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Get around Yorkshire with transport old and new

7 Man Made Wonders of Yorkshire – Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead boys (Gherkin, Wimsey, Wonky and Pickle)

Ribblehead is somewhat remote boasting only a railway station a few houses and The Station Inn. The teddybears may have a bit of a wait before they can start their picnic.
Located at the head of the River Ribble, the viaduct is firmly located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the hearts of many railway enthusiasts.

Ribblehead Viaduct and Weather

Ribblehead Viaduct Sunset
The Ribblehead Viaduct at sunset and behind it to the right Whernside one of the three peaks and the highest point in Yorkshire. It looks like it has been drizzling for a shortwhile but the puddles should dry up by September before it starts to rain.
A light dusting of snow can be expected in May and June but for real snow you need to visit in February or any month with an R in the name. Continue Reading →

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20 mph Speed Zones Fast for Yorkshire

A section of Pateley Bridge is restricted to a 20mph speed zone. It would be hard to go faster in the town and why would you want too anyway?

20 mph zones are becoming increasingly popular with local residents because statistics seem to suggest 20mph zones are effective in reducing fatalaties. It also makes for a more pleasing environment with parents happier to let children play on the roads. York and Sheffield are amongst Yorkshire towns and cities that treat 20mph speed zones as the default speed limit in built-up areas.

Background to Speed Zones

Evidence suggests that if people are hit by a car at 20mph only 1 in 10 will die as a result. If the speed is 30mph it jumps to 5 in 10. At 40mph most die.

20 mph speed limits also encourage more environmentally friendly methods of transport such as cycling and walking.

20 mph speed limits are not always popular with motorists who argue it is unnecessarily strict to keep speed down to 20mph. Also, the difficulty of 20 mph speed limit zones is that most drivers ignore them anyway. To be effective 20mph speed limits need to be enforced with speed cameras or road calming methods introduced – such as narrowing roads.

Evidence on 20mph Speed Zones

• 20mph zones have made a major contribution to London’s road
safety record. In areas where zones have been introduced there has
been a 42 per cent reduction in casualties.
• The estimated benefit to London from casualty reductions in its
400 existing 20mph zones has a value of at least £20 million per
year.
• There is some evidence to suggest 20mph limits may make a
positive contribution to encouraging walking and cycling,
improving traffic flow and reducing emissions but insufficient
research has been done on these potential wider effects.

20 mph speed limits at DFT

Campaigner Myths against 20 MPH Speed Zones

The safety organisations 20 is Plenty and Environmental Transport Association ask “Why we can’t” rather than explore “How we can” when it comes to 20’s Plenty. Here are some false road blocks which may be put in your way :-

Speed Bumps

You can’t put in 20 mph without physical traffic calming. That is both unpopular and expensive. No-one will want it. NOT CORRECT

Slower journeys

If you slow traffic down to 20 mph then it is obvious that journeys will take 50% longer. This will cause delays and is not acceptable. NOT CORRECT

Police won’t enforce it.

The police will not enforce 20 mph. Therefore it will be ignored by motorists. NOT CORRECT

It increases Pollution

If you put in speed bumps and drivers accelerate between them, then this constant acceleration and braking does increase fuel usage. But where 20mph limits are put in place then this encourages steadier driving using less fuel with less pollution. It also encourages people to walk or cycle and therefore reducing their car-created pollution entirely. Hence it is NOT CORRECT that 20mph limits increase pollution.

All of these are myths which can be shown to be false. Click on the buttons on the left to see why they are false and the argument against them.

Support your local campaign for 20 mph speed zones – it makes sense!

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Air Ambulances of Yorkshire

Overhead Chopper at Leeds-Bradford Airport

Overhead Chopper at Leeds-Bradford Airport

‘The Leeds-Bradford airspace seemed to be full of budding pilots on the afternoon when I passed by. This helicopter was on a training session run by private aviation company Multiflight, a business which is based on the south side of the airport. They also give lessons in flying the Robin 200, Cessna 152 and Piper PA28’. Commercial businesses like this have helped develop Leeds as one of two key sites for Air Ambulances.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance Photo Shoot

Get on board to help Yorkshire Air Ambulance by supporting this motley crews fund-raising event on the 6th of May 2012. They are cycling the Leeds/Liverpool canal all 127 miles in a day to raise money . Here they are getting their photos taken with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Yorkshire Air Ambulance Landing
The North West Air Ambulance in the foreground with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance landing in the background.

