On my tod in Tod.

The morning of the 8th arrived to find me in my very comfy bed in the Old Post Office hotel in Halifax.  As always I shall start with a very brief explanation and the obligatory apology to my regular readers. If you have happened upon this page by accident, which happens given the vagaries of search engines, it is in the middle of a set of entries about a canal trip I made in Yorkshire with some great friends back in September 2015 and if you go to the bottom of the page you can get back to the start which I do recommend as it may make a little more sense that way.

Now that is out of the way, let’s get on. For one like me that is fairly nocturnal I was up at a reasonably civil hour and ready to go. The weather was not great but not horrible and, as I had no option of breakfast in my hotel (a meal I rarely take anyway) it was time to hit the road.

I had seen buses to Todmorden which was a place I had heard of if only perhaps for the rather unusual name but one thing which was somehow lodged on my brain was that it was the birthplace of the late Keith Emerson, keyboards player with the eponymous Emerson, Lake and Palmer and previously the Nice, both of which I was a huge fan of back in my formative years and, indeed, still am.

Poor Keith, for whatever reasons he may have had, chose to blow his own brains out in early 2016. Obviously any loss of life, particularly suicide, is tragic but this just seemed like such a waste of talent albeit that when I jumped on the bus to Tod or Toddy as it is locally known, the sad event had not happened. I wasn’t sure if I expected to find a blue plaque saying “Keith Emerson lived here” or whatever but I just fancied a visit. Be fair, I am the man who travelled halfway across France just to buy my friend some mustard in Dijon! This is the kind of idiocy I get up to and half an hour on a decent little “Hoppa” bus was not going to be a problem.

I am now going to unashamedly dip back into my writings from a former website as a) I spent literally thousands of hours composing them and I do not want to lose them and b), just possibly, it may be of some slight use to someone in the near future. In my rather crass way, this tip was initially entitled, “The wheels on the bus go round and round”. I must try harder.

The wheels on the bus go round and round.

“I wandered into the travel centre at Halifax Bus Station merely to enquire what stand a particular bus departed from but the ensuing conversation with the charming lady there produced a host of good information not to mention a couple of very useful timetables. The best piece of advice she gave me was to suggest a Day Rover ticket which would allow me unlimited travel within a designated and pretty extensive area at a cost of £5:50 (2015 price) which I thought was very good value as even a very short bus journey in London costs about £2. I do like “rover” tickets when I am in an area I don’t know as I can jump on and off if I see anything that interests me and I don’t have to worry about having the right change or having to pre-buy multiple tickets at a shop or any of the other myriad nonsenses that public transport throws at the traveller. As well as the bus rover I purchased there are various other tickets including a family pass, a weekend pass and joint bus / rail deals. All of these are operated by Metro which appears to be the overarching organisation for the various private bus and train companies who cover the region.

I had been very pleasantly meandering along the canals of the area previously as mentioned above and thought it a fairly rural area, delightfully so indeed. I was not, therefore expecting a huge service as the “country bus” seems to be in decline in many parts of the country but I was to be pleasantly surprised over a couple of days rambling as the services are frequent and punctual. Obviously the service tapers off later in the evening but I never had a problem getting where I wanted to be.

The vehicles themselves all seem to be fairly new and are certainly comfortable enough and I am glad to report that most of them are wheelchair accessible. Full details for the mobility impaired traveller are on the above website. I do like to give information on accessibility issues because as a friend pointed out to me some years ago with an honesty that literally hit me like a punch, “We are all potential wheeelchair users”. How very true.

I also felt completely safe travelling on public transport here and apart from a couple of slightly raucous groups of schoolchildren at going home time I witnessed no anti-social behaviour but I suppose that is just what youngsters do! I know it can be a concern for female travellers, especially late at night, (which is why I mention it) but I would have no hesitation in recommending the public transport here regardless of gender, age, travelling solo or any other consideration.
I
n my days of “Metro rambling” I visited Todmorden, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd not to mention the environs of Halifax itself. So, all together now, “The wheels on the bus go round and round.”

