Over the last number of years and starting March 2017, I have, during my illness, taken many holidays and trips out with my wife Irene, the outcome being without exception, serious mobility problems all of which is now reduced to acceptable, Our last trip, three weeks ago to Whitby was, in comparison excellent (couldn’t believe how well it went).

2019 until a month ago my health, mainly Diabetes complications to be precise, has been totally out of control transporting my life back to being a part time angrily motivated person, a place I have never been before, nor, want to revisit again in the future and happy to be in a happy frame of mind. With the onset of Parkinson’s ? not yet totally conclusive, I honestly believe my past and current problems have been related to my health situation rather than my personality, which, has always been acceptable to most of my piers, friends and family. for those who have been following my photoblog in the past, I hope you can accept this has a honest explanation of what (I hope my past angry is now happy)





Exercising the dog Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth /ˈbɔːrnməθ/ (About this sound listen) is a large coastal resort town on the south coast of England to the east of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, 96 miles (155 km) long. According to the 2011 census, the town has a population of 183,491 making it the largest settlement in Dorset. With Poole to the west and Christchurch in the east, Bournemouth forms the South East Dorset conurbation, which has a total population of over 465,000. Before it was founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, the area was a deserted heathland occasionally visited by fishermen and smugglers. Initially marketed as a health resort, the town received a boost when it appeared in Augustus Granville’s 1841 book, The Spas of England. Bournemouth’s growth truly accelerated with the arrival of the railway and it became a recognised town in 1870. Historically part of Hampshire, it joined Dorset with the reorganisation of local government in 1974. Since 1997, the town has been administered by a unitary authority, meaning it is independent of Dorset County Council, although it remains part of that ceremonial county. The local council is Bournemouth Borough Council. The town centre has notable Victorian architecture and the 202-foot (62 m) spire of St Peter’s Church, one of three Grade 1 listed churches in the borough, is a local landmark. Bournemouth’s location has made it a popular destination for tourists, attracting over five million visitors annually with its beaches and popular nightlife. The town is also a regional centre of business, home of the Bournemouth International Centre or BIC, and a financial sector that is worth more than £1,000 million in gross value added.

2017 !!!, What a bad year for me and my health, it all started in April 2017 and got worse has the year went on, I now see light at the end of the tunnel with things gradually improving with one or two hiccups along the way but no more surgery or invasive tests and that is brilliant news and I hope it continues well into the future. My photography has taken a hit during this lengthy time out of the scene but that’s about to change, on the 14ᵗʰ May 2018when my wife and I are spending a week in Bournemouth & Portsmouth (More photos on the way ?). Do you feel a but coming on, YES! well you are right I need to have a new lens in my right eye ! That I’m not looking forward to, Got to remember the final result which is I WILL BE ABLE TO SEE AGAIN WITH IT. That can only be good for my future life but also for my suffering photography.

Photographs from Bournemouth, Portsmouth Royal Dock Yards and surrounding area.

Bournemouth Beach

One of two life guard stations on Bournemouth beach

Spinnacker Tower & Royal Dockyard

HISTORIC OVERVIEW, The origins of the Royal Dockyards are closely linked with the permanent establishment of a standing Navy in the early sixteenth century. The beginnings of a yard had already been established at Portsmouth with the building of a dry dock in 1496; but it was on the Thames in the reign of Henry VIII that the Royal Dockyards really began to flourish. Woolwich and Deptford dockyards were both established in the early 1510s (a third yard followed at Erith but this was short-lived as it proved to be vulnerable to flooding). The Thames yards were pre-eminent in the sixteenth century, being conveniently close to the merchants and artisans of London (for shipbuilding and supply purposes) as well as to the Armouries of the Tower of London. They were also just along the river from Henry’s palace at Greenwich. As time went on, though, they suffered from the silting of the river and the constraints of their sites. Covered slip no.1, Devonport: the only complete surviving eighteenth-century slip on a Royal Dockyard. By the mid-seventeenth century, Chatham (established 1567) had overtaken them to become the largest of the yards. Together with new Yards at Harwich and Sheerness, Chatham was well-placed to serve the Navy in the Dutch Wars that followed. Apart from Harwich (which closed in 1713), all the yards remained busy into the eighteenth century – including Portsmouth (which, after a period of dormancy, had now begun to grow again). In 1690, Portsmouth had been joined on the south coast by a new Royal Dockyard at Plymouth; a hundred years later, as Britain renewed its enmity with France, these two yards gained new prominence and pre-eminence. Furthermore, Royal Dockyards began to be opened in some of Britain’s colonial ports, to service the fleet overseas. Yards were opened in Jamaica (as early as 1675), Antigua (1725), Gibraltar (1704), Canada (Halifax, 1759) and several other locations.

