Sunday, 10 February 2013

"Hooivver did oor farms get t'neeams ther've got?"

My last post about Middleton-on-Leven, with its mention of Goslingmire farm, reminded me of some verses from Bill Cowley's delightful book Cleveland Calendar: Seasons of the Year in North-East England.  

 It is illustrated with evocative line drawings by Bernard Fearnley; it can be bought second-hand.

Here are the lines:

Hooivver did oor farms get t'neeams ther've got?
High Paradise, Holme, Slapewath, Seldom Seen,
Steeanstoup an' Goslingmire – a canny spot –
Spyknave, Stank, Hesketh, Raikes – an Gowton Green.

Bill Cowley was born in Middlesbrough and educated at Middlesbrough High School, Jesus College Cambridge, and the School of Oriental Studies.

After eight years in the Indian Civil Service he farmed at Goulton Grange and Potto Hill for forty years.  He is now best remembered not for his radio and television work, but as the man who began the Lyke Wake Walk, the 40 mile crossing of the North Yorkshire Moors.  He led a Yorkshire Expedition to the Himalayas in 1957.

Other works include Lyke Wake Walk, The Cleveland Way and Farming in Yorkshire (published by the Dalesman); A Cleveland Anthology for the Yorkshire Dialect Society; Copperty Keld, a collection of Cleveland verse, and A History of Potto and Goulton.  He died in 1994.

There is an appreciation of him by the North Yorkshire writer Nicholas Rhea (best known for his Constable books, on which was based the TV series Heartbeat) here.

Bernard Fearnley was born in Lincolnshire and educated at Hull Grammar School.  After war service with the RAF in India as a photographer, often flying over the Himalayas, he was a professional photographer in Middlesbrough for many years.

He wrote Child Photography and was a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.  Drawing and painting were his lifelong hobbies and much of his work was published in the Dalesman.  He died in 2000.

(Fearnley's in Linthorpe Road – didn't we all have our photos taken there?)

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