Roots and Branches

Saturday, 8th April 2006

horse chestnutcloudThis looks like being the last year that my mum's big horse chestnut tree will unfurl it's buds. It has stood close to the house for at least a hundred years but it has somehow got its roots into the drain down the driveway. Not a good thing and sadly it's going to have to go. A remote video camera sent down the drain showed large roots almost entirely blocking the pipe.

chimney pots at OssettRoofscape

These chimneys pots near Manor Road, Ossett might be almost as old as the chestnut tree. While Victorian windows get replaced with UPVC double-glazing, and wooden doors get replaced with the plastic variety, the chimney pots, with a bit of repointing every now and then, can go on for longer, retaining their Victorian/Edwardian character.

stone wallThe small terra cotta rosemary tiles on the roof on the right were the standard roofing material when this house was built by Ossett Borough Council, probably in the immediate post-war years. They'd cost a fortune today and larger coloured-concrete tiles are more likely to be used. Many of the older Victorian houses retain their blue Welsh slate roofs and there are still dozens of examples of older farmhouses, barns, workshops and cottages with local flagstone roofs.

This stonewall by the road also probably dates back a hundred years or more, it probably started as a drystone wall and at some stage it has probably been rebuilt using mortar. But it's good to have some local materials still visible in the streetscape. Next Page

Richard Bell,