HMS Victory & Royal Dockyards

HMS Victory & Royal Dockyards


HMS Victory gun ports & Royal Dockyards


HMS Victory and Anchors & Royal Dockyards


HMS Victory Stern View & Royal Dockyards



Road into HOLMFIRTH last of the summer wine capital.

Looking around our modern day landscape it becomes quite obvious that we, and our world are being manipulated by the media. Our world is being turned upside down by that same media, changing the shape of the landscape and country, giving rise to such places as BRONTE, CONSTABLE and COOKSON country to name but a few, myths designed to encourage tourism and consequential commercial and financial gain. A myth created in this way can and does cause conflict within reality, making the myth appear more real than the real, leaving us in a state of bewilderment, not knowing what fits where and why, all generated by a media intent on reshaping the landscape, and creating public awareness to a point where, the old and the new are brought together to create a different place, a place of make believe, totally embroiled in its media representation, and visited each year by thousands of tourists, tourists who, on arrival at this place, appear to have no sense of real time, and are it would seem prepared to embark on a kind of journey in time. Public and private transport reinforces this feeling of dreaminess with posters and advertisements incorporating images of the idyllic landscape outside, for which they are heading, strategically placed giving a sense of adventure and belonging.


Tourists arriving for the authentic tour Charabanc.


Tourist charabanc loaded with tourists and ready for the off, on the tour of a liftime.

The media represent England as a cosy little place in total harmony with nature, filling their travel guides and coffee table books with images of late Victorian England at ease with life, take for example Stratford – on – Avon, this place has history in its own right, and has been a talismanic place since the mid nineteenth century, through media manipulation and tourism it has now become “Shakespeare Country” with perhaps the only contemporary entity being Ann Hathaway’s cottage a anachronism in a landscape reshaped for commercial gain, produced for tourists who gaze in bewilderment, having no thoughts of the hardships of contemporary times, time being of no importance now, in their metaphysical state and thereby extinguished by an imagined community,


The ice cream seller taking time out until the Charabanc returns from its tour of “SUMMER WINE COUNTRY” in the holm valley.

Since time is man made and effects only everyday schedules and routines, for example work, bus and train time tables etc, to the tourist it has no significance, leaving them free to absorb themselves in the events and pleasures of the day and, since the landscape does not stop for dinner this can be a perpetual gazing or looking. John Taylor explains this activity with reference to works by Norman Bryson who considers gazing, looking and glancing to be different and separate activities ie. a gaze being a steady absorption of information where a glance is a furtive consideration of the landscape without the absorption, and looking an interactivity between the two a trait tourists have unwittingly acquired, thereby seeing and absorbing only the part of the landscape of interest to them, and whilst the rest may warrant a glance, nothing is absorbed for later reference.


Hump back bridge into the village


Having a well deserved drink.

Since time is man made and effects only everyday schedules and routines, i.e work, bus and train time tables etc, to the tourist it has no significance, leaving them free to absorb themselves in the events and pleasures of the day and, since the landscape does not stop for dinner this can be a perpetual gazing or looking. John Taylor explains this activity with reference to works by Norman Bryson who considers gazing, looking and glancing to be different and separate activities ie. a gaze being a steady absorption of information where a glance is a furtive consideration of the landscape without the absorption, and looking an interactivity between the two a trait tourists have unwittingly acquired, thereby seeing and absorbing only the part of the landscape of interest to them, and whilst the rest may warrant a glance nothing is absorbed for later reference


Local people going about their business.

