Hundreds of mourners say final farewell to 'true Yorkshirewoman' Hannah Hauxwell

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Perhaps 270 mourners squeezed in to the cosy Methodist chapel on the corner of Horse Market, with another 70 or so just outside. It was more people than the young Hannah Hauxwell would have seen in a year.

Gallery - Hannah Hauxwell's funeral
Some had travelled for hours to get to her funeral. Only a few had known her. Most just felt that they had.

The final journey of the first lady of the Dales took place in the early spring sunshine of Barnard Castle. Ten miles down the road, at Hannah's old farm, it was still winter.
A snow had fallen the previous night, just as it had in 1973 when, before the TV cameras, Hannah broke the nation's heart as she chipped the ice on the trough so her beasts could eat. She had barely food herself and no power or water.

She was the last survivor of an earlier generation of Dales farmer - a lone woman left to tend the land alone. Ten of our miles were a hundred of hers.

Her funeral was just as she planned it. She chose not only the hymns but also the music.

"She was truly a Yorkshirewoman," said the minister, Rev Beverly Hollings. "She remained so even when they moved the border into County Durham."

Over 350 people attended the service

Over 350 people attended the service

A few people lined the streets as her simple pine coffin, white roses and two walking crooks on top, was carried into the church.

Hannah had moved to the town after the difficult decision to leave the farm at Low Birk Hatt that had been her home since childhood. When her mother and uncle died, she was the only one left there.

Another TV programme had been made, in which she shut the door on that part of her life, but it didn't tell the half of it, said Rev Hollings.

"When the camera went away, she went back in and sat on the only chair that was left and had to be coaxed out," she told the congregation.

A crowd of mourners gather

A crowd of mourners gather

In her new home, she had the modern comforts but she continued to hoard. "Everything was worth something to her," said the minister. "A paper bag, a margarine tub, everything."

She had written a few years ago that she was afraid of death but she never regretted her simple life.

"A big part of me is left here," she had said of the Yorkshire dale she loved. "There's nowhere else - there's nowhere like it."

She died three weeks ago, at 91.
Obituary: Hannah Hauxwell

A shepherd's crock can be seen on top of Hannah's coffin

A shepherd's crock can be seen on top of Hannah's coffin

Hannah's funeral cortege passes through Barnard Castle

Hannah's funeral cortege passes through Barnard Castle

The coffin is carried into Barnard Castle Methodist Church

The coffin is carried into Barnard Castle Methodist Church

A mourner wipes away a tear

A mourner wipes away a tear