Sunday, 22 July 2007

A surprise walk to Brontë Falls

Brontë Society member Maddalena de Leo left temperatures of forty degrees in Ascea – Velia (not far from Salerno in Italy) for a visit to Haworth, where the temperature was a little less. As arranged earlier this year, she met up with Richard Wilcocks and has now sent the following account:

On 5 July last, the morning appointed for our meeting, I found myself at the Brontë Parsonage meeting with Richard Wilcocks, the recent editor of BS Gazette and until the end of June Chairman of the Council.

I and my daughter Francesca had arrived at Haworth the evening before and it was just the first day of our holiday, our disappointment being the wet, cloudy and cold weather all around us. What a pity not to be able to go to the moors that day!

Mr Wilcocks was waiting for me when I came out of the Parsonage Museum and, just after we met and greeted he proposed on the spot to leave for the so longed-for walk to the moors, maybe arriving at Brontë Falls and not Top Withins as he had originally planned. At first I and my daughter were very perplexed – rain and wind are not at all congenial to Mediterranean people and also windcheaters and umbrellas are usually a burden even in winter – but we both took courage and willingly followed our guide along the moor path he firmly took.

And it was really a blessed walk, with green all around and Yorkshire sheep here and there nibbling at the grass. Once beyond Middle Intake Farm my daughter and Mr Wilcocks started taking photos and he also showed us a purple long flower called a foxglove growing surprisingly solitary just there.

Finally after a long windy walk we arrived at Brontë Falls and the view was really breathtaking. The waters coming down from the hills met fluently, chasing each other, and a nice little stone bridge was there just to sit on to think about the Brontë sisters chatting and resting on the same spot almost two centuries ago. There was also a group of young students there and I was able to have a talk with their teachers.

After some time and a little rest the way back seemed shorter. Thank you Richard with all my heart! Without your insistence I would have never ventured into the moors because of that awful weather and without a guide during this sixth wet stay in Haworth. I surely would have lost a new chance to breathe my Brontës magic scent.

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