The whole object of the visit is to be part of this way of life, and they flit from venue to venue gazing at what is now reality. A private dwelling at the top of a flight of stone steps, once a venue for the cottage industry mentioned before, and inconspicuous for years, is now miraculously Nora Batty’s cafe,  from where Compo had a bucket of water spilled over him, and where hundreds of photographs are taken by tourists to authenticate their visit, photographs that can be looked at time and time again in the comfort of their own home enabling them to relive the experience of “Summer Wine Country.” A signifier confirming this to be the right place, are a pair of Wellington boots synonymous with the character “Compo” and a sign promoting the Wrinkled Stocking Tea Rooms, wrinkled stockings being a characteristic of Nora Batty’s dress code implying their hero’s as it were are on the premises, all of this will be immobilised in celluloid, as a reminder to them of the momentous occasion which, in their present state of mind has become a reality of which they are a part, what is not noticed is the dereliction adjacent to it, because this is not part of their reality, nor is the book shop to the other side, and, whilst these places are afforded a glance, they are not subjects of their world and therefore they are secondary and uncompromising of their reality.


Nora Batties café


Nora Batties Wrincled stocking.

Strolling along the road they know so well, mentally reliving the scene they see a milestone, a signifier which confirms this is still Summer Wine country, without which the spell would be broken, a clever ploy in reshaping the landscape and keeping the myth alive, until further along the road juxtaposed in the Summer Wine Landscape by the side of it’s river is a Italian restaurant causing ambivalence in the mind of the tourist and, situated next to a car park provided for those tourists visiting in their own transport, but it is given only a glance as the tourists are brought back on track by the vision of the fish & chip shop, a more fitting place for Summer Wine Country folk, ahead of the chippy in this make believe world is Joe’s cafe, situated in the church square. The signifier here is a life sized model of Compo standing outside the door to the cafe, authenticating the place to the tourist as the correct place to be at this juncture of his visit.  The enterprising owner of joe’s cafe, jumping on the band wagon of this popular fictitious country, provides for the tourist a authentic charabanc to transport them to an extension of the country where other popular media created frivolities take place, like a pint at “The White Horse” in Jackson Bridge another small Pennine village embroiled in a media manufactured world, above which lie a row of cottages characteristic of, and no doubt are weavers cottages of a past era, until this became Summer Wine Country and they became Foggy’s house. This place is some five miles from Holmfirth but the trip there in the charabanc dose not deter the tourist from his fantasy and reality of Summer Wine Country.


Sid’s café situated in the parish Church yard in the centre of Holmfirth.

   John Taylor, in his book ‘A Dream of England’ endeavours to explain that travelling in time in this way, implies a sort of mortality, and at the same time, death giving pleasure in retrospect to tourists seeking a talismanic place in which to escape the pressures of present day life, thus creating a sense of belonging, comfort and conformation of a past existence, and by producing photographs of their visit reinforces that conformation. Camera’s says Roland Barthes quote “are clocks for seeing into the dead past” thus producing images with a stopped in time feeling about them’ creating a feeling of nostalgia within the voyeur.


The street where the famous “NORA BATTIES” Café is, nobody really sees the dereliction of the textile building next door.


The Parish Church yard containing Sid’s café in the right corner, with the village ironmongers next door.

Taylor also refers to this reshaping of the landscape as being history reduced to heritage and a commodity put up for sale, not implying history has no foundation but rather heritage as no foundation, or stability, exhibiting only the things that promote safety and security in an ideological way, for securing and conserving our passed. He also states that English Heritage and the National Trust argue that their entertainment and exhibitions programme take away the sense of continuity and replace it with a feeling of a presence in time, or a stop in history, which in itself creates a feeling of nostalgia.

The deindustrialisation of mainly the north, by the Thatcherism within the Conservative Party who’s political decisions closed traditional manufacturing industries, such as mines, steel works, engineering companies and textile mills to name but a few have destroyed a way of life, but ironically another has been created in spite of it, namely English Heritage who purport to show it as it was, but in a postmodernist way within a reshaped landscape manipulated to those ends in the name of profit. employing redundant locals as guides because of their infinite knowledge and personal authenticity. Ambiguous or what !

