Climate

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Monday, January 17, 2022

Clipped and counterfeited

Yesterday's trip to Heptonstall.  I always get it mixed up in my head with the Hovis advert, the young lad wheeling his bicycle up the very picturesque hill, apparently in Devon.  The day was gray but not raining.



Our first stop was Sylvia Plath's gravestone.  Let us be clear there is something embarrassing and guilt like viewing a famous grave.  You feel they should be left in peace.  There were several people there, two old men sitting on benches monitoring our behaviour and being scornful.  It was a wreck the stone had the top knocked off, and the name Hughes been rubbed out, only it was still there.  Like a ghost hovering over her grave, repentant and sad.  Vandalism it is of course, private lives should not have the foolish on their case. 



The whole graveyard went into several small fields, and we discovered there were two churches on the site. One was a ruin, the other a Victorian built to replace it.






The badly photographed information boards tell you of some of the history but when we talked to the owner of the tea shop, he told us that 'King' Hartley's story was to be filmed in the village this summer, called Gallows Pole, to quote from here.

Based on the book by Benjamin Myers , it fictionalises the rise and fall of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners. Or as the BBC puts it, “Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in eighteenth century Yorkshire, the compelling drama follows the enigmatic David Hartley, as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history.Strong words!

So a few photos of the place itself, it has the charm of a medieval village, tiny cobbled streets and houses.  Also delicious cakes.






On our drive back over the moors we spied a Barn owl floating gently through the air, first time I have seen one round here and a welcome sight.

Some information;


23 comments:

  1. What a brilliant place to visit, ruined church, famous grave, cobbled streets - it's got everything!
    (I like the sound of the new drama- need to read that book I think)

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    1. All the things you love Sue, isn't it different from the churches in your district. Also the small cottage type Yorkshire weaving houses as well.

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  2. Always good to see a Barn Owl in the daytime (or any time at all, come to that). We have a nest box inside our Victorian stables, but I don't think it has a resident, sadly.

    That was an interesting trip out - the town reminds me very much of Hawarth. Interesting graveyard too, but what a shame that Sylvia Plath's gravestone has been defaced like that. I think the only "famous person" grave I've deliberately visited is Ann Bronte's at Scarborough.

    Interesting programme to come about the counterfeiters - not heard of them before.

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    1. Hawarth for another day Jennie. We took the picturesque route back over the moors, and then in the gathering dusk a creamy coloured bird flew over the road. Andrew said, where are the barns? but I presume the lack of farms on the moors, the birds would nest in the valleys.

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    2. I will envy you with your visit to Hawarth, being such a Bronte fan myself. There are bound to be elderly trees with welcoming rotten cores to tempt an owl or two. I remember riding out on Speedy, half a lifetime ago, and we both nearly had a heart-attack when the tree we were passing suddenly disgorged an owl under our noses!

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    3. Well there are quite a few wind turbines up on the moors, but there little valleys for the trees. I had a similar experience on my horse, years and years ago. Coming back from work decided to take Sue out to Hainault Forest, we got lost and it got darker and more scarier as we plodded on. Sue suddenly decided to bolt and a wild ride ensued with me lying as flat as I could not wanting to be brushed off by a low hanging branch.

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  3. P.S. The Hovis advert was filmed at Gold Hill, Shaftesbury (Dorset). It's always a very popular photo on calendars and the like. There's a fascinating little Museum at the top of it, which contains, amongst other things, a mummified cat. They used to put dead cats in the thatch to keep mice away1

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    1. I have only lived in one thatched cottage but the rustling that went on through the night always sounded as if there were a host of mice living in it.

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    1. Well at least I would have learnt from one of you.

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  5. We were at Hebden Bridge on Friday which was also interesting. I had no idea Sylvia Plath was buried in Heptonstall but I did know from walking the area that it is extremely hilly.

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  6. It is very hilly, my grand daughter walks up the hills to the moors with the scouts and she always comes back with similar mud on her shoes like the photo on the last blog.

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  7. I should make the point that also the filming was done last year. The teashop owner was already thinking of expanding his restaurant for the coming tourists who would want to see the area where 'King' Hartley lived, was he another Robin Hood I wonder?

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  8. That's an interesting image of Ted Hughes' ghost hanging over the grave. It seems some (many?) Sylvia Plath fans identify so strongly and feel such ownership of her life that they want to remove him from the record, blaming him for her death at such a young age. The year could easily be read as 83 rather than 63.

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    1. I shall probably go wrong here but. Plath's suicide was a product of her deep depression, Ted Hughes's behaviour exacerbated it, is it prudent to take sides I wonder. Both creative spirits and probably a wrong match. What was more upsetting was the untidiness of the grave yard, it looked unloved ;)

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  9. I agree Thelma p that graveyard is a disgrace as is the syate of her grave.

    I have read The Gallows Pole - not a bundle of Laughs.

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    1. Funnily enough I do like a wild grave yard, but it definitely needs some loving care Pat.
      Think the Gallows Pole book is in the house somewhere, Lillie bought it but hasn't read it yet.

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  10. The little village looks a bit lonely. Is it or just everyone inside due to COVID and or the weather?

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    1. I suspect Tabor they give the place over to the tourists in the bleak weather and just stay inside in their snug cottages. Cars have to be parked quite a way away as well.

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  11. Sadly Hughes lost both his wives to suicide. As you rightly say a gravestone is a private affair...none of us can know or understand what really went on save those who were going through it. Arilx

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    1. Yes Aril it was unfortunate that the two wives of Hughes killed themselves. Perhaps I shall have to read about him. We were talking about his genius as a poet and Andrew (computer person) said that a programme had been devised to analysis usage of words. It found that only Shakespeare and Hughes had pared their language down to a finesse. It can be seen of course in 'Hawk' and 'Pike'

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  12. The grave yard looks rather forlorn and unkempt, to me.

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    1. Yes Joanne a sad place, especially on a bleak day. I think the grave yard holds some sort of record. Just looked it up 100,000 bodies, 'a silent city of the dead', makes you think ;)

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