Literary Landscapes

I made a visit to the graveyard courtesy of an old friend. It’s a multicultural place just like Wool City of course. I tidied up, put in flowers – real ones, perused over graves of the golden oldies and tidied a few of them too.

It’s a pleasant day, cooler than the last few weeks. We took a walk amongst the stones. So many were of mighty people, with enough money to pay out for obelisks, huge Celtic crosses as befits  the once wealthiest town in the world. A section for Muslims and a small one for Jews, where there was a little synagogue. All ours are clustered together in one section too. Communities stay together through everything.

I don’t think there’s anything morose about death or discussing it – what you would like to happen, but then I was once a young Goth in the 80’s who thought it romantic to hang out by the Parsonage in Haworth, taking photos and doing rubbings of stones.

The last few days I have watched BFI films of the town I grew up in. It was once quite a slum in the centre. The number of mills present was astounding. How filthy it must have been. Now it is pleasantly green, and although it’s a busy, busy place and road pollution is high, the trees soak it all up and nature has found a way to come back.

What of the future of the old mill towns. Becoming green can only be the way, but til then, roads will be widened, houses built. Another mill burnt down in the early hours of this morning, fourteen fire engines were present. Grey smoke wafts in this direction, the main artery closed, causing chaos west of the city.

We must remember to keep writing, creating the stories, note happenings. Imagination and magic is all that is needed to breathe new life in to this old hell.

A trip to Whitby is on the cards – long time no see. That will appease more of my inner dark romantic! I wonder what it’s like to be a vampire and if there are any around here. So lucky to live in a rich literary landscape. And somewhere forever foreboding…



A weekend at Haworth SteamPunk – 20th -22nd November 2015

If I was to be asked where home was, I would say Haworth. I’m sure many people know about the village  and what its connections are to the literary world.  I also love me a bit of SteamPunk – again the literature – Nine Novels that defined SteamPunk, and the scene of event-making around the whole genre and era of Victorian steam. DSCF0296

It would of course be right to catch the steam train in to Haworth. ( The journey from Keighley to Haworth used to be my  meditative ride home from a difficult day’s work in crisis intervention in the 1990’s).  The carriages are warm and there was a bar offering local beers and hot drinks on board. Even better. A slow chug along the line is just enough time to forget the twenty-first century and to head back to another time and place.

I arrived at  my destination in time for performances by Roses (all women group of steampunkery gypsy cross-cultural belly-dancing) and the photo shoot of the weekend’s dressed up SteamPunkers outside the station doors.


There was a tiny bit of snow around, enough to generate the perfect magical atmosphere of the cobbled village tucked away in the Pennines. I hung around the station watching, observing, chatting and taking photos. They’re a friendly bunch of folk. Jovial. Polite. Clearly having plenty of fun, as was I.


DSCF0312DSCF0320The walk up to the top of Haworth from the station is a vertical one! A steep-sided valley that was once the hub of the wool industry has evolved in to a visitors centre with some delightful places to walk to and stop off at. I took a break in The Fleece with my favourite local beer – Golden Best by Taylor’s.  Main Street was busyDSCF0323 of course. Shopkeepers, cafe and pub staff entering in to the spirit of the weekend.

I meandered through the crowd and in to halls where everything SteamPunk was available to try on, take home and put on your mantel piece or just peruse and have a cuppa and slice of cake with the WI.

The weekend event is organised by a team of volunteers headed by Michael Young. It’s a fundraiser for the local hospice, Manorlands.

DSCF0316Events include a masquerade ball, local bands on in great venues, a fashion show and more. Ancient machinery is displayed courtesy of local manufacturers. All that is missing is the Time Machine! But if you go along, be sure to know, that you will be transported back in time and will be greeted by friendly faces and happy people.

As for the outfits. Some very dapper folk strutting the cobbles!

Haworth SteamPunk