Wednesday, 5 June 2013

23. Land's End to John O'Groats. Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire is the lesbian capital of the UK. Wuthering Heights. Wensleydale cheese. Sylvia Plath.

 Hebden Bridge, the Rochdale Canal.

Hebden Bridge to John O'Groats.
As well as wonderful scenery through rain and shine, David Sansom and Robbie Brough are going through interesting places on their charity walk up the backbone of England for Emmaus Oxford, Hebden Bridge in particular on this particular leg of their journey north. 

Campsite notice.

Just googling Hebden Bridge -  (the boys spent the night above the town) pulls up quite a few surprises about the former woollen mills/clothes manufacturing 'Trouser Town'.
  • It is known as the lesbian capital of the UK, and is a pretty town full of eco-friendly organic shops, arty inhabitants, alternative practitioners, green alternative energy and New Age activists plus - as Wikipedia puts it - wealthier 'yuppie' types. Jazz is big there too. 
  • April 2005: The British Airways flight magazine Highlife called Hebden Bridge "the fourth most funky place in the world." (1. Daylesford, Australia. 2. Tiradentes, Brazil. 3.Burlington,. Vermont).
  • 19 March 2013. The Times listed Hebden Bridge as first on their list out of thirty "coolest places to live in Britain". (2. Bethnal Green. 3.  Stockbridge in Edinburgh. 4. Totnes.  5. Folkestone).
  • Sylvia Plath is buried in nearby Heptonstall.
  • Hawes is famous for Wensleydale cheese, which was first made by French monks in the 12th century. 
  • Haworth, home of the Bronte family. The dramatic ruins at Top Withins supposedly inspired Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
Bronte Parsonage, Haworth, is now a museum
 From left to right: Anne, Emily and Charlotte Bronte
 painted by their brother Patrick Branwell in 
 (He painted himself out where the gap is.)
5 June.  Robbie Brough email.

"Hi Mary, 

Have got a missed call from Emmaus Leeds but it was too late to call back last night so I will give them a call this afternoon. 

Yesterday we left our campsite at Hebden Bridge and started walking over the moors again.  The campsite was set at the top of a hill we climbed the day before which made for an easy start!  

The views were spectacular in the morning sun and it was very hot and sunny all day.

Top Withins and Wuthering Heights' ruins: 
Dave Dunford 2005

The route took us over several moors, the most interesting being Top Withins which is widely viewed as the inspiration for the setting of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. I am incredibly interested in literature and so it was a real treat to see the place come to life.  The Bronte sisters all came from Haworth which we passed later on in the day. 
Although the nice weather was a hugely welcome change to the rain the heat makes it much harder to walk for long distances and we only covered about 17 miles. The reason for this is we think a combination between the sun making you want to just lie down and relax, the extra weight from having to carry more water and also that the heat makes you lose your appetite!  I also get bad hay-fever which doesn't help! We stayed last night in Ikornshore in a field just outside the village and today went into the village to get food supplies. 


Brasher boots were polished and dried out in Shrewsbury
David having his five a day

David on an old tractor

David and Robbie are walking to John O'Groats and are over half-way there, with just under 600 miles to go . They have raised £4,790.00 so far for Emmaus Oxford, which houses former homeless people and gives them work.  Companions as they are called work for 35 hours a week at the Emmaus Oxford secondhand superstore and shop at Temple Cowley where they recycle furniture and other household goods before selling them on.

Donations for Emmaus Oxford please to:
Twitter: Trading Places @DRtradingplaces