Thursday, June 1 – Bradford

My pal kept worrying me about Bradford, so, to satisfy him, I decided to accompany him there. It was 12 noon before we got going, and speeding along Bury road to Bury, we at length reached Rochdale. Then, along to Littleborough, where we turned to the right up a long hill. This was the first time we had got into the country today, and we were climbing strenuously to the moors. At length we were forced to walk, and then came two miles of plodding. At last we reached the top, which is marked by an Inn, called the ‘White House’. Now we were gradually falling and rising until a sharp drop took us into Ripponden. Along the pretty valley we sped to Sowerby Bridge. Here a hair raising hill confronted us but luckily a motor lorry helped us along, and we were soon in Halifax.

This place is by far the hilliest town I have seen, and it was a good job that we could hang on to the lorry. Hill after hill confronted us, one after the other, but slowly we were pulled up each. Even the tramlines are of a narrow gauge. At Shelf, the lorry stopped – this place did not belie its name – and we proceeded on the last six miles without it. We dropped easily into Bradford, and commenced a hunt for the house of my pal’s friends. After a lot of fooling about we reached it, in Manningham, a suburb. We stayed here for two and a half hours, including tea and a wash, and it was 6.30 before we were on the road again.

A long steady climb out of the City into Shelf, a few minor hills, and then a wonderful view of Halifax before we dropped down into that region. We got lost in the ‘toffee town’ but after enquiry we were reinstated, and were soon making headway through Sowerby Bridge. Here my one and only brake cable snapped, and I was obliged to go easy. At Ripponden we saw for the first time a novel – or rather ancient form of milk-cart, a yoke with a milk float strapped on each side seemed odd to us. A good walk, a ride, another walk and so on, and the White House hove into view. From here we ‘made up’ for the walk, and the speed downhill was really alarming. We took corners at an appalling angle, and the wind whistled by. It was all the more exciting because I had no brake, and when we reached Littleborough I had to grasp my pal. It took all his strength to stop us both, and a gasp of relief came as we found ourselves slackening. We soon reached Rochdale, Heywood and Bury, and the 8 miles of the Bury road we traversed in good time, arriving home at 10pm on a wonderful cool evening.

82 miles, 10 hours