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The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee beacon on Stoodley Pike near Todmorden

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser. Select the icon on the beacon itself to toggle between a lit and unlit scene. Enjoy the view!

It’s been an especially long weekend in the UK, with two extra days holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and it seems as if most of the country’s taken it to heart as an excuse for an extended party. Me too, but the crowning glory for me was seeing our local Jubilee beacon lit at dusk on the hills above Todmorden.

I only found out by chance on the day that the nearest Jubilee beacon would be at Stoodley Pike, a favourite vantage point overlooking the Calder Valley. As I read the details a couple of hours before it was due to be lit, there was a slight drizzle outside, so I was unsure if I’d be rewarded with a spectacular view if I climbed up to the monument.

However by 8pm the evening sun was glorious – a perfect example of the photographer’s golden hour  – and I decided it’d be well worth a drive and climb to capture a couple of my 360° panoramas as the beacon was set alight. I’d already had a busy day in Todmorden, photographing the Pollination Parade, and thought it’d be perfect to round everything with a bit of exercise and a stunning view over the South Pennines.

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An alien structure on the moors

This odd structure is certainly alien to the landscape around it, but there’s a more prosaic explanation than that of little green men.

This is one of the NATS (National Air Traffic service) radar control beacons used to monitor aircraft movements across the country. It lies on the main trans-Atlantic air corridor and on clear days and nights jets regularly criss-cross the skies above: aircraft also routinely circle and stack on approach to nearby Manchester airport.

Returning to the alien theme for a second, Todmorden has been a hotspot of alleged UFO sightings in the past: this may be at least partially explained by so much civilian air traffic in the vicinity. Then again, round here anything is possible…

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Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash, or for more info in Google Earth.

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Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash, or for more info in Google Earth.

Frozen pond at Kebs

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Frozen pond at Redmires, near Kebs. The large UFO-like object on nearby Pole Hill is a navigation beacon operated by National Air Traffic Services: the main trans-Atlantic flightpath runs high above Todmorden.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash, or for more info in Google Earth.