In a place like The Yorkshire Dales, until maybe fifty years ago this was quite a closed commmunity - as were many fairly remote areas, especially in the North of the country. These were mainly farming communities where the farms were either tenanted from the 'big' landowners who still own large tracts of the (often)moorland around here, or small, family owned farms like that of 'my' farmer. Many had a relatively small (maybe 50 to 100) number of cows, milked and the milk collected daily by milk tanker from the dairies (and not all that long ago taken to the railway station in churns). In addition those farms up in the tops of the dales would have a large flock of mostly Wensleydale and / or Swaledale sheep. These would be hefted sheep brought down to over-winter often in 'spare' fields from the farmers in the lower part of the dale.
The very word 'holiday' was not in their vocabulary. In the first place money was never very plentiful but also most farmers loved their cows far too much to let others milk them and as far as sheep were concerned - what were the often expensive sheep dogs for? To go round the flocks daily to see that all was well.
Then, slowly at first, then more rapidly, things began to change. Words like 'early-retirement' began to reverberate - especially in the South of the Country. Folk who for years had spent their holidays rambling up here in The Yorkshire Dales and other such beautiful areas began to sell their houses 'down South', take 'early retirement' and come up here house hunting - knowing they could buy a beautiful cottage and 'do it up' to their liking and still have money to spare.
I remember the farmer sitting one evening and counting just how many people in the village were actually born there. After a lot of searching through his memory he thought of eleven.
Those who weren't involved in farming tended to have service industry jobs - the bricklayers, the electricians, the plumbers, the stone wallers. In other words it was a tightly knit community. Many of the locals had perhaps a spare cottage - on the farm, left to them by a parent - and these were 'done up' and sold, or let off as holiday accommmodation.
And so the whole ethos began to change. More money came into the area and more folk to whom a couple of weeks flying off to the sun somewhere was second nature.
My dear farmer had only been on holiday once (he was fifty when we married) and that was to Majorca when he was in Young Farmers - he was in his late teens.
The first two years of our married life I holidayed alone - once to Marrakech and once to Siena. Then at his suggestion he got a reliable man in to milk for him for a week and we flew to Toronto. He loved it and so did I. I was a seasoned traveller from the thirty nine years of my first marriage - he was a novice at it. But travelling alone is not like going on holiday with someone you love, someone to share everything with. We never looked back - and no harm came to his cows. They didn't even tell him they were pleased to see him back.
Now the young round here shoot off for their week in the sun every year - fly from the nearest airport by the economy airlines and soak up the sun.
But things are changing - or are they? Airports, which used to be quite exciting places, are no longer like that. Regulations, long queues, train delays getting there or high car parks cost if you have driven to the airport. It is seven years since I flew now but looking at the television of the airport queues doesn't make me wish I could join them any more than the queues for the Dover ferry.
And then there is Climate Change - I am sure many returning families from Rhodes have horror stories to tell just as families from other places hit by the very high temperatures - too hot to lie in the sun, make sand pies on the sands, swim in the sea. And who wishes to traipse round ancient sites in temperatures of forty plus?
Are places like Blackpool, Morecambe, Skegness, Great Yarmouth going to have a rebirth? They certainly need it - from what I hear from people who have been they are desperately in need of a make over. Gone are the days of street upon street of 'Boarding Houses' where it was out after breakfast and only allowed back in an hour before evening meal. Television, hearsay, blame what you like, we will never go back to those days. "Sophistication" has reared its ugly head. So where do we go from here?