Monday, 7 May 2012
When is 'remote' 'remote'?
Last week's Times did a review on a local B and B in the Wensleydale village of Bainbridge. This village is on the main A684 which runs from the M6 through to the A1 basically and is the main route through this part of the Dales. The reviewer of the B and B, who probably lives in an inner city, spoke of Bainbridge as being 'remote'. Well, I wouldn't call it a Metropolis, but there are other villages within a couple of miles, whichever way you go. For 'remote' here you would need to go up Ravenstonedale or Tan Hill, both of which have isolated farms which are the only buildings visible in any direction.
Today we had to go to Sedbergh, which meant driving down the A 684 through Bainbridge and the surrounding villages, through Hawes and on to the little market town of Sedbergh. We took Tess and we took a picnic lunch and a flask of coffee. On the way back we intended to call at Cotter Force, a waterfall which has featured many times on this blog, for a dog walk. However, we changed our minds and went instead into an offshoot of Wensleydale - Cotterdale. Now that I really would call remote.
Many years ago I heard a lady from there give a talk on patchwork. Somebody asked her when she learned to do such beautiful work. She replied that when she was a girl in the 1940's, winters could be very bad and often the dale was cut off from the outside world for as long as six weeks, so they couldn't go to school. They never ran out of food because her parents would know that they had to stockpile it for such an occasion. To occupy the girls her mother would collect bits of old material throughout the summer months - old summer dresses, shirts etc. Then, when they were snowed in, they would make quilts - all sitting round the fire, laughing and talking and sewing. She said they were some of the most memorable parts of her life.
I took some photographs of Cotterdale for you to see. The buildings are right at the end of the Dale and that is all there is - maybe seven or eight houses and i think some of them are holiday cottages. There is one farm.
The stony bank of the little beck is a perfect nesting place for oyster catchers. Two were there and flew on to the wall. They are in the photograph - perhaps if you blow it up to fill the screen you will just be able to see them. The fields were full of Swaledale ewes and their lambs, the beck had ducks, oyster catchers, wagtails, dippers - all carried on as though we weren't there - I don't think they associate a car with humans. I also took a photograph of a dear little rabbit on the side of the beck. It is so tiny you can hardly see it but I am putting the photograph on anyway.
So, you reporters from London and the like, make sure you really know what 'remote' is before you describe a thriving village on a main road as such. In any case those of us who live up here like to keep it that way.
Incidentally, the photograph with a small building in the middle distance - the building is probably a lime kiln.