Coquetdale memories now relived in novel

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A diary written during darkest days of the First World War has been published to remember the peaceful life in Upper Coquetdale.

Entitled Harbottle Holiday, keen diaristFlorence Brabban gives a delightful account of a Whitsun holiday taken in Harbottle with her husband William during June 10 to 17, 1916.

Their rooms at Town Head provided them with a base from which to explore Upper Coquetdale which meant they actually spent little time in Harbottle itself.

Armed with a copy of Tomlinson’s Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland, the couple covered the four points of the compass within an eight-mile radius of the village.

Since they were both teachers themselves, they made a special point of visiting the little schools at Windyhaugh, Holystone and Kidlandlee.

The fascinating account is reproduced as was written during the days of the First World War with the addition of materials from contemporary guide books and directories.

Harbottle Holiday is a companion to Coquetdale Camera (2nd edition 2014) and the two books contain almost 150 photographs that WP Collier of Bellingham (1875-1937) took of Upper Coquetdale.

The Postcards of W. P. Collier: A Diary of a Week in Upper Coquetdale by Florence Brabban will be available in outlets and online from April 30.