Yorkshire Life Readers Write - Hetta Howes
PUBLISHED: 15:35 07 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:06 20 February 2013
Could Hetta Howes' loyalty to Yorkshire be swayed once she began life at Cambridge University? She tells us more
I was worried about going to university down south. Not just that Id miss the gorgeous scenery, the fact that you can take a short drive from town and find yourself right in the thick of nature, the best of both worlds. Not just that Id miss the renowned friendliness of Yorkshire people, the Yorkshire tea in a Yorkshire tea shop, the cobbled streets and beautiful gardens. I was worried that I would want to stay.
Everyone talks of the excitement of London just a short train ride away from Cambridge either knowingly or longingly. The career prospects and opportunities for a young person just starting out, I had been told by teachers and the media for as long as I could remember, would be far superior there.
For someone who had not ventured down south much in their life, negotiating their time between Skipton (my hometown) and Scarborough (where most of my extended family lives and has lived for some time) the south had a certain excitment to it. My loyalties to Yorkshire were strong, but I worried they could be swayed. The first day of university I clung onto my accent like a lifeline, made sure my tea caddy was stocked with Yorkshire tea bags.
I neednt have worried. Studying English Literature at Cambridge has defied expectations and rather than severing any ties, cemented my love for a place that I now know will always be home. Whatever exciting things have happened to me during term, whatever I may have experienced and however much I have enjoyed myself, sitting on that four hour train journey from Cambridge to Skipton, watching the scenery transform as it speeds past, I share a similar experience to many of the previous Readers write columnists. The knowledge that, however much time I may spend away from it, I am, in some intrinsic way, tied to Yorkshire.
Researching Emily Bronts Wuthering Heights for my third year dissertation, a clichd choice for a Yorkshire lass that I was surprised to find myself pursuing but couldnt resist, I came across the words of Lord David Cecil, writing about that most famous of Yorkshire novels: Its every fibre smells of the Northern soil where it had its root.
These words put their finger on exactly what Yorkshire means to me. Cambridge is a beautiful, exciting, sometimes magical place but it is not in my blood. I like to think that the Northern soil is as much a part of me, and a part of my writing, as it is a part of Emily Bront and all those other authors and artists who manage to thread their work with that intrinsic Yorkshireness.
It is impossible to articulate. It can only be felt, by walking through Yorkshires towns, woodlands or open fields, relaxing in one of its country pubs, just standing and taking in the view.
Or, for those who find themselves in a place other than Yorkshire, through reading the art which such scenes and experiences inspired.
We would love to know what Yorkshire means to you. Share your thoughts as one of our reader columnists. Email the editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.