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Ian Metcalfe's Yorkshire


Ian Metcalfe on the summit of Ingleborough Mountain 2005

Ian Metcalfe was born in and bred a Yorkshire Lad in Gargrave a few miles NW of the town of Skipton in the old West Riding. He attended primary and junior schools in Gargrave village and then Keighley Technical Secondary School for his 'O' Levels and Oakbank Grammar School, Keighley for his 'A' Levels. University education included a B.Sc Hons in Geology at Durham University followed by a PhD in Geology (Micropalaeontology) at Leeds University. Ian left the UK in 1977 to work at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur and then held positions at the National University of Malaysia and the University of New England, Australia. Although living abroad, Ian has made regular trips back to his roots in Yorkshire and revisited his love of the Yorkshire countryside, its geology, and the Yorkshire underground (potholes and caves - Ian is a Life Member of the Craven Pothole Club). Ian has continued to indulge in his main hobby, photography, and provides, from a personal viewpoint, some glimpses of the varied county of Yorkshire in these pages.

Gargrave: My Home Village


Ian Metcalfe, wife Amarjit and children Noreen (left) and David (right) at Ian's favourite trout fishing spot on the river Aire

Gargrave (an ancient Yorkshire village mentioned as Geregrave/Gheregrave in the Doomsday Book of 1086) is situated on the A65 main road, on the Skipton-Settle Carlisle railway, on the River Aire in upper Airedale and at the highest point of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. The river Aire runs through the village after rising from a spring six miles away in Malham a few hundred metres downstream from the base of Malham Cove. Ian's formative days were spent in the village until going away to University and many a happy hour was spent fishing for trout, perch and greyling in both the river and canal. The Leeds and Liverpool canal was a commercial canal when Ian was a young boy with barges plying up and down with a variety of cargo, including coal, stone, salt and grain. By the 1960s the commercial barge trade had largely given way to narrow boat pleasure craft which are now the only boats to negotiate the famous locks.


Narrow boat negotiating a canal lock at Gargrave, 2007

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