The Wicker Arches is a railway viaduct on the edge of Sheffield city centre. It was built in 1848 and the 41-arches span the Don Valley. Most of the arches are now blocked, with various businesses occupying the spaces, but the main arch across the Wicker, with decorative pedestrian arches to either side, remains a busy route into the city, and Effingham Road also passes beneath the viaduct further east. The arch beneath which the River Don passes now forms part of the Five Weirs Walk with the route taking the form of a suspended metal walkway named the Spider Bridge (it’s even decorated with large silver arachnids with illuminated eyes).
Passenger rail services across the viaduct ceased in 1970 when Sheffield Victoria Station, which was situated atop the viaduct, closed, and all rail traffic had stopped by the 1980s.
The phrase “as wide as the Wicker Arches” has been regularly used by people in Sheffield to denote someone who was a bit crafty or a smartarse.
When I was cheeky “Wide as the Wicker Arches!” Would come my mum’s cry
Another victim in the declining pub trade in the UK, the Farfield Inn stands at the western end of Neepsend Lane at the bottom of Hillfoot Road, not far from the busy route that is Penistone Road. There used to be pigeon lofts on the steep hillside along this stretch but those, like the Farfield Inn, have fallen into dereliction, their skeletal remains vaguely apparent in the brush that has grown to take their place.
“Fancy a nice pint?” Would once have been said by those Who visited here
Finding old cars here in the UK isn’t easy, at least outside of car shows and museums. The MOT system means that most vehicles get sent for scrap before they gain too much age; the cost of keeping them road-worthy a barrier to long-term posession. Add to this the large-scale scrappage schemes that were brought into place when the use of leaded petrol was outlawed a few decades ago and the number of older-model vehicles is low. So, when I come across something like this Ford Capri parked on a street-corner, a photograph or two is almost obligatory.
The Capri was introduced as a Eurpopean equivalent of the Mustang apparently and it, along with the mark III Ford Cortina, always give me a sense of their being our versions of the American fastbacks and muscle cars.
Sometimes you can find Old treasures left to be seen On our street corners
This is the cricket ground in Queen’s Park, Chesterfield. This photo was made on my first ever visit to this location, early one Sunday morning (the same Sunday when I took the picture of the Austin A90 featured in yesterday’s post). It’s quite a nice park, with a pond, bandstand, a glasshouse (seen to the middle right of this photo), as well as the cricket ground itself. I believe that the park extends with sports fields beyong the trees you can see in this picture. It’s pencilled into my mental list of interesting places to make photographs, should I be in the vicinity again.
Unexpected park On a Sunday morning walk Pleasantly perceived
A few weeks ago (well, a month to be accurate) I wend to a local car-boot sale early one Sunday morning on the lookout for old camera bargains. There were none – one stall had an old digital compact, and another had one of those cheap 35mm film panoramic cameras – the ones that use a mask to basically crop a 35mm frame down to a thinner output – but nothing I was interested in spending any money on.
As I’d planned to go somewhere afterwards and shoot some film, I had my OM-2n with me. As I walked through the cars parked on the field beside the boot-sale area I noticed this old Austin rally car, so made a photo.
Today my wife and I visitted Knaresborough, an attractive market town in North Yokshire, about sixty miles or so north from where we live. It’s not a place I’ve visited before but it was a lovely location to wander around, looking in the local shops, having a bite to eat, and making some photographs (which will appear here on theblog in due course). Having just started to scan the first roll I shot through my recently-acquired Olympus XA3, I’m very pleased with the results – no signs of any faults and the photos are lovely and sharp – so I decided to take it with me on the trip. It’s tiny size is a definite boon! I did have another camera in she shape of my Canon Sure Shot Supreme – that one mostly because I have a roll of expired Fuji Sensia loaded that I’m wanting to test (I have a few more rolls of the same film so this is the guinea-pig roll to see how they look shot a box speed). All told, and despite some gloomy, if not unexpected for the UK, rainy weather, we had a nice day out.
In amongst the cars Of people looking to bag A bargain or two
A few weeks back I went for a walk around Rother Valley Country Park with my dad. While walking around the northerly of the two main lakes I spotted this intersting looking vehicle.
Wandering closer with the aim of getting a photograph or two the owner noticed me and came over for a chat. The truck is a customised Land Rover that has been named Sprocket the Hotrod. It’s currently fashioned into a pickup configuration and there are plans to add a similarly designed trailer.
This custom Land Rover Was parked beside the lakeside Grabbing attention
I have a week off work and aim to get some photography in the bag while I have the chance. Today I decided to head out into the Peak District and go for a hike.
I chose a location that I’ve not visited before, the village of Tideswell. Or, rather, Tideswell would be on my route. I studied my map beforehand and planned a circular path that would take me from Tideswell Dale car-park (about a mile below Tideswell itself), down the dale to the bottom where it meets Miller’s Dale. The route then followed the River Wye up Miller’s Dale until I would head north up Monk’s Dale. At the top, where the dale meets a road, I’d head back east and then cut through the footpaths in the pastures back to Tideswell, and then back to my car.