Places manipulated in a way that Beamish in the North East has been, give a false impression of a place recognisably situated in a “modern” industrial environment of notoriously difficult times, smoothed by a sense of community within the structure and manipulated in a way as to imply idyllic ways of life in the past, and yet people have a affinity with it, giving them a sense of belonging, and how ever difficult the past, the reshaping of the landscape reinforces the myth as more real than the real, dissolving past memories and experiences into oblivion and making the present the reality of the past, a postmodern simulacrum manipulated to give a sketchy look at Northern industrial history, but in reality a decontextualised history, mixed with the postmodern ideas to produce a pastiche of past living history, to be exploited and promoted for capital gain, reproduced in photographs and on calendars and thermos flasks and many other such paraphernalia.

This postmodern idea of hyper-reality, the more real than real, the invented reality, created from the modern and ironically, operating within the modern industrial structure, creates confusion in a society coming to terms with the collapse of the manufacturing industry, needless to say these new innovations need to be informed, not only for their own success, but to capture the interests of the skeptics. The changes brought about is a media generated, visual culture, covering most aspects of sociological and industrial life as it was in the past, to represent this past life in a way that can be interesting and more to the point, acceptable to the public at large. 

The postmodern takes it’s lead from Romanticism, which, in itself holds an historical background, a background with a belief that unlike the doctrines of Neoclassicism, Romanticism was subjective, a fascination with the qualities of nature, heightened awareness, and visionary interest in colour for it’s symbolistic properties. Having faith in the beauty of nature and it’s natural subjects, gave rise to having the same faith in it’s representation, this according to Jean Baudrillard is the fundamental requirement for the postmodernist movement, where a signifier can represent a meaning so long as the meaning can be guaranteed, i.e a recognisably authentic sign, like the ones mentioned earlier like the model of Compo and the sign above Nora Batty’s tea shop.

Many modern day photographers and critics insist “real England” is only to be found in newspapers and photographic exhibitions, exhibitions by photographers who don’t go along with the pretty little England scenario. Oppositional photographers such as Alison Marchant, Ingrid Pollard, Peter Turley concern themselves with the way they see history in England being hijacked to distort the market forces and encourage tourists to seek out the picturesque, making photographs of a style futile to tourism and the media’s manipulated world, but seek to dislocate and disturb rather than create the sociably acceptable, such images as Constables “Haywain” complete with cruise missiles, by Peter Kennard, an image synonymous with the romantic England and the idyll of the country side before the advent of industry and the inclusion of the missiles causing a discord in that belief, implying England is not what the media would have us believe. Other oppositional photographers i.e. Martin Parr, Karen Knorr and John Kippin rather than a critical look at the country as a whole, they concern themselves with the plight of the northern working class, a class according to The book“Flogging a dead horse” by photographer Paul Reas who is not dead,  and against nostalgia and cutting of heritage. The heritage of the working classes can be attributed from the fact that, the whole thing revolves around the flat cap and braces brigade, artefacts of hard work and social deprivation immediately recognisable in the exhibitions and heritage centres in the North and Midlands.

On the other hand stately homes and picturesque landscape gardens expel wealth to a point that the tourist of a working class background can feel somewhat out of place, not knowing if this is his English heritage or that of something or somebody unknown, thus keeping the idea of a class system alive.  

Malcolm S Firth BA(Hons) ARPS


HOLMFIRTH from the top of the valley, not a view many tourists will see on their visit to “SUMMER WINE COUNTRY”

All the images in this work were made by M S Firth (BA Hons)ARPS and in analogue format on Kodak colour film, Scanned and digitalised to Apple Mac computer.   