I arrived on “Tod” in good order and with no idea where I was going or what I was going to do so situation normal then. I could not resist thinking at the time and still cannot, that I was “on my tod in Tod”. Sorry about that and I shall try and redeeem myself by telling you a little about the place.

It is an attractive market town of about 15,000 souls (2011 figure) sitting in the very picturesque Calderdale (the valley of the River Calder) and is a mere 17 miles from Manchester. Whilst it sits in the West Riding of Yorkshire it is almost in Lancashire and indeed was divided between the two counties until a law of 1888 moved the boundary. Prior to that if you went to a dance in the Town Hall you could dance back and forward between the counties, strange as that sounds.

Human habitation in the area dates back to the Bronze Age and archaeological finds have been made, notably at Blackheath Barrow above the modern town. At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 the population was still not centralised and involved in eking a living from the fairly harsh uplands hereabouts and it was not until the early 19th century that the town took shape and people moved into it.

Much of this boom was due to the three parallel developments of better roads, the railway and the Rochdale Canal and was further helped by the growth in the textile industry like so much of this region. The textile in question was originally wool but quickly moved to cotton with a series of mills being opened by the hugely influential Fielden family who gave the town the rather grand Town Hall which still stands. At one point the largest weaving shed in the world was here. The railway still serves the town and whilst the canal is no longer commercially viable it provides an excellent leisure facility not to mention a source of great interest for a canal afficionado like myself.

The days of the textile and other heavy industries are now long gone and it is difficult to work out what has replaced it, if anything. I made the mistake of visiting on a Tuesday which is supposedly half-closing day but it seems that just about everyone closes for the whole day and it was pretty dead but still enjoyable to look round.

What has Greece got to do with it?

Where to go and what to do? When in doubt, walk to where most of the buildings are and look for an open pub, which is what I did. The walk came first and I was barely two minutes from from the bus station when I came upon the wonderful little garden you see here.

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The lovely Patmos Gardens.

Patmos Gardens was established here in 1980 by the Town Council and, perhaps slightly surprisingly, the local Association for the Blind. It sits on the East side of the A646 Burnley Road and contains, inter alia, the memorial to the local dead of two World Wars. It is of a fairly standard style and, as always, I paused to contemplate those who paid the ultimate price for my country.

I was somewhat intrigued by the name as I knew Patmos was a Greek Island but a very informative sign informed me that the park was named for the Patmos Chapel initially built in 1816. It was demolished in 1878 and a new building opened in 1879 which was closed in 1971 and demolished in 1975. The park stands on the site. I also learned that the religious significance of Patmos was that it was here that St. John was exiled and where he wrote the Book of Revelations. Every day is a school day when you are exploring!

Certainly this place is not huge and is situated beside a fairly busy road which does not exactly lend it’s location to quiet contemplation but it is still a pleasant enough place to have a sit down and watch the world go by which is what I did for a few minutes and then time to move on.

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What a shame it was shut.

I find myself in a rather odd position in that I really don’t like shopping and yet I find markets endlessly fascinating albeit that I rarely buy anything there. There is just something very vibrant about them, especially Asian markets which I completely adore, and I suppose they just seem less sterile to me than a large supermarket complex.  When I saw signs for the market and then spotted the rather aesthetically pleasing building (built in 1802) that you can see in the image it was a safe bet that I was going to visit it.
With my usual appalling lack of sense of timing I had picked just about exactly the worst time to visit, namely a Tuesday morning. Allow me to explain. Firstly, the outdoor portion of the market only opens on Wednesday to Sunday from 0900 – 1600 so that was half the fun gone instantly. The indoor market is open Monday to Saturday from 0900 – 1730 with a half day Tuesday. Again, an explanation may be in order here for non-UK readers or younger UK readers. In days past (certainly in my youth) one weekday was designated a half day which was used to give shop / market staff an afternoon off as they had worked on the Saturday. Every town and village had a different day and you needed to know which one it was. With supermarkets and seven day a week opening this practice is now more or less in abeyance.

