £2 winning lottery ticket that happened to be in my pocket. Luckily my wallet was awaiting my return at the station - it was this shambles that led to me missing the connection to Huddersfield.

Mill Royd Mill

Millroyd Mill, Brighouse

An award-winning conversion of an industrial mill into residential use. That's Rastrick further away. Henry Cullingworth & Sons occupied the mill until 2001 (source: Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion). They were wool merchants and it makes me think a little, because our felt business used to buy fibres labelled as "Cullingworth's" - a little rummaging in the archives may be necessary.

St.Martins Parish Church

St.Martin's Church

Bailiff Bridge

Bailiff Bridge

North Vale Mills was built by and is still occupied by the same business - North Vale Doubling Co. Doubling yarn gives you half the original length at twice the thickness, or something like that. They do all sorts of stuff with fibres.

Common End Farm

Common End Farm, Woodrow

Just before arriving in Bailiff Bridge, we passed Common End Farm at Woodrow. There is a row of wood stacks in the low building at the front, solar panels look a little out of place.

Birkhouse Road Bridge Frith Carpets
Birkhouse Road Bridge
Clifton Mills

A traditional stone arch bridge remains in good condition on the road down to Bailiff Bridge, where part of Clifton Mills remains. To the left of what you can see, there used to be a huge mill - TF Firth & Sons - Carpet Manufacturers 1822 to 2002. I used to visit them occasionally to discuss carpet/underlay contracts and such stuff. A new business under the Firth name trades from Clifton Mills with a former director of the old company at the helm. We take the lane, left, just before the lights and head towards Norwood Green.


Wyke Viaduct

Wyke Viaduct

A familiar landmark to thousands of travallers on the A58. The 22-arch viaduct suffered from subsidence and eventually the northern section as seen (or rather not seen) was demolished with the use of explosives. A link at the foot of the page will lead you to a series of photos on demoltion day.

Line to Bradford

The Line to Bradford, Wyke Tunnel

The stonework on the left will be the site of "Junction House" where the line joined from Brighouse. Closer to the tunnel was Wyke & Norwood Green Station. The large building on the hill is probably a BSF "new" school, it is not there on others' photos of this scene, but my out-dated map shows a smaller school in the same area.

Old White Beare Norwood Green Norwood Green
Old White Beare
Norwood Green

There are two pubs in Norwood Green, but only the Old White Beare is worthy of meniton on this occasion. T'other pub did not welcome dogs, whereas this one allowed us to sit in the snug, where there was a warm fire. I had a drink and a sandwich and it was nice to relax for a short while. According to the timetable book there were no trains back to Burnley between 13:40 and 16:40hrs (see later), so we had to spin it out a little. The sad sight of faded snowmen entering their watery graves is not a pretty one.

Middle Ox Heys

Middle Ox Heys

The best bits ot this walk seemed to be the farm tracks, like this one. The fields were boggy and the pavements icy.



There was a shorter route back to Halifax than the one we took, but I decided to walk further to use up the spare time.

Dean House

Dean House

Maybe we would have taken a path to the left of Dean House, but two other walkers suggested otherwise due to very, very boggy ground! So we went up to the steel gate and headed into Shelf. One hour later, the following photo was taken. Shelf is worth another look, but we walked along a busy road on an icy pavement and generally lost interest. Here on the back road to Northowram is a house on a corner.

Landmere Syke

Landmere Syke

We have a "gritter" in the family and they do sterling work at all hours to keep the roads safe and clear. Meanwhile, unstable pedestrians are made to look fools on the compacted ice of the slippy pavements.

Shibden Park

Shibden Park

We walked through Northowram and down a cobbled road to Stump Cross and then found our way into Shibden Park.

Tunnel Vent

Tunnel Vent

Out of Shibden Park and up the road to gain access to Beacon Hill where this tunnel vent is found. Note the industrial soot deposits on the windward side.

Piece Hall Halifax

Halifax Piece Hall

The red building is the Square Chapel, the spire is tall, the Piece Hall is undergoing renovation work and is closed. Not many other towns have such a high viewpoint from which to take in the vista.

Dean Clough Mills

Dean Clough Mills

See earlier website report from 20th December 2014 for more about Dean Clough.

Halifax Railway Station

Halifax Railway Station

The chimney has been sealed off since my last visit up here. The grand stone-built station buildings are no longer used by the railway. Island platforms such as this and you'll find another at Hellifield provide a more sociable environment whereby passengers due to travel in opposite directions can mix 'n mingle and share stories and make friends. Alternatively, everyone can stare at their phones and completely ignore each other.

It turns out I misread the timetable and there is an hourly service from Halifax to Burnley.

Bonus Photo

Homfray Carpets

Homfray Carpets - photo by Alf Mullins - link to Alf's Flickr page

(loads of Halifax Railway photos!) the mill and the stub of track - Queensbury Line - are gone, the "40" sign remains.

12 miles, taking 5 hrs and 30 mins, including pub time.

The Pickle Bridge Line - including photos of the demolition of Wyke Viaduct.

Bailiff Bridge - link directing you to one page on this "local" website.

All photos, except the last one of Homfray Carpets are copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2015 ©

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