Sunday, 10 April 2011

Campaign Diary: Day Six - well it is Bingley RURAL!

Spent a really pleasant day exploring the rural in Bingley Rural. The picture above is the view looking back over Whiteshaw Estate towards Denholme.

Our journey started in the late morning with a circumlocation of Cullingworth. Chatted with walkers on the path to Sugden End Farm (weren't going to vote Tory but didn't live in my ward so who cares!) while waiting for half a dozen cyclists to struggle up the slope - rather them than me! Dropped in on Mrs Wood on Lees Moor - safely sat in her new bungalow (the one the planners didn't want to let her have - yours truly went to committee and helped secure the permission). Met some nice folk in the gorgeous little hamlet of Ryecroft - had a series of planning, water supply and environment issues there so they mostly knew me and appreciated the support. And then - via Leech Lane and a discussion about dog poo - to lunch in our own garden.

After lunch up to St Ives - absolutely heaving with families taking advantage of the free adventure playground, woodlands and walks. One of the best playgrounds you'll see and a facility we worked hard to get.  Here's a picture (taken on a much quieter week day!):

Great stuff - shows what Council's can do and fantastic to see so many people enjoying what we've put in. From St Ives - via the controversial barn at Beckfoot - to Hallas Bridge, one of the hidden wonders of the ward. A sweet little hamlet set down by Hallas Beck just along from Goit Stock waterfalls.

Up Bents Lane dropping in a farms, barn conversions, livery stables and cottages - ending up at Wheelrace Cottages where the lovely Mrs Lee gave us a cup of tea and we sat in her wonderful garden for half-an-hour. Then the final circle - round Denholme - Whiteshaw is all closed off now with big gates, codes and such making it a tricky place to deliver - shame but an illustration of how security conscious folk have become these days. Finished along Trough Lane - real mix between the conversions filled with well-off folk and the obvious struggle that is hill farming - you can see why farmers want to turn their fine stone homes and barns into posh living when it's evident that farming doesn't pay its way. It's a real shame that all of us who take advantage of the hard work these men put in looking after the hills and moors don't put a little back in - maybe stopping acting like we own it all would be a start.

Best day of the campaign so far - highlights including gatecrashing a house party, talking about campaigning in Clayton back in the 1960s and, of course, Mrs Lee's tea.


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