Thursday 30 July 2015


The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, a volunteer-run, steam engine-pulled, step-back-in-time project like others of its ilk, is known particularly for its part in The Railway Children (1970 version). It also runs through Haworth, of Brontë sisters fame.

We expect to take a ride on a different steam railway in a couple of weeks, and didn't want to wait 30 minutes in the station for the next arrival here. We were, after all, well acquainted with this mode of transport in our youth! But we enjoyed seeing what this group are doing, and the way it is integrated with the wider railway network.

Keighley is a bit of a walk from the canal as you pass, but we'd decided to pay a visit by bus while moored up in Skipton.

The town is another product, I suppose, of the way the industrial revolution and its aftermath impacted Yorkshire. The canopies standing out from this row of shops reminded me of somewhere else, but I can't think where.

The stonework down the row has these carvings at regular intervals. They must surely have marked the owner's, designer's or builder's pride in what they were doing – in the same way as the function of a particular stone building (Library, Secondary School, Technical Institute or some such) was often carved into the facia by the benefactor(s) who built it.

The construction of most of the workers' houses, of course, was of a somewhat different quality. The backdrop to them, however, was often stunning.

One of the features of this part of Airedale is the way small or larger groups of houses nestle beneath the hills…

or the trees.

There are also some more recent additions to the skyline.

We didn't spend long in Keighley, and it no doubt has certain worthy aspects that escaped our attention, quite apart from the people who were all very friendly. Nicholson's guide has some kind comments about the town, but ends by suggesting that the main attraction of the "large Perpendicular" parish church building is "its shady churchyard." We didn't feel the need to go and inspect it.


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