For my Bank Holiday Monday excursion I took the train up to Carlisle, a simple direct journey from Shipley now that the Settle-Carlisle line is fully repaired and open again.
I've not spent much time in Carlisle, it's mainly been a place just to change trains. There were a couple of months when I first moved over to Sunderland from Lancaster when I commuted on a weekly basis while I got a place to live sorted. On those trips there always seemed to be a hour between trains at Carlisle, so I wandered around during those times and was impressed by the old red sandstone buildings.
I caught the (very) early train so that I could have a few more hours looking around before catching the football in the afternoon. The sun was shining so I started with walk out to the edge of the core part of the city and back around via the parks and river side. By the time I got back to Eden Bridge it had warmed up quite a bit, so I was even able to spend half an hour watching butterflies, including my first Orange-tips of the year (extras) while Blackcap and Goldfinch sang in the willows.
Then I tackled the historic core around the cathedral and castle, scouting for the usual array of plaques, ghost signs, post boxes and whatever else caught my eye. I've put a selection in extras, including a pair of Type G pillar boxes for the post box enthusiasts among you - I know there's one at least :)
Which is where I came across the EWS sign that I'm using for today's blip. I didn't know what it was when I found it but I've now learned it's a WWII survival, referring to the location of an Emergency Water Supply.
Then it was time to wander down to Brunton Park where Carlisle United were hosting Stevenage Town. Both are vying for a League Two play-off spot, although Carlisle's season has declined markedly since they sold their star striker Charlie Wyke to Bradford City in January. I kept my apology to myself. The Carlisle team featured a couple of last season's Bradford City squad, Jamie Proctor and Gary Liddle, and there were a couple of Everton academy graduates in the Stevenage line-up. Brunton Park is one of the older grounds, although I elected to sit in the newer East Stand facing the idiosyncratic main stand with it's hodge podge of standing and seating and extra wings added at various points (extra).
It was an entertaining game with Carlisle having the better of play and possession, but Stevenage took the lead early in the second half through what seemed a dubious penalty. Carlisle's pressure was finally rewarded with an equaliser, but they couldn't find a second so 1-1 it remained.
Which just left the return journey through the Cumbrian and Yorkshire dales, with the last of the day's sunshine catching the west facing slopes.
Butterfly Journal 2017
8. 17/04/17 : Orange-tip. Eden Bridge Gardens, Carlisle. (VC70)
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