The hike would be around six miles, albeit with a lot of altitude to lose and gain along the way, including some steep climbs. While not a long hike, I knew that my backpack and tripod would add some weight and make it more strenuous than if I were travelling light. The part I didn’t really factor into my plans was the trail through Monk’s Dale. Whereas the earlier sections of the walk had been on well defined and surfaced tracks, the path through Monk’s Dale is somewhat more basic. For much of the dale it hugs the stream that runs down the valley and is very scenic, but today, after quite a lot of heavy rain, the path was quite slick with surface mud and I had to keep careful watch on my footing. Further up the valley though is where it got more serious…
Here the path enters into a steep-sided section of the dale which is densely wooded. Over time, the limestone cliffs on either side have shed rocks and boulders which litter the valley bottom and the footpath becomes a half-mile endurance test where every step is a potential sprained ankle, broken hip, or worse! My hiking boots have a nice tread that grips well on many surfaces but, as I found out today, not on worn limestone rubble. It probably took me the best part of an hour to traverse this section of the route, the trees all heavily matted with thick coats of almost orange moss, and I was beginning to think I’d actually lost the footpath and was now just clambering over rocks beside the stream bed (luckily, the water that had been flowing further down the valley was no longer in evidence here, presumably taking an unseen subterranean route through the porous limestone).
I was becoming quite hot from the exertion and sweat was dripping down my face and at one point I almost took a tumble, thoughts about how long I might lay there undiscovered if I became incapacitated flashing across my mind. Thankfully, if this had been the place where I took a fall, I’d have been seen as I then noticed a man nearby examining plants in the undergrowth a little further up the path – he was the first, and only, person I saw on this whole section of the walk, the only other evidence of anyone having passed by being a set of someone else’s footprints that I noticed from time to time in the mud. I stopped to catch my breath, wipe the sweat from my brow, and chat with the man for a while. He’s been to a dental appointment that morning and decided, as he was passing on his way home, to take a look at the valley as it was the first time he’d visited in some time. He was able to tell me that I was maybe more than half-way through the difficult stretch (I’d have preferred to be near the end, to be honest :)) and at least reassure me that this was, indeed, still the actual path.
Continuing along the trail, the way began to become a little easier, albeit still with treacherous footing and the occasional fallen tree to clamber over or duck under, and I eventually managed to reach the open field close the the road. While the worst was behind me, the road itself had a punishing camber that really made my thighs put in the work. The remainder of the route took me through a patchwork of pasture fields back over to Tideswell. I eventually reached the village and found a cafe where I bought myself a sandwich and a slice of “farmhouse slice” – a very tasty shortcacke concoction filled with a selection of juicy dried fruits to eat when I got back to the car – my treat for all the effort!.
The remainder of the route was all downhill back to the carpark and it was with a real sigh of relief that I sat back in the car.
I shot a couple of rolls of film through the Yashica Mat 124G, plus several frames of 35mm with my OM-2. As ever with my blog, these will turn up somewhere down the way after I go through my existing rolls (I have a pretty strict, OCD-style, queuing system for publishing photos if you hadn’t noticed! 🙂
Anyway, to keep things on a bit of a related track, here’s another Peak District photo, this one of Over Owler Tor and a different part of the park. These are gritstone rocks and my boots don’t slip on those!
How long would I lay Undiscovered in the woods If I took a fall?
This wooden telephone pole (I still have an urge to call them telegraph poles, despite that mode of communication having fallen into history) sprouts from a bushy hedge. The base of the pole is becoming hidden by encroaching branches, and tendrils of ivy are starting to reach higher up the structure.
The pole serves a double purpose, also acting as the host for a streetlamp – a charmingly vintage-looking one with its little flourished curl where it holds the lamp.
Weathered wooden pole So many seasons pass by Cracking its structure
A man walks down a street. It could be the guy in the photo, or it could be me – I walked down a lot of streets on this day.
This is probably going to be my last photo from this roll of expired Elite Chrome 200, but it delivered a bumper crop of photos with almost the whole roll being good enough to publish. Whether anyone else feels the same way is open to question, but that doesn’t really matter.
I’ve loved the results this roll gave, the colours are wonderful, the colours rich but not brash, even if not completel accurate to the scenes they portray. Shooting slide film on a point-and-shoot compact was fune too. Will I do it again? I’m not sure. The exposures on all the images is great, even though the camera is 35 years old, with the only downside being a slight softness on the images – I’m not sure why this is the case as the lens on the camera usually produces nice, sharp results. It could just be my post-processing though, or maybe my pickiness.
I have two more rolls of this same stock in the freezer, plus a couple of the 100asa variety too, and I’m looking forward to shooting more when the time is right.
Expired E6 film It’s potential sat waiting For twenty years now