A grey day in the Lakes……

Paid a flying visit to the Lake District yesterday and was greeted by grey skies, very low cloud and pretty poor light. Nevertheless, even in such poor conditions it is still difficult not to be impressed by the majesty of the fells and beautiful countryside, even in the depths of winter.

After stopping off in Keswick for a quick coffee at the Merienda cafe (excellent coffee and flapjack) did a trip down to the south end of Derwentwater and then hacked across several fields to the “Chinese Bridge”…………but have to admit was severely underwhelmed by the structure. This was countered by the stunning views looking northward along the lake, wonderful colours even on this grey day.

Returned home via Buttermere and a trip over the A5289 which offers astonishing views from the summit. It was very quiet, unlike last time I drove up this way in summer when it seemed half the UK had decided to visit the Lakes.

If you have never visited the Lakes then put it on your list of “must do” at some time in your life. Below are some of the photographs I took on my trip.

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Photographs (c) Kindadukish 2017

 

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Derwent Reservoir and a sunny winters day………….

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Yesterday (Saturday) was a glorious winters day so I decided that a visit to Derwent Valley in the Peak District of Derbyshire would be in order to complete the walk around part of the reservoir (see map above for details of the walk).

When I arrived at the reservoir all the parking spaces on the road were full ( the moral get there before 9.00am to get a space) but managed to get in at a lay-by about half a mile past the bridge.

When I set out on the walk the sky was a little overcast with the sun trying desperately to break through………eventually it did, and the whole valley takes on a different feel. The sun was streaming down onto the very still water and highlighting the beautiful colours of the trees. Some of the field still had a covering of light snow creating a lovely a tapestry on the hillsides.

Half way around is the nature and refreshment centre where you can stop for a picnic and a drink………just a word of warning, when you sit at one of the outdoor tables be prepared to be accosted by about one hundred ducks looking for a free meal. They are harmless but could be intimidating for young children!

You will also come to the famous twin towered dam where the Dam Busters squadron practiced dropping their “bouncing bombs” prior to the raid on the three dams in Germany.

The walk is about five and a half miles and taken at a reasonable pace will take about two and a half hours………..the reward is that you get some beautiful views, stunning countryside and some exercise. So, if you haven’t visited then do yourself a favour and put it on your list of places to visit. Below are some of the photographs I took on the walk.

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Photographs (c) Kindadukish 2017

 

Posted in Birds, blue sky, Lancashire, Nature / Flowers, Peak District, Photography, scenery, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Ah, those racist and xenophobic British……….well perhaps not!

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Dave Duncan from Otley, Yorkshire.

A trucker who raised nearly £200,000 for relatives of the driver killed in the Berlin Christmas market attack is to be thanked by the Polish ambassador at a ceremony in London. Dave Duncan, from Otley, set up a crowdfunding campaign to help Lukasz Urban’s relatives. Mr Urban was found dead after his lorry was crashed into the Breitscheidplatz market in December, killing 12 people.

Mr Duncan said he felt compelled to help his “fellow trucker”. Attacker Anis Amri left at least 48 injured when he ploughed into crowds at the German market. Mr Urban, a Polish national, had been stabbed and shot.

The driver had arrived in Berlin ahead of schedule to deliver steel beams and was asked to return the next day to unload his trailer. Mr Duncan said: “If they had unloaded their freight none of this would have happened and Lukasz would have been able to go home and spend Christmas with his family.” He said it was that thought that made him want to do something to help “the innocent people left devastated by this”. “It could have been any one of us there that day,” he added. Lukasz Urban, was found dead in the lorry’s passenger seat with gunshot and stab wounds

Since setting up the online fund, Mr Duncan has met Mr Urban’s widow and son.
He said: “They were extremely grateful and shocked by the support, and that a stranger would help them this way when nobody else would”. Mr Urban’s family invited Mr Duncan to attend the driver’s funeral in Banie, near the Polish border with Germany.

He said it was “a beautiful ceremony in a beautiful place,” adding: “Although I felt detached by the language barriers, it was very moving, especially the amount of people who came to pay their respects.”

