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My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Bronte Way 5 (final)

Saturday 9th June 2018 - Bailiff Bridge to Oakwell Hall, Bradford

BC's transport arrangements continued to  deliver. We only waited a few minutes at the bus stop within a hundred yards of the Waterfront Hotel and we were on the Bronte Way again from Bailiff Bridge by 9:00am.

Again all walking today was on good paths, tracks and fields. There were occasional slight variations in the route compared with the gpx file I had downloaded from The Long Distance Walking Association. At times we were coinciding with The Spen Valley Way, The Calderdale Way, The Kirklees Way, and with a little concern the Luddite Trail. We were just hoping that we wouldn't be mistaken as wreckers of farm machinery as we progressed.

We came across a well kept and interesting Quaker Graveyard at Hare Park Lane, Hightown and there is some history of a lady writing a book about this - CLICK HERE

A few hundred yards further on there was a farm ostensibly a plant hire or sales outlet, but in the farmyard they had an interesting collection of old tractors - if Alan Rhad been here he would have thought it was his birthday, but perhaps he has already visited? See photos below.

Walking through Gomersal a young mother clutching various items, and with two children, perhaps four and five years old approached, and I was jolted back to my West Riding roots with abrupt Bradford riposte from mother and children:

Mother: "Been to t' church fair. Spent a fortune. Loads of rubbish."

Five year old: "Why 'ave you got those?"  (referring to my walking poles)

Four year old: "Are you a girl?" 

We stopped at the church. Lots of activity from well attended fair. Stalls inside. Lots of banter from elderly congregation members, more worthy of labourers on a building site, but that's Yorkshire for you. 

One lady insisted on showing us the grave of Mary Taylor, a woman's rights activist who was a lifelong friend of Charlotte Bronte and somebody I may now do a bit more research on after looking at Wikipedia, especially seeing this snippet: 

When she was financially secure Taylor returned to Gomersal. High Royd, the house built for her, was her home for the rest of her life. She made annual visits to Switzerland where, aged almost 60 in 1875, she led a party of five women on an expedition to climb Mont Blanc and they published Swiss Notes by Five Ladies, an account of their ten-week adventure.

Just north of Gomersal we stopped at a café for tea and toasted teacake. A lady told us of nearby Patrick Bronte's house, he being father of the sisters. and our route passed by. We had been disadvantaged on this walk because the only guide is now out of print, and we had probably missed several other Bronte connection venues.

From here it was only a couple of kilometres to the finish at Oakwell House and country park.

Another kilometre took us down to the A652 where the bus to Bradford was over half an hour late. We had to wait longer for the train than the timetable told us due to "cattle on the line" but we were soon aboard. BC's planning had been faultless. I was back home for 7:30 for a hot bath, a curry from the freezer and a glass or two of red.

The Bronte Way has been an excellent long distance path nearly all on good tracks and paths with  little in the way of cow trodden fields and with an interesting theme. I would put in the top end of long distance walks I have done.

*Alan Rayner - fellow outdoor blogger: A Blog on the Landscape! whose employment was in the tractor industry and welcomes us finding rare models hidden away on our travels.



Just a pretty garden, and sample of Yorkshire cottage architecture

Typical Bronte Way terrain - BC progressing

Were we carrying 5 lb. sledgehammers in our rucksacks?

The Quakers burial ground. Quiet and peaceful

This and next three old tractors for Alan R.

This one in particular looked unusal

This was the hire or sales business of the tractor farm

At the café.
 We panicked to deploy cameras, but were then told she spends most of the day like this

Patrick Bronte's house - See next photo

Mary Taylor's grave - Gomersal church

This and next two - Oakwell Hall - finishing point of Bronte Way


  1. What a lovely walk, I thoroughly enjoyed following you both on your adventures.
    So, what's next? :-)

  2. JJ - I'm not sure what's next except for day walks. I think I still need a bit more time for the knee/leg muscles to strengthen up before embarking on a proper multi-day backpack again. I am keen to resume my Berwick to Castle Carey walk again from the last point of bodily disintegration at Hellifield. We will see.

  3. Well I certainly look forward to following your next multi-day walk. It would be marvellous if you were to continue your Berwick walk, fingers crossed you can resume that one sooner rather than later.

  4. I echo both of JJs comments.

    And that shed of tractors looks like a fine collection. I'd have been pleased to come across that myself, moreover of I could have had a proper close-up nosey.

  5. Gayle - You and I know that this is a large part o the enjoyment of walking down the country somewhere for the first time and discovering such things by surprise FOR ONESELF.

    I guess Google's bid to take over the world has awarded you the same affliction that I seem to be suffering from: every time I type "in" it substitutes "on" or "of" for "if." I weary of correcting it and can't face going into the innards to try and correct it.

