Thursday 30 January 2020

The dark side

There has been a lot of comments on how lovely our English countryside is, and indeed it is, most of it. But these photo's tell a different story, taken over the three days walking in South Yorkshire. In the middle of winter, when all the greenery has died down, exposed underneath is a disgraceful scene of human waste. This saddens me a lot to see this. To call the humans who did this, pigs, is an insult to pigs. 
The places where I walked are not far from Barnsley, Rotherham, and Sheffield. People stop off in quiet country lanes and unload their bags of rubbish thinking that's the end of it, out of sight out of mind, rather than do the decent thing and take them to the Council dumps. I cannot get my head round the mentality of these disgusting sub humans. 
I have been on the Barnsley, and Rotherham, Council web sites and reported this fly tipping. I have left my details in case they want to give me any updates on their actions, that's if they have sent a truck out to pick it up. I have done this previously with the North Lincs Council web site when I have found rubbish locally. They don't make it easy, the maps they provide are not very clear on the screen, and it's difficult to pinpoint the exact locations. 

On closer inspection of this pile, I didn't move anything to see it, pigs trotters and large animal bones are clearly visible. It looks like it could have come from a slaughterhouse.

All around the area I found lots of cannabis root balls, dumped in hedge bottoms. The plants have been harvested and all what's left are the roots. They don't take these to the dump because the smell would incriminate them. 
Picture this, a very quiet country lane, I found a ladies bra, size 42E, on the grass verge. A few yards further on a large log had been placed across the entrance to a field, presumably by the farmer to keep fly tippers out. Someone passing had decorated it with an assortment of ladies underwear, the plastic bag was nearby, mostly bras. This actually amused me, it was so out of place, and a work of art. I found more bras scattered about so I draped them across the hedgerow. Maybe someone else will be amused by it. 

This is a laugh, concealed cameras my arse. No Tipping, ha, as if anyone is going to take any notice of this. They didn't, a bag with ladies pyjamas in it.

A bit further along on the same lane, an assortment of rubbish, mainly children's toys, which looked like it had been there for quite a while. The two hairdressing models caught my attention. Put them on top of a stick facing the road, and it will give some unsuspecting motorist a scare, or a laugh. 

Don't you feel sad that a cute little toy has been abandoned like this.

This whole lane is littered with rubbish. I hope they come and sort it out.

Next time you come across some fly tipping, have a go at reporting it on the Council web site. It takes a while to navigate it, and it's more difficult if you are in an area you are not familiar with. Take notes at the time you find it, street or road name. Good luck.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Walking in South Yorkshire. Day 3

After much scrutinising of the map, I decided to drive to Elsecar after I checked out of the hotel on the third day. I remember visiting there many years ago. There is a thriving heritage centre transformed into a village of shops, traditional cafe's and an antique centre.  There is a very large car park which is free, and free entry to the heritage centre. 
There was a few people about, mums were arriving with their kiddywinks to visit a large indoor play area and café.

The antique centre is massive, lots to browse on two floors.

Next to the centre is the railway station. Closed until the season opens in the spring, got a couple of pics through the wire fence.

After a good bimble I headed off towards the reservoir intending to go to Wentworth Woodhouse, a stately home within a big park, as indicated on the map. The bandstand in the gardens.
There is a little bridge which crosses over the water overflow which runs down into a small pond.

Quite a lot of wild birds to feed.

As I approached them they came running towards me. Ok, I give in, there was a mad scramble for the packet of cheesy biscuits, and the scone. Oh dear, that's half of my lunch gone.

Mother and child came and they were immediately surrounded. I made a quick getaway.

Another nice weather day again. I got chatting to an elderly gentleman walking around the reservoir, he said he comes out every day to do the four miles circuit from his house. He pointed me in the right direction for Wentworth. I am pleased to report that this church has a toilet, some of the bigger ones do, and the door wasn't locked. Always worth a look if you are a bit desperate. 
Across the road from the big church is a smaller one which is not used. There is no access to the tower, but the main building is open. Sadly in need of some TLC, it is no longer used and is rather dilapidated.

A typical English country pub.

There is a group of cottages called Paradise Square. One of these would just suit me.

I went in search of the Wentworth stately home, and found the garden centre. It's massive, but I didn't stay long, I asked a member of staff for directions to the big house. She said, out of the entrance turn right onto the road, turn right at the junction, and right onto the long drive. This is what I found. Oh no, it's covered in scaffolding. 
This part of the building has already had the work done, a new roof.

What a shame, I have come at the wrong time. I thought I might go inside to the coffee shop as it was open, but decided not to because I had a drink and biscuits in my bag anyway. The lady on reception said the new roof was costing millions but it had to be done. The scaffolding will come down in June, so if you are thinking of heading that way, be aware that tours are available but you can't go wandering around by yourself.

