Clogs in Calderdale

Update, 22nd August

Sarah’s clogs have now arrived!

Sarah's new clogs. Read on for the full story.

Sarah’s new clogs. Read on for the full story.

Calderdale01You may not know it, and why should you, but Sarah is devoted to clogs. Throughout the 20-odd years I’ve known her she has been a proud clog-wearer. But her current pair, despite several re-heelings, are looking the worse for wear. So, to Sarah’s delight, it’s new clogs time.

Now Sarah, as you may also know, is very particular. So not for her the shopping roulette of clogs-buying on the internet. Oh no, we’re going to the source of clogs, the holy grail, a clogs factory in West Yorkshire.

Off the motorway at Junction 24.

Off the motorway at Junction 24.

And into Calderdale.

And into Calderdale.

Round Halifax and through Friendly (really).

Round Halifax and through Friendly (really).

Then LuddendonFoot and Tenterhooks (yes, really). Lovely names for lovely places on the valley side.

Then LuddendenFoot and Tenterhooks (yes, really). Lovely names for lovely places on the valley side.

Arriving at the day's first destination, Mytholmroyd. Birthplace of poet Ted Hughes.

Arriving at the day’s first destination, Mytholmroyd. Birthplace of poet Ted Hughes.

But more importantly the location of Walkley's Clogs.

But more importantly the location of Walkley Clogs.

Sarah springs immediately into shopping mode.

Sarah springs immediately into shopping mode.

There are colourful clogs.

There are colourful clogs.

And more traditional clogs.

And more traditional clogs.

'For rough lads'

‘For rough lads’

Sarah makes her choices. Yes she's going for 'sandals' clogs too.

Sarah makes her choices. Yes she’s going for ‘sandals’ clogs too.

Unfortunately they don’t have the clogs she wants in her size. But that’s not a problem for Walkley Clogs. After all, it is a factory!

So the clogmeister draws round Sarah's feet.

So the clogmeister draws round Sarah’s feet.

Yes, they're going to make the clogs to fit Sarah precisely!

Yes, they’re going to make the clogs to fit Sarah precisely! At no extra charge.

Thus delighting 'very particular' Sarah.

Thus delighting ‘very particular’ Sarah.

Next destination is Hebden Bridge.

Next destination is Hebden Bridge.

Haven't been here since winter 2012.

Haven’t been here since winter 2012.

We start our visit with lunch in the same place we eat at last time, the  Organic House café.

Good it was too. Even if all the seats in their Secret Garden were taken.

Good it was too. Even if all the seats in their Secret Garden were taken.

Next, indefatigable Sarah’s up for a look round the shops, while I head off to my usual destination. The town’s record shop.

Muse Music.

Muse Music.

I’ve been coming here for years. But as you can see from the sign it’s now become a café as well. I’ve just had lunch but obviously I’m interested to see how it’s all going.

And the answer is 'very well indeed'

And the answer is ‘very well indeed’

There’s a splendid selection of new and used LPs, much more than you can see in the photo. And while I’m making my purchases I talk to Sid Jones here about how it’s working out.

“It’s gone really well. We’re glad we did it. People come in for music and stay and have something to eat, and vice-versa. It’s all made it a much more interesting place for people to come to.”

Our conversation then moves on to the more serious business of music and we have a delightful meander through the wonders of Atomic Rooster, Arthur Brown, Boz Scaggs and Free, before addressing the issue of Pink Floyd. I notice he’s got a vinyl copy of ‘Amused to Death’ by Roger Waters. I’ve longed for this and am sorely tempted. Unfortunately it’s extremely rare on vinyl and I’ve seen it for much more than the £75 Sid’s selling it for, but I still can’t afford that. However I tell Sid I think it’s the best Pink Floyd album the rest of them aren’t on and we discuss their acrimonious split and how much the others, great musicians though they are, have always missed what Sid memorably describes as Roger’s ‘understanding of the human condition.’

I could easily stand for this kind of talk to go on all afternoon but I know Sarah will be waiting for me. So bid Sid a reluctant farewell for now.

And meet Sarah by the bridge, Hebden Bridge.

And meet Sarah by the bridge, Hebden Bridge.

Where she's cooling off with her feet in the water.

Where she’s cooling off with her feet in the water.

An idyllic scene.

An idyllic scene.

Musicians playing in the street.

Musicians playing in the street.

I know it looks like Sarah's bending down to take some money out of their violin case, but she has just put some in, honestly!

I know it looks like Sarah’s bending down to take some money out of their violin case, but she has just put some in, honestly!

Roman soldiers arguing outside the Shoulder of Mutton, as ever.

Roman soldiers arguing outside the Shoulder of Mutton, as ever.

We walk back round to Market Street.

We walk back round to Market Street.

Sarah goes in here. Naturally I don't, but sit admiring their sundial.

Sarah goes in here. Naturally I don’t, but sit admiring their sundial.

And their floodgates. Most places in town seem to have these now after the increasing floods of recent years.

