We spent Saturday afternoon walking along the Rochdale Canal in the teeth of a chilly north wind and the occasional rain squall, but Sunday morning dawned clear and bright, with blue skies and hardly a breeze.
We drove over to nearby Hebden Bridge, a small market town in the Calder Valley, as my interest had been tickled, and my ire irked, following a recent article on the BBC News website. You may be thinking "Ire? I didn't think I&T was so stuffy as to mind about such things." And you'd be right, for this hasn't anything to do with sexuality, it's to do with the use of the phrase 'lesbian people'. Now, despite what one of my work colleagues cheekily asserts, these won't be gentlemen, will they? Pretty unlikely, I reckon. Which kind of narrows the field down a bit, so why the need for the word 'people'? Rarely has pedantry steered me towards the bold at the rainbow's end.
However, much more interestingly, the bohemian culture described in the article brought to mind a certain fictional town in Alaska, the Cicely of Northern Exposure fame. This 1990s TV programme is a firm favourite at Tense Towers, so we couldn't resist a visit to a place that seemed to share its genetic make-up and joie de vivre.
And we weren't disappointed. Hebden Bridge is a charming town where a multitude of communities come together. Whether it's the outdoorsy brigade hiking through the Pennines, the barges navigating the Rochdale Canal, the cafe culture of a Fair Trade town, or the vibrant alternative movement, it's all there and working together for the good of the area.
|I mistakenly thought this was a training school for chimney sweeps.
|A proper cinema! Films advertised were Tin Tin and The Iron Lady. It must be Metal Night.
|Bubbles issuing from an upper window of the Yorkshire Soap Company
|'Quod petis umbra est' - What thou seekest is a shadow