Well, that made a nice change! Two days away on the coast at Southport and it was sunny. I was starting to think we’d never see the sun again but it looks like Spring has finally arrived.
I always think of Southport as being in Lancashire but it’s actually part of Merseyside and there are plenty of Scouse accents about to remind you that it’s not far to Liverpool from here. Southport has the feel of a slightly upmarket resort. That may be the wide streets and impressive buildings or it could be the well kept gardens and Victorian shelters along the promenade. Either way it’s a nice town to visit.
The beach at low tide is huge but it’s not the prettiest of beaches. One of the town’s most popular tourist spots is the pier. Opened in August 1860, it is the oldest iron pier in the country. It’s also impressively long. At 1,108m it the second-longest in the UK, after Southend Pier.
This wasn’t really a photographic trip but I’ve included a few photographs below from out short visit.
Last week we spent a couple of days in North Yorkshire, visiting the spectacular Ingleton Falls. It’s a few years since I was last there and not much as changed. You still have to pay to walk the countryside trail, something that doesn’t go down well with a lot of people but at least the money helps maintain the paths. At £6 each, it is a bit ‘steep’ though.
We stayed at Thornbrook Farm campsite which proved to be an excellent choice. A short stroll from Ingleton and an even shorter stroll to a large farm shop and a great local pub. The facilities on site are also excellent with one of the cleanest shower blocks I’ve ever seen plus underfloor heating too!
The local pub is The Marton Arms at Thornton in Lonsdale. The staff were really friendly, the food was good and there was a good choice of beers on tap too. Easy to see why, even on a cold mid-week night, it was a popular location.
Back to the Falls themselves and we didn’t visit on the best of days. It was cold, very windy and muddy but, it was still an enjoyable walk. We chatted, on the way round, to an avid walker who was originally from Yorkshire but who now lives in Australia. He was reminiscing about the last time he was here, when he worked as a gamekeeper in the area. He has walked trails all around the world but the icy winds and driving rain earlier that week had forced him to abandon his planned walk. I could relate to that as we walked over the tops on the North Yorkshire fells, the wind driving you back and the icy spots of rain stinging the cheeks. The walk itself took us about two and a half hours in total and there is a cafe hut half way round with toilet facilities
As some point I’d like to return to Ingleton and spend more time photographing the falls.
Preston North End Ladies suffored a disappointing 3-0 defeat in their final game of the season against Carlisle Ladies. There was an inevitability about the result today, as Preston only managed to field nine players but even so, the performance was a bit lack-lustre.
Carlisle struggled for a while but went into the break one goal to the good. Two second half goals sealed it for them. Not much else to say really – the season just petered out.
Preston North End Ladies have been in good form recently, winning their last three games and moving away from the foot of the table. Today’s visitors Penrith AFC Ladies have also been going great guns and are unbeaten this season – something had to give down at the UCLan arena.
The match proved to be a fantastic game of football, both sides 100 percent committed to the cause.It was a game of contrasting styles. Preston playing a really good passing game while Penrith relied heavily on the long ball game. It’s a tactic that works well for them and it was Penrith who broke the deadlock against the run of play.
Preston had been playing the better football and they continued to do so, equalising with a shot from the edge of the box before half time. It was richly deserved.
The second half continued as the first. Penrith continued to work hard and got a second to take the lead, again somewhat against the run of play.Preston continued to push forward, never giving up but Penrith extended their lead and made it three with the last kick of the game.
Well done to both teams on a great game of football. Preston played the better football and deserved to get something from the game but it was Penrith who stole the points, continuing their unbeaten run.
I don’t recall covering a night match for PNE Ladies before so the game against Burscough Dynamo was a first for me. This presented challenges from a photographic point of view. The low levels of lighting on the Sport Arena pitch meant that ISO levels were maxing out at ISO12800 and I still wasn’t really getting the shutter speeds I needed. The added misery of cold and driving rain was lifted slightly by the fact that PNE Ladies impressed again and secured a 3-0 win.
Well done to both teams for playing some good football in difficult conditions. Here are the pictures…