The theory of the half day, as the name suggests, is to open in the morning and close at lunchtime but the market here was just about completely closed long before midday as were most of the shops in the town generally. About the only things open were a very good looking locally sourced butcher’s shop and several coffeeshops and cafes which appeared to be well patronised. This was rather a shame but it gives me an excuse, were one required, to return to this pleasant town again.  I certainly recommend a trip here but just not on a Tuesday.

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Isn’t this magnificent?

Having skimmed the closed market I kept on walking and after a short detour to visit the rather uninteresting Methodist Church, the next building of note was the very fine Town Hall you can see above. Obviously I had no business there and contented myself with an image. Still walking in the same direction I came upon “The Cut” i.e. the canal.

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I really want to walk this all one day.

Cut along to the Cut.

Obviously, the very reason I was in West Yorkshire was in order to attend the wonderful VT Canal Boat Meet organised so brilliantly by my friend Gilly (see previous entries for details). We had enjoyed a wonderful time on the Calder and Hebble Navigation and I had noticed the Rochdale Canal branching off this at nearby Sowerby Bridge although we sadly did not have time to explore it. It was, therefore, with great delight that I became re-acquainted with the Rochdale when visiting Todmorden and simply had to have a bit of a wander along it. Again, time was against me as I had several other places I wanted to visit but the short distance I did walk was absolutely delightful.

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Madame la Guillotine for giants.

One fascinating technical feature of the canal here is the rather large electrically operated guillotine lock right in the middle of town. I had never seen such a thing before until I locked through the one in Salterhebble a few days previously. They just do not seem to exist on the canals in Southern England where I normally crew. Should you wish to have a look at this clever piece of technology you will find it to the West of the A6033 Rochdale Road towards the South of town.

The history of the Rochdale Canal is fairly typical of many such projects in the UK. In the late 18th century it was obvious that the road system, basically designed for packhorses, was totally unsuitable for the rapidly growing transport needs of a country caught up in the Industrial Revolution. After a couple of false starts, including a survey by James Brindley, who is very famous in canal building matters, the relevant law was passed in 1794 and construction commenced. The navigation finally opened in 1799 between Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden and from Manchester to Rochdale with the entire route open in 1804.

Again, in a mirror of so many other canals, the railways arrived and started to cut into the profits of the private canal companies and this continued all through the 19th century and into the 20th and the Rochdale finally closed in 1952 except for one very small section. Step forward then the local canal enthusiasts who decided to do something when central and local government did not seem to want to and a boost of £23 milion at the time of the Millenium hugely assisted with a new look canal opening in 2002. Whilst not used commercially any more this wonderful asset provides an excellent leisure opportunity for walkers, cyclists, joggers and, naturally, boaters. I would love to cruise it some time but I shall have to be content with my walk for now and I recommend that the reader does the same if they are in the town.

I had gone about as far as I thought I wanted in one direction and so crossed the road to retrace my steps.

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What  a welcoming place.

I had noticed a church which fairly well dominates the skyline of the town and which I was subsequently to discover was the Parish Church of St. Mary so when I came back to it I obviously decided to have a look and this was for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as I have mentioned often before, I am of no faith myself and yet I find places of worship (of whatever faith) endlessly fascinating. In addition any old church in the UK will generally have some sort of graveyard / churchyard / cemetery (or whatever you care to call them) attached and I also find these of huge interest as I think they have so much to offer in the way of social history.

Initially it became obvious why the Church with it’s large tower was so dominant in the landscape as there were a flight of fairly steep steps up from the road. I try to remember the needs of mobility impaired travellers when I write here and so I should add that despite my best efforts I can find no information online on the subject of accessibility so apologies for that. I even tried to telephone the Church but they were obviously busy with far more important things than my ridiculous queries and so I am no further forward. In this modern day and age I cannot believe that provision would not be made.