The Polish ambassador Arkady Rzegocki will honour Mr Duncan on Monday for his actions.
He said the lorry driver’s “gesture and presence at the funeral of the late Mr Urban, have been greatly appreciated in Poland”.

Mr Duncan added: “The Polish truckers’ own tributes are what being a truck driver is all about. “We have to watch out for one another, as in most cases nobody else does.”
Ambassador Rzegocki said he wanted to “personally thank Mr Duncan for his selfless initiative”. “His compassion moved many both in the UK and back in Poland. It is an inspiring example of British-Polish solidarity which never fails in times of crisis,” he added.

The ceremony will take place in London at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

So to all of those “Remainers” out there who are quick to call out many of us as xenophobes, and particularly us here in the North of England who seem to have been branded as “thick Northerners”……….all I can say is read the above and “up yours”

Source: Original article from BBConline.

 

Posted in British, Culture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lloyds Bank……..lousy customer service

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On the 3 January 2017 I visited  Lloyds Bank in Huddersfield where I have had a business account for about the last eighteen years. The purpose of my visit was to try to obtain copies of my bank statements for the 2016 / 16 tax years as the originals I had been sent had gone astray in an office reorganisation at home. I have no printer at present and could not download on to a USB stick as it would not format.

As I entered the bank I saw the sign which said Business Lounge up stairs, and I vaguely remember visiting the business section once before but years ago. So off I trotted up four flights of stairs, entered the “lounge” and waited to be dealt with. Eventually after knocking on a door a lady came out and asked if she could help. I explained what I needed to which she responded “you will have to go to the general enquiries desk on the ground floor as the business department no longer exists and I am here on my own.” I asked why there was a still a business lounge sign up downstairs and she replied “well it is used for personal banking purposes”……..which really didn’t answer my question.

I thanked her and went down stairs to general enquiries and explained what I needed. I suggested they just access my account details and print the required sheets off. I was then told that as there were about eighteen sheets they could not do this as “the printer couldn’t cope with such a number of sheets.” And yes, you are no doubt as bemused by this as I was. In an era of modern / instant technology Lloyds Band could not print off eighteen pieces of paper.

The lady said she would “order” the statements and they would be sent to me and that she would wave any charge they normally apply. I did point out that I had been paying bank charges for the best part of eighteen years and this was the first time I had asked for such a favour, but thanked her for her consideration.

Then came the crunch, the statements would take five to seven working days to be sent to me. I asked why so long for such a simple task and all she could offer was “that is the way that the bank does things and the timescale. I smiled and said “please order them and ask they be sent asap”

So the gist of my story is, a major bank cannot print out eighteen sheets of A4 paper in-house, they obviously do not have modern computers and printers, they have to be ordered and will take five to seven working days. I wonder what would happen if they were chasing me for money and I responded “I will respond within ten to fourteen days, as this is the administrative way I do things”………..I suspect they would not be very happy.

And neither am I at such poor customer service!

 

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A Few Thoughts About 2016……………..

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Seen outside York Minster 2016

As I sit here on the 1 January 2017 I have time to reflect on some of the important events of the last year:-

