John Hillabys Walking in Britain

by John Hillaby

Category: Investments & Securities

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John Hillabys Walking in Britain
 
by
John Hillaby
  • Type: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • ISBN: none
  • ASIN: 9780586089187
  • Edition Language: English

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/peo... written by Douglas Matthews:Pedestrian was the last word to apply to John Hillaby, though he has been called the most celebrated pedestrian in England. Yet like his contemporaries, Clive Wainwright and Wilfred Thesiger, he was admired as much by armchair idlers as by the serious walking fraternity.

Whether pacing rapidly through the streets of London or across the high moors of his beloved Yorkshire, his tall, spare figure was instantly recognisable, and even in his seventies he could leave younger men struggling in his wake. ... the son of a printer, he was educated at Woodhouse Grove school, Leeds, from where he made his early countryside excursions. He began his career as a journalist on local weeklies in the West Riding, but was quickly caught up in the Second World War, seeing active service with the Royal Artillery, notably in the retreat through Dunkirk.

He married, first, in 1940, Eleanor Riley, with whom he had two daughters, though this marriage was later dissolved.Returning from the war he took up journalism again, and from 1949 was zoological correspondent on the then Manchester Guardian.

The New York Times engaged him as European science correspondent from 1951, and the New Scientist as biological consultant from 1953. He published his first book, Within the Stream, in 1949, and all the time he was travelling, in Africa, North America and, of course, in Britain. He never scorned modern transport (though he hated motorways), but used it mainly to get him to where he wished to start serious travel, which for him was on his own two feet....Hillaby was a director of the Universities Federation of Animal Welfare, and a frequent broadcaster on radio and television.

He was made a Fellow of the Zoological Society, was awarded an honorary D.Litt. by the City University, and in 1973 was appointed Woodward Lecturer at Yale University.After publishing Nature and Man in 1960, Hillaby really made his impact upon the literary scene with Journey to the Jade Sea (1964), about his remarkable thousand-mile walk from Northern Kenya to Lake Rudolf, alone except for his hired bearers and a string of camels, many of whom acquire personality and character under his pen.

His rueful sense of this noviciate, inept with the animals, awkward with his rifle, and dependent on the Africans for guidance and support, is belied by the achievement itself and by the professionalism of his planning and organisation. The reviewers gave it warm praise, as much for its literary quality as for the journey itself, and the book remains a classic among travel writings, having brought a new, individual and endearing personality before the reading public.It also set the pattern and style for his later writings: Journey Through Britain (1968), an account of his walk from Lands End to John-o-Groats, almost entirely on tracks and bridle ways; Journey Through Europe (1972), his similar walk from the Hook of Holland to Nice by way of the Alps; and Journey Through Love (1976), on scattered travels in Britain and America, which also recounts the death from cancer in l972 of his second wife, Thelma (Tilly), whom he had married in 1966.Hillaby was deeply affected by Thelmas death, but although he was a solitary walker he was a companionable man, and in 1981 he married Kathleen Burton.

Katie was to bring him more than domestic support. A doughty Yorkshire woman who had lived much of her life in Ceylon, she proved to be as enthusiastic a walker as John Hillaby himself, and from now on she accompanied him on his travels and appears as a cheerful, practical figure in several of his subsequent books.These were Journey Home (1983); John Hillabys Yorkshire (1986); John Hillabys London (1987); and Journey to the Gods (1991), in which he returned to his earlier format with an account of his walk from Athens to Mount Olympus.

His last book, Hillabys Worl

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