Fundraising walk: Final day

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We had an early start, and set off from Haworth with the sun beating down upon us as we set a course for the final point in our journey: Sowerby Bridge, where Branwell Brontë once worked as a clerk  on the railway.

It isn’t just the Brontë connection that causes me to be fascinated by Haworth – it’s the fact that, visually, it has changed so little since their time, and the thought that a number of its inhabitants can boast local ancestry stretching back before the time of the famous literary family.

VIDEO: “MYSTERIOUS” HAWORTH

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The names used in the area also suggest their link to the town’s history. The Haworth Free School may once have welcomed Branwell into its tutelage, but for some reason – be it his highly strung personality, the mental or physical health issues that many now suggest that he had, or something else – he could only have attended for a few months before being withdrawn for home-schooling.

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I got the chance once again to pass over the lovely West Yorkshire Moors, though the terrain wasn’t always on my side.

VIDEO: DAD JOKE

Though I did make a couple of friends along the way. The locals of West Yorkshire are friendly whatever their species!

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As is always the way with the North, one kind of weather didn’t seem to be enough and, suddenly I found myself battling gale-force winds as I made my way through Wainstalls.

VIDEO: BIT WINDY!

Eventually, signs for Luddenden Foot, where Branwell briefly enjoyed a promotion to the position of clerk in charge, lifted my spirits someone despite the sweltering sun, as my destination was getting ever-closer:

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However, I knew my legs and feet wouldn’t hold up for much longer, and was grudgingly grateful that this was the final ten miles of my 130 mile journey. I decided to write a short song to commemorate the quest as I hobbled along. (Warning: suggests a naughty word!)

VIDEO: CAROLINE’S TOTALLY ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

Trivia: Caroline holds Grade 8 with distinction with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Seriously. It’s on her Spotlight and everything. The fraud.

I was overjoyed to arrive in Sowerby Bridge in good time, and found a wonderful welcome awaiting. This fab display really made it all feel a bit special, and was particularly poignant as this was the final date of my readings tour:

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Audience members were arriving a good fifteen minutes before the start, and, once I began, all seemed highly interested in the subject and started some really interesting discussions after the talk was finished. Sowerby Bridge library really seems a vital part of its community, and this seemed evident in the numbers that attended the event.

At the end, I packed away my things with a degree of sadness, because, though I was looking forward to heading home for a good rest, I knew I would miss this project hugely. I hope to put on some more readings in the near future (there is one lined up for 8th July at 7:30, at the Kings Arms in Salford), but it was the combination of those and the walking that really made this an experience to remember.

The adventure had also left its mark on my trainers, which evidently decided that enough was enough and have now been given last rites.

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You have served me well, trainers. You will be remembered.

VIDEO: TRIBUTE TO MY TRAINERS

So it’s over now! A few really exciting opportunities have arisen from this venture, and we have big plans for the next couple of months before The Dissolution Percy hits the stage at the Kings Arms in Salford from 4th – 7th November and for one night in Haworth at the Parkside Social Club on 14th November.

So keep an eye on our website and Twitter feed (@DTKManc) for updates. In the meantime, please do take a look at the below link for The Dissolution of Percy‘s trailer, further information about the production, and for the chance to donate to our exciting new company! Please share the information wherever you can – any assistance is hugely appreciated.

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Fundraising walk: Final day

Fundraising Walk: Day 7

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It was a rather grim start to the day, damp and overcast, but the walk was only a little over six miles in a straight line between Thornton and Haworth.

To set me up for the day ahead, I thought I’d give a little history lesson as I went on my way:

VIDEO: THORNTON ROAD

Then I recalled that it was time to do a birthday shout-out for a certain someone. I wasn’t quite up for stopping off to buy 198 candles though.

VIDEO: MANY (MANY) HAPPY RETURNS!

While the walk into Haworth was utterly gorgeous and highly atmospheric, it seemed so short compared with earlier treks that I could have blinked and missed it. I did have time, however, to be substantially miffed by the sight of a lovely claret-leather chair sitting alone in a field.

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I’m sure we could have made use of it if no one had wanted it; it looked in decent nick! However, if a person had brought it out with thoughts of sitting and admiring the fabulous view, then kudos to them – I’d have done the same.

After a short time, I found myself skirting the moors, with a direct path over them to Haworth. I was far too tempted. I clambered off the road, and had a little peace and quiet amidst the scrubby heather and tussocks of grass.

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Breaking over the brow of a hill, I finally came across this belter of a vista, with the town half-shrouded in mist at the bottom of the valley:

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A little further along, a steam train puffed along the Worth Valley railway below me, and I went completely potty, scrambling to film. Sadly I failed. You’ll have to imagine it. But it was lovely.

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The bunting was out in the town as I walked to the top of the steep street, making a beeline for the obligatory selfie outside:

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The Brontë Parsonage.

After admiring the bullet holes left in the church tower opposite by the wonderfully unique Reverend Patrick Brontë – who slept with a loaded pistol close at hand every night and discharged it out of the window every morning for safety’s sake – I had a poignant moment in the church where I paid my respects to the whole family, save Anne who was laid to rest in Scarborough.

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The talk, at the brilliant art cafe, Cobbles and Clay, was very well attended and the response was superb. The pieces that audience members donated to be read were of an extremely high standard as usual. After a very nice chat with the attendees, I popped over to The Black Bull, famously Branwell’s preferred watering hole, for a respectful pint, and was pleased to see that his favourite chair, still in one piece almost one hundred and seventy years after his death, was on display partway up the stairs.

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It’s hardly as if I’m a stranger to Haworth, but I very much enjoyed this visit – as I do all visits – to perhaps the most famous of my destinations.

With tomorrow comes the final stretch to Sowerby Bridge, where Branwell worked as a clerk on the railway, before I return to Manchester and reality. I’ll be at Sowerby Bridge library at 2pm, and it would be fantastic to see this wonderful adventure off in style.

Please do come along!

See the company’s trailer for The Dissolution of Percy, find out more information and take a look at our crowdfunding campaign below:

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Fundraising Walk: Day 7

Brontë Readings Tour: June 2015 Fundraiser

General

Caroline, The Dissolution of Percy‘s Emily Brontë, will be walking over 130 miles in one week to raise money for the company’s November production. Along the way, she’ll be stopping off at major sites related to the story to deliver performed readings of work by the Brontës as well as pieces inspired by the famous family and donated by friends, colleagues and audience members!

There is no need to book in advance for the readings – all you need to do is come along on the night.

To donate a piece of writing inspired by The Brontës, please email dtkmanchester@gmail.com with your work attached or in the body of the email. Please include your name and the venue you will be attending!

Current Venue List

The Black Cock Inn, Broughton-in-Furness – Saturday 20th June – 14:00pm

Kendal Library, Kendal – Sunday 21st June – 12:00pm

Cowan Bridge Village Hall, Cowan Bridge – Sunday 21st June – 19:00pm

Halifax Central Library, Halifax – Tuesday 23rd June – 17:30pm

The Cardigan Centre, Leeds – Wednesday 24th June – 20:00pm

The New Inn, Thornton – Thursday 25th June – 20:00pm

Cobbles and Clay, Haworth – Friday 26th June – 18:00pm

Sowerby Bridge Library, Sowerby Bridge – Saturday 27th June – 14:00pm

Follow the company on Twitter (@DTKManc) and use the hashtag #nocowardsoulismine to tweet about this adventure!

Brontë Readings Tour: June 2015 Fundraiser