|Nineteenth century surveyors' tower between Silsden and Addingham|
Back in Sheffield now but we had a lovely break up in Wharfedale and on the last evening I managed to squeeze in a six mile walk before we went to "The Crown Inn" for delicious meat pies with mashed potato, mushy peas and "groovy gravy" all washed down with the water of life - "Tetley's" bitter.
This old internet thingumajig has a habit of surprising us doesn't it? In 2011, I visited my Uncle Jack's grave in Norton near Malton. At the tender age of twenty three, he was killed in the Battle of Britain. On the grave I saw a little wooden cross with a poppy attached to it and I wondered who had placed it there. Anyway, after posting a picture of the grave within the "geograph" site I soon found out who the cross donor was. He contacted me from Silsden near Keighley and I learnt that he was a distant cousin who also bore my unusual surname. My great grandfather's brother was this man's great great grandfather so we are very much of the same stock.
|John and Heather in Silsden|
We kept in touch and exchanged some information about family history and on Tuesday afternoon, after plucking up courage to meet up, we visited him and his wife in their pleasant bungalow home next to The Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The village of Silsden is only three miles south west of Addingham - over the hill and in the next valley which is called Airedale. It was a successful meeting and we stayed for almost two hours, chatting in the September sunshine. They're called John and Heather - and it was very nice to meet them.
It was four o' clock when we got back to Addingham. I grabbed a map and laced up my boots before plodding out north of the village. To walk in unfamiliar territory is free and very delightful - like a secret world unfolding before your eyes. You never quite know what will be round the next corner and this fills my heart with the precious joy of simply being alive.
|Wharefedale with view to Bolton Abey|
|The track from Hawpike to Addingham|
|Cattle silhouetted against a September sky near Highfield Farm|