Friday 7 August 2015


With street names like these…

it wouldn't take you long to realise…

that you're in Yorkshire.

You might at first wonder why the kirk in question, St Andrew's, has a bicycle cut-out on the wall.

But it's not alone. The Methodists have some too.

Closer inspection reveals that they are there to welcome a cycle tour. But which one? Le Tour de France? Le Tour de Yorkshire? Actually it's Le Tour de Cobbydale, and you can find out more than you want to know about this great sporting event by a proper google or search of YouTube.

Some of Silsden's many carry-outs and eat-ins also advertised this local velocipedal spin-off. In fact that would probably be the best way to advertise anything round here.

By our count, Silsden has the highest number of fish and chip shops per head of population than anywhere else we know. Opting out, however, from tour placards was the local Conservative Party HQ.

No surprise, really – rather than creating a welcoming atmosphere it looked rather like somewhere the wicked witch might live.

The rest of Silsden seemed to be fairly typical of an small, once industrial town doing its best to re-invent itself. The memorial garden was surprising peaceful, given that it is only a few yards from the busy main road.

A bold floral display surrounds a plaque giving something of the town's history,

and a chunky sculpture commemorates the most recent industry for which Silsden was known – nail-making.

 Down through the town runs "The Beck", in its own little gorge along the backs of houses,

and splashing down a weir to continue its progress out and away under the canal.

That, naturally enough, is the pattern for some roads as well in a countryside that goes up and down like this one, but where the canal is following a contour.

Boating is certainly the most level way to traverse this particular bit of Yorkshire.


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