15 March 2017

Outskirts

Down south in London and thereabouts, most of the inhabitants have little appreciation of The North. They probably think of our great northern cities as sprawling, smoky hives of industry. Places where men wear flatcaps and walk whippets along cobbled streets while women peg washing on clothes lines strung between endless terraces of cramped houses and barefoot children play hopscotch or aimlessly kick balls against walls.

But UpNorth has delicious secrets.

Take this city for example - Sheffield. Once it was the world's biggest producer of steel. In the nineteenth century, its population grew from 46,000 to 350,000 as workers flooded in to work in the foundries, factories and finishing shops. But throughout that expansion the western outskirts of the city remained as beautiful as they are today.
Just a stone's throw away there are farms, babbling brooks, green valleys, drystone walls, wooded hilltops and country lanes that lead to wild moorland where grouse cackle and falcons soar. If you live in Sheffield it's easy to get away from things and be in Nature's soothing company. To reach such countryside would be a major mission for Londoners - involving long car journeys or public transport. But here in Sheffield it's right on our doorstep.

For your interest, here's a list of the city's western districts - Whirlow, Bents Green, Ecclesall, Fulwood, Crosspool, Lodge Moor, Nether Green, Broomhill, Loxley, Stannington and Middlewood. They all lead to the delightful outskirts of the city - sometimes referred to as Sheffield's "golden frame". 

The pictures were taken yesterday by your faithful correspondent on Brown Hills Lane just beyond Fulwood.

26 comments:

  1. Great pics, as always! We can actually access a fair amount of greenery within walking distance, and there's a walking path that circles London within a reasonable distance. I haven't walked it yet but it's in the back of my mind to do so.

    How's the knee?

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    1. Thanks for asking Steve. It is certainly better than it was a week ago but the discomfort remains. A path that circles London? Is it called the M25?

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  2. Your comment re. London might apply to Central London but London stretches well out into the countryside these days and so it's no further to reach babbling brooks, etc., than those people in Sheffield. There is of course, far more to the Beautiful South than the awful City of London.

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    1. The Beautiful South were from Hull and Sheffield.

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  3. Sheffield is beautiful. I can see why you love it.

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    1. I think we are very lucky to live hereabouts.

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  4. Which is probably why I never bought any of their records. Best groups to come out of that area were the Watersons and the Carthy's, who I have seen several times.

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  5. I have thought that for the number of times you go walking in green areas, it can't possibly be too far away. You are fortunate to have beauty on your doorstep but still have the delights of the pubs and cafes and whatnot.

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    1. The east of the city is less lucky. That's where you'll find real poverty - at least by western standards.

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  6. Another great glimpse of your beautiful surrounds....thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. You are welcome cobbler... or is it cobber?

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    2. Cobber, cobber.

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  7. YP, you forgot the bit about "keeping t'coal in't bath" - another misconception about anywhere north of Potter's Bar !
    Lovely photos.

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    1. Why are potters barred Down South? I have always thought they do useful work.

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    2. No idea, perhaps it was something they said....?

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  8. I certainly don't think that about Northern towns, YP, having visited Sheffield and Leeds many a time and loved them. In fact I think you Northerners have a better standard of living than us poor souls in London who have to pay enormous rents/mortgages and fares to get around the area. I'll let you get off now to feed your homing pigeons, get the coal in and then sweep the cobbles. ;)

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    1. Eee by gum lass, tha can read mi like t'phone book.

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  9. Beautiful countryside. I am struck by how similar it is to our region, except we don't have those beautiful rock fences.

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    1. We call them drystone walls Jenny. Some of them are a thousand years old.

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  10. some people don't appreciate this kind of beauty. They have no idea of a green and pleasant land. somebody must keep the dry wall well repaired.

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    1. IF the drystone walls are properly constructed and don't get nudged heavily by livestock, they require almost no maintenance for many decades.

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  11. Yorkshire people are extraordinarily proud and a teeny bit bit smug. Rightly so because Yorkshire is wild and beautiful, there is nowhere else quite like it.

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    1. The first sentence made my hackles rise but the second sentence calmed me down again.

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  12. Liverpool also had plenty of countryside not too far away for which I was always very grateful as a child.

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    1. Yes that coastline up to Formby is so spacious and good for cycling too!

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