  • The sad passing of my father in law after a series of serious illnesses, but it was lovely to see the significant turn out from his friends and colleagues at the funeral service.
  • I have finally withdrawn from any paid work and settled into a leisurely retirement where I can continue to indulge myself in my enthusiasm for photography.
  • The several occasions that I have been fortunate enough to photograph the Flying Scotsman steam train, in the sheds at Bury in its black livery, to its fully restored green colour when it pulled into Pickering station in North Yorkshire.
  • A wonderful performance of La Boheme in Vilnius by the Lithuanian National Opera Company, the sets for the opera were absolutely stunning.
  • Two excellent photographic “outings” with my friends Antanas and Renata on my two visits to Lithuania this year, one to see the old scythe factory and the second a tour of “soviet brutalist / realist” architecture.
  • Being invited by my friend Finn Petersen to give a seminar to a group of HR professionals at the Danish Chamber of Commerce in Vilnius, my topic was “Why does everyone have so little respect for the HR function in organisations?”……….needless to say it provoked some very interesting debates.
  • Discovering on YouTube the Saint Andreu Jazz Orchestra (Barcelona) and being amazed at the playing of children as young as seven years of age, check out Elsa Armengou, her sister Alba and the prodigious talents of Andrea Motis, Eva Fernandez, Magali Datzira, Rita Pays and the many other stars of the band. Not to mention the coach and mentor of the orchestra, the dynamic and charismatic Joan Chammoro.
  • The resumption of our Friday “business meetings” after my friend Mikes operation earlier in the year and our commitment to the economic support of Falshaws Farm Shop (Bury), who do a wonderful “full English” and supply some wonderful Lancashire cheese (which I then smuggle back across the border into West Yorkshire).
  • Taking my Grandson Seb on numerous visits to Dunham Park where his enthusiasm for non-stop activity is only matched by his capacity to eat a huge ice lolly and drink my cappuccino at the same time in the café.
  • My numerous visits to the wonder that is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at West Bretton, which, provided me with wonderful photographic opportunities (particularly the Kaws exhibition) as well as much needed exercise!
  • Watching the David Attenborough Planet Earth series, the racing snakes sequence is possibly the TV moment of 2016, and the stunning music for the series by Hans Zimmer.
  • Watching the apoplectic response of the smug “remainers” in the EU vote, the incredible bias of the BBC and the particularly charmless Nicky Campbell holding phone in after phone in about “what went wrong”……..which, in itself, tells you all you need to know about the BBC!
  • I decided to choose a photograph of the year and deliberated long and hard about this, would it be the iconic Flying Scotsman, a panoramic shot of the wonderful countryside in West Yorkshire? Finally, I chose the one posted above taken outside York Minster, I have no idea who the young lady was or what she was doing, and I had seconds to frame and take the shot. Not the best photograph I have ever taken technically, but it conveys a message……………….

So here is to a peaceful new year………….I look forward to 2017.

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The “Barnbow Lasses” exhibition at Leeds Industrial Museum

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In my continuing search of the countries industrial heritage I made the short journey to Leeds today to explore the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills. It is a museum of industrial heritage located in Armley, West Leeds, West Yorkshire and it includes collections of textile machinery, railway equipment and heavy engineering amongst others.

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The Grade II* listed building housing the museum was once the world’s largest woollen mill. The current structures were built in 1805 by Benjamin Gott and closed as a commercial mill in 1969.

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They were taken over by Leeds City Council and reopened as a museum of industrial heritage in 1982. It is located between the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the River Aire and accessed from Canal Road or Milford Place.

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At the museum you can explore the industries that have shaped the modern city of Leeds – from textiles to steam engine production, printing to engineering.

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If you are fascinated by working machinery and heavy engineering then this is a must place to visit. To see the machinery that people worked on in the woolen mills and children as young as eight years of age who were required to work from 6.00am to 8.00pm, suffering horrendous beatings if they fell asleep (I think an outing here for some of the university “snowflakes” would be very beneficial as a dose of reality).

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They currently have an exhibition about the role of women during WW1 who made the shells and bullets to supply the troops at the front. They worked in very dangerous conditions, particularly the use of chemicals which turned their hair yellow (similar experience to my mother who made bombs in WW2).

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Sometimes disaster struck and there were fatalities, but the work went on non-stop. Below are some of the posters on display which reflect the importance of the job done by the women, but which is still largely unknown and under – appreciated.

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One has to take the last poster with a pinch of salt because here we are in 2017 (almost) and the fight is still going on for equality in many places of work.

But it is vital that the work of these brave women is remembered and recognised……….wouldn’t it be nice is Leeds City Council commissioned a statue to be erected in the centre of Leeds to honour these brave women?

Photographs (c) Kindadukish 2016

 

Posted in Abuse of power, abuse of women, Canal, Discrimination, Economy, Industrial Heritage, Politics, Prejudice, Tradition, Uncategorized, West Yorkshire | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

King Arthur of Huddersfield………..

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King Arthur’s legendary home and the site where he planned his war against Saxon invaders may finally have been uncovered – in Yorkshire. The legend of King Arthur and Camelot has been the subject of countless books and films but the court location has baffled academics for more than 1,000 years.

