I often visit Huddersfield, and I often discover something new, exciting and different.
The Caledonian Café is everything that it isn’t, it’s the slow accretion of time, personal taste and accoutrements. Not frozen but slowly evolving, warm and welcoming. Owners Tony and Claire were more than happy to offer their company, tea and sympathy.
“The students come in to do their projects, sometimes they just ask to photograph the salt pots.”
I was more than happy to oblige and comply.
The prices are more than reasonable, and Tony goes out of his way to accommodate his customers.
” The families don’t always have a lot, so I give them two plates and split the burger and chips for the two kiddies.”
It was still early for me so I settled on a large tea, but I’ll be back before long for a bite to eat.
So best foot forward, get yourself down to the Caledonian, you won’t be disappointed.
Cycling along Curzon Road one sunny Sunday afternoon, I found to my surprise, facing me across the Whiteacre Road junction.
– An empty yet extant launderette.
One lone drier tumbling, lonely – an absence of presence, save myself.
The usual spartan interior almost unkempt, enlivened by four legged, almost alien, ovalish plastic laundry baskets. A sunlit shimmer of brushed steel surfaces, low lit and deeply shadowed linoleum tiles.
Under the illuminating hum of bare fluorescent tubes.
If you walk far enough away, you’ll find yourself right there.
The sea to your right, Bridlington to your left. You could even catch the Land Train if you are so inclined, I declined and walked wet streets, in ever eager anticipation of my first visit to:
A family run enterprise, tucked just away from the Yorkshire coast nestled in the village of Sewerby. Jan Whitehead and her team of willing helpers kindly allowed me to get a sneak preview of the village, as they prepared for the imminent Easter opening.
This one twelfth scale wonder is filled with everything you might wish to find in an idyllic village – but smaller and made lovingly by hand. Wandering its narrow streets, each tiny turn is a new and exciting surprise, an irresistible vista of diminutive figures, set in a cornucopia of architectural delights.
The trains always run on time, and the trawlers bob merrily in the harbour.
The wedding party remain forever almost snapped by the arched photographer, blink and they don’t move.
So step inside a world of wonder – I’ll be back when the sun shines, I promise.
From being little I’ve always eaten pies and cakes, that’s how you stop being little all your life, broadly speaking.
They taste nice.
They taste nicest from a local bakers and confectioners, where everything is always fresh and baked on the premises. Walk in and it’s warm and welcoming, it smells of baking and love.
So each time I cycle around Greater Manchester, I do my level best to find one, go in and buy a pie.
And eat it.
One such stop off is Cochrane’s, the family have baked here since 1964, Ruth and Roger are charming and helpful – sadly we mourned the passing of most of their fellow bakers’ shops. Bowker’s on Penny Meadow in Ashton having recently shut. Once gone nobody takes them on – the family traditions of employment having long since been broken. Three of my aunties were trained as confectioners, I’m a good for nothing photographer.
They disappear in a puff of flour.
So make the most of those that remain, stop by buy a pie – I did.
Like many large Edwardian pubs The Pagefield is now closed, though of great social, architectural and historical importance, the economics of industrial decline and changing patterns of leisure almost always point to a change of use rather than reopening as a boozer. Though more commonly becoming a Tesco or Sainsbury’s, plans have been submitted for both conversion to flats and a possible Indian Restaurant, neither seem imminent.
The building is blessed with etched and stained glass windows, a richness of architectural type, mosaic porch and a grandeur in scale and detailing. Once serving a high density of housing in the Springfield area, the mills that fuelled the economy of the area are now long gone, along with the wages that bounced over the bar.
It was named after the Pagefield iron rolling mills which were just down the road – thanks to Steven Buckley for the inside track, his great grandfathers worked at the mill.
Originally a Bolton based brewery Magee and Marshall owned the pub, passing to Greenall Whitley and then the usual succession of entrepreneurial pub companies.
“Magee Marshall & Company was a brewery that operated from the Crown Brewery in Bolton. It was founded by David Magee, a brewer and spirit merchant in 1853. He moved from the Good Samaritan Brewhouse to the Crown Hotel in the 1860s and built the Crown Brewery in Derby Street next to the hotel. After his death he was succeeded by his sons, who acquired David Marshall’s Grapes Brewery and the Horseshoe Brewery. The company was registered as Magee Marshall & Company Ltd. in 1888. The company acquired Henry Robinson’s Brewery in Wigan and Halliwell’s Alexandra Brewery. In 1959 it was acquired by Greenall and Whitley and closed in 1970.
The brewery, built around 1900, was in the “traditional brewery style” with a five-storey section for gravity processing and an ornamental tower. Up to the 1950s the company transported water, high in dissolved calcium carbonate content, in tankers by rail from Burton on Trent for the brewing process.”