The Story of Hannah Hauxwell

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Minnie the Minx
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The Story of Hannah Hauxwell

Postby Minnie the Minx » 11 Feb 2018, 19:26

Hannah Hauxwell died in January this year. She was probably not all that well known outside of the UK, but her extraordinary life was chronicled by TV producers who had literally stumbled on her cottage in the middle of nowhere and thought her life would make an amazing documentary.

Basically, she was living in the middle of nowhere with no electricity or running water tending to a tiny herd of cows and living her life in what would be considered an insanely frugal fashion. The first documentary about her life, which unfortunately is not available on YouTube, thrust her into the spotlight which caused people from all over the world to send "a fiver to that lady in the Yorkshire Dales." With this money, she managed to get electricity installed to give her some light though she still chose to walk down to the river every day to wash her clothes.

I remember learning about her as a child, and my Dad being fascinated with her story and my Nanna saying she was "mad as a fish" though sneakily
admiring her frugality and simple life. I had seen the documentaries about her and presumed she had already died. When I saw she had died in January it prompted me to go and watch them again. The second documentary about her, "A Winter Too Many" is here:

We watched this last night and I found myself completely absorbed, fascinated and distraught. The drip by drip effect of harsh living on her as a person and her stoicism in the face of what seems to be an incredibly harsh life is compelling. The beauty of her environment is something else. The inevitable conclusion had me bawling all over again.Yet the thing that stands out above anything is the incredible person that Hannah was. You want to reach into the television and make her a cup of tea. I couldn't live her life, even though I carry a low-level fantasy about that kind of existence. Her connection to the water, earth and stone of her surroundings sends all my northern woman instincts buzzing loudly.

If any of you have an hour to spare I sincerely recommend watching the documentary above. It's not great quality, but it will give you an experience you are not likely to forget.

RIP Hannah Hauxwell!
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Re: The Story of Hannah Hauxwell

Postby Insouciant Western People » 12 Feb 2018, 00:13

I remember that my dad bought one of these documentaries on video, for my grandparents, in the early nineties.

And I well remember sitting with my granny, who'd have been in her mid-to-late eighties at that point (she was not that much younger than the century) watching it, and her saying something along the lines of "eeh, I'd not have had her life for all the tea in China". And this from a woman who grew up in the tough circumstances of Wearside during the Great War and the twenties, who lost a daughter not long after childbirth in the late thirties, and who survived the Luftwaffe blitz on Sunderland, with her brothers serving in various arms of the military during world war two.

Hannah Hauxwell was a properly remarkable woman. RIP.
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