The other immediately evident thing was that the building was something of a mongrel in architectural terms and I mean no disrespect when I say that. Viewed from the side it appears to be a fairly standard (non-cruciform) church with a tower at one end but approaching from the Burnley Road end there appeared to be a later addition stuck on the other end. I am by no means an architectural expert but it appeared to me to be perhaps Victorian. I don’t know why but it just struck me thus.

There has certainly been a place of worship on this site for many centuries although many of the very old records are lost now and so the inception of this church is variously dated as being between 1400 and 1476. Since then it has been part of the Diocese of Lichfield, Chester, Manchester and Wakefield. This long history has not been without controversy, however, and for some obscure reason there was another Anglican Church very nearby which led to some odd situations. For example, in 1853 the local Bishop claimed to have discovered discrepancies in the ancient documents concerning the church which not only rendered the curate not actually the curate of this place but, perhaps more worryingly, that all marriages he had performed were not legal. This unfortunate situation had ultimately to be resolved by Act of Parliament, no less.

The situation of two churches in such close proximity came to a head in 1987 when it became obvious that both were in need of repair and one would have to be closed and one refurbished. This church came out on top of a very close vote and refurbishment started soon after, being completed in 1992 when Christ Church (the other one up the hill) was deconsecrated, obviously an uneasy decision for all involved. £400,000 completed the work on what is now a very pleasant building.

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If the building is pleasant, then so are the good parishioners who worship here and, again with no apology, I shall digress slightly for an anecdote about my experience there. I had been looking at the old gravestones which are all laid out flat now as a sort of pavement outside the church when I walked past a well-dressed elderly woman. Naturally we greeted each other and I made some comment about the leaves which were starting to fall and were lying on the ground and she said to me, “Would you like a broom?”. I laughed and made some comment about not having much time albeit I would have been happy to sweep up the leaves and the woman looked at me as if I was completely mad (not an unreasonable assumption). I suspect a combination of her strong Yorkshire accent and my slight hearing loss conspired to cause the confusion here. It transpired she had actually enquired if I “wanted a brew” which is UK slang for a hot drink. There had been a meeting or service in the church and tea and coffee were on offer. It appears that Christian charity and Yorkshire hospitality are both very evident here.

I wandered in and was looking around when I was approached by a very pleasant female cleric who again offered me liquid refreshment, they really were sociable here. I declined politely and explained I was just visiting and had decided on a look round here and she very helpfully directed me to some leaflets explaining the most interesting points in the church. She excused herself as having things to do but not before encouraging me to come and ask her if I had any specific questions. Absolutely charming.

Left again to my own devices I did have a decent look round although I did not see the whole church as I just felt a little uncomfortable “crashing” a parish meeting or whatever it was. It was, however, interesting and I do think the £400,000 was money well spent on this fine old building.

I don’t generally like the word nice as it is a little lazy in writing terms but this really was a nice experience on a number of different levels as described. I do not know how often the church is actually open normally outside of service times but I do recommend the traveller at least takes a look round the outside and the inside if it is open.

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A lovely place for a drink

It’s beer o’clock.

By now, with all the walking and so on it was definitely well past “beer o’clock” and I put an inch to my stride in order to find one that was open.That was no problem, the White Hart Hotel looked like it would fit the bill and it happened to be a Wetherspoons. Regular readers will be glad to know that I am not going to go into all the arguments about that company again, as I have done it enough elsewhere.

This particular morning I ate a light breakfast (served until 1200) as well as having a drink. I chose one of my favourites for this hour which is the pancakes and bacon with maple syrup and whilst I appreciate that it is difficult to go wrong with such a simple dish it was presented quickly and well and proved to be very tasty. I don’t usually take breakfast and certainly not too early in the morning but this is a great option for me and at about £3 (2015 price) it will not break the bank. Service generally (bar and table) was friendly and efficient which pleased me as, if I have a slight complaint about Wetherspoons and it is slight, it is that sometimes there are not enough staff on duty which can lead to a lengthy wait at the bar. No such problems here.

