True story: many years ago, a friend’s uncle and aunt, who lived in Hebden Bridge, went on holiday to Blackpool. One of the advertised highlights of their trip was a mystery bus-tour. You’ve guessed it: the mystery destination turned out to be Hebden Bridge. So, rather than take in the familiar local delights, being sensible and frugal Yorkshire folk, they popped home and put the kettle on.

Earlier this week, I took the unusual step of going on a guided walk on my own local patch. It was part of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, and our guide was Paul Knights—a chap I knew online, and had corresponded with several times, but had never met before. Paul is a philosopher, and the idea was to walk from the centre of Hebden Bridge up the steep valley side to Wainsgate Chapel, just below my beloved Moor, taking occasional breaks for a bit of philosophising en route.

Stoodley Pike Monument
Stoodley Pike Monument

We were incredibly lucky with the weather, the company was pleasant, there was plenty of food for thought, and I got to learn a new route out of Hebden Bridge.

Philosophising by an air-shaft
Philosophising by an air-shaft

The (literal) high-point of the walk was a visit to one of the water-conduit air-shafts that receive a chapter of their own in my book On the Moor. And, at the end of the walk, as always whenever I visit Wainsgate Chapel, I took the opportunity to visit my future burial plot, to make sure they haven’t planted some interloper there by mistake. (You might think I’m joking, but they have form!)

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