However, a retired Bangor University professor believes he has finally found the elusive site. The site of ruined Roman fort Slack in Outlane, which is on the road linking Chester and York, would have been the ideal location for King Arthur and his court, according to retired Bangor university profesor Peter Field

Peter Field believes Camelot was in fact in Yorkshire, reports The Times. He told the paper he was looking at maps during a lecture on the Roman occupation of Britain when he spotted the name ‘Camulodunum’, meaning ‘the fort of the God Camul’.  The name would easily have been shortened to Camelot.  He said: ‘Suddenly all the ducks lined up. I believe I may have solved a 1,400-year-old mystery.

The location of the famous court where King Arthur planned to defend the Kingdom against Saxon invaders has never been discovered – until now ‘I looked at the arrangement of places and thought good heavens, this Camulodunum is on the road to York — and York’s the place the Britons had tried to control if they were to stop the Anglo-Saxon invasion.’

Professor Field believes that the key to the entire mystery could be lying just outside Huddersfield (by the side of the M62 motorway). The site of the ruined Roman fort Slack in Outlane, which is on the road linking Chester and York, would have been the ideal location for King Arthur and his court, according to the professor.

There were two Camulodunums in Roman Britain: one in Colchester, Essex and the other in Slack. Professor Field discredited the Essex site because it was behind enemy lines during the time Camelot is thought to have existed.

He deduced that the gathering point for King Arthur’s soldiers would have been in Chester, and the strategic city they needed to protect was York.  The fort in Outlane is on the road to both sites.

Author Simon Keegan backs up Professor Field’s theory in his book Pennine Dragon, which explores the legend.  The book states: ‘Arthur Pendragon was actually a ruler recorded in history as Arthwys of the Pennines.  ‘He and his father ruled from the old Roman garrisons of Hadrian’s Wall and the City of York and his base was Camulod (Camelot) in the heart of what is now Yorkshire.’

I suspect there will be outrage and steam emanating from ears in the Duchy of Cornwall, as they have always claimed that Camelot was at Tintagel in the county of Corwall and a whole tourist industry has been built on promoting the legend of the mythical King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

One of the country’s leading academics in Arthurian literature has thrown his weight behind claims that the legendary king’s court of Camelot was on the outskirts of Huddersfield.

In a lecture at Bangor University Professor Peter Field appeared to solve a mystery dating back almost 1,500 years when he located King Arthur’s mythic base at the old village of Slack, near Outlane, in a parcel of land close to the M62 motorway.

Emeritus Professor Field, now 77 and retired, is a 50-year specialist in Arthurian literature and taught at Bangor from 1964 to 2004. In his lecture Searching for Camelot he shattered centuries of debate about Arthur’s links to the south west and instead said the ‘once and future king’ was rooted in the north.

More specifically, in Yorkshire. “Slack was once known as Camulodunum, the fortress of Camul, who was a Celtic war god. It’s on the Roman road from one of the great military bases in Chester to a second one in York,” said Professor Field. “The more I think of this at Slack, the more advantages I think it has got. It really seems to be the right place. It just stands out.

“I think I have probably found Camelot. There is no certainty. The evidence is not thick enough on the ground for anybody to be certain of anything. You have to go on what you know.

“It does not mean Arthur was born there or buried there but it means the people who told the stories saw that it was his place.”

The news has thrilled writer Simon Keegan who, earlier this year, identified King Arthur with a northern British king named Arthwys ap Mar and located Camelot at Slack/Outlane.

Mr Keegan, the author of both Pennine Dragon: The Real King Arthur of the North, and The Lost Book of King Arthur, says Professor Field’s research has proved his hypothesis.

“1,500 years ago, the location now centred on Outlane golf course was a Roman fort called Camulod[onum], which I argued was the most likely location for Camelot,” says Mr Keegan. “Not just because of its name and location (on a road joining major Roman cities) but because the earliest references to Arthur seem to suggest he ruled in the area that now covers the Pennines.”

Research by Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society insisted there was an active military and civilian settlement at Slack for almost 400 years.

Source: Huddersfield examiner/Daily Mail/ Yorkshire Post

 

Posted in 21st century, Golcar, History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments