We Built This Valley on Rock and Toil

I’m a bit of geek (and also the writer of bad blog post titles – as above) and I work in the (relatively) new industry of digital marketing. (social media to my granddad would have been a shared newspaper). Apart from some tweets, Facebook updates, reading some blogs and reading wired.com ; I’ve had a break from new technology over the holiday season.
A couple of recent walks had me focusing on much older industrial / technological endeavours.

Firstly, I got to see ‘behind the scenes’ of one big ‘old tech’ industrial effort this week with a walk along our local canal. The village where I live has a canal running through it which was built around 1794. Not the oldest navigation in England but pretty old! And when you stop to look at the sheer industrial effort and ingenuity that went into making it, its amazing. You can currently see how the locks and pounds were constructed  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canals_of_the_United_Kingdom) because they (I presume British Waterways) are renovating sections of it. So there’s a long stretch between my village (Marsden) and the next (Slaithwaite) that has been drained. I took a walk down to Slaithwaite (pronounced Slawit in these here parts) and took longer than I would normally, as I was having a nosey at the drained sections and dismantled lock gear.

Only one photo taken .. but gives you a feel for the canal area I hope

Canal restoration near Marsden
Canal restoration near Marsden - and my curious dog also

The canal in Marsden has a claim to fame being the highest canal section in the UK (when it enters a tunnel to cut across the moors and through to the the next county). Marsden’s other canal link is that it is home to England’s only (as far as I know) theatre company , Mikron Theatre Company, that tours (the UK) via canal boat (narrowboat). Check them out here : http://mikron.org.uk/

Anyway – back to walks and the industrial thing.

I wanted another longish walk later in the week and thought about theming that with an industrial angle. Unfortunately you can’t do much exploring in many of the (now derelict) Mills in the area so I went to higher ground this morning and checked out some quarries. Where all the stone for those Mills and canal lock walls came from. And for the houses around here, and the hundreds of miles of field walls and ..

I’m lucky enough to be able to walk out of my back garden and join a public footpath that takes me up to the moors in 30 minutes or so. Where there are quite a few old quarries. So that’s what I did earlier today. One of the biggest has been annexed by a shooting club but some of the smaller ones are good to have a mooch about around. You have to be careful – I think we can go over board on health and safety warnings but you do need to heed the signs that say ‘falling rock’ .. and I didn’t get too close under some of the overhangs.
The effort to carve out those ancient lagoon beds and transport the stone down to the growing industrial villages of yorkshire must have been enormous. No pyramids but lots of temples to industry. Whilst I was up there ‘on the tops’ I had a longer walk with the dog – she was pretty bored at one point , idustrial heritage not being her strongest interest. Rabbits, sheep and Grouse are more her thing and we picked up a few scents : enough to nearly have me fall over an edge when she (again) lurched forward and caught me by surprise. one day…

Here are a few photos of  from up high in and around the quarries.

Dog on moors
Brodie and the Stone Chair
Quarry Rocks - looking out of the Quarry across the hills / to the valley below
Walker and dog on marsden moor
Moors Walkers - me and my walking buddy - I set the camera on self timer as we never get to be in the same photo

 

By the way , my geek blog is over at markkelly.net if you are interested

8 thoughts on “We Built This Valley on Rock and Toil”

  1. The walks must be much more fun with a dog…long walks are the only time that I kind of wish we had one! (too much of a tie the rest of the time) I struggle with the general muddiness of a lot of our “regular” walks at this time of year.

    • Thanks, nice feedback.

      I’ve lived in Marsden for about 23 years and with work, kids and just the everyday things you forget.. it still catches me out when I look up at the hills and think ‘oh, yeah, what a lovely part of the world.’ 🙂

    • Thanks, nice feedback.

      I’ve lived in Marsden for about 23 years and with work, kids and just the everyday things you forget.. it still catches me out when I look up at the hills and think ‘oh, yeah, what a lovely part of the world.’ 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: