After featuring our local YouTube Videographer Darren Hosker back in February of this year in the LS26 Local magazine, we decided it was a good time to get back in touch with him to see how his quest for historical knowledge has progressed these past months since his call out in our magazine for anyone who could help him with his ongoing project.
Darren was delighted to be able to provide us with this update to share with our readers:
“I hope the LS26 Local readership remembers my article earlier this year, where I was asking for information for my AdventureMe YouTube channel on the East & West Yorkshire Union Railway. I was asking at the time, if anyone had any further information on the line or most importantly, any photographs. Well as it happened, not long after the article was published, I was contacted by a gentleman called Derek Rayner. He provided me with a treasure trove of information and a complete archive of his personal photographs of the line in question. This enabled me to finish the series completely, and add in some amazing photographs that had never been seen before. This really helped the series become very popular amongst the local community and further afield.
Six months on, I have covered many other railways lines, canals, collieries, Halifax bomber crashes and lost villages. The AdvenutureMe YouTube channel has really started to take off and become a reference for local history as intended. Just recently, the channel surpassed 1000 subscribers and is now well on the way to 1500. This has made everything I have been doing worthwhile, and most of all it’s getting people interested in our local history.
I had huge plans for taking the channel forward this year, including things further afield in neighbouring towns and cities. However, come March 2020, and we all know what happened then! I had to change my plans and put them on hold until we were allowed to continue outdoors. I had a decision to make. Do I continue making videos whilst using my exercise allowance like a lot of other YouTube channels were doing? Or should I wait until it is safe to do so, and probably risk losing peoples interest when I am not putting out new videos every week? Well I chose the latter. And luckily, I had a few videos already made to keep me going and also managed to record some update videos whilst at home. Once we were allowed back outdoors, I resumed the filming and recorded numerous videos for many weeks ahead.
During the dark period of 2020 that shall remain nameless, I received a lovely email from someone at the Bradford Education Authority asking if they could use one of my videos to help primary school students with their History Home Schooling whilst everything was closed. The video in question was a video I made about the unknown and long abandoned Emmet’s Canal on the outskirts of Bradford in Birkenshaw. This was something that only had one mention in a historic canal book and nobody local had ever heard of. Instead it was providing primary school children with something safe and educational they could watch at home, whilst writing essays about it for school work. Who knew. Something I could do to help during this strange period and all whilst locked behind my own front door. The channel was doing more than I intended already within 3 months of it starting.
Since then I have covered the Methley Joint Railway, Orgreave Colliery, the abandoned Lemonroyd Lock, Kippax Lock, the St Aidan’s Mine Flood of 1988, and the collapse of Emley Moor Tower to name a few. And more recently I have started filming the whole abandoned railway line that ran from East Ardsley Station all the way through to Pudsey in Leeds.”
THE LOST VILLAGE
“The one video that has stood out amongst the others, and is proving to be the most popular on the channel amongst locals in the area, was my video about the Lost Village of Waterloo just outside Rothwell. Now this was a very fascinating subject, but also very difficult to research as nobody knew anything of it’s existence. All I found were some mentions of it in old literature and someone else’s account of where the village was situated. Well, not one to be put off by a lack of factual information, I ventured down to the site, just between the banks of the River Aire and Aire & Calder Navigation near the M1 viaduct at Skelton. What I saw was exactly as I expected, a barren piece of wasteland that had been changed beyond recognition. So now I had to make sure the viewers could understand what was on this site and how it was positioned, also using an old map from the 1850’s for reference. I also had a tip off that something remained of the former School Building from the village, that was hidden underneath an old concrete railway bridge in the undergrowth and on the banks of the River Aire. I kept this as the finale in the video, whilst hoping myself that this would still be here to this day. As luck would have it, and after a few scratches gained whilst clambering down a steep banking, there it was in all it’s glory, hidden away for over 130 years. I made the video back in May 2020 and put it amongst my schedule of releases for sometime in early July. Little did I know that it would spark a huge interest locally and even lead to me being contacted by local media outlets and even a chat about it on BBC Radio Leeds.
FUTURE COLLABORATIONS & PROJECTS
“I have also been contacted by some rather large and well established YouTube channels from further afield, that have shown an interest in collaborating with me on future projects, and one big one from down south that have challenged themselves to visit every abandoned station in the U.K. They have asked me to play tour guide for them in the area and help them visit all the abandoned stations I have covered in my videos. Hopefully spreading the love of the brilliant history we have in the LS26 area.
Once I have finished filming the Ardsley to Pudsey Railway, I am planning on doing more local stories that I have compiled into a large list. This is growing by the second as I receive more requests from the community to cover things I have never heard of. I have plenty more to do for 2020, and will also be involving some people from the local community in the videos, in the hope that they will have as much fun as I do bringing history to life for all to see.
Well what can we say about 2020 apart from the obvious. Well for me, it has shown how helpful and kind people can be, and how much of a great local community we have around LS26. Their support for the channel has been tremendous and very encouraging, but also helped what started as a bit of local interest for myself, turn into something much bigger and reach further afield”.
To view Darren’s channel on YouTube simply search for AdventureMe.
The channel has currently just under 50 videos which are on average 20 to 25 minutes in length and all of local Yorkshire interest, in particular our own LS26 area. A new video is released every Sunday.
YouTube is available as a smartphone / iphone app and also on most tablets. You can also view via your Smart TV that has the YouTube app, as well as with most streaming TV devices like Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, and some gaming consoles.
You can contact Darren by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on social media @adventuremeYT