Friday, 27 November 2015

Fascinating history of Holden Park and a gripping 17th century court case over rival corn mills

Above: Upper Holden photographed from Spring Crag Wood with the Leeds-Liverpool canal and the Silsden township beyond. The history of Holden Park is told by Tom Steel in an absorbing study, which he completed in 1979 and can now be viewed online.  
Above: Farm buildings at Upper Holden viewed from near Holden Bridge in Holden Lane. Mr Steel has traced the history of the farms and farmers in Holden Park since the early 1600s. The farms include Howden House and Low Holden.
Above: Mr Steel reveals that these farm buildings are on the site of Holden Beck corn mill, which, built by Lady Anne Clifford and completed in 1653, was the subject of a 15-year court case. Lady Clifford built the mill because the sole Silsden corn mill, dating back to 1122 (on what is now the site of Myers building supplies in Keighley Road), allegedly had a defective water supply and was inadequate for the needs of the increasing population. The court ruling forbade the use of the Holden Mill and led to closure and ruin.
Above: another of the farm buildings at Upper Holden, which is now the home of renowned poultry supplier Edward Boothman.
Above: this photograph shows the same building around 1930 when Upper Holden was partly farmed by the Gill family. The Gill name is on the board over the door advertising teas and refreshments, which were popular with walkers on the route from Utley to Silsden. Mr Steel's major study can be viewed online by following the links at

Friday, 20 November 2015

Somewhere over the rainbow.....Oh, it's Farnhill
Above: Farnhill appeared to be the source of this rainbow on the morning of Friday, November 20. Dog-walkers on the popular moor were treated to a vivid close-up.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

A6034 becomes a relief road as flock flees floods
Above: Motorists on the A6034 road by the golf driving range were surprised to see a flock of sheep on the move on Wednesday morning, November 16. The farmer had been forced to move the sheep from the flooded fields between the river, which was at bank top, and the A629 trunk road near the roundabout.  

Monday, 16 November 2015

A familiar sight after a weekend of torrential rain
Above: Monday morning, November 16, and the riverside Aire Valley fields are flooded all the way from Keighley to Skipton following consecutive days of heavy rain, which afflicted much of the north of England. This was the view from the Silsden-KIldwick road above Airedale House Farm.
Above: the scene farther along the valley at Cononley.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

When you go home tell them of us and say:
'For your tomorrow we gave our today'

Above: Silsden's Remembrance Sunday service, on November 8, was conducted by the Rev David Griffiths, Vicar of St James' Church.
Above: there was a large attendance despite wet and windy weather.
Above: Douglas Boulton, president of Silsden Royal British Legion, lays the Legion's wreath. He was followed by the laying of wreaths on behalf of local organisations.

Above: parade commander Jean Bower, chairman of Silsden Royal British Legion, in conversation with Lee Smith, who announced the order of the laying of wreaths.
Above: umbrellas were out in force.

Above: Silsden Town Band accompanied the singing of hymns. 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Major pipeline replacement at High Brunthwaite

Above: Work is under way to replace a collapsing local section of the 155-year-old pipeline which carries water from Barden to Bradford. Beyond the Swartha Wood aqueduct, the pipeline runs above Silsden golf course towards Riddlesden. This picture was taken from near the ninth tee. 
Above: the winding scenic lane uphill from Brunthwaite has become the command centre for the construction site. On behalf of Yorkshire Water, engineering company Bentley is replacing the original local length of pipeline, built of stone from Brunthwaite quarry in the 1850s, with 900 concrete pipes, each 2.5 metres long.  
Above: weather permitting, the new pipeline is due to be in place by early December and all the reinstatement work completed in January. The original gravity-fed pipeline from Barden to Bradford at the time it was built was reportedly the longest raw-water aqueduct in the world, stretching for 30 miles. Silsden reservoir was built in the late 1850s to compensate for water taken from rivers and streams. The pipeline was needed to supply water to Bradford's rapidly increasing population.   

Monday, 2 November 2015

Warming up for winter as November starts with a record high
Above: The UK recorded its warmest November day on the 1st of the month when temperatures reached 22.3 degrees C in Wales. Locally, morning fog gave way to a glorious summer-like day with temperatures in the late teens.  
Above: even sheep were taken by surprise, casting shadows and wary glances at the camera.