This is all I saw of the interior.

Link to Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. The front of the house can be seen on the web site, without the scaffolding. Tours are available. 

It was time for me to get back to the car and go home. 
And now it's time for me to go to bed, I'm tired. Toodle pip.  ilona

Monday 27 January 2020

Walking in South Yorkshire. Day 2.

There are some gentle rolling hills in South Yorkshire, so there are some nice views to see. After breakfast I set off in a different direction through the Industrial Estate to Pilley. I crossed over the top of the motorway at Birdwell and walked north to Worsborough. Part of it was on the A61 road which was very noisy with traffic. 
The sun was shining as I passed Worsborough church.

The map indicated a Country Park and a mill, might be good so I headed in that direction. The Mill is a working mill and was operating with some clunking and knocking. There are a few spots on the photo's due to the sun shining through the skylights.

There is a cafe which was busy with a cycling party, it was warm enough to sit outside. The gift shop wasn't open. I had a walk around the reservoir.

When I had seen enough I set off along the Trans Pennine Trail. This bridge goes nowhere because the train track which was once below it was dismantled a long time ago when the railway was closed. It makes a nice feature though.

There is a video below, made at this point.

I got almost into Silkstone on the Trail, then decided that I had better start heading back as time was getting on. I saw on the map that there was Wentworth Castle and Stainborough Castle, maybe take a look at them. I came across the entrance to a College and took this photo. A board at the entrance pointed further on along the road for the castle entrance, so I carried on.  
I seemed to be walking a long way on the road, all down hill, couldn't find the entrance to the castle. Eventually I did come across it, aha, at last, the sign pointed up a long drive. Now getting later and I wondered if I would have time to visit it. I thought well I'm here now so off I went along the drive, uphill. Almost to the top, a bit further to go, and I saw two people coming towards me on their way back to the car park. I asked them about the two castles. They said it was only one castle, with two names, and it's not a real old castle, more like a modern building made to look like a castle. That was a disappointment. I decided at that point to go no further, turn round and go back to the road. I needed to get back to the hotel before dark.

This is a sight I love to see, gulls following the tractor looking for their food.

I followed the road, under the motorway, over the motorway, back to Pilley and back through the Industrial Estate to the hotel. This relic in the woods I believe is an old pumping station which supplied water to the trains many years ago.

I did make it back just before it got dark. 14 miles today. Day three to follow. Toodle pip.  ilona

Saturday 25 January 2020

Walking in South Yorkshire. Day 1.

I've just gone through 90 odd photo's and whittled it down. Taken over three days of walking. I booked the Premier Inn at Tankersley not far from junction 36 of the M1 Motorway. I have Ordnance Survey maps for that area and found some possible routes to walk. I arrived at midday on Wednesday, parked the car and went for a walk. I had about 4 - 5 hours of daylight and wanted to fit a walk in for exactly that amount of time. 
I walk with the map in my hand and use a highlight pen to mark the progress. Having something visual for reference, knowing how far I can walk in an hour, and checking the maps for opportunities to either shorten or lengthen the walk means I can make the most of the time I have got.  

First a short cut through the Industrial Estate and look for the path to take me onto a lane, and join the Trans Pennine Trail towards Wortley. 
Wortley Hall is a hotel which also caters for conferences and weddings. It's  accessed on a long driveway from the main road. I've just had a look at their web site, rooms seem very reasonable, might treat myself next time I have a few days away.

Very quiet at this time of the year, I wandered around the gardens.

This picture shows a fault in my camera. The hazy bit in the middle is where the lens is scratched. I don't know how that happened. Looks like I might have to have a new one.

Entrance to the stables, closed at the moment. There is a camping and caravan site just behind it.

A wander around the village. Indoor and outdoor seating here for a snack and drink. A shop to buy supplies. 
Wortley Men's Club was there before I was born.

The church is opposite, on the busy A629 which runs through the village. I had a look inside and the smell of cooking greeted me. A ladies group were listening to someone giving a talk about how to make home made soup. I stopped to chat with a man who was on duty looking after visitors. He gave me some of the history of the place.

Onward I went, mindful of the limited time I had. Roads and paths was my route through Howbrook, and Westwood Country Park, back to the hotel. It's very close to a busy roundabout, I had to negotiate heavy traffic at each junction. Thankfully drivers who noticed that I was trying to cross eased off a bit and I was able to sprint across. 
My only entertainment for the night was the television. Unfortunately my small netbook has stopped working due to Windows 7 packing up. I will need to sort that out for my next trip, maybe have to have a new device. I also forgot to take my mobile phone so I was completely cut off from the outside world while I was there. At least I got plenty of sleep, I dozed off while lying on the bed watching some mindless programmes. 
8 Miles walked today. More pics next time. Toodle pip.  ilona