At the end of the 1960's road builders completed the M62 motorway linking Hull with Liverpool. East coast to west over the Pennine hills that had kept Lancashire and Yorkshire kind of separate for hundreds of years. It was a huge undertaking involving challenging engineering issues.
At Stott Hall north west of Huddersfield, the planners decided to split the two carriageways leaving Stott Hall Farm marooned on a kind of island. A typical upland farm that would thereafter have traffic whizzing past it both on the left and the right.
Many northerners wrongly imagine that the island was created because of an obstinate sheep farmer who refused to vacate his farmhouse and resisted the authorities' compulsory purchase orders. The little guy won! But sadly that is not the case. It was all to do with geology and solving stress issues.
Studying maps I noticed that I would be able to walk under both carriageways of the M62, briefly visiting the Stott Hall island as I undertook a four hour circular walk that would bring me back to the Scammonden valley. I had left Clint napping there with a cute baby blue Honda Civic called Marilyn.
My main photo of Stott Hall Farm does not reveal the fact that motorway traffic is thundering past on both sides. The farmhouse benefits from triple glazing - just like my hotel room in Outlane but the only time there would ever be perfect peace there would be during a total motorway closure because of heavy snow. That might only happen once every five years or so and then only for a few hours.
It would be a weird place to live that's for sure but better than an apartment block in south eastern Turkey or a concrete war-torn village in northern Syria. Oh those poor people!
I must admit, living on a land island sounds better than living cheek to jowl with neighbors everywhere, but I still prefer our family farm out in the middle of nowhere. There is no traffic to whiz by even on the nearest of roads.ReplyDelete
There are ups and downs to both situations.Delete
The damage, death and injury are unbelievable.ReplyDelete
Where do you begin to address the challenges? And what of the long-lasting emotional and psychological tolls that must follow?Delete
Living on an island sounds fine, but not with highways on either side. I'd be worried about traffic pileups on icy roads, or people cutting across the island to get onto the other highway.ReplyDelete
It would be nigh on impossible to cut across the island. Once that farm stood in splendid isolation on the edge of the moors. It would have been so peaceful and in tune with the elements.Delete
I have heard of Stott Hall Farm, though I didn't know the name.ReplyDelete
Turkey and Syria are in deep trouble and nobody knows what happened to the earthquake tax the goverment has collected for 20 years
A lot of shoddy buildings but then again the earthquakes were so powerful - little seems to have withstood the violent shaking.Delete
It is still a living, working farm then? No, honestly, I would not want to live there. But neither would I want to live in any of the places you have mentioned at the end of your post. I am just fine where I am, with the opportunity to spend many a weekend at O.K.'s surrounded by the beautiful countryside of that area.ReplyDelete
My upstairs neighbour is currently in Turkey for a month to stay with her elderly parents. I must ask her daughter whether they are alright (the daughter still goes to school and she and her Dad have not gone).
As you know, Turkey is a huge country and most of it has been unaffected by the quakes so the likelihood is that your neighbour will be fine.Delete
I would hate the traffic noise when outside and I'd prefer to live in a high rise. Traffic noise in small towns and the countryside really annoys me. I've seen narrowboat folk stop near a motorway and it is awful.ReplyDelete
I can understand people thinking a resistant owner refused to sell. It makes for a better story. We had a real one here where an old woman refused to sell her house. Houses around her were demolished and her house stood alone in a massive asphalt car park. She died and the house was quickly sold and quickly disappeared.
Your shadow photograph makes you look like a young muscle man.
I assume that is a dam in the photo and not a natural lake.
Btw, I came across your book on my Kindle today. I had forgotten all about downloading it. I am about fifteen per cent into the book and I am enjoying it. Will the two boys go to the lighthouse on their own and get trapped in the cave and die slow horrible deaths by starvation? I think not but there is bound to be trouble.
Yes that is a dam with a reservoir behind it. The water is pumped to the city of Wakefield - miles away.. I am a young muscle man. How splendid that you are reading "The Headland£. I am giving nothing away. I should write another book or two but I am a victim of procrastination.Delete
Passionate kissing and the theft of James' father's torch. Do James and Jen do the biz?Delete
There are not many animals around, I expect cats and dogs would not be allowed to run around at Stott's Farm. Also a large hedge, probably Leylandii. It could drive you mad the constant noise, unless you wear ear muffs or go deaf. 'No man is an island' comes to mind, except the one who lives on Stott Farm.ReplyDelete
It certainly would not be for me. They have to be extra vigilant at Stott Hall Farm re. the maintenance of walls and fences. A sheep on the motorway could cause a motorway pile-up and possibly many deaths.Delete
I have often seen that farm on the Yorkshire Vet programme when the vet visits them and thought it must be horrible to live there with all the traffic fumes and noise. As for the cattle, I wonder what quality their milk is. I too had thought it had occurred because of a dispute over land, but thank you for explaining the real reason.ReplyDelete
Although the air is fresh up there I can see what you are saying about pollutants. I wonder if any checks have been done.Delete
I often think about all the roadkill caused by roads and motorways carved through the rural countryside.ReplyDelete
Years ago you would frequently see squashed hedgehogs on country roads but now that is a very rare sight because hedgehog numbers have plummeted.Delete
I wonder if the farm was offered a buyout and declined. People become attached to land. Yes please write more books. A labor of love, enjoyed by others. A couple of pages a day, and in six months it will be done.ReplyDelete
That is pretty good advice Travel. One can build a book up day by day as you suggest.Delete
We can hear a lot of traffic from nearby highways here in otherwise-peaceful Lloyd. One can become used to it but I'm sure it's nothing like what those people have to put up with. Of course we also have a train track in our back yard.ReplyDelete
How many trains pass by in an average day?Delete
I have a hard time with noise, living on the farm would be my idea of hell.ReplyDelete
Mine too. Silence is such a precious thing and can be very healing.Delete
That is a strange location for a farm. Of course, my home is in a subdivision not far from a tollway so depending on how the wind is blowing, I can often hear the trucks and cars zooming along so who am I to judge! :)ReplyDelete
I didn't know you wrote a book, Neil.
At that farm it would not matter which way the wind was blowing. The traffic is so close on both sides.Delete
No, not a place I would want to live, but I'm looking at it from a "townee" perspective. Over time no doubt the owners and animals have become used to the constant traffic noise and it has just become a background hum.ReplyDelete
If it came to choices, I'd prefer the farm - just the thought of living in a high rise apartment fills me with dread. The noise would probably be far more intrusive than the motorway traffic.
The earthquakes in Turkey and Syria are horrific and I really feel for those poor people - and their countries. What wonderful work the rescuers are doing, and how incredible the rescue of the newly-born infant.
I would love to adopt that baby girl.Delete