As a charity Yorkshire Air Ambulance only receive help through secondment of paramedics from the NHS. To keep both of Yorkshire’s ambulances in the air they need to raise £7200 per day. This is equivalent to £2.65 million per year.
As a rapid response air emergency service the charity serves a population of approximately 5 million people across 4 million acres. The two air ambulances operate from Leeds Bradford International Airport and Bagby Airfield near Thirsk, and together both air ambulances cover the whole of the region.Donate here.

Barnsley - Good Friday
‘Good Friday, 22nd April 2011. The Blackpool helicopter and crew were called to assist a female patient who had fallen while out walking in Barnsley country park. The patient was taken to Wakefield General in 10 mins for treatment to an ankle injury. Colleagues from Yorkshire Air Ambulance and a land ambulance crew were also on scene.’

Credits
Overhead Chopper at Leeds-Bradford Airport by tj.blackwell CC BY-NC 2.0
Yorkshire Air Ambulance Photo Shoot by Simon Grubb CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Yorkshire Air Ambulance Landing by North West Air Ambulance,CC BY 2.0
Barnsley – Good Friday by North West Air Ambulance, CC BY 2.0
Excitement 3 – Yorkshire Air Ambulance by aldisley CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Excitement 3 - Yorkshire Air Ambulance

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Plane Crazy Kangaroos, Skuas, Sharks and Hawks in Brough

Red Arrows

Back in 1915 Robert Blackburn (RB) set up a base for the Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Company in Brough. Amongst the aircraft made by the company were the early Kangaroos, Sharks, Skuas and the Swift.

Aeroplanes From Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Company Brough

From 1916 the military commandeered the Brough site building 2 large extra hangers. The Kangaroo was then the first pure Blackburn plane to win type approval for military planes.
In 1920 the Air Ministry asked Blackburn to work with Napier to produce a torpedo plane called the Swift.
The royal airforce reserve training school was set up in Brough for piolts of sea and land planes using Blackburn Dart, Ripon and Velos planes.
Large flying boats were also built at Blackburns including the Iris, Perth and Sydney making inaugural flights from the Humber estuary.
The Blackburn built Skua was the only naval plane for dive bombing and was the first plane to shoot down an enemy aircraft in the second World War. The Shark and the more successful Swordfish were also built around the same time.
180 Botha, 635 Fairy Baracudas, the Firebrand and the Roc naval fighter were built during 1940’s. The Sunderland flying boat was built at Blackburns Dunbarton factory.
In 1948 Blackburns was taken over or amalgamated with General Aircraft and produced the Universal fighter.
The production of the Buccaneer (bottom) dominated output at Brough during the 1960’s.

Short Sunderland

Modern Brough

In 1960-65 Blackburns became Hawker Siddeley, Brough, and later part of the British Aerospace Kingston-Brough Division.
Arguably one of the company’s best known aircraft is the Hawk or T45. This is the jet trainer plane seen the world over as part of The Red Arrows RAF aerobatic display team.
The origins of the Harrier vertical/short take off and landing multi-role fighter can be traced back to Blackburns in Brough. The Harrier’s vertical take off was a stunning sight. On lookers were amazed to see 6 tonnes of fixed wing jet fighter hover, and even fly backwards.
Earlier this year 2012 BAE Systems announced it would be ending manufacturing at its site in Brough. This will mean 845 employees are redundant and our aeronautical heritage will be cut short.

Blackburns last

Photograph Credits
Red Arrows by Richard Towell CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Short Sunderland by Adelaide Archivist CC BY-NC 2.0 ‘Short Sunderland Mk.1 Flying Boat L2163 DA-G of No. 210 Squadron .
Photograph published in ‘The Royal Air Force in Pictures including aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm’, prepared by Major Oliver Stewart, 1941. Page 55.’
Blackburns last by Elsie esq CC BY 2.0 ‘A Buccaneer of the RAF. These aircraft had “wing blowing” a technique to artifically increase the lift of wings by ducting air from the engines over the top surface of the wing. This resulted in very high speed capability at very low altitude. Even today few modern strike aircraft can match the Buccaneers down-low performance’.
See air-ambulances-of-yorkshire

Read about Yorkshires Air Ambulances

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Jowett the Yorkshire Javelin Ahead of Time

Jowett Cars

The two seater soft top Jowett Jupiter was developed from the success of the Javelin in 1950. The streamlined shape implied speed and was a well engineered car with stronger brakes and new features. It had a steel tube frame and a drop-head coupe body of aluminium. For three successive years Jowett won the Le Mans 24 Grand Prix race 1950-1952.

ind museum Jowett van

The Bradford Van shown here in the old colours of the local paper the Telegraph and Argus (T&A). It had an engine size of 1005 cc and was first registered in 1953.

