Thursday, August 02, 2007

A mystery solved

Yesterday in the office while drinking coffee and munching on chocolate biscuits and wondering whether to actually start doing some work before 10am or not, Ned and I solved a 45 year old mystery.

Where does the beck go ?

For those unfortunates not of a Yorkshire persuasion a beck is a water course, a small stream, and we had one at the bottom of the hill, through the woods when we were nobbut kids around here.

Like all kids we had a territory and our territory was quite a big one involving lots of woods and fields and things, and a mile or so long stretch of beck to mess about in - compared to my kids lifestyles sat watching MTV right through their school summer holidays, our lifestyle was idylic, the sort of thing you only read about in Enid Blyton or Nancy Drew books...

"What are we doing today then ?"
"Lets dam the beck"
Such were the hard decisions that we took daily during our school summer holidays.

Now lets check out my kids...

" {unspoken part} "
"Leave this on"
" {unspoken part} "

But although we knew every square inch of the beck from Horsforth railway station to the back road to Bramhope we knew nought of where the water had come from nor where it went to, for beyond Horsforth railway station was the Tinshill and Hawksworth gangs territory and you didn't want to piss about with those people.

At the other end beyond Bramhope was just to far to consider, it was the edge of our universe, the point beyond which we did not venture for fear of dragons, in fact Ned reminded me today that we once trekked all day to find the source of the beck beyond Bramhope and got hopelessly lost somewhere despite the fact that you cannot get lost by simply following a water course as all you have to do is turn around and walk back the way you've come - still we thought we were lost until one of us climbed a hill above the beck and realised that we could still see our house - living on the highest patch of land in Leeds has its advantages sometimes.

And so this morning we sat and sipped coffee and sucked on soggy chocolate digestives and thunk long and hard about where the beck goes beyond Horsforth Railway Station and we realised pretty damn quick that it joins the River Aire about a mile further downstream than our outpost, 45 years its taken for us to put our heads together and solve that one and I have to say, I was pretty relieved to put that one to bed.

But as for the upper reaches of the beck we are still clueless, we followed it in our minds all the way to None-Go-Bye Farm where the girl committed suicide when I was 14 years old because she couldn't face telling her pushy parents that she'd done badly in her O levels, and we remembered clearly the pig farm en route with the big furnace chimney where the little runt and deformed piglets of the litter were burned in an incinerator but if you got there before the farmer had cleared the furnace out you got to drag tiny little piglet feet out of the ashes and put them down each others t-shirt neck - but we had never gone beyond that point, and probably never will, it would be devastating to find that just around the corner from our furthest explored point the beck disappears under a stone.


Rhea said...

I never heard of a beck. What an adventure.

Gary said...

Just another unique Yorkshire word !