Thursday, 29 July 2010

Back home, old haunts

Today I went for what was intended to be a short walk up to the woods I used to play in as a kid, I got a bit longer than that though and took on a different feel...

I walked off from my Mam's up to 'The Cricket Field'. Or what was a cricket field when we were kids and a place we hung out, now it's all fenced off horse paddocks.

Next was the site of 'The Fallen Down Tree', a big old sycamore we played on for years over a stinky stagnant pond, now no more. I remeber falling in the gloup in my new 'combat suit years ago and blimey it stunk. Just along the path is 'The Conker Tree', still there! Apart from the obvious attraction it was a tree for climbing and swings.

After that was 'The Easter Field'. Our premier sledging venue that seemed so big now seems hardly worthy of the walk we had to make to it through the snow. The view is great though, down the valley to 'The Woods'

And into The Woods

Woodpecker holes

The Beck

The woods were my favourite haunt. Building dens, cooking on fires and generally exploring. Even lots of changes here though with messy timber extraction years ago meaning most of the paths have changed from when we had fun up there.

I had intended to go back home, but ended up being drawn to visit Kilton Shaley.

A place of myth as a kid and one we rarely dared visit due to tales of 'The Gamey' who'd shoot you with salt pellets, if there ever was such a thing! One thing for sure though we did get chased a few times playing in old mine buildings, fields, messing about on bikes and even finding old mine entrances.

Kilton Shaley is the only shale tip left over from the iron stone mining past of this area and is now actually a local nature reserve. The various 'Shaleys' were another place we regularly got up to things we shouldn't, but now they've been flattened out and reclaimed.

It was a steep climb to the top of the shaley,  but worth it with a great panoramic view, pity I didn't have the tripod. Here's a view looking down on some of the old mine buildings an up to the woods and moors.

Blimey it was a hot day and the climb up the hill hadn't exactly helped my dodgy knee. Now to go back down, gingerly, and follow the lane back home past the site of 'The Grey Lady' ghost and another place 'The Gamey' was a worry. I didn't go in but passed by the way into 'The Gill'. A small wood with a lake in the middle, now managed by an angling club. There were tales of a whirlpool and the ghost of some one who died in it there. Stupidly when we were kids and it was frozen over one winter we played footy on it and even tried to break the ice, while we were standing out in the middle of it!!! It always seemed a spooky place even in daylight.

I've got to admit I was pretty exhausted and about ready to collapse when I got home and downed a few pints of water one after the other. Too hot, too far and now I'm too achey with a swollen knee. One day I'll learn!

Mam you didn't read all that right?!


  1. Lovely pics Kev.
    Chuckled a bit at the Beck picture. In Norwegian a stream like that is called a Bekk, so maybe the Vikings had some influence there as well. ;)

  2. Yeh lot of Norse influence here and up the coast just like Shetland with the local words and many similar words to Shetlan.

    To make you giggle more... legend has it that we eat our yorkshire puddings as a starter for sunday diner because one time the Vikings arrived, were welcoming in for diner and ate them all, so they're eaten first incase they steal them again!