Huddersfield Chronicle (21/Apr/1894) - Mollicar Wood
(From Our Correspondent "Cid.")
Who first thought of trams? I am not so much concerned about the answer to this question as with the fact that it is possible, by them, to get oat into the country to any point of the compass from early morning to late at night. I took advantage of this on Saturday by mounting the Almondbury tram, when I quickly found myself crushed into a corner, trod on, my hat knocked off, and smoked like a kipper. All this was not wilfully done, and even such treatment was condoned by listening to the native wit of two septuagenarians, who bantered each other about nothing in particular and everything in general, and aid it well. After a long pull, and much snorting and groaning, the terminus was reached. There is, to me, an irresistible charm about the mother church of Almondbury. For one thing I always find its doors open, and seldom anyone about, so that I can stand uncovered in the holy place before God without the distractions caused by the inattention, or something worse, of frivolous mankind. Leaving this ancient shrine as the clock struck two, I was soon revelling in green fields which at this glorious time are draped in beauteous joyfulness. Reaching the valley I enter an earthly paradise, its hidden entrance being suggestive of another and a better Eden. Here is a rippling stream, there a miniature cataract, while everywhere trees, stately as sentinels, guard its doorway. A few strides bring me to a lovely scene where nature's solitude is supreme. For hours I am alone, yet not alone. Here is a garden with spring for its gardener. The buds are bursting everywhere. Bracing, wholesome breezes are shaking new leaves into symmetry, while the dew sparkles in myriad eyes from every point of view. The deadness of the winter is being hid away by blades of green of wondrous tint, so tender and so sweet. The clouds sail overhead in grandeur, now gilt, now feathery white, beyond which the blue peeps anon fascinatingly. Everything has virgin eyes ; even the shady places when examined closely show a silent force which is opening all to maturity. There is the mossy bank, the gentle slope, with a primrose here and there. Nascent violets coyly display their new-born purity. A thousand other flowers, all chaste and exquisite, have their perfumes wafted through the trees calmly and refreshingly. Larks uncounted sing from heaven, flutter from the earth, and trill music that requires no skilled training to appreciate. A wealth of colour fills the eye. Insects seem hushed, or not yet born, quietly biding their time, but sounds low and sweet are near, around, and at a distance. The beech is clothed with verdant grace, the gorse looks on with golden eyes, while larches wave their feathery lace delightfully. The cherry bloom, the apple blossom, the fruit trees over the way lend variety to the scene, and give promise of fatness for the summer and rich harvest for the autumn. The thrush ascends his favourite tree and pipes unmoved as I pass by. The blackbirds whistle in tones of limited compass, so sweet, distinct, yet every note is as fresh as the bubbling spring near by. The cuckoo tells the world that her appointed time has come, while a chorus of birds sing in harmony, without the aid of an apparently wild man with a baton beating the air to tell them when to begin, when to sing low or high, when some are not to sing, and when all are to give over. Instead of this they singly vie with each other in their ecstasy of delight, all blithe, all free as the air they breathe, all full of joy, of life, of tunefulness, apparently untouched by care. All this may be enjoyed near the town, within the reach of everyone ; and yet how many prefer the excitement of the crowd, their own smoke, the filthy language of the streets, the pandemonium and babble of ignorance and strife, to gird at each other as world-menders, law-makers, ideal State-builders, to murder each other's reputations by slander, and to breathe a thousand indescribable fumes!