Freaks in the Peaks are a jolly fine bunch. They like to laugh lots, dance lots, play music lots, some of them even drink lots. And they like to go for walks.
A typical Freaks weekend will consist of 20-40 dancers and musicians ‘camping’ at a village hall in a pretty part of the country. This is usually, but not exclusively, close to the Peak District. The weekend is spent learning new dances, practicing old dances, laughing lots, and doing all the other stuff that Morris Dancers do – including dancing outside pubs. Beer may be involved at some stage.
Although my dancing days are over (it’s the knees you know) I still like to laugh, play music, enjoy the occasional drink, and go for walks. This last bit is where I come in.
The Moorish Freaks weekend was held in the Yorkshire village of Haworth, famous for Kate Bush and Timothy Taylor. For some strange reason the side wanted an experienced walker to recce and then lead a short but interesting walk on the Sunday morning. Experienced walkers were impossible to come by….so they ended up with me.
A gentle 5 mile route was recced the weekend before the Great Event and all was deemed to be good.
On the morning of the walk, the Freaks assembled outside the Baptist Church where they had spent their weekend of frivolity, er, frivolitting. I’m sure there should be two ‘t’s in frivolitting, just one doesn’t look right…..nor does it sound right. Whatever.
A feature of these little walks is spontaneous dancing. This can happen anywhere, as long as the ground is reasonably level and there are no wild sheep around.
At a most unsuitable road junction there was spontaneous dancing. It was good. Some car drivers stopped to watch the spectacle, others just shook their heads in disbelief before driving away – worried that they might catch something. Like fun.
A little further on, at Bronte Falls, which is close to Bronte Bridge, there was more spontaneity
Then a quick pose
Then we all went to the pub. En-route we came across some backpackers. They had been backpacking. they might even be members of The Backpackers Club - there was a club trip in the area that weekend. One of them had a Golite Pinnacle. I’ve got one of those. They’re good.
At the pub, the Wuthering something-or-other at Stanbury, there was more dancing and stuff: It’s what Morris Dancers do
Then we all went home, apart from the hard-working organisers who stayed behind to clean the church hall and leave it spick and span. What fine folks they are.
The walk was a gentle 5 miles with around 500ft of upness. Very pleasant.
I’m not sure if the Brontes would have approved.