City of Pisa

City of Pisa and it’s leaning tower from the main street of Pisa “not normally seen from this angle”

It’s 14/05/2016 our taxi to Huddersfield and train to Manchester are booked Aircraft “Jet 2” leaves at 8-30am BST scheduled to arrive at Pisa international airport at 11-30am EST at this point all went well plane landed on time and our lounge was easy to locate “easy part over” now we had to find the car hire people a bus ride away on the perimeters of the airport, we sorted that part quite quickly then came the real problems, our mobile phone refused to provide “Sat Navigation” despite having agreed the extra cost we my have incurred along the way with our service provider (Vodafone), who I must say, after the event denied all knowledge of the event and charged us accordingly.
However we hired a tom tom SatNav from the car hire people and of we went on our way at which time my wife Irene had the panics driving on the right, I must admit though, it was a little scary for the first couple of days getting accustomed to changing gear was a minor problem since we have driven automatics for many years and the changing of gears resulted in thumping the inside of the drivers door to get to the gear lever, which of course was on the other side and caused plenty of discomfort in my left hand in the panic, caused by forgetting to change down or up whichever was required, this of course is done automatically in my car. All this of coarse is happening as we traveled and my co-driver was getting more fearsome as the driving went on, and only really felt safe when walking, despite retaining the ability to tell me what to do and how to do it everything pertaining to the driving and travel with the exception of turning the steering wheel, much like a back seat driver sat in the front, again though I have to admit the second set of eyes were a bonus they got us out of a lot of near misses and we had not reached our hotel “Semifonti” yet, that was to take a further hour or so of ear ache from the co-driver.
When we finally arrived at the Hotel our first impressions were not good, it was situated on an industrial site and whilst the staff were excellent and were the rooms and the food which is perhaps as well because there was nowhere else for miles around to eat and driving my co-driver to a restaurant in the dark was a no no so we were pretty much stuck with our lot at night despite the staff speaking very little English, and why should they I speak very little if any Italian it was disappointing not to be able to use the swimming pool area, it was like a building site and the pool was used for the old building rubble. We had 10 days to cope with it so we needed to get on with it, after all it was Tuscany and it’s lifestyle we had come to see and not the hotel disappointing as it was, on a good note though that made great coffee.


landscape of the surroundings of San Gimignano the medieval village in the background.


San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form “an unforgettable skyline”. Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic of Siena the principal towns are Poggibonsi, Colle di Val d’Elsa, Montepulciano.

Sunday 15/05/2016 we made arrangements to visit “San Gimignano” a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form “an unforgettable skyline”. Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant’ Agostino contain frescos, including cycles dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The “Historic Centre of San Gimignano” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town also is known for the saffron, the Golden Ham and its white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the ancient variety of Verna PROVINCE OF SIENA Population (31 May 2009)  Total270,333 The Province of Siena (Italian: Provincia di Siena) is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Siena. Geography The province is divided into seven historical areas: 1. Alta Val d’Elsa 2. Chianti senese 3. The urban area of (Monteriggioni and Siena) 4. Val di Merse 5. Crete senesi Val d’Arbia 6. Val di Chiana senese 7. Val d’Orcia and Amiata The area is a hilly one: in the north is Colline del Chianti; Monte Amiata is the highest point at 1,738 metres (5,702 ft); and in the south is Monte Cetona. To the west are the Colline Metallifere (“Metallic Hills”), whilst the Val di Chiana lies to east. Historically, the province corresponds to the former Republic of Siena. The chief occupations are agricultural (wheat, grapes and fruit) and silk culture. The wine known as Chianti is produced here as well as in other parts of Tuscany: the Chianti Colli Senesi, however, is limited to this province. Apart from the city of Siena the principal towns are Poggibonsi, Colle di Val d’Elsa, Montepulciano. partway there we somehow made a wrong turn, as you do, My fault of course, and ended up in the Vineyard area of Tuscany which, as a photographer and one of the main reasons we went to Italy in the first place suited me down to the ground and we were able to capture some great images and the great weather was an advantage, the scenery of Tuscany is unbelievable “a travel photographers paradise” what’s more we were still on track for our destination at San Gimignano a medieval walled village high on top of a hill and, although we had taken the long way round still arrived at 1-00pm and ready for lunch. this village is a very popular tourist destination and provides seven car parks all of which were full with no entry into the inner walls of the of the village in a motor car, since we were only seven kilometres from our base we decided to leave and return Monday when it would be less busy with tourists and so we left to see the less popular place of “Certaldo” which is part of the circular tour from our base.

