What a Show!

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Gordon Rigg Garden Centre floral display at the Todmorden show

Regular readers will know that we’re based in the Pennine market town of Todmorden, and today was the town’s annual agricultural show.

View of the Todmorden Show through the trees

It was held in the lovely setting of Centre Vale Park – surrounded by trees.

Incredible Edible display at the Todmorden Show

There was all manner of stuff to see – a funfair and brass bands playing in the bandstand.

food stalls at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

lots of local food produce – pies, preserves, meats, fruit, vegetables, honey and cheese…

Pextenement Cheese stall at the Todmorden Show

…and stalls selling outdoor wear & country attire…

outdoor clothing stall at the Todmorden Show

There was some great vintage farm machinery on display.

vintage tractor on display at the Todmorden Agricultural show

red vintage tractors on display at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

The stars of the show, of course, were the animals!

horses on display at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

horses on display at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

Some were being judged, some were racing…

ram on display at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

sheep on display at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

goats on display at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

…and some were there simply to be petted or appreciated for their beauty…

pigs on display at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

…horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, birds of prey and bees.

various birds of prey on display at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

bird of prey on display at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

There was a really good crowd – young & old.

bulls on parade at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

There were some dark clouds and drizzle  in the morning and a few worried looks, but it brightened up nicely.

bull on parade at the Todmorden Agricultural Show

It was a really enjoyable afternoon – thoroughly recommended if you’re in the area this time next year!

Out & About… Spring

Spring has sprung in these parts – with the garden awakening…

…blossom on trees…

…ferns unfurling…

…daffodils in flower…

…chicks on the canal…

…bluebells in the woods…

…and lambs in the fields.

It’s a wonderful time of year, with signs of new life all around us.

Out & about… February

We’re a bit tardy with our Out & about post for February.

It began with snow (again!!) – it’s as if winter keeps reminding us that it’s still here at the start of each month.

February isn’t always the best month for walking, but there’s no choice with Fudge looking expectantly at you.

Once we’re outdoors, it’s fine – fresh air & exercise – time to chat or think… and there’s always something to see.

With no leaves on the trees you tend to notice things like bark, moss & lichen.

These old pack horse routes criss-cross our local area – slightly above the valley floor which was once flooded & marshy.

We also come across many of these disused barns and farmhouses – some of them have beautiful views.

It’s easy to imagine them restored – many even retain wonderful original features like stone steps, beams and mullioned windows.

Towards the end of the month we got the first signs that spring was approaching…

… with buds on the trees…

… daffodils and bluebells emerging…

… and planters around the town filled with crocuses & other early flowerers.

It’s nearly time to dig out those shorts & t-shirts!

Out & about… January

'Out & about... January' blog post banner

Snowy Pennine scene with blue sky, bare tree branches in the foreground & trees & farm outbuildings in the background

December started with a cold snap… and January began in the same way.

Higgeldy piggeldy fence posts in a snowy landscape | H is for Home

Lots of snow, frost & ice about again.

Canal lock with barge in iced over water | H is for Home

Here, a barge has to break through icy water in Rochdale Canal.

Old bath in a field being used for animal feeding | H is for Home

We often come across these old baths while wandering around the local fields. How about this for al fresco living? It was about -3ºC on the day we saw these – tempted to take a dip anyone?

Old baths in a field being used for feeding farm animals | H is for Home

And what about this twin-tub arrangement?

We spent a week away in the Lake District in the middle of the month. Unfortunately, we got 7 solid days of mist & rain.

Loughrig Tarn with the Langdale Pikes in the background | H is for Home

The area still manages to be beautiful even in the worst of weathers though.

Langdale Pikes from Elterwater, Lake District, Cumbria | H is for Home Bridge Gate in Elterwater, Lake District, Cumbria | H is for Home

We stayed in Elterwater and spent our time walking in the surrounding hills… and then drying off in front of fires in our cottage … or the Britannia, the local village pub.

Britannia Inn, Elterwater, Lake District, Cumbria | H is for Home

Fudge was always waiting for his next walk… of which there were many!

Fudge looking out the window of Rose Cottage in Elterwater | H is for Home

We did break it up with a day’s shopping, spending a couple of hours in Windermere. We picked up a few things including these immaculate 1970s headphones and some Holmegaard glass candle holders.

Vintage 1970s stereo headphones | H is for Home Vintage Holmegaard glass candle holders | H is for Home

We also stocked up on nice things to eat and drink at Booths. It’s a small chain of food stores in the North of England – and a firm favourite of ours.

Inside the cafeteria of Booths Supermarket, Windermere, Lake District, Cumbria

Last week we spent a day taking photos in Manchester – we’ll be doing a blog in the near future about vintage shopping in the city – we’ll keep you posted!

Out & about… December

We’ve got some lovely winter scenes to share with you this month.

December saw the first of the winter frost…

…followed closely by the first winter snowfall.

Fudge loves it when it snows!

He’s not the only one – we find going for walks in scenery like this quite magical!

On clear days the low winter sun gives a beautiful light…

…amazing skies…

…and some memorable sunsets…

We took these next photos at the annual Christmas Market in Manchester city centre.

So many tempting things on offer…

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas… best wishes for 2009!

Out & about… November

November saw the last of the autumn leaves…

…and their stunning show of colour.