The surroundings were clean and pleasant and the toilet facilities were spotless. It is a very large premises and there are plenty of tables. All tables are numbered for ordering food (which you do at the bar and it is then delivered to your table) and I believe the outside table I saw when I went outside for a smoke was numbered something like 101 which gives some sense of scale. Externally the premises is pleasant and (presumably faux) half-timbered and it looks like it has been fairly recently refurbished. Apologies for the image but because of the lie of the road and the sheer size of the building I could not quite get it all in! Another quick pint and it was time for a bit more exploring. I had had a great day already and it was still only midday. I had a notion to head back to the bus station as I reckoned I had just about exhausted the possibilites of an essentially closed Todmorden.

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What a name for a pub!

The pub is called what?

As usual, events overtook me as I spotted the pub / hotel you can see in the image and was instantly taken slightly aback by the name “The Polished Knob”. Perhaps it is just the way my disordered little mind works but it did seem like a slightly risque name to me reminiscent of certain stand-up comic’s jokes of yesteryear. If the reader does not understand this allusion, please just read on, trust me that your position of innocence is much to your credit.

It is a fairly large pub which turned out to have hotel accommodation upstairs (four doubles and one single, all en-suite apparently) and immediately I walked in there I knew it was my kind of place. Initially this was due to there being a full drumkit set up at one end of the bar and various amps, mixing desks and pedal boards etc. strewn about what obviously doubles as the stage area. A further look round revealed a number of posters for forthcoming live entertainment, mostly of the rock band tribute variety and a bit of research whilst composing this piece indicates that there is indeed live music here every Friday and Saturday night.

As a hotel they provide food from breakfast time right through the day and pride themselves on their home-cooked offerings although I did not sample any of the fare. I did, however, have a couple of pints of cider which was well-kept and served by a very friendly barmaid. I noticed that there was a good selection of beers, many of them sourced from small local breweries and, indeed, a man arrived to deliver a couple of barrels when I was there.

I got the impression that this is very much a locals place although I was certainly made to feel welcome but one word of warning. If you are trying to hide then be aware that they have live feeds online from the bar so anyone in the world with an internet connection can see if you are in there having a crafty pint. This practice seems to be becoming more prevalent in pubs and I have to say I really don’t like it. Other than this slight quibble I liked it here and would recommend it.

As for what the name of the premises means, I still have no idea. I didn’t like to ask!

Surely I could make it to the bus station now as I could see it just across the road but no, this is Fergy on a ramble and I had spied something else.

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All you need to know.

I don’t really think I had thought about it prior to my visit but I doubt if I was expecting there to be a Tourist Information Centre here, I suppose I just didn’t think it was a big enough town . In the event, I didn’t really need one as I just wandered round the relatively small community and discovered plenty of things for myself as I hope this entry shows.
It was only when I wandered past this place that I thought they might assist me with a query which I am sure they do not often get from visitors namely where to find a computer shop that was open. As I mentioned in my tip on the Market elsewhere on this page it was Tuesday which is supposed to be half-day closing in Todmorden but turned out to be all day closing in reality. I had been struggling somewhat to find anywhere open much less somewhere to help me with my completely bloody-minded netbook with which I fought constantly.

I wandered in and spoke to an absolutely charming lady who gave me explicit directions to not one but two computer shops although she said that she didn’t know which may be open. In the event the first one was not but the second one was and solved my problem in no time flat. Whilst I was there I took the opportunity to examine the (mostly free) literature on offer although there were a number of commercially produced books and other sundries on offer. I do generally find Tourist Information Board offices in the UK to be fairly good and this was one such albeit I had not expected to find it open at this time of year in what is effectively the shoulder season. Whatever the reason for it being open it was most welcome and of great help. By all means pop in if you are in the town.

I really did not think I had so much to write about a small market town but that is just me I suppose.

I finally escape from Tod.