The oldest car club in the world is dedicated to Jowett vehicles they also  have a second web site. There aim is ‘To celebrate classic British cars made in Bradford from 1906 to 1954 namely- Jupiter, Javelin, Bradford, Jason, Black Prince, Curlew, Kestrel, Weasel, Flying Fox, Falcon, Long Four, Focus, Blackbird, Kingfisher, Black Prince, Wren, Grey Knight, Silverdale, Chummy, 7cwt Van, Short Two’. I like the idea of a car called a ‘Weasel’ and it reminds me of a pub with that name in Pudsey now a bomb site.

Continue Reading →

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Betwixed Leeds and Shipley Along the Canal

‘Leaving Leeds and heading towards Shipley’. The first 10 miles of the Leeds-Liverpool canal hold a lot of interest for walkers, fishermen and historians. It is a good 10 mile linear walk with pubs enroute at Newley, Rodley, Baildon and Greengates.

Canal pilons

The Canal of the Roses – History

From the Leeds Liverpool Canal Society records comes this short history. Do not read it if you have a nervous disposition about Lancastrian perfidy.

‘In the middle of the 1700’s, Yorkshire was a well established woollen manufacturing area, while Lancashire’s industries were still in their infancy. Consequently it was in Yorkshire that the canal was first proposed. In the 1760’s the merchants there were keen to improve the supply of lime and limestone from the Craven district. This they used to improve the fertilisation of agricultural land and to provide a mortar which allowed them to increase the size and height of buildings used for weaving. They also hoped to expand the market for their cloth by gaining access, via Liverpool, to the growing colonial markets in Africa and America. The route they chose was up the Aire valley to Gargrave, then through Padiham, Whalley and Leyland to Liverpool. They would thus have a fairly direct route to Liverpool as well as reaching the limestone country around Craven.

Canal chimneys
‘Leeds needs to repurpose it’s Victorian buildings’ or loose them!

When the Yorkshiremen sought support in Lancashire they found that Liverpool merchants were more interested in acquiring a good supply of coal for the town from Wigan. They suggested a different route, through Wigan, Chorley, Blackburn and Burnley, joining the Yorkshiremen’s line at Foulridge. The two groups fell out over this, though they eventually agreed to a compromise. The Yorkshire line was to be followed, but there was to be a link to Wigan, with work starting at each end simultaneously.

By 1777, when the canal was open from Liverpool to Wigan and from Leeds to Gargrave, the company ran out of money. Construction ceased until 1790 when the economy improved and more finance was available. By then East Lancashire was rapidly developing as an industrial area and the canal proprietors realised that there was a greater opportunity for trade around Blackburn and Burnley. The proposed line of canal was altered and when it opened throughout, in 1816, it had been constructed along the route first suggested by the Liverpool merchants.’

Waterside Activities

Rodley has an interesting nature reserve mid way betwixed Leeds and Shipley on the canal side.
Apollo Cruises operate a boat bus service from Shipley in summer. It runs through Saltaire past the Fishermans Inn at Dowley Gap and over the aqueduct to the foot of 5 Rise Lock at Bingley. You can also hire a boat for c.30 people with a meal provided as I did for my 50th birthday. The Pie and Peas were amongst the tastiest I had eaten but I put that down to the drink license and the fresh air.

Walks abound around this area as the river Aire runs parallel to the canal for many miles. Formal walks are provided by the Waterboard or most bookshops but you can usually find your own circular route back to the starting point of take the Towpath Trod.

Book Cover

Fishing except under overhead cables, playing in parkland at Roberts Park and woodland activities at Hirstwoods are all available along the canal near Shipley and families can find a lot to do. For a day out you can do a deal worse than take the fresh air and exercise along Yorkshire Canals.

