Allen Brick Works

Went for a walk today and found this…

Ive been doing a bot of exploring in the area where I live recently and have found a few amazing places…More to tell on the others but today I took half a day holiday and took the boys out to the Allen Brick Works. It has to be seen to be believed really. It is hidden away in the woods nearby, and what a find!

Mostly now it is all falling down and covered from top to bottom in graffiti, but there are still many signs of what once existed there. We left a few tags (hastily sprayed symbols mostly – though my eldest did a quite splendid classic cock and balls) and will be going back for sure as there is still a lot to see.

The place was a glazed brick manufacturers established by Henry Victor Allen (1887-1960), when he took over the Halifax Glazed Brickworks in the Walterclough Valley. He converted the works to manufacture refractory bricks (glazed bricks able to withstand high temperatures, generally used to line kilns, furnaces and fireplaces etc). Their Selfrac bricks were world famous. The works were later taken over by G R Stein, who also took over other brickworks in the area, and eventually closed in the 1960’s.

Check out the pictures below of it today…

H is for Home

I have lived in a fair few places in my life.

I have lived in a fair few places in my life.  Hull, Secunda, Mossel Bay, Grahamstown, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Immingham, Barton-Upon-Humber, Sheffield, Sowerby Bridge, Brighouse and Halifax.  Not the one in Nova Scotia.   I think that’s all of them.

My instinct here is to explore the phrase that ‘home is where the heart is’, and looking back all of those places – perhaps with the exception of Hull (Which I left when I was 10) and Halifax (where I live now) – felt rather temporary.   I have very few, though definitely some, memories that I look back upon with fondness, and try as I might I find myself hard pressed to remember the feeling of content I have where I live now.

Perhaps it is the stage in my life that I find myself at, the life I have made for myself and the physical surroundings that all together make my current home something different to everything that has gone before.  It is not a fancy house by any means, only a small terrace in an average part of an average norther town but it is mine.  Or ours, as I share it with my wife and children.  It is the place that we have made our home for the last ten years and where the memories that mean the most to me have been made.

It is where I have watched my boys grow up, each room filled with magical memories of at least one of them covering it in vomit.  It is the place where I have threatened to paint and put up shelves and trust me, I will get round to it I promise.  When we are long gone somebody will pull up the carpets and see the large cock I drew on the wooden floors in the back bedroom.

We renovated it from top to bottom recently, and put everything we had into it to make it the place that we could spend the next decade though there is perhaps still not quite enough room for my comic collection.  Oh, and don’t get me started on the collection of things at the bottom of the stairs up to the kids bedrooms.

It is about more than just the four of us though, it is the place where my wife and I have made new friends and welcomed them into our home and been so very grateful when they have eventually left because we do rather like the peace and quiet too.

When I go out I see so many people that I know from the community, and I feel like I belong here and am part of the community and proudly so.

I love where I live, the house I live in and the people I share it with and who knows, maybe we would have been happy in any of the myriad of places I have lived but to me this one is special.


Next time…I is for i-spy




Happy Yorkshire Day!

A place of never ending happiness where you can always see the sun…

I don’t really write about stuff like this.  I’m no travel blogger, I’m not very good at photography but I am a proud Yorkshireman.

I will not though make this about Yorkshire pudding, flat caps or whippets.  Indeed, I will also avoid all and any references to Geoffrey Boycott, Sean Bean or the Yorkshire ripper.


Instead I will simply share a few photographs of the Piece Hall in Halifax which reopened this morning after 3 years or so or renovations.

As you can see from the photo below, it has a really big door which is ideal for ingress and exit.  Useful.


Above you can see smiling Yorkshire people who I can assure you will do their best not to tell you why Yorkshire is better that wherever you are from.


Dating from 1779, when it was built as a Cloth Hall for the trading of ‘pieces’ of cloth (a 30 yard length of woven woollen fabric produced on a handloom),

The Piece Hall was the most Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah blah  – who cares really…It is just pretty cool and a great place to waste a few hours.


Below you can see some of the many places to sit, useful if you are tired from standing or walking, or just like sitting.



As glorious as it is mostly I just like to go there and have an ice cream with the kids and watch people go by.  More restaurants, cafe’s and bars have been added now so even more reason for me to visit.


In the photograph above you can see people doing stuff.  As people do.  I think that man is looking for a toilet, of which the Piece Hall has many.


The piece hall has fabulous accessibility, with ramps as far as they eye can see and loads of lifts.  Perfect for people with mobility challenges as well as lazy folk who do not like taking the stairs, of which the Piece Hall also has many.

So if you’re in the Yorkshire area, and looking for something a bit different then it certainly is well worth a look, even if only to have tea and cake or perhaps some lunch or to get hammered in the gin bar and tell your wife what you really think of her mother.


See why I stick to fiction.

If you found that dull but prefer to read about things I would surely never eat then take a look here.