Interesting and Unusual Facts about Castleford

Navigate around the Plastic in the Aire & Calder

On the banks of the river at Castleford is a deluge of plastic and other litter waiting to be washed down stream to the sea. It may take some time waiting for the next storm and high flood but this sort of mess near the centre of town will surely drift to the sea. I wont go on in this report as it is about Castleford and I have covered several environmental issues recently.

Celebrate instead the  132-yard long S-shaped footbridge that was opened almost 10 years ago (how time and pigeons fly). Held to be a ‘really beautiful piece of architecture … there is a sense of real excitement and movement when you walk across the decks’. (). After a recent cup of tea in the old Queens mill I asked if a new bridge was near by? The waitress summed it up, ‘there is a bridge but it don’t take you anywhere fancy’. Never the less as a newcomer to the town I thought it looked fancy enough for the start of a regeneration of this very very old area.

 

Aire & Calder Navigation Book Cover

Leeds and Liverpool Canal – Foulridge to Leeds with the Aire and Calder and Calder and Hebble Navigations from Leeds to Knottingley and Castleford to Sowerby Bridge (Waterways Series) Map

Predominantly a leisure facility the Aire Calder Navigation around Castleford allows large loads of goods to be carried from the Humber ports. With the redeveloped waterfront area in Leeds it joins the Leeds Liverpool canal effectively running right across the county and country. It is also a popular leisure facility for boats, walkers, fishermen and cyclists.

The Navigation connects Wakefield,  to reach the Huddersfield and Rochdale Canals. The Selby Canal connection boats to the Ouse, from where they can travel upstream to reach York, Boroughbridge and Ripon, or downstream to the River Derwent. Beyond Goole are the Humber and hence Hull, Immingham, and the North Sea. The Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation with the Don Navigation forms a links with Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield to the south. So in one sense Castleford is justifyably at the center of Yorkshire.

Chocolate And Allinsons Flour

  • Like Terrys at York, Castleford has a claim to be a provider of Yorkshire top chocolate treats. After Eight Mints were manufactured in Castleford from 1970 at a local Rowntrees factory until Nestles took over then closed it down.
  • Around Castleford  sweets and candies are called Spice and liquorice is known as Spanish.  Bellamy’s Chocolate covered Liquorice Allsorts were a local product and you can guess where Pontefract cakes come from.
  • Haribo,  produced theirfirst golden bear in 1960 and now has a new sweet factory in Castleford. The company also bought the owner of Pontefract Cakes and employs over 500 in Yorkshire.
  • Allisons stone ground wholegrain flower was milled in Castleford as one of 3 sites suppling bread makers since the 19th century.

Ancient and Modern Castleford Quirks And Facts

Book Cover

  • The book above did not include  Papa’s fish and chips  where I should have ordered the pensioners deal in this Castleford chippy. They also own the world’s largest fish and chip shop in Willerby and others in Hull and Cleethorpes and in 2017 won a BBC contest The Best of British Takeaways.
  • The station has a couple of confusing subway or tunnels to reach the southern side where the old platform is grassed over. Arriving by train from Leeds I expected the return journey to retrace my steps (or rails). On jumping on the train I was surprised and a little disconcerted when it went backward towards Sheffield again only to swing around in a loop to get back to Leeds.
  • Local celebrities include Henry Moore (1898-1986) the sculptor born in the town and Viv Nicholson (1936 – 2015)  of Spend, Spend, Spend and football pools fame.
  • 15,000 years ago nomad tribes used the Aire valley as an east- west crossing and a limestone ridge to move north south. As farming developed and the bronze age developed Henges  like the ferrybridge henge were developed as settlements.
  • In Roman time Castleford was called Lagentium.
  • Local entertainment can be found at Digger Land the JCB themed attraction, Snozone, Xscape and nature reserve Fairburn Ings.

 

Book Cover

Rugby League in Castleford

  • Classy Cas – A catch phrase for the rugby league team aka Castleford Tigers
  • John Joyner is a Tigers Hall Of Fame Inductee played over 600 games for Castleford and once scored 5 tries in one match in 1973.
  • Weldon Road or The Jungle’ has been the home ground since 1926. A new retail park and stadium called Five Towns retail park will become  the new stadium in 2020.
  • Largest home gate at Weldon road was 25,449 in 1935 against Hunslet.  They played in the 1969 challenge cup final in front of a crowd of 97,939
  • Daryl Powell has been head coach since 2013 with and Danny Orr and Ryan Sheridan as assistants.
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