CERTALDO ALTOThe centre of the walled town of Certaldo with the ubiquitous church and restaurants


One of the many back streets and alleys of Certaldo


A back road of Certaldo and a view of San Gimignano in the distance with it’s tall buildings clearly visible


Certaldo is a town and comune of Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Florence, in the middle of Valdelsa. It is about 35 kilometres (22 mi) southwest of the Florence Duomo. It is 50 minutes by rail and 35 minutes by car southwest of Florence, and it is 25 minutes by rail north of Siena. It was the home of the family of Giovanni Boccaccio, the poet of “Vita di Dante,” and the author of the “Decamerone”. He died here at his home and was buried here in 1375. Geography The town of Certaldo is divided into upper and lower parts. The lower part is called Certaldo Basso, whilst the medieval upper part is called Certaldo Alto. Certaldo Alto has limited vehicular access, for use by residents only. Visitors can park outside the walls or in the lower part and go to Certaldo Alto by the Certaldo funicular.

Certaldo is a quaint and picturesque medieval town and typical of all the medieval towns and villages of Italy in the medieval period of which we’ve seen many over the years and this year is special to us as it’s our 50ᵗʰ wedding anniversary year and we intend enjoying it whilst we can. It was at this point while site seeing and making photographs, Irene was complaining about her left foot causing her some pain, and on inspection we realised she had been stung or bitten during our time taking photographs in and around the vine fields and it looked very nasty indeed, the pharmacist in Poggibonsi the nearest town to our hotel implied it could be a snake bite or large insect bite.

Allotment building

A beautiful rustic allotment building in the Chianti wine district of Tuscany where we were photographing the landscape.

Monday 16 May 2016, We decided to try again to get into San Gimignano, we left our hotel at 10-00am to drive the 7 kilometre and on arrival had no problem parking in a purpose built parking lot right outside the gates of the town for €15-00 for the whole day, this town was of the same period as the others we hade seen but much larger and far grander clearly one of the ruling towns of its day for the whole area, Spectacular entrance arch into the walled area with massive street areas and equal massive buildings with butchers, fashion boutiques, cafés, restaurants and the ubiquitous churches with grand domes the whole place was packed with tourists and yet we easily got a parking place, I hate to think what it must have been like on our first visit when we couldn’t get a parking spot anywhere. This whole place was and is enchanting but so tiring getting about up and down the towns streets and alleys


The medieval gateway into the hill town of San Gimignano, the images below are scenes within the walled town.

Has can be seen from the images it’s a great metropolis of high-rise towers the result of the wealth trying to outdo each other to prove their wealth and position in the town, I think it’s something of a trend that will continue throughout the world for ever, people playing a game of oneupmanship and so long as they are alright they won’t really care. The next few days were critical for Irene and I spent time helping her to recover from the ordeal of the snake bite with the help of a young Australian Doctor who was the team Doctor for an Italian bike racing team all staying in the hotel and a great help he was to us too, at no extra financial cost. The rest of this holiday blog will follow at a later date.

A Moment of Déjà Vu


SEASCAPE Looking South from Marske-by-the-Sea to Saltburn-by-the-Sea

The beach at Marske-By-the-Sea


A beautiful little fishing village and a moment of “Déjà vu” for my wife and I, directly we drove onto the Cobble landing we immediately recognised the place from a past visit on a rainy day. Today was bright and dry with photo opportunities galore around the village and the seafront and harbour side (from where this image was captured) we unfortunately only had an hour or so to get our chosen shots most of which were captured with the intentions of making mono images post-capture which are now completed and look stunning.


SEASCAPE Marske-by-the-Sea

        Marske-by-the-Sea is on the North East Coast of North Yorkshire and   Cleveland between Redcar and Saltburn, a stunning part of the world for photographers and artists alike, This image is one of ten or so we captured in this sleepy little fishing village on the harbour’s cobble landing where the row of tractors are not only for manoeuvring the fishing boats (which don’t look like they’ve moved for a while judging by the grass under them) but it seams they are instrumental in the fishing operation, when they are backed up to the sea and the winches fitted at the rear of the tractors drag the nets back to the shore line, I don’t think this work is done on a commercial basis anymore but I would love to see it done, Marske is a very picturesque place and well worth the visit to the North East of England to see it, in a place where the whole area is stunning.