And their floodgates. Most places in town seem to have these now after the increasing floods of recent years.

By now it’s been some time since lunch, so before leaving Hebden Bridge we decide to go for a cup of tea and a piece of cake. And where better than Muse Music and Love Café.

Drinking tea to the mellifluous sounds of Joe Walsh's guitar.

Drinking tea to the mellifluous sounds of Joe Walsh’s guitar.

In my bag of records I notice that Sid has slipped in a little advert for their joint place, containing this:

“The music café is a great combination, as are the enthusiastic owners Sid and Valeen Jones, who aim each day to have a good time with friends and customers, enjoying the sounds and tastes of life!”

It really is a great idea and a great place and I can’t recommend it too highly.

Next it’s back to the car.Calderdale32

Then round the turning circle and up the hill to Heptonstall.

Parking by the Social Club and what must be one of the most beautifully sited bowling greens on earth.

Parking by the Social Club and what must be one of the most beautifully sited bowling greens on earth.

Talking about it, we think only the bowling green on the Cornish Coastal path above St Ives comes close.

Walking through to the village we pass the graveyard where poet Sylvia Plath is buried.

Walking through to the village we pass the graveyard where poet Sylvia Plath is buried.

We don’t look for her grave today, but we have seen it before. Long ago we came and stayed in Heptonstall for a week.

Sarah at Sylvia Plath's grave, 1994.

Sarah at Sylvia Plath’s grave, 1994.

We walk along the narrow streets.

We walk along the narrow streets.

Through to the church yard.

Through to the church yard.

More about what happened to the church here in our previous Heptonstall post.

Evening's coming on.

Evening’s coming on.

And it’s time for a drink before we go home.

We go to the Cross Inn.

We go to the Cross Inn.

Years ago my friend Darrell Mercer, who’s from Halifax, would tell me about this place near to where he grew up, that ‘serves the best Timothy Taylor’s Landlord in the world.’

It still does.

It still does.

Only a half as I’m driving. But let’s have a closer look.

Makes you thirsty just to look doesn't it?

Makes you thirsty just to look doesn’t it?

We drink and talk peacefully as the evening sun descends.

We drink and talk peacefully as the evening sun descends.

A perfect day in Calderdale.

A perfect day in Calderdale.

Then down the hill, back to the car.

Then down the hill, back to the car.

If there is a heaven...

If there is a heaven…

It probably...

It probably…

Looks like this.

Looks like this.

And the usual reiteration. Just because I’m recommending the places where we went, doesn’t mean they asked us to. All the food, drinks, records and clogs were paid for and I’m telling you they’re good places and good people because they are!

9 thoughts on “Clogs in Calderdale

  1. Cathy Alderson

    Absolutely loved that!
    I could taste the Landlord and have had “Life’s Been Good To Me So Far” going through my head ever since!
    That Roger Waters album is very expensive, but here’s a link to it on YouTube, which can be enjoyed for free https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qS35PVNzpOk&autoplay=1

    My sister in California will just love to see this Yorkshire scenery and always enjoys your blogs which I send to her.
    Thanks for a peek at your lovely day out.

    Reply
  2. stan cotter

    I wore clogs as a young lad, my mother used to get my worn shoes converted into clogs by a cobbler in Garston, under the bridge as we called it, and when I left school and started work in the british leather tannery Birkenhead I used to wear clogs for work

    Reply
  3. Carolyn Murray

    I too wore a pair of women’s black traditional Lancashire clogs in my late teens, although I did get them re-shod with a rubber horseshoe type shape on the sole as the metal one was so loud you could hear me coming for miles around! I still have them on display on a shelf at home.

    Reply
  4. Malcolm Taylor

    Hi Ronnie

    I agree Hebden Bridge is a great place to visit and, I’m sure, a great place to live. I am a frequent visitor and when I’m there I always try to have a scoop in The Fox and Goose, which is West Yorkshire’s first community owned pub (and one of very few co-operatively owned pubs in the country). I’m sure it would fit in with your outlook on life.

    http://www.foxandgoose.org/?page_id=27

    Not sure why you went all the way to Junction 24 before coming off the motorway though. Shortest route to Mytholmroyd from your direction is off at 21 then via Hollingworth lake and over the tops via Cragg Vale – and the views across the valley from the top are breathtaking.

    Malcolm

    Reply
  5. crushclogs

    I still wear my clogs but unlike Carolyn i like the noise they make . I have irons and hobnails on the bottom of them ! I like the blog and the pictures are brilliant > A really nice part of the country

    Reply
  6. Bex

    What a lovely visit – thank you! The last time we were in England was in 2002 and as I’ve told you before, physical limitations prevent future visits for us (from the US), so I will just have to live vicariously through your wonderful pages of your trips around Yorkshire and Lancashire (how about the Lakes? you must get up there sometimes?) If I can insert a photo here, it’s us at the Castlerigg Stone Circle one year.

    Reply

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