Jacksdale & Westwood - Part 03 - Into Westwood ...
w/e 12 September 2010
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
Once again our visit to the interlinked villages
took place on a bright day but the high white cloud resulted
in a featureless sky that did nothing to enhance any of the following
images. The village boundaries are somewhat indistinct on the
ground and sometimes it is difficult to determine whether you
are in Jacksdale or Westwood but in this part we shall continue
from Church Lane in Jacksdale and will end most definitely in
As we return from St Mary's Church down Church Lane to Main Road
(seen here in the distance) there is a sports field and play
area on the left. A new multi-purpose, non-smoking, non-alcoholic
building with kitchen, changing rooms and showers opened in 2005
and is a marked improvement on the facilities from when I officiated
as a football referee here in the 1980s.
The aforementioned building is at the rear and part of the Dale
Club which was formerly the Jacksdale Miners Welfare. There are
still strong links with the former mining communities and the
Club is still the venue for an annual Gala Day, an event normally
associated with pit towns and villages.
Another reminder of the area's industrial past is a coal wagon
which is a memorial to Pye Hill Colliery bearing the dates 1874
and 1985 to show the life span of the colliery although these
days the wagon carries only plants and flowers rather than coal.
Since the closure of the pits, other business have come to the
fore in the local economy. A little further along Main Road a drive (left) leads to a large
car park at the Jacksdale Garden Centre (above) and the Pavilion
Tearooms (right). Like many other similar businesses a whole
range of products are available as well as the usual plants and
gardening equipment. These include a section where homage is
paid to the mining heritage with a pile of books called "Coal Mines Remembered" by a local author
Our route so far along Main Road has been generally in a south
eastern direction but as the road now swings through ninety degrees
to head towards the north west, a road sign indicates we are
now entering Westwood where one of the first properties is another
business. This is the Ranch Store at Oak Tree Farm that supplies
all things equestrian plus pet and animal foods.
Across from the Ranch Store on the southern side of the road
is another farm where diversification seems to be the order of
the day. Yewtree Farm combines the unlikely double of the Westwood
Fish Farm with a demolition business.
After passing the farms another left turn into the narrow Palmerston
Street will take us along the whole length before returning to
the centre of Jacksdale.
Just beyond Palmerston Street is the former
Gate Inn (left) but this has not only suffered from the decline
of the mining industry but also the current recession and is
now boarded up, being converted into housing. The area is not
without a pub though as at the bottom of Palmerston Street is
the ivy clad Royal Oak (above). Across from it a more modern
building that houses the Westwood U.R.C. Community Chapel (right)
which means we started this part at a church and finished at
a chapel. In the next part we will continue up Palmerston Street
and head back towards Jacksdale.