SEASCAPE From Redcar looking South to Marske-by-the-Sea


Scarborough South Cliff

South cliff Scarborough

February, and after a bad start to the year things are beginning to improve, We are slowly recovering from the passing of Sussie 10 days ago, she has had a good life over the passed  20 years but time and age caught up and she is now at rest with Mickey who passed over in September 2010 after a good life spanning 25 years. A new start for the year begins with a weekend at Scarborough’s South Cliff and we are both looking forward to the break and change of scenery despite it being winter and miserable weather, we are also looking forward to exploring the South Cliff area, a place we haven’t spent a lot of time in unexplainable really considering the amount of time we have spent at Scarborough and in fact the rest of the East Coast of Yorkshire since the 50s.


Where have they all gone ?


One end of this tunnel is on the Huddersfield narrow canal at Marsden West Yorkshire, and the other at the village of Diggle in Greater Manchester district and, at the other side of the South Pennines now in Lancashire.
We spent a half day here at Tunnel End Marsden with our grandsons Benjamin & Aaron on Saturday 26/09/2015 nice bright afternoon which we all thoroughly enjoyed and well worth a visit for anyone interested in canal or infact local history, where knowledge can be expanded in the old but restored warehouse, now a visitor centre which displays artefacts of the past life on the canal together with a video and narrated history of the tunnels conception to completion.

Standedge Tunnels

The Standedge Tunnels are four parallel tunnels beneath the Pennines in northern England.

The Standedge Tunnels are four parallel tunnels beneath the Pennines in northern England.

The Standedge Tunnels are four parallel tunnels beneath the Pennines in northern England. Three are railway tunnels and the other is a canal tunnel. They are located at the Standedge (pronounced Stannige) crossing point between Marsden and Diggle, across the boundary between the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester conurbations. Before boundary changes in 1974, both ends of the tunnel were in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The canal tunnel is on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. It opened in 1811 and is the longest and oldest of the four and is the longest and highest canal tunnel in the United Kingdom. The first single-track railway tunnel was completed by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) in 1848 on the line between Huddersfield and Manchester and a second parallel tunnel opened in 1871. The LNWR opened a third tunnel with double tracks in 1894. All four tunnels are linked by cross-tunnels or adits at strategic intervals, which allowed the railway tunnels to be built quickly, reducing the need for construction shafts, as waste could be removed by boat.

Of the railway tunnels, only the one built in 1894 is currently used for rail traffic. Closed in 1943, the canal tunnel was re-opened in May 2001. The Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre, at the Marsden end, is a base for boat trips into the tunnel and hosts an exhibition depicting the different crossings.

The Standedge Tunnel is the longest, deepest and highest canal tunnel in Britain. It is 5,500 yards (5,000 m) long, 636 feet (194 m) underground at its deepest point, and 643 feet (196 m) above sea level.

 The Standedge canal Tunnels entrance, The locomotive tunnels are above and parallel

The Standedge canal Tunnels entrance, The locomotive tunnels are above and parallel

Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre

The Standedge warehouse and visitor centre

The Standedge warehouse and visitor centre

 The warehouse that now houses the visitor centre

The Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre at the Marsden end of the tunnel is located in the former warehouse used for transshipment of goods from canal barge to packhorse between 1798 when the canal reached Marsden and 1811 when the tunnel opened. The centre contains exhibitions on the history of the tunnels, the canal tunnel’s recent restoration and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Tunnel End Cottages which formerly housed canal maintenance workers, houses a cafe and the booking office for 30-minute boat trips into the tunnel. The trips use electric tugs that push a passenger-carrying barge.

The visitor centre is about ½ a mile (0.8 km) west of Marsden railway station which can be reached via the towpath of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal which runs adjacent to the station. Adjacent to the railway station is the headquarters of the National Trust‘s Marsden Moor Estate which includes a public exhibition, Welcome to Marsden, that gives an overview of the area and its transport history

A leisurely walk along the canal toe path will take the visitor to the village of Slaithwaite “locally called Slowit” where the canal drops via locks to a lower level and under another pack horse bridge to the village.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Packhorse Bridge at Slaithwaite

Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Packhorse Bridge at Slaithwaite “Slowit”

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