Articles & News

The Jagger's Refrain

A packhorse driver sings his disdain for the efforts of the Turnpike Trust to make him pay the toll!

Packhorse train


Play the song below or click here to download it




The Jagger’s Refrain - you can find the words here:

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1st Holmfirth Cubs

The 1st Holmfirth Cubs went milestoning for their Local Knowledge Badge. Have a look at some pictures of their work by clicking the Read More Link.

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The tale of a guide stoop

This is the story of a guide stoop. Errr, wot's a stoop? Stay with me and you'll find out!

How did people find the way before there were satnavs, before there were maps or even roads? Yes, they asked other people, who said 'turn left at the big tree' or 'go straight past the tall stone' - but trees fall over and stones get used for buildings. People easily got lost, especially on the moors of the Pennines.

 In the late 1600s, a lady and her two children set out to walk the twenty miles to Sheffield to spend Christmas with her sister. They lost their way and their bodies were not found till the snow melted in Spring; they were huddled together in a hollow. This caused a public outcry and the Government passed a law in 1697, making the local Justices set up markers on tracks across the moors and at places where these tracks met. These way-markers were made of locally-available materials, and in the Pennines that meant stone. The word 'stoop' comes from the Norse word for a stone, so guide stoops are guide stones.

Now let's look at an example...

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Walk of Life -

Walk of Life Box





Begin your walk at the hospital car park. Follow the yellow brick road of childhood to the kissing gate of hormonal teenagers, then fork left and take the gentle incline through Twenty Something Lane.

Around 3 years down you'll see a stile on the right. (Sometimes the hedgerow is a little overgrown here but there's another stile a little further down for those enjoying the wild flowers on the lane.)

Once over the stile you're into the Pasture of the Big Wide World. Stop and soak up the view here as there's a lot to take in. There is a clear track through the grass but mind the odd thistle and mud patch along the way. Once over the second stile take the bench and think hard before moving on.

You have 2 options here, you can take the 30 year scenic coastal route past wild orchids and rare birds or you can take the more treacherous 20 year route through the Forest of Capitalist Doom. Either way, each passes the Boulder of Middle Age but there's a steep ascent through the woodland and you'll need suitable attire here to fend off the pesky nettles!

Each route is clearly signposted and leads to the Waterfall of Retirement. Here you can picnic, paddle in the river and reflect on life's journey. The hospital car park is off to your left – a few short years away.

Walk of Life Map

Emma Melling, July 2012

Travellers thro Time - a poem

Travellers through Time – 30th November 2012

Milestones are literal as well as metaphorical

I sat on the TransPennine train leaving Leeds –
Passing boarded-up houses, smart empty apartments,
Old mills sprouting shrubs from the tops of their chimneys -
Speeding to York cross agrarian landscapes;
The Wharfe bursting free from her corsetting banks,
Turning flat fields to silver in the bright winter sun.

Flashing through Linton, my thoughts collocating
Recalled other travellers from far distant days
Riders who travelled on foot or by horseback,
Footprints on muddy tracks, marking the ways

The first King Edward setting out sorrowfully
From Lincoln to London, following the coffin
Of Eleanor of Castile, his much beloved Queen,
Taking the long route around through Northampton -
The Great northwards Road, the King’s very own Highway
Full flooded to quagmire from the spill of the Nene.

The farm-labourers and servants, tramping the turnpikes
To Michaelmas hiring fairs, holding mattock or mop,
To be sealed for a shilling, for another year’s labour,
Their lives zig-zagging from homestead to homestead,
Passing by milestones as they moved on again -
Events marked by milestones on footpaths through time.

I thought about students whose own lives will zigzag,
Through waysides untrodden in their ancestors’ time,
And events and turning points, their own personal milestones
Will be recklessly tagged on facebook’s timeline.

 altEleanor Cross

 King Edward I had elaborate stone crosses erected in memory of his wife Eleanor of Castile, marking the twelve overnight   resting-places along the route taken in 1290 when her body was transported to London. Only three remain in place today, at Geddington, Hardingstone and Waltham Cross; Charing Cross is a replacement.

Jan Scrine
30 November 2021