Calderdale secret places, stories and treasures revealed in new insiders’ guide

It has everything from a UFO pub, the A1 and the world’s tallest folly.

Saturday, 4th December 2021, 12:00 pm
Ed Glinert author of a new book, 111 Places in Yorkshire That You Shouldn’t Miss,

But Ed Glinert author of a new book, 111 Places in Yorkshire That You Shouldn’t Miss, says his favourite spot is a little-known location with literary leanings near Hebden Bridge.

The “massive rambling cottage” at Lumb Bank, a writer’s retreat once owned by Ted Hughes, has “no shop, barely a road and is very difficult to get to. The best way is to climb past Hell Hole Rocks,” he said.

“The steps are cut into the actual rockface. Going up with the dog, he wasn’t happy. It’s not dangerous, but it is hairy.”

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In his latest book, aimed at seeking out the “quirky, unusual and different” in Yorkshire, the former Private Eye writer sets off on an entertaining romp away from some of the more famous attractions.

He starts in alphabetical order with the Aiggin Stone, high up on the windswept Pennines moors. The gritstone pillar was originally 7ft high but over hundreds of years it has been pushed over, or fallen over, and the lower section broken off.

“It marks the official boundary between the whole of the north of England and the whole of the South,” said Ed.

"The whole point of the book is to look at the slightly unusual and different, so we are big on follies and monuments. They stand out so much, people know them and think what’s that in the distance.”

Stoodley Pike rears its head, as does Wainhouse Tower, near Halifax, at 235ft the tallest folly in the world. “When you see that for the first time you think, ‘Am I seeing things?’ It was a chimney, done to take up pollution. I think the guy who did it wanted to look at his rival’s land.”

One of the most intriguing entries headed “It’s pub life, Jim but not as you know it” tells the tale of 56-year-old Polish miner Zigmund Adamski, who left Tingley to go shopping and was never seen alive again.

Five days later his body was found in Todmorden, with burns and traces of a strange ointment that scientists could not identify.

The policeman who found the body later encountered a rotating diamond-shaped object hovering 5ft off the ground. The strange turn of events led to a “stampede” of UFO enthusiasts to the Golden Lion pub, which started to hold meetings.

Entries cover swathes of political history, from the world’s only memorial to the Luddites in Liversedge, who rose up against millowners 200 years ago, through the birthplace of the independent Labour Party in Bradford and Harold Wilson’s statue in Huddersfield.

There’s also lots of villages and beautiful landscapes – including Heptonstall, a mile north of Hebden Bridge, which Ed describes as being “up a back-breaking hill – the village that time forgot. You think have they got electricity yet?”

He waxes lyrical about the “most remarkable churchyard” there where Sylvia Plath’s grave is close to an abandoned church “where all the walls are standing, but there’s no windows, you can stand inside it and be overcome by the mystery of the place”.

Mr Glinert, whose other books include East End Chronicles, says writing the book was a “massively enjoyable” experience.

He adds: “The only problem comes after they’ve demolished things after you’ve written about them.”

111 Places in Yorkshire That You Shouldn’t Miss is published by Emons, price £12.99.

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