Thinking about the AGM got me thinking about the College Valley again, which is what I spoke about last year – after Trafalgar Collingwood became ‘Baron Collingwood of Caldburne and Hethpool in the County of Northumberland’, Coldburn being the south end of the valley and Hethpool the north.
You get the impression that he was never quite sure why that was the title chosen – the estate came down his wife Sarah’s family in a slightly complicated fashion (I think in 1805 she – or Collingwood – owned the half which had been her aunt’s, and her father owned the half which had been her mother’s – I did know all about this last year, and might go back to her family at some point, but the pretty pictures will do for today!)
It’s a beautiful place – I love all that end of the Cheviots. Here’s the view back up the valley from near Coldburn.
And here’s the cottage at Coldburn now.
These Hethpool pictures come from a different much earlier trip, when I walked in from Akeld, but obviously at much the same time of year. I still have some oak leaves I gathered on that trip, if I had any idea where I had put them…
Collingwood planned, of course, to plant oaks there, but never got back to do it – Sarah planted oaks on Hethpool Bell after his death, but they never grew as well as he had hoped.
The new oaks were planted in 2005 as a memorial, on the other side of the road.
I can’t look at these without feeling sore, as I fell off my bike and bruised and scraped my elbow halfway back up the valley on last year’s trip, and could barely bend my arm by the time I got back to the oaks – suffering for my art, if adventures are an art!
I might be off to the Cheviots on Saturday, if the weather improves a bit – cross your fingers for me!