Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman at Oxenhope StationThe famous Flying Scotsman steam engine has been running in West Yorkshire. 3859FlyingScotsman_bwThe iconic locomotive has returned to the Settle-Carlisle line to mark the re-opening of the line, after major restoration work which has taken over a year. As well as travelling through the Yorkshire Dales, crossing the well-known Ribblehead viaduct, the train has also traveled as far south as Keighley, Haworth and Oxenhope.3856FlyingScotsman_bw

I came to Oxenhope, which is only walking distance from my home, to photograph it. 3843FlyingScotsmanCrowds came to see it and travel on it, with tickets soon selling out.3828FlyingScotsman

Part of the Settle-Carlisle line was closed in February 2016 after heavy rain caused a landslide onto the track. The line was not only restored but re-enforced against future damage should subsidence re-occur.3848FlyingScotsman The Flying Scotsman is currently on loan from the National Rail Museum at York.3847FlyingScotsman3830FlyingScotsman3825FlyingScotsman3856FlyingScotsman  3859FlyingScotsman

Yorkshire Calendar for 2015

A calendar of beautiful Yorkshire views…. for only £8.95 including postage and packing (for outside UK extra charges apply)…. makes a great present…. Here are the pages – JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberbackpage
To order, please leave a message using the contact page.
Price: £8.95 including postage and packing (UK). Also included, an envelope for posting the calendar. The calendar is A4 size.4553calendar

 

‘Fields of Vision’

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The sun sets on the Grand Depart, in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

The Tour de France began in Yorkshire this year. There was huge anticipation and excitement and, as is now well known, the venture was a huge success for Yorkshire.

One of the things fuelling the anticipation of the event, was the presence of huge works of art adorning the landscape, known as the ‘fields of vision’. Another was the decoration of the route with yellow painted bikes and T-shirt bunting and other symbols of cycling.

Seen here are a few of the artworks in West Yorkshire in the Keighley-Haworth-Oxenhope part of the route.

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Here is a huge canvas which appeared in Haworth mainstreet shortly before the Grand Depart. The artwork is by Vic Buta.

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Here are some of the bikes that could be seen along the route, including street art by ‘Stewy’ which shows Yorkshire artist David Hockney on a bike, drawn (with permission) on the side of a pub on the route.

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One of the earliest symbols to appear on the landscape was a very large white bicycle surrounded by huge numbers saying 2014. This was very encouraging. As the months went by, huge letters also began to appear such as in the pictures below. The first slogan I saw said ‘Eat Pies’. Actually I was horrified to see this, thinking it trivialised the event and the training and prepartion of the cyclists. I was glad to hear that the slogans were going to vary over time, but was disappointed to see that the next one said ‘Drink Beer’. When I calmed down a bit, I realised these would probably seem very funny to the cyclists taking part. Anyway, I was still glad to see more positive slogans appear as the time for the Grand Depart approached.

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(My previous post is about the Grand Depart itself.)

 

Tour de France in Yorkshire, 2014

The weather was fine, and Yorkshire turned out by the million to line just about every part of the route of the Grand Depart – Yorkshire’s hosting of the start of the Tour de France for 2014.

Waiting for the cyclists

After a short trip on a special bus service, I joined crowds in Oxenhope, in ‘Bronte Country’. Although it was miles from the nearest Spectator Hub in Haworth, there were plenty of people lining the roads. The atmosphere was electric, everyone was friendly and excited. I was lucky to find a good vantage point on a steep hill where I hoped I my view of the road would remain unobstructed , which thankfully it did.

lead cyclists

The cyclists were expected soon after one o’clock and as the time approached we could see 5 helicopters circling not far away. They then seemed to disappear but soon a car came through announcing that the cyclists were just a few minutes away.

lead cyclists

A group of 7 breakaway riders came through first, to huge applause. David de la Cruz (on left) and Bart de Clercq (on right) were the cyclists at the front.

start of the peloton

Soon afterwards the peloton flowed through like a swollen river, to even more applause.

the peloton

The event was soon over but everyone was delighted.

My photos appear in an international brochure!

International company Streetlife commissioned me to take photos of their ‘street furniture’ products in the London 2012 Olympic Park.  Streetlife won the bid to supply the London 2012 Olympics, and in fact developed a new product – the ‘Olympic Wave’ bench – especially for the event, designing it in partnership with the landscape architects of the Olympic Parklands, LDA Design London.  They bought 7 of my photos taken in the parklands, and used 3 of them for their 2013 -14 brochure, including one as the front cover picture –

page1Three more photos of mine appear inside on pages 2-3 (of the 24-page brochure) –

pages2-3(Click to enlarge.)

