canal towpath


It was the 9th of October, 1965, and 14-year-old Elsie Frost and was spending the afternoon at Snapethorpe School’s Sailing Club in Lupset, Wakefield, with her friends. It was approximately 4PM when Elsie departed to walk the short distance home. Typically, she would walk home with friends but on this afternoon, she wanted to avoid the canal towpath. She had just got a new pair of shoes and knew that route would be muddy due to earlier rain.

As Elsie was walking through the tunnel below the railway line at Horbury, she was savagely attacked. She was stabbed in the head, hand, and back. The stab wound to her back pieced her heart. Due to the stab wound on her hand, it was evident that the teenager had attempted to defend herself against the frenzied attack. Unfortunately, it was unfruitful and she died due to shock and blood loss. A manhunt for the killer was underway immediately. It became the largest manhunt that Wakefild would ever see, with the army even becoming involved. A couple of months after the shocking murder, 33-year-old Ian Bernard Spencer was declared to be guilty by the coroner. He was innocent, he professed, and this claim was corroborated by family members who said they were at home with Ian that afternoon. Ian was eventually acquitted of the murder but always remained under a cloud of suspicion. Police would frequently show up to his home whenever a murder took place in the area and Ian took to writing his daily activities down in a book.

One of the main theories is that Elsie stumbled across two men engaging in homosexual activities, which was illegal in Britain at the time. Another theory is that Elsie had a secret boyfriend who may have been involved. In 2016, an 78-year-old Peter Pickering was arrested in connection with Elsie’s murder. He was bailed out of jail and then re-arrested again in March or 2017. The case still remains unsolved. Elsie’s parents both went to the grave without knowing who killed their daughter or why.


Yesterday was such a weird and wonderful day.

• I finished my first full semester of undergrad with what I’m pretty sure is a 4.0
• Took myself on a celebratory bike ride on my beloved towpath and even though it was chilly and overcast, it was so beautiful and heartwarming and exactly what I needed.
• We went to a friend’s birthday party and I had my inaugural grapefruit shandy of the summer at the ballpark.
• We stayed out way too late drinking and singing karaoke and now this morning the sun is out and I am officially on summer break (minus the one online class I’m taking).

Life is good, friends. // 05.13.17


June 18th - Another fine, high summer day and this time I headed out to North Warwickshire, going from Stonnall to Bassets Pole, on to Middleton, body moor Heath, Hurley, Baxterley, Grendon and up the canal back to Tamworth with a speedy run down the old A5 home.

It was a lovely ride on a gorgeous day and the scenery showed itself well. Merevale Hall still sits imperiously over the plains beyond the Watling Street, and over the former mining communities on the ridge, which apart from the memorials and odd preserved building, you’d never guess had ever existed at all.

It was also a day of languid animals, from the ambling rabbits who unusually didn’t have a rush in them, to lounging cats hunting shadow, rather than sun. 

Bernie the boater Birman was going for a walk with his dad at Polesworth, on a lead as he normally lives at home. He was perfectly content and a lovely cat.

A word of caution, though: if you’re planning to ride the Coventry Canal between Grendon and Polesworth, choose something agricultural to ride. The towpath is non-existent and was seriously challenging to ride.

noctiscealums  asked:

can i ask where you live? i saw the post about gypsies and the problem rang a bell (im from slovakia) - though ive never seen anyone on tumblr bring it up (like ever). it felt... refreshing to see complaints that are not US centric, lol.

I’m in England. 

I have a lot of complaints, to be honest.

The last time they were in my friends town, the canal and its towpath were filled with human faeces and household waste, so that area was no longer accessible to the public. I’ve seen a man in a garage do them a favour for free, only for them to get caught stealing from him on their way outside. I’ve personally been “cursed” by one when I refused to buy a trinket.

I’ve known young men to be beaten badly by them, who are usually drunk and aggressive, and heard instances in papers of women being raped, because they’re seen as “fair game” and “whores”. Not far from here a school was recently closed down, because they parked on school property and it provided a safety hazard for students (because you can’t have children around total strangers). I’ve seen vandalised areas by them, too.

They’ve also stolen dogs for dog-fighting rings, which causes immense emotional distress to their owners. They leave an absolute mess wherever they go, causing councils and private owners to spend money cleaning up after them (and our country has money issues as it is). They also fly-tip.

I’m absolutely pissed they’re down the road from us.

It means the schools, clubs, and children can’t use that park or playing field. It means women going to the gym or nearby doctors can no longer walk alone. It means my dogs have to sleep upstairs in a heatwave - where they could overheat - because the alternative is to risk them being dog-napped. It means being unable to leave the house, left the few possessions we have be stolen, and we lack money to replace them. It means living in fear. 

This area is predominately elderly people, too. 

I doubt they’ll be arrested or their children put into care, and - even once the police get the proper paperwork to move them - they’ll just move to another area and do the same thing again (like they’re doing now). I can honestly understand why some people turn to vigilante justice, as these people evade justice every single time. I hope it’s not as bad for you?

Sorry for ranting about this. It’s peeved me off a fair bit XD


Narrowboat by Robert