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I did actually make it to the bus station this time and decided I would head back the way I had come using my rover ticket as I had seen a couple of places I fancied a look at.  The first place I jumped off was Hebden Bridge. In truth I did no more here than have a wander up the main street (which didn’t take long, it is not a huge place) and find an excellent pub where I spent considerably longer than I had planned. You will be glad to know that it will be the only review in this section as I know this page is turning into bit of a saga.

Hebden Bridge, like so many other places in Calderdale, was reliant on heavy industry specifically textiles and boomed between the early 19th and early 20th centuries., a situation facilitated by the nearby Rochdale Canal and the coming of the railways. With the passing of these industries the town also fell into decline and I was told locally that by the 1970’s the place was in a “right old state”.

Enter, stage left, the counter-culture or whatever you want to call them. Lured primarily by the cheap price of housing (nobody wanted to live there any more) the town was a magnet for artists, musicians, green activists, poets, playwrights, New Age adherents and just about every other slightly non-mainstream group you care to mention and this continues to the present day.

A quick walk down the main street reveals that there is nothing for sale that is not organic, fairtrade (Hebden Bridge is itself a designated fairtrade zone), hand-made, artisan, locally-sourced or any of the other currently trendy terms. Whilst this may have irked me slightly in certain circumstances it just seems somehow right here and even on my brief acquaintance with the place I definitely got a bit of a “vibe” here. It was one that was to my liking being a very amateur musician myself. Speaking of music, there is an award winning Blues Festival here annually as well as several other local parades, fairs and so on and this has led to the town becoming something of a tourist Mecca.

Another interesting fact that I discovered whilst researching this page was that Hebden Bridge has the highest concentration of lesbians per capita in the UK although how they arrive at such a figure I have no idea. It is also known as a very supportive place for lesbian couples to raise children. Another little fact is that the currently hugely popular musician Ed Sheeran was born here albeit he moved away young.

As I said, the place really has a slightly offbeat feel to it and one that sat with me very comfortably. I really do intend to return some time and make the effort to keep myself out of the pub long enough to have a better look round.

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Not at all what I expected.

I had noticed a pub on the way into town called the Fox and Goose but it was way behind me up a hill and hadn’t even looked particularly open so I decided to press on along the Main Street to see if I could find somewhere for a little liquid refreshment. There seemed to be a bit of a dearth of drinking holes in the town and so I came upon the Old Gate with somewhat mixed feelings. Allow me to explain.

I was happy in that I had found a pub but slightly ill at ease as it appeared to be one of the upmarket gastropubs that are not really my cup of tea (or pint of cider come to that) and which seem to be ever more popular. In addition I was in my usual fairly casual mode (denim jacket, hoodie, jeans, trainers, long beard and hair, earring et al) and, before you ask, yes I am having a mid-life crisis! Stepping through the front door did nothing to calm my disquiet as it was a very well-appointed large space with modern fixtures and fittings and a couple of people eating what looked like very well-presented food.

Well, in for a penny in for a pound and so I approached the bar where I was greeted most civilly by both the young lady and young man serving. Not seeing my usual Strongbow ( a fairly common brand of cider in UK) I enquired as to what was on offer and was talked most knowledgeably through the selection. This was to be a feature of the considerable time I spent there as I saw various members of staff explaining the different beers to customers and offering sample glasses which is always a good sign in my opinion. It seems that staff knowledge of the products here is encouraged. To my shame I cannot actually remember which one I ordered but it was very pleasant if memory serves.

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I loved the copper bartop.

I had adopted my usual place at the bar and was therefore in a position to indulge in conversation with the staff as the place was not overly busy on a midweek afternoon in September and they were very pleasant. Moreover, my appearance did not seem to be of any consequence albeit I was still feeling a little under-dressed but this was all to become clear as the afternoon wore on. My position also afforded me the opportunity to peruse the extensive selection of beers on offer, many of them locally sourced and with numerous brews I had never heard of.

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What a gorgeous drop.

