Enjoying a bird’s eye view from the top of the Wainhouse Tower at Skircoat Moor on the outskirts of Halifax this Bank Holiday Monday.
Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser. Pressing the fullscreen button is highly recommended for maximum viewing pleasure!
This iconic building is maintained by Calderdale Council, and is open to the public on ‘high days and holidays‘. It affords a fantastic viewpoint across the local area, and is rightly popular with thrill-seekers and those with a sense of historical curiosity. There are 369 steps in order to reach the public gallery which encircles the tower near the top.
I originally climbed the tower almost exactly five years ago, on a previous May Bank Holiday, and shot a series of panoramas. At the time I was pretty pleased with the results: however I’ve gained a lot more experience, and use much better kit since those days. Also I’ve wanted for a while to try out a nifty technique to ‘hide’ the building from the final 360°.
So when I got the chance to take up some friends who were visiting, I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to revisit the view. I travelled light this time too – no tripod or panoramic head was needed to make this photograph – as I’d learned the hard way climbing all those steps with a full pack of kit is hard work!
The result of ascending the tower once again is this high resolution panorama, which allows the viewer to look all across Halifax, the lower Calder Valley and beyond. Zoom in, look around, and have fun checking out all sorts of places which might catch your eye as you peek about…
Technical info: photographed using Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 8-15mm f4 fisheye zoom lens; RAW shot as dual ISO using Magic Lantern firmware, then processed with LR CR2HDR, Lightroom 5.4. Stitched with PTGui Pro 5.2.0, output using Pano2VR Pro 4.5
A gathering to celebrate the bicentennial of Stoodley Pike monument, on the highest part of Langfield Common, overlooking Todmorden. The original monument was inspired by the Treaty of Paris in 1814, and as such it (or at least the stone monument which now stands in its place) is listed as one of the oldest towers in the world dedicated to peace. You can view one of my previous panoramas from the monument, during the lighting of a beacon for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, here.
This celebration included music from Todmorden Community Brass Band and the Handmade Samba band; giant puppets from Thingumajig, and a mayoral speech. There was a great party atmosphere, and the weather was uncharacteristically sunny. The celebration was especially apposite for Anglo-French relations because, as well as the monument standing testament to almost two centuries of peace between Britain and France, the party included a gathering of visitors from Todmorden’s twin town, Ronq in France; and all this occurs in the same year as the world’s most famous cycle race comes to Yorkshire, with the Tour de France Grand Départ 2014. Vive l’entente cordiale!
The finale of the celebration was the release of two hundred homing pigeons from the parapet of the monument… this panorama captures the moment they flew away into the distance over the crowd.
One of the Calder Valley’s most popular folk attractions is the annual Pace Egg Play. Its origins are now lost in the mists of time, but it continues delight generation after generation with a delightfully haphazard mix of performance, audience interaction and comedy. Revived in 1979 after a brief hiatus, the roots of Pace Egging hark back to before the 1500s, and are quite different across the north of England. In many towns the tradition has died out, but it’s still performed in the upper valley by players from Hepstonstall, and Calder Valley High at Mytholmroyd…
Clog-wearing players perform well-trodden routines and well-loved lines to an appreciative (and increasingly merry) audience in Weaver’s Square, Heptonstall, on the hill above Hebden Bridge in Calderdale. The central theme is a bit hazy, but involves St George and a host of others; a degree of pantomime theatre; some swordplay; and a healthy amount of ale-swigging.
It’s always a bonus when the sun’s out on Good Friday, and the audience numbers were swollen for this, the final performance of the day. As the players tend to retire to one or other of Heptonstall’s hostelries between stagings for some well-earned liquid refreshment, this was a glorious mix of ad-libbed responses, fluid moves and the occasional flubbed line, all being embraced and egged on by the audience. “Mince pies hot, mince pies cold; mince pies in the jar, nine days old…”
There’s much more information on the Pace Egg play here