Tag Archives: Elland

Hope Over Elland

According to my Little Oxford Dictionary, the definition of “wandering” is to aimlessly move from place to place in a casual fashion. That being the case, I declare myself a wanderer, indeed I will consider putting that down as my religion when the census forms arrive in a few weeks time. The Lockdown places a severe restriction on my ability to aimlessly wander, of course, but even within the confines of a definable “local area”, I am still able to practice my religion. Yesterday we wandered around the lower part of Elland and up Exley Bank (like all good religions, wandering needs a bit of sacrifice in its devotions – that’s why hills were invented), and for the first time in my life, I discovered Elland Cemetery. For those who haven’t been, it is one of those expansion cemeteries, added to towns in the nineteenth century when the local churchyard became too full. It occupies a spot high on the hill, looking down on where Elland Hall used to stand, and where endless vehicles now by-pass Elland. There are some fine gravestones and monuments, but one in particular caught my eye – a fine stone statue that appeared to be pointing departed souls in the direction of Ainley Top and the road to Huddersfield.

One of the great things about wandering as a religion, is that it can be practiced just as easily from a desktop; and so on my return home I went wandering through the records to find out more information about the statue – which was on top of the grave of Eli Garnett and his family. After consulting the sacred texts – the prophets Google, Malcolm Bull, Census records and the British Newspaper Archives – I eventually found the following piece from the Halifax Guardian of 21 September 1889.

“A WORK OF ART – At the monumental works of Mr J Noble, West Vale, there is a monument which is about to be erected in Elland Cemetery to the memory of the late Mr Joseph Garnett, son of Mr Eli Garnett, of Lowfield House, Elland. The monument is in classical design, and stands on a massive pedestal, and an inscription stone containing a marble panel, which is an exact facsimile of a medallion representing an emblem of music copied from the monument of Jenny Lind. The total height of the monument is 13ft, the pedestal, which is 7ft 6in high, being surmounted by a life-sized figure of Hope. The whole is executed from Bolton Wood stone, and has been done at Mr Noble’s works at West Vale. The figure itself has been carved by Mr Arthur S Rogers, Holywell Green, and is a fine example of delicate and skilful workmanship”

I too, think that the figure of Hope is a fine example of skilful workmanship, but I will leave it to my brother to provide a proper professional assessment. Skilful or not, meeting Hope standing high over Elland, made my day.

A Touch Of Colour

You need a touch of colour on days like today. Days when daylight comes grudgingly and brings a sleet storm or two with it. Days when you approach a pile of grainy black and grey photos from forty odd years ago and wonder why our memories never made it into technicolour. So, on days like today, you press this button and that button, slide this slider and adjust that one. This is the age of the Photoshop filter. It is a hit and miss game: pictorial roulette where the odds are stacked in favour of the monochrome banker. But occasionally, just occasionally, you win one and something emerges that makes you smile. Something with a touch of colour.

I must have taken the original photograph from Hullen Edge, looking down towards Elland Bridge. It was the mid to late 1970s: what is now the Barge and Barrel was then the Bar Bados and the bypass was still as bright as a concrete button. The mills were still working and the trees on the hillside merged into an unrealistically blue sky.

Straight Lines And Edges

This is Elland in the 1970s. The harsh straight lines of lampposts and mill chimneys stand out in sharp contrast from the curve of Upper Edge in the background. One of the mills is now long-gone, the other has been converted into apartments. The lampposts are still there – and so is the hill.

Greetings From Elland

When you go to Paris, you take a photograph of the Eiffel Tower, in New York it’s the Statue of Liberty …. and when you visit Elland it has to be the Calder Valley from Hullen Edge. I must have taken this photograph in the late 1970s: the bypass looks as though it is still a fresh scar on the landscape. It’s winter, it’s wet, and the river was just as incapable of knowing its place, as it is these days. 

The Lonely Ascent Of Mount Blackley

It was a glorious Spring day today and we were tempted outside. Wanting to respect the Government advice on social distancing and the avoidance of parks and beauty spots, we decided to attempt the ascent of Mount Blackley by taking the old footpath from South Lane in Elland to the top of the hill in Blackley. It was a long and arduous climb – and an even longer descent – but we managed to avoid the crowds without any difficulty. If we were attempting to avoid beauty spots, we failed miserably: the scenery was spectacular.

The old cobbled road and stepped path
The remnants of South Lane
Looking back at Elland from Blackley

Entrance Round The Corner

Today’s scan features a strip of negatives that come from a film from the 1980s. Three photographs from the strip feature Elland. Two of them show some half-demolished buildings with the tower of St Mary’s Church in the background. The buildings, which look a little worse for wear, must face onto Westgate, and they may include the back of the old Rose And Crown Inn. The inn – which dates from 1725 and is a Grade II listed building – is still standing, although as a boarded-up empty building rather than as a living pub.

The third shot was taken a little further along Southgate, I think, and features the door to one of those old cafes where the entrance always seemed to be around the corner.

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