So why the Shat Birder?

I got a bit of stick for calling my blog The Shat Birder and contrary to the jibes it is not a description! Shat is actually (believe it or not) the local name for the village in which I have lived all my life, Skelmanthorpe.
Skelmanthorpe is on the outskirts of Huddersfield and in the 1870’s during the construction of the railway line (which is now Kirklees Light Railway), local unskilled labourers were drafted in to chip away at the rock that would later carve out Shelley Tunnel. These local lads were nicknamed stone “Shatterers” by the Irish navvies who had been employed to lay the line. The taunting from these “foreigners” actually ended in a 200 man mass brawl, which saw one of the Irish workers getting part of his ear bitten off! It was this incident that coined the phrase “Shat lug oyl biter” which when translated from broad Yorkshire is basically “Skelmanthorpe Ear Hole Nibbler”. Since then though, nearly 140 years on, Skelmanthorpe is still known as Shat! And all its inhabitants by the abbreviated “Shatters”!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Best Garden Tick Ever!

Whilst rummaging around through pads, gloves, whites and cricket jumpers I noticed a streamline silhouette ducking and diving over the field at the back of the house, the very field shown on the header to this blog. It took the appearance of a large swift and immediately got my pulse racing, even more so when I’d sprinted inside to find my binoculars? How come there never close to hand when you really need them!!! I nearly fell down the stairs from trying to get back outside too quickly, with ‘don’t fly off, don’t fly off’ echoing in my mind, I was in time. With binoculars raised my suspicions were confirmed, a Hobby! Get in! Best garden tick I’ve ever had, fact! It hung around for a few more minutes before drifting off in the direction of Shelley High School. It was a real treat. It was the uplifting moment I needed, to raise spirits from last night, after enduring 90 minutes of the worst football I have ever seen!

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