A new year and a new set of walks. I resolved over Christmas I have to progress with this cross country trek now I have started it. The views have to get more interesting and if the the infrequency of public transport in Cumbria didn’t beat me, then this won’t.
I used my Komoot satnav in earnest today and it worked brilliantly, only once mistaking a path or a bridge for a right of way when it was impassable, but I just set it going and put it in my top pocket and walked, it knew the paths (and they were not clearly marked by signs) and it made the walk easy to just turn when a disembodied voice told me. Fortunately I did not get any strange looks. Battery use was surprisingly good as well, other satnav apps have drained my phone, this one didn’t. 5 stars then.
Straight out of the station and past the legion. There seemed to be an awful lot of names on the memorial
Even to present wars (and I have just noticed an inadvertant selfie)
Thursday is market day in Castleford, and the main street was filled with tatty stalls (nothing tempting just brushes, boxes of cheap sweets, old cds (how did cds get so cheap and disposable?).
I was soon out of the centre and at the old 1808 bridge there was a view of the new millenium footbridge and the original Roman crossing point (where the Ford comes from). I haven’t got a picture to show you of the 1808 Bridge, but it was designed by one Jesse Hartley, who was also responsible for the Albert Dock in Liverpool. How was he to know he would one day enable Richard and Judy. The new bridge is part of a regeneration project opens up the waterfront (along with helping people to cross the river without getting their feet wet)
Keeping with the Eddie Waring theme that has invaded this blog, I passed Castleford Tigers (league is big in the North, none of that namby pamby Union stuff round here). I had hoped I might pass something to do with Henry Moore, but unless the brutalist concrete barriers outside the ground here are to do with him, I didn’t see anything.
My route took me not alongside, but following the path of the Aire and railway, much of the scenery on the way was dull to say the least, a post industrial bleakness. The paths although well trodden were littered with rubbish and the fields bare (though that could just have been the time of year)
The Aire is not as majestic as the Mersey. Even though there was urban decay along the Mersey, the river always had some inner beauty. I guess the clean up has worked better.
I crossed the Aire at a Railway bridge
and continued along the river , passing a wood mulcher.
and under the A1
and EMGB which I don’t know what it stands for, but is long gone.
an overgrown graveyard
and Ferrybridge power station, which is now decommissioned.
Ferrybridge, the town, has norse routes, Wikipedia tells me it means Bridge by the Ferry, an inference I would never have made. The river is now crossed by the A1, but the old Great North Road bridge still survives as a pedestrian footbridge, being built by Bernard Hartley in 1804
and the tollhouse at the end also survives
From here it was a mile or so into Knottingley, along the Calder and Aire Navigation (where my satnav tried to take me down the canal, where no path existed, local knowledge of an angler and his grandson trumped here and I diverted along the road). Here arose my one quibble with the satnav, it did not reroute, but just kept telling me how far I was away from my planned path. Still it was a help in a sort of “youre getting warmer” type way when I rejoined the path a little further down.
All in all reflecting on the walk, it was interesting even in uninspiring scenery. I added a further 9 miles today, You can see my route here
Copyright 2019 Allan Russell