    1. Darn autocorrect! I find its behaviour far worse when commenting on Blogger blogs than I do in any other application.

      My phone also had an affliction that every now and then I'll type something like 'a' and it will randomly decide I actually meant something like 'alonglongggglgthelong', then the next time I type 'a' it will decide to use the same replacement but to add yet more characters onto the end. It's infuriating, but fortunately much easier to catch and an if/of correction.

  6. A point you would have missed. Mabel Ferret lived at Gomersal; she died about two years ago and The Guardian gave her a half-page obituary, a nationally known poet. As we were leaving the church after Mum's funeral, way back in 1972, I noticed her leaving with another woman also about Mum's age. I should have taken time off to speak to MF, if only on Mum's behalf. I didn't and it's niggled me ever since.

    A million thoughts and memories missed as you disembarked in Bradford. But something other than the jazz club. For instance: your comment after seeing the Leeds première of the movie Room At The Top. "The bus looked pretty silly coming down Ivegate."

  7. RR - In the space acceptable for a blog post I included my re-introduction to the Bradford accent and abruptness, that the environs were better than I remembered, and reference to my first house purchase along with other details of the walk which was the actual subject of the post. I could write a whole book reminiscing about Bradford, so where would one draw the line? As you say "A million thoughts..."

    You criticise because I didn’t include personal memorabilia that YOU may have selected from the large store both you and I have access to, and whatever I had written you would have carped that I didn’t include some particular pet item of your own.

    I well remember Mabel Ferret and was conscious of the Gomersal connection. I am surprised to hear that she became so celebrated in the poetry world, and also that she only died so recently.

  8. Gayle: I suspect many of your comments are done on the move and you would not wish to add any unnecessary complexities.

    Since I lead a sedentary (perhaps immobile, perhaps even moribund) life I can afford a little complexity. I confess to being put off by marshalling my thoughts for the Death Row jail that is the Blogger comment box. Samson, having visited SpecSaver and regrown his hair, faced with putting the temple together again.

    So I draft my posts and comments in Word. One immediate advantage, given I limit my posts to 300 words, is Word Count. Also available is the wherewithal to disable various AutoCorrect functions. If you use Android or the Mac OS delete all the above as inapplicable.

  9. Again, that looks like a terrific walk. Mary Taylor looks like a formidable character.

  10. Mark - I haven't had time to research Mayr T. yet, I don't thmk there is a biography which seems surprising. I reckon a spell of bad weather will motivate me to do some digging which may lead to a post.

  11. Thanks for the photos Conrad. As you know the grey ones are “the old grey Ferguson te20. The blue one is a Fordson Major, The red one is a nice MF35. But the yellowish one I think is a JI Case. Although it shouts David Brown at me the front axle doesn’t look David Brown.
    I will have to check my oracle to see why it’s steering is off set. Very interesting machine. I might have to make a trip up sometime.
    Thanks again.

  12. Alan R - Bingo! It's the first time I've got you slightly stumped, but i'm sure your analysis will prove correct if and when you get a chance to confirm it. I have stopped photographing obviously well known ones which I think I can generally recognise, but since these were all together it seemed proper to photograph them all in context.

  13. Alan R - do you have a soft spot for Massey Ferguson in general or just that particular model?

  14. Hi Conrad. Well, it certainly set me off hunting. I have only ever seen one Minneapolis Moline tractor and it wasn’t this type R. The steering is offset because it can take a variety of front axles to suit the type of crop. Made in or around 1945.
    You found a real jem here and I doubt you will see another one outside a show.
    Yes I have a soft spot for Massey Ferguson machines because that’s who I worked for for 34 yrs. I loved every minute and was involved in some terrific new developments.

  15. Looking at those windows, and seeing the sad pictures of the burnt-out facades of the 'Mack' in Glasgow, one wonders if JRM was a fan of the Brontes and knew Oakwell Hall - maybe it was well known in architectural circles then - or maybe just a maxed-out example of local vernacular trying to maximise indoor light during the usual dour dull days of the area - particularly, one might guess, those early Industrial revolution years of smoke and smog.

  16. Conrad, can you give me a grid ref of that farm/hire place so that if i am in the area i can pop in. Thanks.

  17. gimmer - In the tenuous hope that you may have hit on something with a potential Mackintosh Bronte connection I Googled but not surprisingly discovered nought, but I did find this BBC site which has a superb display of photographs of Mackintosh's works interspersed with a brief biography - worth a look:

  18. Alan R - It is at Upper House Farm - SE 186 236 - the tractors are right on the LDP route marked on the map in the middle of the farm. They are stowed in an open fronted barn, so no problem in seeing them. If you Google "Upper House Farm, Hightown" you will find various sites related including the plant hire business and others regarding holiday accommodation - I am sure there would be somebody there who has instigated the collection who would be only too pleased to have a natter about it.