Yorkshire, England - World of James Herriot and second walk to Kilburn return to trip index
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We went to the World of James Herriot in Thirsk in the morning. The exhibit at his original office included a 20 minute movie about Veterinarian Alf Wight and the gradual success of his writings, narrated by Christopher Timothy, who played the part of Alf Wight, pseudonym James Herriot in the BBC and later PBS TV series All Creatures Great and Small.
Alf Wight had to take the pseudonym James Herriot because Vets were not allowed to publish anything but scientific treatises under their own names, to avoid the appearance of advertising.
The movie mentioned how difficult it was to be a Vet back in the 1940s, before modern day antibiotics & diagnostic tools were available. It was a poor paying profession, due to a lower success rate; poor farmers tended not to pay their Bills when there was an unhappy outcome.
On the second floor was a display of the changing technologies that Vets have used to treat animals since Herriot's time, and, a separate set of displays showing how women have gone from being a nearly non-existent percentage among Vets to being by far in the majority at this time in England.
A few years before our trip I had read a biography of Alf Wight written by his son Jim (called The Real James Herriot) and it's a good read for anyone who was influenced by the All Creatures Great & Small books, or the TV series. Jim Wight writes that Alf unexpectedly changed the economy of the formerly sleepy Yorkshire area, because once Americans saw the gorgeous Moors & Dales scenery in the TV series, they poured in, in big numbers, ever since the 1990s, and still do.
Yorkshire is a popular place to visit even for UK people. According to Wikipedia, up to 12 million visitors come to Yorkshire annually, generating as much as 6.3B British pounds of income, and, supporting about 240,000 jobs.
note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.
|author James Herriot||the museum is in his former back yard||the Vet Alf Wight||a bio states Alf had clients in the Kilburn area|
|Alf's home & office||on the back streets of Thirsk|
Later in the day Lins said she wanted to rest, so I went to look for the third trail to Kilburn, or back, as shown on the Ordnance Survey map. Turns out there is a seasonal effect for lesser used trails where they are allowed to be plowed under. The third trail on the way back was great for most of the distance, but then it disappeared. I managed to find two more gates, before it was not walk-able. Facing impenetrable hedgerows, I instead jumped a few fences and ran into some escaped cows, on my way home.
|heading uphill to Kilburn on the bridle path||new crop in October||big oak|
|ancient muddy road||a lane into town||Kilburn||old houses|
|a B & B||path to High Kilburn|
|High Kilburn has six homes||near view from a hill above High Kilburn||far view||back down the hill|
|through the churchyard||& into the pub||this place had an innovative dinner menu||I'm shooting everything but the clients here|
|leaving Kilburn||late afternoon light on the hedgerows||if you find a gate, you're on the trail|
|where is the trail ?||the trail was plowed under on the other side...||this was impassable||had to cut across a neighbor's lot|
|I was lost but at least I had company|
Well, actually I was not lost, because the property I cut across was the one north of our cottage. But these cows were lost & should not be wandering about freely. As I approached, they seemed shy & confused, and I had the sense they wanted me to tell them what to do, while they milled about, trampling down fresh crops.
Being a city guy, I had no guidance, and left them in their state of collective uncertainty.
At the far end of the gravel drive was a pensive woman, about my age, with a property-owner look, somewhere between neutral and mildly irritated. As I approached, I said "I'm sorry for cutting across your property, but the old footpath ran out and I was stuck in the hedgerows."
I added that I was staying next door at Jackie's cottage.
She said "don't worry, it's no problem. We sometimes are allowed to plow a trail under, if there's others around."
I think the third trail to Kilburn turns out to be harder to find and thus less often used, and this being prime soil = it gets plowed under.
I asked - did she mind that someone's cows were trampling her crops? She shrugged it off, saying "it's not my problem" yet she still looked concerned.
My take is that these are her leased fields and a nearby neighbor's cows got loose, only a minor inconvenience, but as owner she attends to the situation until the (sometimes distant) cows' owner shows up to lead them home. These cows, having made an escape, looked so harmless & disoriented, that I doubted they had wandered far.
She asked where I was from. When I told her, she brightened up & looked into the distance, saying "I went there once" and she smiled & wished me a "good rest of my visit."
On our last evening in Yorkshire, we heard kids & adults using musical calls to roundup & move the herd, marching them right past our cottage, well after dark. The cows' owner's property was in the end, only a short distance away & thus, a tale of Yorkshire travel ends with the cows coming home, on a moonless fall night.
please see the Epilogue page, because it shows intended destinations which we did not see.
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