I have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the Hebden Royd launch of the Discovering Ted Hughes’s Yorkshire’ trail maps due to an increasing array of issues around the Covid-19 pandemic and uncertainty about the situation as it develops. I will reschedule the event for later in the year when things have settled down a little. Sorry for the inconvenience this will undoubtedly cause, but in the end it became inevitable - Dr Steve Ely, Director, The Ted Hughes Network
On Saturday 21st March, 1.00-3.00pm, a launch event for the Hebden Royd dimension of the 'Discovering Ted Hughes's Yorkshire' literary and heritage trail will take place at Mytholmroyd Community Centre, with poetry readings by acclaimed poets Carola Luther and David Morley, and a talk by Hughes expert, Dr Steve Ely. The event is free of charge and the formal aspects of the event will be prefaced by a wine reception - all are welcome.
'Discovering Ted Hughes's Yorkshire' is a series of six trail maps commissioned by the Ted Hughes Network at Huddersfield University - of which Dr Ely is Director - and designed by Hebden Bridge cartographer Chris Goddard.
Dr Ely explains. 'Yorkshire formed Ted Hughes as a poet. He was born in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, grew up in Mexborough, South Yorkshire and completed his national service in Patrington, East Yorkshire By the time he went to Cambridge University at the age of 21 he was already formed as the poet of his subsequent fame. The 'Discovering Ted Hughes's Yorkshire' trail maps, informed by the latest scholarship informed by local knowledge will open-up Hughes's Yorkshire landscapes to local people and tourists alike - for the first time. Chris Goddard has done a superb job in creating the maps - which are works-of-art in their own right.'
Dr Ely continues. 'The three Hebden Royd maps - focused on Mytholmroyd, Crimsworth Dean and Colden Clough/Heptonstall - are the first fruits of the project and have been made possible by the generous support and funding provided by Hebden Royd Town Council. Copies of trail maps will be distributed free at the launch and will subsequently be made available to the public via retail outlets and as free downloads from the Ted Hughes Network website, potentially opening-up the trails to a global audience. The other three maps - two based in the Mexborough area and one in Patrington - will be launched and made available in the summer.'
The trail maps will allow people to self-guide around Hughes's Hebden Royd landscapes, but a range of more formal activities are planned to publicise the trails and to encourage people to engage with Hughes's work and legacy in the area. 'We have several school and community creative writing workshops and a range of guided walks along the trail planned for the spring and summer,' Dr Ely added. 'All the activities will be publicised locally and will be free of charge. Participants will not only find out more about Hughes's life and work and how it relates to the region, but through that work will engage with creativity, local heritage, landscape, ecology and environment, accruing the benefits to health and well-being that flow from such engagement.'
'I'm looking forward very much to meeting people from Hebden Royd at the launch,' Dr Ely added. 'With local support, 'Discovering Ted Hughes's Yorkshire' has the potential to become a major, Yorkshire-wide tourist and cultural attraction that can enhance the Hebden Royd area's reputation as a hotbed of creativity and contribute to the development of the tourist economy. It also restores to the county - and to Hebden Royd - one of the English language's greatest poets.'
Added: Thursday, 5 March 2020