Hey - this is about me?

Picture of me with my camera on top of the world in the hills over Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales. Photo with kind permission of Adrian Patterson.

Hello, I'm Les Hutton - the guy behind the scenes. So this is about me. I thought it was about time I introduced myself - give you an idea of what makes me tick and what on earth possessed me to build this website!

Well - here we go! ...

I was born at an early age and when I was three and a half ...

Hey! Hey! Hold on there! You don't deserve my life history - what harm have you ever done me?

Let's just say that for the first forty years of my life I lived and loved, went to school and worked in the Aire Valley in West Yorkshire. By the time I was twenty I was married to the girl I thought was Miss Right and we had two great sons. Life was good, but always a struggle to provide a home and all that a family need.

I've tried my hand at many different "careers". Worked my way up the ladder. Only to get fed up with it and chuck it for something else that caught my eye. I've worked as a weaver in the mills at Saltaire and Shipley. I've sold central heating and double glazing - hey... hasn't everyone tried that! I've been put through the different offices of a large, family publishing firm - always with the carrot dangling in front of me "in twenty years time we'll need a new managing director!"

Then, in the late 1970s I got interested in the computer world. Wow - this is really interesting! But after a few years even that enthusiasm waned and paled into insignificance ...

I recall a morning – a bright, sunny morning – quite a few years ago now – when I parked my car on the summit of a hill that really hoped to be a mountain. Only a few feet short of its ambition, it’s still there and it’s still a hill! Its name is Hope Hill and it stands on the northern slopes of the Aire Valley in West Yorkshire, England.

From this vantage point on Baildon Moor, overlooking my home town of Shipley, I stood on the top of Hope Hill and let my eyes wander. I could visually follow the line of the valley West towards Malham – where the River Aire rises at the foot of Malham Cove. To the East I could watch the river flowing through its valley, on its way to Leeds and beyond - to its journeys end in the North Sea. In front of me weaved the tiny spur of a valley that carries the Bradford Beck – it used to be known locally as the Mucky Beck, but it’s cleaned up its act of late - to join the Aire.

I remember feeling quite depressed!

The landscape spread out before me. Though it took in a great deal of industrial West Yorkshire it wasn’t unpleasant. Mind you, it seemed more stone and concrete than fields and countryside. Mill chimneys sticking up like ships’ masts. But that wasn’t what was bothering me!

What was bothering me?

Well... I had been born and raised within sight of this spot. Up and down the valley I could see the places where I had been to school, lived and worked – all of my life was encompassed within this vista. I was forty years old and seen so very little of life beyond this valley – my valley!

I wanted more! I yearned to see something of the world – to spread my wings! ... Before it was too late!

The long and the short of it?

I met my lovely second wife Rene and she, rather foolhardily, agreed to go sailing with me - a long held ambition. We worked hard to buy a boat and take off into the wide blue yonder.

For five years we lived on board. We visited sixteen different countries. Our sailing boat "Sunseeker" carried us safely across fourteen thousand miles of ocean. Meeting and making friends with lots of people - yachties and local folks of the countries we visited - was great fun and we had a ball!

When we washed up again on England's shores, our ship's purse was well and truly empty. We were flat broke! But we'd had one hell of a time!

Once back in Yorkshire - the home of both our families - we started over. Jobs were found and later a home was bought and paid for and we could again look around. See the beauty that is our Yorkshire.

I couldn't see it before. I'd thought of Yorkshire as a prison - holding me in! What I hadn't realised - it was cradling me - nurturing me.

I'm back again working with computers. This time building web sites for other people. But the first one I attempted was about our "Sunseeker". If you would like to read a little about the early part of our sailing click here . (A new page will open)

Oh... and why did I start building Yorkshire-Visitors-Guide.com?

Good question! Well... now that I've spread my wings and seen something of the world I've come to appreciate what was always right here on my doorstep!

Don't get me wrong - our years of sailing and travelling were filled with fantastic experiences - a roller coaster ride of emotional extremes. The memories will stay with us for ever and I do not regret a single moment. Nor would I have missed it for the world!

Now though, I want to share the beauty of this wonderful, gigantic county in the north of England. Try to encourage people to visit and see for themselves. I've visited many places in Yorkshire and recall others from earlier years. But now I see these places with renewed passion - a passion I never felt before. I've also come to realise that Yorkshire holds many more places and attractions that I've never seen before. So much to see! So little time!

The more I research, the more I understand how much more there is to find!

Thank you for taking the time to read about me. I truly hope you enjoy using this site to find out about Yorkshire. If you would like to ask me any questions about the site or myself then please drop me a line using this form and I'll do my best to answer them.

If you would like to contribute an article about Yorkshire or Yorkshire Folk then I would love to consider it. Please use this form to send your article

Once again, thanks for visiting Yorkshire-Visitors-Guide.com - hope you'll come back! Les Hutton signature

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Seaside places to visit...

Picture of Filey Brigg from The Crescent

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Picture of the seafront at Bridlington on the Yorkshire Coast. Click to see more...

Picture of colourful boats moored in Whitby's harbour. Click the picture to see more...

Dales places to visit...

Picture of barges at Skipton

Picture of the Upper Falls at Aysgarth

Picture of the bridge and pub at Kettlewell

Walks to try?...

Picture of Tunnel End in the Colne Valley. Click for my description of a walk along the canal towpath.

Picture of Pen-y-Ghent taken from the village of Horton in Ribblesdale. A good place to start a walk. Click for more details.

Picture of the Leeds Liverpool Canal near The Fisherman's Pub. Click for my description of a walk from Saltaire to the Bingley Five Rise Locks