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October 12th 2015
Published: June 26th 2017
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Geo: 53.7996, -1.54911

October 11th, our 47th Wedding
Anniversary! Can't believe so many years have passed but we are loving life at
the moment and are still happy in each other's company.

We left Filey after breakfast, around 9-30am. Drove the 5
miles into Scarborough. It was another clear day but the wind from the east was
icy so it was a cool morning. We parked down near the beach and set off to
explore this popular seaside resort. There were hundreds of people here as
there was a 10k run along the coast road organised by the Scarborough Athletics
Club. We walked past the Grand Hotel, which lives up to its name in both size
and architecture, and crossed a pedestrian bridge and made our way down the hill
to the Spa Theatre and pavilion. We have jokingly spoken about this trip as our
“Antiques Roadshow” tour of the UK and here was another instance as we
remembered this place as a venue for one of their shows.

The tide was well out and we joined many families on the
beach digging in the sand and playing with their dogs in the shallows. It is easy to see why this place is so popular. It is a large bay with significant tidal variations. At one end there is a Marina and breakwater and as we walked along we could see that many of the boats were left high and dry now the tide was out. We continued along the foreshore , past many shops, cafes and pubs. The runners from the 10k race were arriving back and being greeted by much applause along the way. I couldn't believe how many runners were there. I always believed that the title "Fun Run" is an oxymoron and the look of agony on many faces just confirmed that to me.

We did the compulsory jetty walk to the end of the pier and the lighthouse and then returned. This place, though with Ferris Wheel and sideshows, is not garish like Great Yarmouth and in the morning sunshine was very enjoyable. Still the last runners were struggling in and we walked back to the Grand Hotel. Next to this is a tram to the top of the cliff and for 80p we were glad not to have to climb the steep hillside. Back at the car we set out to drive to Leeds as we had organised with my former student, Helen Fawkner, to stay with her for the next two nights. With the Sat Nav in the car directing us we were soon close to our destination. We eventually found a pub not far away and had another pub food lunch, this time a Surf and Turf which was very ordinary.

At 3-30pm. we arrived at Helen's to be greeted effusively. Helen was in the Class of '82 and is now a Course Director in the Psychology Department at Leeds University. She and her husband Ben are wonderful hosts. The rest of the night was lovely. As it was our anniversary we had some bubbly and then they served us Confit Duck for dinner. Much conversation ensued ranging from nostalgic school reminiscing to training for Triathlons to Australian politics. All accompanied by good wine. So nice to connect with like-minded people and enjoy more than our own company.

The next morning we slept in till 8am but Helen had organised to work from home so as we had breakfast, caught up with email and Facebook, we chatted and planned the day. She had dissuaded us from going into Leeds city centre and suggested some nearby places listed in our book. So about 11-30am we set out to find Five Rise Locks which was about 10 miles away near the town of Bingley. This is on the Leeds/Liverpool canal which urns between those two cities for over 100 miles. Canals were once the truck routes in England taking raw materials from ports like Liverpool and then returning manufactured goods from industrial cities like Leeds. After some driving around and finally asking a local, we found the place. Here there are 5 locks in succession which lower or raise the water 18 metres (or 60 ft) The Lock keeper and his helper were operating them as there was a canal boat passing through. It was very interesting to watch the traditional way these worked. It has not changed since 1816 when the canal was completed.

We walked down the hill and along the canal to where there is another group, Three Rise Locks. Here we watched the whole process as the canal boat negotiated all 3 . I chatted to the woman from the boat who was helping the Lock keeper open and close the huge gates. She and her husband and friends travel the canals every summer and this was her last trip for the year.

From here we drove the short couple of miles to Saltaire. This town was built in the mid 1800s by a local wool merchant, Titus Salt, who imported alpaca wool into Britain to weave more lustrous cloth. When Queen Victoria used his material his fortune was made. He not only built a huge factory, the Salt Mill, but also houses for his workers and a very ornate church in which he is buried. The Salt Mill now contains an Art Gallery, specialising in David Hockney works and other great shops. It also has a cafe to which we were drawn for lunch. It was so nice to have a meal that was fresh and healthy. I chose the special, avocado, stuffed with herbed cream cheese wrapped up in prosciutto, then baked and presented sitting on a crisp salad of greens, apples walnuts and currants. Delicious. Fletcher had a pizza which was a real Italian style one and we had a bottle of the Salt Sauv Blanc with a label painted by Hockney depicting the Mill.

After a satisfying meal we went into the adjoining bookshop to browse and of course, found a couple to add to our collection. We then went upstairs to the Gallery which was showing one of Hockney's latest masterpiece. This is a series of artistic works for which he used an ipad to draw his colourful images. These have then been enlarged and are magnificent interpretations. They were all done between May 1st and 31st in 2011 and depict the unfolding of Spring in the small lanes near Bridlington where he lives. From there we went back down to the ground floor where more Hockney works were on view and where prints etc were available for purchase. A lovely hour or two of browsing overall.

Driving into the town itself, we stopped to look at the Congregational Church and then next to it the lake and sporting complex which Salt had ensured his workers had for recreation. The canal ran alongside this and the River Aire and was a very pretty spot. A small canal boat, the Titus, offered 30 minute rides for 4 pound each. So we couldn't resist and spent a peaceful half hour slowly pottering up to another lock from which emerged the same canal boat we had seen earlier. The canal was populated with many ducks and swans all looking for food.

On the way back to Helen's we stopped to replenish the supply of wine at a bottle shop and then had a slow drive through peak hour traffic to arrive back at 5-45pm. Again another great night followed, this time over home-cooked Chicken Parmigianas and more free flowing conversation. It had been a lovely couple of days renewing acquaintances and relaxing in a pleasant environment.




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14th October 2015

Great blog and pics Colleen! You are making me want o get going again. Happy Anniversary to you both too xx

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