Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Category: Great Ayton

  • Silent Symphony of Sheep

    Silent Symphony of Sheep

    Head down against the driving rain, I sensed unseen eyes upon me. The fleeces of these Aireyholme sheep appeared as fresh as a perm, even after, or more likely because of, the overnight deluge. Despite dwindling numbers, sheep remain the predominant livestock on North York Moors farms. In 2016, the National Park boasted a staggering…

  • Roseberry Ironstone Mine — A Miner’s Day Begins

    Roseberry Ironstone Mine — A Miner’s Day Begins

    A significant anniversary in the history of Roseberry Ironstone Mine. It was on this day in 1921 that the men at the mine received notice to cease work with the mine due to be made idle at the end of the period of notice. In fact, output fell gradually until, in 1924, it stopped completely…

  • The Friends’ School’s Plan for Invasion in 1914

    The Friends’ School’s Plan for Invasion in 1914

    Dominating Great Ayton’s soggy High Green, this soggy Monday morning is the stern façade of the erstwhile Friends’ School, now converted into residential dwellings. The village well, no longer in its original spot, was moved to make room for extra car-parking. I recently read an account detailing the school’s arrangements in case of a prospective…

  • The Great Ayton Scallywags

    The Great Ayton Scallywags

    A certain topic that has occupied my thoughts for some time is an Auxiliary Unit Patrol that was stationed in Great Ayton during World War II. This covert unit differed significantly from the stereotypical ‘Dad’s Army.’ I recall hearing at some point that, in the event of a German invasion, the anticipated life expectancy for…

  • Ayton Banks Ironstone Mine — its legacy

    Ayton Banks Ironstone Mine — its legacy

    Playing with my new tripod, a Christmas goodie. I do like the motion blur effect of long exposures. The water is draining from the Ayton Banks ironstone mine, the stone of which turned out to be poor-quality, leading to the mine’s brief existence. It had opened in the first decade of the 20th-century but closed…

  • Smoke Signals from Great Ayton: A Meteorological Puzzle

    Smoke Signals from Great Ayton: A Meteorological Puzzle

    I took this photograph of the large square-cut recess in the sandstone cap atop Roseberry summit. Clearly crafted by human hands, in my imagination, I’ve had it down as the likely spot for the hermitage and smith’s forge mentioned in a 17th-century letter. However, I might be wildly off the mark, considering the extensive quarrying…

  • A Boxing Day Tradition — The Hunt

    A Boxing Day Tradition — The Hunt

    I chanced upon the Great Ayton Boxing Day Hunt today. A traditional affair, you know. Had completely slipped my mind. Christmas, a season steeped in tradition, yet this one leaves a sour taste. Every Boxing Day, the hunt assembles at the High Green in Great Ayton. Same old spectacle of well-appointed riders, splendid horses, and…

  • A Forgotten Quarry—With a view of Roseberry

    A Forgotten Quarry—With a view of Roseberry

    A broken down dry-stone wall enticed me to scramble over for a gander and I stumbled upon an old sandstone quarry I never knew existed with a view of Roseberry from an angle I’ve not seen before. Ah, the uncomplicated pleasures of discovery. It wasn’t a large quarry, and a quick count reveals it to…

  • Raddle me this

    Raddle me this

    I awoke under the weather, got talked into taking a Covid test. Lo-and-behold, the little red line made its appearance, and my ailment took a turn for the worse. Fresh air, my trusty remedy, beckoned. Raindrops drumming on the windowpanes, I embarked on a brief, low-level stroll. “Raddle,” a peculiar term. Readers of Thomas Hardy…

  • “Gerroff Moy Land!” and don’t even look at it

    “Gerroff Moy Land!” and don’t even look at it

    On this rather dreich morning, I found myself compelled to focus my photographic endeavours closer to home. When I first moved into the village, the scene before me would have been an open field stretching toward a gate nestled in the distant hedge. However, as time has gone by, the path has become enclosed by…