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Heart of the Dales

By D Mark Thompson

An eclectic mix of the Dales folk of the 1970’s and 80’s Lives • Thoughts • Traditions


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This book is predominantly a pictorial journey in monochrome through the Yorkshire Dales of the 1970’s and 80’s as seen through the lens of D Mark Thompson.

Inspired by Ronald Blythe’s ‘Akenfield’ (first published in 1969) Thompson set out to capture what was to become the last bastion of a simplicity and way of life little changed for over a century.

Profusely illustrated, his fly on the wall treatment gives the characters face whilst his text – some transcribed from tape recordings of the time - give them voice. We meet the last lead miner from Greenhow Hill, an ice clad shepherd, a ninety-year-old innkeeper to the gentry, the saviour of the Wensleydale cheese industry.

Encounter a man so determined to find a lost cellar that didn’t exist he destroyed his home. Talk to a survivor of the ‘Suicide Club’ and even a Publican bared from his own bed!

We discover the demise of the village shop, visit the hunt, learn of the decline of dales Nonconformism and revel in the one lasting truth, the never-ending visual and emotional majesty that is the Yorkshire Dales. 

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