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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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Don’t worry, bee happy: Todmorden’s Pollination Parade

Wide-angle elevated photo of Pollination Parade in Todmorden

Here’s an aerial panorama of this weekend’s Pollination Parade (as it passes Todmorden Market) which launched Incredible Edible Todmorden’s new Green Route…and coincided with both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend, and a welcome window of sunshine!

The parade showcased the best of local creative talent. Led by Handmade Parade and featuring artworks from Thingumajig Theatre it was a riot of color, activity and music. The atmosphere was great; the costumes and performances were fantastic; and everyone had a brilliant time.

If you were there, see if you can spot yourself in the crowd by linking on the picture below to view a 360° view. (My favourite bits are the young lad doing a handstand, and Andrew Kim energetically at the fore of the parade on his stilts!)

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

(Update) Here’s a couple more views, this time from outside the front of the Town Hall on Halifax Road.

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

 

A springtime carpet of wild garlic / ramsons

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Taking advantage of some welcome sunshine and very little breeze early on a Sunday morning, I made it to a nearby Pennine clough to capture this verdant carpet of wild garlic.

We’re almost at the end of the wild garlic season, which normally runs from March to early May. Their allium aroma still permeates the woods but now their delicate white flowers punctuate the woodland floor, heralding their imminent demise. The last decade or so has seen a resurgence in interest in foraged and wild foods in the UK, celebrating fresh, local flavours. Ramsons, or wild garlic, remains one of the most abundant and yet underused.

This is one of my favourite times of the year: the greening of foliage above and on the woodland floor; the gentle waving of the ramson fronds, and wild native bluebells appearing under the protective canopy of the trees, soundtracked only by songbirds and the odd bleat of spring lambs on the slopes above. That helps to underline that spring is (finally) here…

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Keeping it local… Made in Tod

Keeping it local, I managed to make the most of a brief window in the weather and shoot a couple of panoramas on my doorstep in Todmorden this weekend.

Panoramic view of Todmorden outdoor market

(Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser)

Firstly, the outdoor market under some welcome blue skies. We’re lucky to still have an active indoor and outdoor market, unlike many similar-sized towns nearby. Although it faces increased competition from faceless supermarkets encroaching on the area, Tod market provides a great selection of goods & foodstuffs for local consumers. Campaigns such as Incredible Edible Todmorden have proudly promoted locally produced and sourced products, tying this in with greater awareness and action about the welfare and sustainability of foodstuffs.

The panorama below shows four traders, all of whom sell superb fresh local and regional produce. In the marquee you can see local free range pork farmers Porcus serving up one of their amazing rare breed hog roasts, and as you pan around you’ll see Paul the fishmonger (bringing fish direct from Fleetwood), Christine from CN Produce (who sells Porcus bacon and sausages amongst other regional delights) and Hazelwood’s greengrocers. Definitely the best place to shop in the town… totally local, and great value!

Incidentally, here’s a timelapse video I shot of a previous Porcus hog roast in Rawtenstall last year…

Secondly, inside Todmorden’s glorious Victorian Town Hall (which I originally shot back in 2008), was the annual Made in Tod show, organised by Todmorden Business Association to showcase local companies and producers. The event was well attended, and I decided to take capture this panorama from high above the exhibitors, using an aerial pole rig. I particularly like the ‘mirrorball’ view below, which provides a unique perspective on the event…

Panoramic view of the Made in Tod show 2012, inside Todmorden Town Hall

(Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser)

 

Mirrorball panoramic view of the Made in Tod 2012 show

 

 

Meet the meat… Porcus open farm day

I recently attended a ‘Food Inspirers’ open day at the Porcus farm, a wonderful sixteenth century barn on the moors high about Todmorden, as part a range of activities by Incredible Edible Todmorden. We watched (and tried our hand at) sausages being made, playful porkers frolicking in their free range pens, listened to the importance of proper porcine welfare, and heard about the occasional escaped pig.

It was a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, and it certainly helped to engage the visitors and give them an idea of life on an ethically-run free range farm. Most people also left with some of the great bacon, sausages and pork on sale, inspired and enthused after seeing how much care and consideration goes into these pig’s lives.

You can read much more about the day in a great write up on Culture Vulture, and you can view 360° panoramas of the group, and Dan from Porcus making sausages by clicking the links below…

SJ from Porcus discussing the welfare (and taste) of their free range pigs

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Panoramic view of Dan from Porcus making sausages from their rare breed pork

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser