20.12.18 — Journal

Hebden, Rillington & Malton

As I begin the venture of coding my new site – see my overview of the design in my last blog post – I’ve been needing more than ever to get out of the house and escape the endless lines of CSS. Thankfully my parents had a week off together, and so we made a couple of trips over into Yorkshire.

The first trip we made was to Hebden Bridge, a picturesque little town which pretty much neighbours Burnley. We spent a good long afternoon dipping in and out of little shops and exploring the Sunday market, and I picked up some delicious focaccia and olives to make a nice meal later in the day.

Architecture in Hebden Bridge

For a bite to eat we wandered into a lovely little café called Humblest of Pleasures, and enjoyed a lovely mid-afternoon tea consisting of coffee and a lovely stack of chocolate and fresh fruit pancakes. All of this, it turned out, was vegan, and I thought of the bliss meal that me and Ellie had enjoyed in Sheffield just a week or so earlier.

Humblest of Pleasures in Hebden Bridge

Apart from my haul of Italian food, I spent the rest of the little money I’d brought along treating myself to various books from charity shops. This comes after I made a promise to myself that I would not buy any more physical books until I had fully read the quite vast library that I’ve accumulated at home, but with some popular titles such as “Gone Girl” on offer for less than a quid, I really couldn’t help myself!

That said, I am getting into reading quite a lot, so I’m now toying with the idea of writing the occasional blog post with a little overview of what I’ve been reading. I’d say it’d be an occasional short book review, but that phrase for me brings up bad memories of being forced to write book reviews in primary school, so we shan’t call it that. Drop me a message on Facebook if you know of any good reads, or you have strong feelings about whether I should do my little book blog posts or not…

An abandoned building in Burnley

A few days later, we found ourselves driving back over the county line and into Yorkshire once again, but this time we went so far as to venture into North Yorkshire. We’d headed over to pay a visit to my grandad’s grave, lay a wreath, and visit the little village where he grew up: Rillington.

Arriving in Rillington
Rillington Post Office

It must have been a few years now since I last visited Rillington, as my memories are quite fragmented. I remembered how we’d visit my great aunt, my Grandad’s sister, and how we’d eat Parkin and drink strong tea and throw bits of paper in her open fire whilst she wasn’t looking. I remembered very clearly her house, the beautiful garden with a coal shed and a pine tree littering the lawn with cones, and the big field stretching out behind the garden. I remember being fascinated by the lightbulbs she used for the ceiling lights (“big lights” to us northerners), wondering where she sourced such strange coloured bulbs (warm cream and off-pink) in such strange shapes. I now realise that said bulbs must have been in that house since time immemorial – I doubt they make LED versions of them!

Sadly my great aunt passed away a few years ago, and since then I’ve been so busy country hopping that it must have been an equal amount of time since I had last visited. As you can see from the photos above, it is a gorgeous little place, and we had a lovely time strolling the streets in the cool breeze. We wandered down the street that I recognised so vividly from my childhood, but naturally we couldn’t snoop around her old house now that it’s home to somebody else, so I made do with a quick wander into the field behind.

Looking out into the field
Pastel coloured houses

After a look around the local church where my Grandad’s funeral had taken place before I was born, we made back to the car and drove the short distance to Malton, the nearest big town.

Inside the church
Walking into Malton
Butchers hiding under their awning

Here we began snooping around the place before the sun went down, wandering the pretty streets where I admired the hand-painted signage and insisted that my dad take a photo of me on a film camera emulator on my phone as I’d stupidly forgot to bring my actual film camera along with me.

A lovely bit of signage
A moody photo in the shambles

We ascended through the centre up through some shambles and wound up in a cattle market as it was closing shop for the day. We got chatting to a couple of guys who were loading sheep into a van for transportation, and they told us how that particular flock had ben sold and was being sent off to the slaughterhouse. It was quite a sobering moment.

A postcard picture of British life

After this, we descended back to the pastel-coloured centre of Malton and paid a visit to a lovely little tea rooms that my parents had visited on a previous visit. Whilst they tucked into a Christmas dinner, I enjoyed a big bowl of delicious creamy vegetable soup and a side of fresh-cut ham sandwiches. The ham was thick and salty, and reminded me of my childhood having lunch at my other grandparents’ house near Bradford – it was quite lovely.

Afternoon tea

After a cheeky dessert of Christmas cake in brandy sauce (also delicious), we retreated back to the car as the cold weather began worsening, and headed back over the county line into Lancashire. I may have been born and raised here in Lancashire, but with my entire family hailing from across the border and Burnley sitting perilously close to it, I feel a strong affinity with Yorkshire which will always keep me keen to return – even if just for the occasional day trip!