A HEADTEACHER has combined his passions for exploring and writing by producing ‘the most detailed book about the Three Peaks for more than a century’.
For the last two years, Stephen Oldfield, head of St John’s Ston-efold CE School, in Rising Bridge, has spent almost all his free time documenting his travels in the Yorkshire Dales.
And, after setting up an online blog, and sparking interest from across the world, the small Leeds-based publishing house, Scratch-ing Shed, accepted his proposal for a book called ‘Three Peaks Up and Under’.
The 45-year-old said: “Ever since I was four years old and went to Malham Cove, I’ve loved exploring in the Dales.
“I’ve walked every square mile of the Three Peaks, and reached a point where I wanted to keep a perm- anent record of my trips.
“It became a bit of an obsession and I started writing about the land- scape in massive detail.
“Then I decided I needed an aud-ience, so started writing a blog, which developed quite a devoted following.
“Thousands of people have vis-ited the page, and I’ve had people contact me from Russia and Am-erica, and even someone who lives in the Rocky Mountains, in Canada, who said he’d do anything to swap it for the Three Peaks.”
Stephen, a dad-of-three who lives in Bacup, describes the book as a ‘humorous travelogue’, and the most detailed record of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleb-orough to be published since Harry Speight’s famous 1892 title, ‘The Craven and North-West Yorkshire Highlands’.
Stephen, who has taken groups of pupils up to Ingleborough, added: “It did take some adjustments and a few rejections, but I was really chuffed to get a publisher for it, and hopefully it might open up new avenues for me.”
The book will be published in July, to coincide with the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire.
To read Stephen’s blog see: http://oldfieldslimestone.blogspot.co.uk/