Here are the 3 original photos –

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bench with stadium

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bench with ‘The Orbit’

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And here are the other 4 they bought, which hopefully I may see used in the future –

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‘seat-top’ benches overlooking the River Lee

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‘Olympic Wave’ bench designed especially for London 2012.

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My intentions with the photos were to show the benches along with iconic features of the Parklands (such as the stadium) and with people using the benches or walking nearby.

The complete brochure can be seen here.

Going a bit viral

It only took a few minutes, around midday, to take photos just around the corner from my house. I posted just three of them onto facebook.  An hour or two later, I noticed that my post – I called it ‘Denholme Spring’ – had been viewed well over a thousand times. A bit later it was 3000, and by the end of the day, over 9000.

traffic moving in one direction at a time

traffic moving in one direction at a time

My posts usually attract only a couple of dozen views.   After all, my facebook friend-count is surely one of the lowest, a mere 43.  What aroused such (for me) unusual attention?

This car failed to get up the lane and had to reverse back out into the main road.

This car failed to get up the lane and had to reverse back out into the main road.

Well, my facebook friends, few though they are, mostly live nearby, in Denholme, Bradford.  And the photos showed what for us Denholmers was very unusual, not seen here for a very long time, if ever – a huge snowdrift on the main road. Narrowing the road to one lane’s width, it was creating traffic havoc. (Denholme lies on a fairly major route. At least, the juggernaut vehicles certainly think it does.)

So that explains some of the 9000 views. But Denholme’s population is less than a third of that. This is where the viral bit kicks in…

The Thing from the North. (Nothing under it apart from a corner of dry-stone wall, it's all snow!)

The Thing from the North. (Nothing under it apart from a corner of dry-stone wall, it’s all snow!)

It wasn’t just the sight of the monster snowdrift itself, I guess, that sparked interest. The image must have served as a focus for our anxiety about all the weird weather of late. Not just this Christmas-at-Easter bout of snow but the floods that soaked living rooms and closed businesses, following close behind the hosepipe-ban-droughts, the warm wet winters, the birds and insects not knowing when to migrate, the crocuses thinking it’s Spring when it isn’t… I even saw a bumble bee in my garden at the same time as snow! (That was last year and he was too fast for my camera-skills.)

The facebook post, when the views had just passed 8000.

The facebook post, with just 3 photos, when the number of views had just passed 8000.

What is happening to the weather? What is happening to the world?

Cutting your way home!

Cutting your way home!

By the magic of facebook, my humble post went ‘viral’. It started with my small band of 43 friends. Some of them ‘shared’ my post on their page, so that their friends saw it. They in turn must have shared it too, I guess. Amassing 9000 views isn’t all that special, perhaps, for some other facebookers, who have hundreds or even thousands of friends. But it was a big deal for me. Even my children were impressed!

Helpful neighbour with tractor and bulldozer-blade

Helpful neighbour with tractor and bulldozer-blade

By the way, that same snowdrift – the real star of this little viral phenomenon – covered half of page 7 in The Guardian. Unfortunately, not my photo of it. I obviously don’t know the right people. (Well, not yet, anyway! 😉 )

Shifting snow, army-style. "Had to do this in the army. Had to be a lot neater then, too."

Shifting snow, army-style. “Had to do this in the army. Had to be a lot neater then, too.”

And the main road through Denholme? Well, the very same stretch had featured on the national news the day before the snowdrift appeared – just because it had a lot of snow… and a blizzard… in late March.

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And here’s a video…

Where I live

This small selection of photos shows what a beautiful area I’m lucky enough to live in.  The 10 photos were all taken during a 90 minute walk around Denholme, one sunny Winter morning about 6 weeks ago.  They’re not the best photos of this area – on the edge of  Yorkshire’s ‘Bronte Country’ – that I’ve taken, but to get these in such a short time goes to show how scenic the area is.

Leeming

Leeming

Denholme

Denholme

Denholme

Denholme

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Leeming

Leeming

Leeming

Leeming

Leeming

Leeming

Leeming

Leeming

Leeming

Denholme

Denholme

Denholme

Denholme