Seed heads are also at their best at this time of year.

There are still some wonderful mushrooms to be found.

This crimson red variety was hard to miss against the bright green grass.

We often walk in the hills & fields that surround our house.

We share them with the local livestock – sheep, goats, cows, horses, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese…

The mile upon mile of hand-built dry stone walls keep the animals from straying too far- so it’s bad news when a hole appears!

Here a quick, temporary fix is made using an old wooden ladder.

Farmers are masters of ‘make do and mend’…

..here an ingenious use of an old tyre as a gate hinge – it’s obviously done the job for many years as the layer of green lichen attests!

Whilst there’s plenty of open land in the hills & fields, the valley bottom’s much more crowded – buildings, railway, roads, canal and river all jostle for space.

November’s been all sunshine & showers…

…there’s been no shortage of puddles…

…it seems to change by the hour, but it does lead to wonderful sights like these.

The recent cold, blustery weather are signs that winter’s around the corner… and we’ll be back next month with December views.

T is for… Todmorden

Since we launched the website back in March we have wondered what to do with the furniture that we’ve got in stock.

Furniture poses a slight problem – unlike standard packages the cost of getting it to different parts of the country, indeed the world, vary wildly. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to incorporate into a website where postage is calculated automatically at checkout.

We’d almost decided to abandon furniture altogether but we thought that would be a great shame as we already have some nice pieces available. Also, what would we do the next time we see a great chair at a great price?

St Marys Parish Church, Todmorden

So, after some thought, we’ve now decided to include these larger items on the website – available via courier or collection in person.

What’s all this got to do with Todmorden? Well, that’s where H is for Home is based!

‘T is for…’ is an opportunity to show you a bit of our town – and also suggest some of the shops & sights that might be of interest to someone making the journey to pick up that table, desk or chair.

Tod, as the town’s affectionately called, is a small Pennine town situated in the Calder Valley on the border between Lancashire & Yorkshire. In fact, the border used to follow the river which runs through the town centre – where the town hall now stands.

It’s officially been in Yorkshire since the 1880s, although not everyone agrees – and just to add to the confusion, it’s got a Lancashire postcode!

The town was heavily involved in the textile industry. The ready supply of running water was ideal for the cotton, wool and dye-work mills. The settlements of the area were originally linked by pack horse trails. Canal, rail & road links were later constructed in the 18th & 19th centuries.

The canal, rail, road and river all criss-cross the valley bottom to this day. It now has a varied mix of light industry from metal fabricators to mineral works. Farming in the surrounding fields and hills. Also service industries, retail etc.

A lot of people live & work in the valley – and an increasingly significant number commuting to either Manchester or Leeds, being more or less mid-way between the two cities.

There’s a wide variety of housing stock – workers’ terraces, stone cottages, converted mills, farms and some quite grand villas.

The valley is quite steep-sided, and in some areas the buildings appear to almost topple down on to each other. We recently discovered this Marrimekko Mokki fabric

…we love it – it really captures the feeling!

So, what else might you be able to see & do if you make the trip? We’ve already spoken about the market in the M is for Market post – remember, Thursday’s flea market day!

In terms of other interiors-related shops, there’s a nice little group in the Water Street area. We have a decent-sized antiques centre – Picture House Antiques. They have a few traders housed under one roof and over 3 floors – traditional antiques, rustic bits & pieces, vintage & retro too.

Next door is The Bear Co-op, housed in the old Industrial Cooperative building – a lovely health food/grocery shop with café upstairs.

Recently opened is Hogarth & Hunt, specialising in French country interiors.

Across the street is Makepiece

…who sell ladies & children’s clothes, hand-spun and knitted using wool from the shop owner’s own rare breed sheep. Also handmade soaps, potions & lotions.

You can design & make your own greeting cards at Vanilla Pod. There is Water Street Gallery which showcases contemporary pieces of glass, ceramics, textiles and paintings.

Also, Lyall’s, a small second-hand bookshop, Todmorden Toy and Model Museum and a few charity shops close by.

Also on Water Street is Todmorden Fine Art, one of our absolute favourites and the location of many of our moments of weakness. The gallery specialises in Northern artists such as William Turner, Geoffrey Key & Peter Stanaway.

We have a large park, Centre Vale, in the town with a leisure centre and swimming pool. Swings & things if you’ve brought young kids… and wooded trails if you’ve brought the dog! There’s no shortage of hills, trees and water in the area generally – making it great walking country.

Seventytwo is a family-friendly cafe situated opposite the park – and there are plenty of other of places to sip a coffee in the centre of town.

There are a few villages & towns in the valley. Five minutes drive in either direction are Walsden and Hebden Bridge.

Walsden has a large garden centre, Gorden Riggs and Cottage Antiques which specialises in rustic country furniture – beautifully displayed in a two storey barn and courtyard.

And no mention can be made of Walsden without talking about Grandma Pollard’s – a famous fish & chip shop in these parts – people travel from far & wide to sample its delights!

Hebden Bridge is a lovely little town famous for its independent shops and cafés. It also has an antiques centre… as does Mytholmroyd, a further 5 minutes drive up the valley.

Back to that furniture -here are some of the items that we’ve recently put on the website…

…all available to collect from Todmorden!