I thought I would go for a walk yesterday, a proper one with backpacks and flasks of tea, hardy boots and hats. I like to walk, especially in the countryside, clears the brains. We had set off from the dull and drizzly city heading toward Penistone in Yorkshire. I knew it would be bracing and had wrapped up in anticipation of this, but as we came closer we began to see more and more snow on the hill tops. ‘No worries, its just snow, Its January! ‘ I kept saying, ‘of course there’s going to be snow.’
There is a road that takes you to Penistone past the lovely villages of Stanbury and Lumbfoot (great name) and as we were on it, the snow slowly became thicker, then after a few minutes we were in a white out. I know that the snow we have in the U.K. is nothing, mere slush, compared to what falls in other countries, but I have never been frightened of the white stuff before. The car could not cope, lacking the adequate grip and for a few brief moments I thought we were going to have to walk it, which was a bad idea in five foot deep snow drifts. We found a driveway of a nearby farm and turned the car around, then inched our way back to the nearest main road.
We drove on the clearer roads to Howarth, where we stopped to have some breakfast in the nearest cafe, the days walking postponed. The lady behind the counter asked how the roads were, she was worried about getting home that evening. We told her what had happened to us.
“That’s what happens around here.’ she said ‘People end up snowed in for a while.We get cut off around here, we’re used to it.”
So we took some picturesque, Christmassy photos in the churchyard and got back to the already snow covered car, to slowly make our way home. As soon as we hit the motorway the snow disappeared, it had never happened. All night I thought about those villages, invisible, marooned on the moors. I think I’ll be waiting for Spring to visit them again.
Another day, another abandoned once loved mansion house. This lovely place was, for a period called Gwalia House, but is now called Sandstone Tower. I don’t know which I prefer more, but I wish someone would buy it and fix it. Make it into a hotel or a workspace, anything to prevent it from crumbling.
When I was at school, which is on the same road as Sandfield Tower, we would pass it, it was still occupied then, but the rumours that went quickly around us gossips was that it was used by professors and scientists who would perform experiments there! How quickly stories become embelished by over imaginative schoolgirls? It certainly looks the part though!
It was built between 1851-1857 and is grade II listed, there is a great website, which has a heartbreaking picture of it in its heyday, http://www.sandfieldtower.co.uk/ and how it is now.
My own pics don’t do it enough justice.
I made myself go for a long walk today, shake off some of the Winter fat stored around my backside and clear the lungs with some icy air. I had wanted to take some photographs of a house I had seen only a few days before Christmas. I had driven past it and could not shake it from my memory. It is, or was, a Vicarage which stood facing my old school. It had been left empty for a while, and like all abandoned buildings, the vandals had had their fun. I wanted to see it before it was sold or knocked down. Sorry to say my pics don’t do it justice. I remembered it many years ago, squeezed between a Crown Green Bowling club and another large house that, I think, was called ‘Broomhills’ ( sadly demolished to make way for shoe box sized apartments).
It’s just another old house, another ruin, there are a lot of them where I live. No one has the money or mortgages to see to them, unfortunately. I can always dream of a lottery win…