My eye fell upon the Titanic Plum Porter (abv 4.9%) which had been voted Gold Champion Beer in the specialist category of the CAMRA awards 2015. For those of you not aware, XXXX CAMRA is an acronym for the Campaign for Real Ale which is a consumer advocacy group dealing with real ales and ciders. I ordered a pint and it was good, very good. It was certainly deserving of gold award status so I had to have another (and then several more I must admit). I rarely drink beer in the UK but this was exceptional and I do recommend it highly.

As time passed, various people came into the bar and I felt decidedly less self-conscious about my look. I knew that Hebden Bridge was something of a centre for the counter-culture and this proved to be the case as people were wandering in wearing every type of attire imaginable and were all greeted in exactly the same friendly manner as I was. It appears to me that the Old Gate is indeed a community pub in the proper sense of the term and very expensively dressed yuppies rub shoulders quite happily with guys (and girls) sporting multiple tattoos and piercings and wearing combat trousers, working boots and heavy metal T-shirts. Late middle aged matrons out for a late lunch / early supper brush past young girls wearing painters overalls quite happily. I know Hebden Bridge is a singular sort of place but this must be the essence of the town and they have got it completely spot on here.

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Fergy as duty gerbil-sitter.

Another thing to note is that the premises are not only dog-friendly, they are completely caninophile (if that is a proper word) and at times it looked like Battersea Dog’s Home in there. At one point a young lady approached me and asked if I would hold her dog as she was in urgent need of the ladies “facilities”. No problem, I like dogs. I have included here an image of said beast which to my way of thinking was actually more like a gerbil on a lead than a proper dog. The image was not improperly taken (even after the pints of porter) as I have deliberately included my hand to give a sense of scale. On the owner’s return, she thanked me profusely and I joked that it had tried to drag me off the stool but I had manfully resisted. She laughed dutifully but I include this anecdote as an indication of the general style of the place. I use the word style advisedly as it has a style all it’s own and so much at odds with my initial impression which should reinforce a lesson I really should have learned long ago.

I didn’t eat there but the Old Gate boasts a fairly upscale restaurant as well as offering bar which is perhaps a little more expensive than the local average but the surroundings would certainly appear to justify it. The pub also features exhibitions of local artists of whom there are many.

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To summarise then what has become a fairly verbose review (as tends to happen with me) I can do no more than to recommend very highly the Old Gate. I was much taken with the whole area and intend to return soon and this establishment will certainly be high on my list of priorities for a revisit. Never judge a book by it’s cover.

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Dragging myself away it was back on the bus and I managed to get all the way back to Halifax without further incident i.e. pub so back to the Percy Shaw as mentioned in the previous entry and a supper of chilli dog chips (fries) and onion rings. Very tasty it was too and then another reasonably early bed as it had been a tiring if thoroughly enjoyable day.

There is another one the next day so stay tuned and spread the word.

Author: Fergy.

Hello there and welcome to my blog which is the last attempt of a retiree and child of the 50's to overcome advanced technophobia and create a memoir of my rambles having had three commercial travel blog sites pulled from under me in just over a year. A learning curve like Everest! I am rapidly approaching a senior citizen bus pass and realistically I have more days independent travelling behind me than before so I intend to "do it while I still can" and am trying to cram in as much as I can now. Apart from travelling, I love playing music (guitar, vocals and a bit of percussion) as the profile pic suggests and sport, although my active participation is now restricted to the very occasional game of pool. I read voraciously, probably a legacy from my dear late Mother who was a librarian and encouraged me towards books from an early age. I'll read just about anything although I do have a particular interest in military history of all periods. I live alone in fairly central London where I have been for over 30 years since leaving Northern Ireland which was the place of my birth, youth and early manhood. Partially by necessity although more by love of the art I adore cooking and I can and do read recipe books and watch food programmes on TV / online all day. Nothing fancy and none of your nouvelle cuisine nonsense, just hopefully tasty, proper food. To my knowledge, I have not poisoned anyone yet! No doubt other little personal facts about me will emerge during the course of my writings here so stay tuned if you are at all interested.

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