There is always something interesting to see alongside a canal withold mill chimneys and odd buildings as you enter the Shipley section from Leeds. The view from opposite the towpath at a boat turning circle at Dockfields and there is a wonderful old packhorse bridge (junction bridge 208) on the left sadly in need of a bit of TLC. This junction should be the start of the reopened link to Bradford, when they get cracking, the new canal side apartments will doubtless rise in value (but not aesthetic appearance).

Dutch canal in colour

This atmospheric photograph proves Holland also gets fog on the canal but it doesn’t smell as good as Yorkshire fog or our canal.

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Frizinghall and It’s Mucky Railway Station

Frizinghall

Frizinghall is now a suburb of Bradford but boasts it’s own railway station on the Ilkley and Skipton lines.

frizinghall station

The station strikes me as unique for a suburban station. The west bound platform shown in the photo is well west of the eastern platform. In fact you have to cross a busy road via flights of steps and meander down the road to swap over from one platform to the other.

station steps

The steps at both sides are very steep.

litter

Litter is a major problem at the station.
Fly tippers use the area for no good reason.
Travelers using the station drop litter and mustn’t be proud of their local area as this picture shows.
The railway company can’t be bothered to clean up! Shame on them!
The local council has paths and by-ways passing the station that are in a dirty state. Time they did some enforcement and cleaning-up.

Bill Bryson, author and president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England have published a guide on complaining about litter.
Bryson attacked rail companies for awarding millions of pounds in bonuses to senior executives while failing to spend money to protect the environment see more in the Guardian
Network rail blame the public saying ‘railways are a prime target for litter and illegally dumped rubbish by members of the public. When members of the public throw their litter on to the tracks or leave it at the stations or dump household & building waste on our land, it causes us health & safety problems. For example, litter attracts rats to the railway. Rats like to chew on signal cables as well as rubbish and this can lead to signal failures, delays & even accidents’.

Mucky Duck

Not far from the station is a pub to slake your thirst, the Black Swan known as the ‘Mucky Duck’.
The muck sticks around the station so lets hope someone gets their act together.
We should all Keep Britain Tidy. For those criminals who do not do so, the council or landowners including rail companies should clean up their act.

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Flying Scotsman or Not

bolton-abbey-steam

Sorry I need to get out and find a photograph of the real thing.

Flying Scotsman in Yorkshire

A free exhibition until 19th June in The National Railway Museum Gallery. It is focusing on the celebrity of arguably the world’s most famous locomotive.

  • Why is Flying Scotsman so well-known and how has that fame manifested itself?
  • What is it about this particular engine that has captured the imagination of generations worldwide?
  • Where can we see the engine in full steam?
  • Capture some truly special shots at our morning and evening photography sessions. This event takes place at Locomotion Shildon
1 June The Tynesider (Cleethorpes to Morpeth via York)
15 June London Euston to Holyhead (Flying Scotsman hauling Crewe to Holyhead return)
25 June The Yorkshireman (London Victoria to York)
2 July The Hadrian (Leicester to Carlisle)
10 July The Waverley (York to Carlisle)
17 July The Waverley (York to Carlisle)
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Twirlies on Doncaster & Bradford Trolley Buses

Black Country Museum

Twirlies you know are the OAP’s and people who stand at bus stops with their free passes and ask ‘are we too early’ because it is not yet 9.30am. So that is how we get our name ‘Twirlies’, it is not a trolley bus maneuver to turn around at the terminus.

Well Twirlies would have needed to get up early in the morning to catch the Bradford Corporation Trolley Bus No 7 to Thornbury.
Ten Bradford trolleybuses are now preserved at the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft , Lincolnshire. In the tram shed at Bradford Industrial Museum there is the pictured Trolley bus plus the only tramcar left in Bradford. Continue Reading →

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Scenic Railway Journeys Yorkshire

I am sure you never doubted that Yorkshire has some of the most scenic railway settings in Europe. Here is just a selection of some old but still working railways that arrange journeys into a steam driven past.

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct by Joe Dunckley

Ribblehead viaduct on the scenic Settle-Carlisle line. Ribblehead viaduct was built in 1870-74 and contributed to the Settle-Carlisle line becoming one of most expensive lines in the UK. The rural line was threatened with closure during the 1960s and 1980s, but, with an active campaign it was saved.

Steam train crossing Ribblehead viaduct

Crossing Ribblehead Viaduct, with Ingleborough in the background. Continue Reading →

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