The View from the Terrace


Looking east from the balcony at Filmore & Union, I sketch the terraced houses of Commonside, Crackenedge. A section of the Kirklees Way footpath, a 72-mile circuit taking in the valleys of the Colne, Spen and Holme, which runs along the top of the slope.

The ‘cracken’ in the place name doesn’t refer to the sea monster, the Kraken, of Viking myth, but it probably does derive from a Viking word, meaning ‘crooked’ or ‘broken’; a suitable description for the escarpment of Thornhill Rock, a sandstone. Hanging Heaton Golf Club lies on its plateau, above the 130 metre contour of the outcrop.

With the temperature at 24°C, 75°F, it feels continental out here, overlooking Redbrick Mill’s leafy courtyard garden. When we first visited the Mill about fifteen years ago, Stephen Battye, the entrepreneur behind the project, pointed out a pair of kestrels that were nesting here.

It’s our first time out on the balcony and also the first time that we’ve tried the turmeric and goji berry scones; delicious with a bit of honey and a latte.


Pole HillAt last I’ve found a pen that doesn’t go through the absorbent paper in my Wainwright sketchbook; the Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V5, with an extra fine fibre tip point;

Hi-tecpoint It’s waterproof too but of course the watercolour that I’ve added still bleeds through the page.

Looking at an angle through the double-glazed window at Charlotte’s at Whitley this morning I wondered if I was seeing double but those are the twin transmitters Moorside Edge on Pole Moor, Slaithwaite, ten miles to the west on the crest of the Pennines.


Yesterday  I drew Crackenedge, Hanging Heaton, from the Cafe Casbah in the Redbrick Mill, Batley. The place name Crackenedge might be from the Viking krøkjen, meaning ‘crooked or bent edge’.