Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 16 June 2005

Marvellous! This typifies what it means to be British ...

A recently-retired couple decided, soon after visitng the coastal village of Aust, next to the mouth of the Severn in Gloucestershire, in 1990, that they would set themselves the task of visiting every coastal settlement, from minute hamlet to large seaside resort, around the coastline of Great Britain. Ken and Pat Hathaway, from Littleover, Derby, have taken fifteen years to complete their self-appointed task, during which time they have steadily worked their way anti-clockwise around the coastline of the major island of the British Isles, maintaining a diary with laconically brief entries for places visited, together with taking photographs. I hope they get their diary published in book form - I would certainly buy a copy.

Although unfortunately the online article I link to does not include any photographs, the print edition of today's Telegraph does show a few for illustration and, interestingly enough, one of these shows Mr Hathaway posing seated on a rock on the shore at Rubha Reidh (a remote rocky outcrop on the western coast of Ross & Cromarty, on the mainland just north of Skye), where my father was one of the three lighthouse-keepers - this is where we lived when I was born and although the family left there when I was about 18 months old to go and live in Edinburgh, I have of course been back a few times. It is a beautiful part of Scotland, if rather remote even today and it is pretty bleak in winter, too.

Ken and Pat Hathaway completed their odyssey in April this year with a visit to Beachley, Chepstow, just under the Severn Bridge, where they celebrated with a bottle of champagne to accompany their fish and chips. Now, what could be more British than that?

UPDATE: (Thursday 16JUN05 17.10 BST) Another tale of British true grit (and indeed Canadian, too) is here.

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