Yorkshire(Gary Barlow) - Another Relation is Added to the Family Tree and a Drive Through the Yorkshire Dales - 6th August 2016

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August 6th 2016
Published: August 12th 2016
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Another lovely Yorkshire morning and I think I might even get into shorts today and discard the sweat top for our drive up into the Yorkshire Dales.

On our last trip, the BBA V2 in 2013, we had hoped we could have made contact with my third cousin, Morag, of the Sturrock family living in Yorkshire but time and events counted against us.

In the meantime I had become ‘friends ‘with her daughter Michele on Facebook and it was through a message from her that we learnt of Morag’s passing earlier this year just a few months before we were due in England.

However, today we will meet up with Michele and her husband Andy and a further connection in my family tree will be made in person.

With 2 suitcases full of clean clothes after our washing dried nicely in the gentle warm wind we bid our farewell to Rhona. Although it had been a short stay it had been great to spend time with her and we thoroughly enjoyed her company and hospitality as we did with Jean and Stella in Suffolk.

The journey to tonight’s accommodation at Ingleton is probably the shortest trip between beds for the BBA V3 but we have arranged to meet with Michele and Andy in East Morton for a coffee late morning.

First though we needed to find our way out of the built up area of Pudsey and through Bradford to the countryside.

As history has shown Bradford has that look of being tired after all the hustle and bustle of the age when the area led the industrial revolution and factories of all types but especially related to the wool and cotton trade with spinning and weaving dominated employment in the city.

Now, those trades have all but gone and factories closed and the city has become a multi cultural one and during our short drive through some of the busy Saturday morning streets as we headed north it was almost impossible to pick out a person with a European look or dress.

It was coming through Bradford that Gretchen got some ‘revenge ‘on the English drivers who have tooted her as we have had to change lanes to keep in the right direction. I should add that she has always indicated and slowed down so that the lane changes were well signalled to vehicles around us.

We arrived at a downhill intersection with the left lane the one we should have got into. However we were in the centre lane that had no direction arrows painted on the road and with no traffic turning across us she turned left when the signal went to green. A driver behind us going straight through and not inconvenienced by us in any way sat on their horn presumably to tell us we could only turn left from the very left lane.

Then as we drove onto the next intersection, one that formed a crossroads, we waited our turn for a green light and proceeded when we got our turn. It was lucky that the Skoda can be a bit slow off the mark as a vehicle driven by a young woman (we had enough time to see who was driving) drove through a red light right in front of us.Oh how we wished Skoda had put a decent sounding horn in their Fabia’s!

However it did give Gretchen an opportunity to get something back on all the English drivers who have tooted her over the last 10 days!

We found the Bussfield Arms in East Morton easily enough but not before we were stopped in our tracks by a set of alarm bells. At first we thought it was a railway crossing but as we were stopped on an uphill stretch it was difficult to make out.

Then the road in front of us started to move and we gradually realised it wasn’t a railway line at all but a canal and that the road crossed over the arms of a lock that had opened to let a couple of canal barges through. Just another unique experience on the BBA V3!

Michele and Andy were waiting for us at the Bussfield Arms which is the local pub.

I recognised Michele and Andy straight away such is the advantage that you have with Facebook and all the photos that follow you through your life.

It was lovely to make the connection at last and another piece of the puzzle fell into place.

We spent a relaxing couple of hours over a coffee then a pint (it was after midday by then) talking and getting each other’s history or at least as much as you can talk about in such a short time.

Now that we have personally met we feel that the bond will only grow and we look forward to meeting them again whether it be our next trip to the UK or if they happen to make down to NZ first. And of course we will still be in contact on Facebook.

We had booked our hotel room at the Craven Heifer in Ingleton well before we started out on the BBA V3.

The reason being was that the Flying Scotsman, that historic steam engine which has been restored to her full glory, was to take an excursion, tomorrow Sunday, from York to Carlisle via the Yorkshire Dales line through Settle and the majestic Ribblehead Viaduct was just a short drive away from the hotel. The plan was to get a good advantage point and watch the Flying Scotsman come up the hill and onto the viaduct with hopefully a full head of steam. We couldn’t get tickets to ride the train and anyway seeing the steam engine from an advantage point off the train was best.

However, a few months ago heavy rain damaged the track north of the viaduct and they could no longer take such a heavy train over the line. This had resulted in the excursion being diverted to the east coast line and then along the rail line running parallel to the A69 in to Carlisle.

This meant we had to change plans as to where we could get our advantage point to see the train pass by hopefully somewhere we could get a few seconds of video too. More about that tomorrow after we work out just where we might take ourselves.

The market town of Skipton was just a short distance further on after we left Michele and Andy and we decided to call in and take a walk around the stalls and have a late lunch.

We got ourselves a car park on the top end of the town and walked down to the busy main street which was lined with stalls selling everything almost you could think of. Gretchen bought a couple of scarves that took her eye and we couldn’t go past the stall selling chocolate.

On the BBA V1 when we stayed at Settle for 2 weeks we came down to Skipton a couple of times including a Saturday market and recalled a sweet shop just off the main street that had every kind of boiled and toffee sweet ever made and still being made! It was still there as we diverted away from the main street and a quarter of an hour later we came out with a large bag full of those little white bags that take the’quarter’of sweets of your choice in each one. It so reminded us of the days when we used to go down to the corner store and in the same type of white paper bags, the storekeeper put your favourite sweets for’ three pence’ which might last the rest of the afternoon.

The A65 north west of Skipton is an enjoyable road to drive in the Yorkshire sunshine with lovely views over the low stone walls of the farmers paddocks to the green fields on the rolling hillsides interspersed every so often with a field of golden wheat or barley. The road twists and turns gently and is one to be driven in a manual car so you get the’ feel of the road ‘as you accelerate and decelerate and changing gears on a regular basis.

Ingleton soon came up on the GPS and we turned off the main road and into the small village so much like many others in the Yorkshire Dales with a group of houses and a ‘high street ‘of tiny shops covering all that one needs to live in such a location.

The Craven Heifer isn’t as old as the George in Hayfield but it has still been around since the 17th century and started life as a coaching hotel for people who travelled through the Dales in both directions between the North of England or Scotland and the Midlands or further south on the western side of the UK.

Our room was a cosy one with en suite and will suit us for the night although we were stretched to find enough room to store our two suitcases and back packs.

We hadn’t spent too long in the car today but it was good to stretch the legs with a wander around the town taking in the historic rail viaduct over the river which ran through a valley to one side of the town which is no longer used. Trains stopped running in 1967 but the viaduct remains and it was interesting to see a notice posted to indicate that work was to be done on the historic structure to maintain it for the future.

Dinner back at the hotel was another huge and tasty pub meal and we really should have gone out for a walk afterwards to aid the digestion but the sky had clouded over and it had turned quite cool which indicates there may be some rain overnight.

So we opted for bed and a read of the Kindles and then sleep in readiness to find the right spot to watch the Flying Scotsman charge by.

PS:to end our short stay in Yorkshire enjoy a song by Gary Barlow who co-wrote the musical 'Girls' based upon that fabulous movie 'Calendar Girls' and is a reflection of all that abounds in that wonderful county.Enjoy on Youtube as usual.


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