10 October 2012


Brian Cutts is a Yorkshire comrade - currently in hiding in Catalonia. MI5 have a hefty dossier on him and it is said that he was the mastermind behind a plot to blow up Lancashire in the nineteen nineties. Evidence suggests he was betrayed by the now disgraced Sir Jimmy Savile. Disguised as a French onion seller, Brian cycled down to Dover and made his way across to Boulogne before proceeding to Barcelona where he fell into the arms of a Catalonian freedom fighter called Sofia. 

Anyway, enough of that. Recently, Brian blogged about his dimly remembered favourite walk in South Yorkshire and, largely for his benefit, I followed in his footsteps yesterday afternoon. After all, it can't be much fun - so far away from his beloved South Yorkshire. I thought I would give him a pleasant taste of "home".

As instructed by Comrade Cutts, I parked at the Elsecar Heritage Centre before hiking in lovely October sunshine to The Needle's Eye, Hoober Stand, The Mausoleum and Wentworth Woodhouse. These places have a special resonance for me because my mother knew them when she was a girl - growing up in Rawmarsh. She enjoyed picnics and rambles in the area in the early nineteen thirties.

In their day, the Fitwilliam family must have been so darned rich that the modern equivalent would  be the Bransons of Virgin Britain or the Gateses of Microsoft California. They had such wealth they could build the widest stately home in England along with a number of largely pointless follies - just to stave off the frustration of having such a vast reservoir of money in the bank. So here's my walking album - specially for Brian but of course, everybody else is welcome:- 
Elsecar Heritage Centre - thronged with visitors
The Needle's Eye
Horses grazing with Hoober Stand in the background
The Mausoleum for Charles - the second Marquis of Rockingham
View over Morley Pond to Peacock Lodge
Wentworth Woodhouse - the widest stately home in England
Windmill turned into a home in Wentworth
Brian's favourite pub - "The Market" in Elsecar where the
plot to blow up Lancashire  was allegedly hatched


  1. I can see why people might get sentimental about Yorkshire.

  2. AL - Thanks for dropping by from faraway Melbourne. Yes. Yorkshire is multi-faceted. Thank heavens very few Londoners have ever ventured up here to take in our wonders.

  3. The beer is good too. And we mustn't forget Real Yorkshire Pudding...

  4. HIPPO Exactly...and the traditional Yorkshire hippoburgers flown in from "Ripemoff Ltd" - our suppliers in Angola...and our athletic native hunting hound: The Yorkshire Terrier.

  5. Yorkshire Hippoburgers, now THAT would be an exercise in marketing! Imagine the size of the baps!

  6. HIPPO You mean like Barbara Windsor?

  7. I doubt even Dolly Parton could sandwich a hippo...

  8. Wasn't that one built because the younger Wentworth brother had built Wentworth Hall up the hill at Stainborough?

    I once saw one of those free roaming cows at Wentworth Woodhouse with an extra leg and hoof sticking out of its back, all floppy like.

  9. BANGKOK DADDY I think that Wentworth Hall is immediately behind Wentworth Woodhouse but it is rarely seen by visitors. Regarding what you "saw" on your visit to Wentworth, had you been experimenting with magic mushrooms?

  10. Thank you! Glad to see you enjoyed it, especially as you have family connections nearby. If you ever get fed up of the noise and hassle of Sheffield, we'll get you fixed up with one of Fitzwilliam's cottages in Wentworth.
    Pity to see the Heritage Centre has never really taken off - it's ideal for napping, but neither use nor ornament for its real aim in offering something to local businesses to make up for closing down all their industry and coal mines. Always surprising how Wentworth Garden Centre is chock-a-block (a word?), and here is dead. Suppose it goes to show you cannot sucessfully design a visitor attraction sitting far away in a council office ..

    BB is right, Wentworth Castle (not Hall) is in Stainborough, a few miles away. It's also well worth a visit. You have to pay a hefty fee for the gardens and park themselves , but there's plenty of free walking around the country park. Maybe next week?


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