A History of England in Six Bridges

England, history

This post title is completely misleading. I’m showing you six bridges, it’s true. But only one pre-dates the eighteenth century. Only one is neither in Yorkshire or London. But there’s a footbridge, a canal bridge, a railway bridge, a transporter bridge, a road-bridge which opens, and one for the Millennium, so maybe we’re covering quite a lot of bases.

This first two are really quite small. Here’s a fifteenth century bridge, leading over the moat to Eltham Palace. Then here’s one of the bridges over Ripon Canal, opened in 1773. This canal may be the shortest in England – it’s only 2.3 miles long.

Knaresborough Viaduct is a railway bridge which spans the river Nidd in truly majestic fashion. I bet I’d have been a NIMBY protesting against such a huge change planned for the view of my town if I’d lived in Knaresborough back in the 1850s. Now I’d be joining the demonstrations if anyone suggested dismantling it.

This Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough is quite a thing. You can read all about it here.

1910

Last of all – my favourite: the world’s first and only tilting bridge – Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

The header photo shows what may be England’s most famous bridge: Tower Bridge, opening and closing for London’s shipping since 1886.

For Cee’s CFFC: Bridges

… and Alive and Trecking’s Which Way Photo Challenge.

Her Name was Mud

North Yorkshire, Walking

Over the years, I’ve taken you all on walks around Yorkshire. We’ve strolled along riversides. We’ve had woodland walks at wild garlic and bluebell time. We’ve gone into the Dales, both the gently rolling hillsides, and the bleaker heather-covered moorland, enjoying distant views of the Pennines. But one thing we haven’t done is have a Thoroughly British Winter Walk.

That’s what we did the other day. And by the time you get to the bottom of the page, you’ll be mighty glad you’ve only had a Virtual Walk. Our friend Chris had planned it: just a leisurely six miles or so morning’s walk, taking in three pretty villages between Harrogate and Ripon.

It didn’t begin well. Half a mile in, this was the path.

No, that’s not a stream, it’s the path. Heads bent over the map, we found an alternative, and that wasn’t so bad. Sodden fields, gloopy mud-slicked paths. But passable. Just.

In fact we got used to clambering over stiles that landed us immediately into another muddy hole, before sending us on our way across a field on a sodden path.

We were quite cheery. Until we arrived here. The map informed us there was a pathway across this field. The sheep knew better. They’d churned up the soil good and proper. There was no alternative but to squelch onwards.

Poor old Chris. Her name was Mud.

Arriving back at our cars parked in one of the villages, we were reminded that our day with friends, providing a rueful tale to tell back at home, was nevertheless a happy and carefree one. This Ukrainian flag on someone’s gate was a sober contrast, and provided details of ways to donate to one of the many charities trying to offer support and help to the beleaguered Ukrainians. There are suggestions here.

For Jo’s Monday Walk

…and Alive and Trekking’s Which Way Photo Challenge

The oddest street name in England?

North Yorkshire

Surely it must be this one in York.

Here’s the story. Back in 1505, it was known as Whitnourwhatnourgate. It’s also been called Whitney Whatneygate.

What does it mean? Well, take your pick. In Middle English, it might have meant Nothing at All, or Neither One Thing Nor the Other. Or maybe What a Street!

In the 17th and 18th centuries, this street, the shortest in York, was also sometimes known as Salvey Rents or Salvegate.

That’s quite enough oddness for one day, so the featured image is of York Minster in spring time.

For Becky’s Square Odds.

… and the Which Way photo challenge

Double Dipping into some new challenges

Blogging challenges

This week, for the Lens Artists Challenge, Tina has invited us to explore other blogging challenges, and ‘double dip’ by featuring them here. The Challenge World is a varied and eclectic one where you’re bound to find something that suits your interests: a good place to start is with Blogging Queen Cee’s comprehensive list of challenges for wordsmiths, photographers – anyone who blogs regularly.

So I’ll start with Cee’s own Flower of the Day challenge, because yesterday I saw my very first snowdrops of the season, still tightly budded, but bringing hope and positivity that spring is on its way.

I spotted them when I was on my way to the village to post a letter. North Stainley has three (three!) duckponds – Water, water everywhere, for Jez’s challenge of the same name, and I passed them all, seeing some of the resident water life while I was at it.

Three ponds, three housing estates for ducks, geese, moorhens, coots …

When we moved here in 2014, all Yorkshire was gripped by Tour de France fever, because the organisers had chosen our very own county to begin that year’s race. Traces of North Stainley’s celebration still remain near the local postbox, situated on the wall of the disused petrol station: perfect for Marsha’s Photographing Public Art Challenge.

I don’t remember exactly which roads were on the cyclists’ route. But this road near Kettlewell is pretty typical: and suitable for the Which Way Photo Challenge.

Let’s end our day with an understated winter sunset. Hammad Rais calls for these for his Weekend Sky Challenge. Well, I took this shot on a Saturday, so perhaps it’ll count, even though I’m showing it midweek.

I had fun exploring just a few of the challenges I’ve never, or rarely participated in so far. Who knows, I might be tempted to join them again. Thanks Tina, for pushing me into this!