Hannah Hauxwell died a day or so ago
She was 91
When I was twelve I remember seeing one of those grainy Northern documentaries so prevalent on Yorkshire tv in the seventies which chronicled her life on an upland High Pennine farm over a bleak North Riding winter.
I remember almost falling in love with her there and then.
She was in her mid forties and lived a life of true poverty with only her animals for company .The only water she had was from a Dale's stream, the only light from kerosene lamps and candles and when the snow was waist deep her only true warmth came from cuddling her cow in a room off her kitchen but it was her gentle sing song attitude to life and her inquisitive friendly nature that made her into an instant and rather surprising star.
" In Summer I live , In winter I exist " she said with a gentle smile and the general public fell in love with her as she struggled to survive in her fathers raincoat and oversize Wellington boots!
She was the most unlikely of celebrities.
Hannah lived all her life in that small part of County Durham and thousands of people sent her letters and money to support her frugal life after they saw the documentary......books of her life became bestsellers all over the world and four tv documentaries,( one which followed her on a surprise trip to Europe) were viewed by millions.
Hannah Hauxwell wasn't a complainer . She got on with things and she liked people
And we loved her for it.