A Re-Roofing Jobby
Chris Longden, Features Writer
Heart palpitation moment: After 10 years of rain growing from a trickle-tickle and into an indoor waterfall-feature within your home, you finally realise that you need a bit of a re-roofing jobby.
And because your dear wee housie is a 4 storey 1790s weaver cottage, you require the entire thing to be scaffolded-up.
Bummer-moments; the cost. Monsieur Bank Account.
Upper-moments: the roofers (no - the ARTISTS) who are carrying out your job.
Trueheart masons of ancient skills but with modern know-how.
They adore their work ("well, when it's not peeing it down").
They specialise in historical buildings, northern heritage and structures and enthusiasms for the eccentrics. You waste their tea-breaks, nattering about the fact that this corner of West Yorkshire seems to be a closely kept secret; yeah, forget the well-trodden paths of Holmfirth and Haworth, you tourists - because on the Colne Valley side of the valley, you've got ... IT ALL.
To begin with - the glories of the UK's longest, highest, deepest canal tunnel (Tunnel End/Standedge).
You've got Marsden, you've got Slaithwaite and the canal early 19th C version of the M62. You've got Golcar hill village and Colne Valley Museum.
And then on your doorstep in the Mag valley cleft, you've got an ancient wood with plague pit and buried princess, Devil's Rock, Dolly Falls, the Greenway cycling trail and David Brown Tractor Museum.
So, you happen to be green with envy when they tell you that their next job is doing the roof on the Westwood Christian Centre on Bolster Moor. You've always adored the elevation of Westwood. It very nearly even rivals even your own home-views.
But these guys aren't just history buffs. They are also passionate protectors of the vulnerable elderly people that they come across who get ripped off by scumbag so-called builders (the stories that they tell! Ruddy heart-breaking.)
They also take zillions of photos of your roof, your chimney stack and pot. Perhaps some might consider this as 'historical property porn'. Either way, you're incredibly grateful for real-time customer experience; what an eye-opener; who needs Google Earth?
Are you the first 'Lady of the House' in 230 years who has been able to vicariously view her Georgian flashings and feltings?
You'd like to be up there yourself, ignoring the vertigo and getting all giddy about your stacks and cracks. Wishing that maybe you had focussed on a different career, way back then.
|Also by Chris Longden...|
|A Mother And Her 13 Yr Old Daughter, Holmfirth Cafe On A Sunny Sunday|
|Inventions Of Paradise|
|Part 3 - The Final Frontier: Stupidity Vs Maturity|
|The Maturing Year - Part 2…|
"Tell him," they say; "if he wants to go to college - that he shouldn't study bricklaying.
"Yeah - don't be a brickie. He should study civil engineering. The world is full of them sorts."
You know exactly the sort of university student that they are referring to - the middle class kids who went to University and selected the semi-glamorous degree, in order to end up in the moolah.
"They just dream up ideas and boss everyone around to build crap for them. They're actually pretty thick when it comes to REAL building."
You suggest that maybe it's about time we had some proper smart kids going in to the industry. Those who are in it for the love of the buildings - and history - rather than for the money and to be shafting every bugger else. Your first career choice was housing, so you kind of get the drift on all of this. You are met with nods and a; "yep, it's a dying trade though. Proper roofing, proper homes built to last - proper masonry."
And the Job's a Good 'Un. As they say. You delight in the pointing around your new chimney pot.
So you shuffle off to see if there any scholarships available at Huddersfield University for a lady who can evidence excellent writing skills, but who has taken a sudden and whimsical fancy to the bird's eye view of West Yorkshire.
A Re-Roofing Jobby, 4th February 2018, 11:55 AM