Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Homeowners Day at Gayle Mill

A day of illustrated talks about pre-1919 houses in the Yorkshire Dales with practical demonstrations & a walkabout to illustrate pointers to age and how each building has developed through time.
Gayle Mill started as a cotton mill in the late 18th century but was converted into a sawmill about 100 years later. Originally powered by a waterwheel, its first turbine was installed at conversion & this still ooperates the machinery - a 52inch circular saw and several lathes. For the full picture, go to - they do tours on the first Sunday of every month & at other times. They also have hands-on training days in several craft activities - as varied as knitting socks, to making gates!
So, what did I learn? How to look at our house in its own environment; what it is about our house that is specific to its position; and looking for date & status indicators, and how to maintain it into the future.
A really interesting day in a fascinating building, in a lovely setting overlooking Hawes.

Monday, 3 October 2011


This summer seems to have been cool & damp with only the odd fine sunny day, apart from the splendid weather of the last week. But it can't have been as bad as my memory suggests - the Clapham Community 'Give & Share' stall in the village (Saturdays 10-12) has seen plenty of fruit & veg, including potatoes from the village potato field, beans, apples, plums & quinces.

Our own veg plot has had successes & failures - not one gooseberry from 5 plants, only a few raspberries, very small beetroots & a handful of runner beans, but oh! the turnips have been magnificent!

The three community beehives here at Crooklands have also produced sufficient for us to share with them (the bees), producing nine pounds of delicious, delicately flavoured honey, whilst leaving them plenty to help feed them through the winter.

Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross

Sunday 25th September, the annual Three Peaks Cyclo-X race, a particularly masochistic and challenging way of 'doing' the Dales' hills. When not able to ride, you carry your bike up & down near-vertical slopes!

John & Ann, who we met as guests last year brought their family with them this year. Having set them up with a hearty breakfast, Ann Katie & Chris drove off to the first rendezvous, while John cycled off to the start at Helwith Bridge ("just to get warmed up").

We turned the rooms round in time to take Jack up to Cod Bank, where the cyclists descend from Ingleborough. As you can see, it's a good spot for thrills & spills, grim determination, and, in John's case (bottom photo), apparently calm confidence.

Looking forward to next year!