My husband completed the Yorkshire three peaks challenge this past weekend, in preparation for his assault on the Official Three Peaks challenge in aid of The Railway Children in June. Instead of pottering about at home on my own, we decided to make it a family visit and my son could explore some of his Yorkshire roots.
We went for a stroll around Bradford City Centre, admiring the new City Park fountains in Centenary Square.
Considering that most grand ideas for Bradford City Centre tend to turn out as wet farts, the City Park was quite impressive. It fit well into its surroundings, suited the architecture, if not quite the weather and looked well kept.
You can see the boarded up Odeon Cinema in the background. It really is a sad state for such a beautiful building to fall into such disrepair and then be covered from sight entirely. It perfectly twins the Alhambra Theatre next door and is a wonderful building. Bradford have so many wonderful buildings that get so easily over looked with its other idiosyncracies.
The Odeon was also an important feature in my childhood and in the early years of my relationship with my husband. We saw pretty much everything screened in there for 2 years, exiting with flea bites but none the worse for the experience.
Centenary Square also houses the rather grand town hall.
Growing up in Bradford, the town hall was pivotal to my social life. This was before mobile phones and we all just used to turn up on the town hall steps, mid-morning on a Saturday. We didn’t need to worry about what time to meet, folks would always be there or you would bump into someone along the way. When we met enough people we would hop on a train, or depending on people, hitch a lift to the Corn Exchange in Leeds. We’d put Beastie Boys on the juke box in Grin and when we’d had enough of not buying anything, we’d head over to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to skateboard on their steps.
When not skating or hanging out drinking tea with other teenagers, I could normally be found at home games for Bradford City. With season tickets well within my pocket money allowance, of £19 per season, I had enough left over to buy a banana split cocktail at Rios. The club of choice for the discerning underage club-goer in Bradford.
So it was with some poignancy that we were in the City centre for the memorial of the Valley Parade fire.
The next day we headed out into the countryside, with the end goal of meeting group with my husband when he had finished the 3 peaks challenge.
First we went to Haworth.
Although not by steam railway. No one wanted to wait around while I tried to get a shot of a steam train so instead I have a shot of the tracks awaiting the train.
The sun came out for long enough to stop off at the park for some baby-respite from the Bronte museum and vintage shopping with the Grandparents.
Then we headed out into the glorious landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.
We saw where the workers on the Settle to Carlisle railway lived, worked and died in some of the most brutal landscape of the route. It seems improbable now that anyone would even think of closing such an historic rail route.
It was wonderful to be surrounded by such amazing countryside.
Although my son slept through the lot.
Waking only for the pub.
After a wonderful, yet cold and blustery weekend out of London, we were equally glad to be home.