Reblogged from Richly Evocative:
It’s a strange thing to walk into someone else’s memories; especially those that have been woven and tangled about a place. A place that you’ve heard about, but never visited. Somewhere that means a great deal to the person who told you about it, but for you, who’s never been, it retains the status of a rumour.
This spring I visited Ilkley with my wife Abi, who spent her early childhood there, and our two sons. I’d been to Ilkley once before on a stag-do, but other than a few pubs and a very brief step onto the moor, before taking an Ale Rail train to Haworth from Keighley, I saw little of it.
I remember being struck by the sudden imminence of the moor at the top of a hill, at a point where houses come to an abrupt halt. As the road curved away, town stopped and there it was, the moor rising up, that famous bit of ground, where in the song, the foolish and hatless risk a cold death and making a feast for worms and ducks. I felt almost as though some magic trick had occurred, that by some strange process, the paving slabs had been whipped away from beneath my feet and replaced with grass and ling heather as I walked.
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