They had me with the name. Hwaet!

No idea what it meant or how to pronounce it, but I liked the look of an event, that these wizardy looking zine publishers had planned for Todmorden, the fantastic Pennine town up river from Hebden Bridge in Calderdale.

We started with a hike onto the moors exploring the folklore of the area by walking the old paths and tracks, visiting local landmarks of distinction. Stories and poems were read out and alt folk singer Johnny Campbell sang a Chartist anthem, a rallying call for workers of the nineteenth century, who campaigned for basic democratic rights and better working conditions. Those songs were sung on these very hills back then and it was powerful to hear Johnny belt it out with conviction.

So how do you pronounce Hwaet and what is it?

As George told us later, it rhymes with…pregnant pause we think it’s going to be twat…but he says cat! Hwaet is Old English and translates at Hark! or Bro! depending on the translation. It’s the opening word in Beowulf the epic poetic legend. And it’s what George and Bunty (cute couple of 2023) call their mini magazine.

Dream day: Walk. Tales. Songs. Pub. Pub. Gig.

After the ramble we went to the Golden Lion Inn for food, drinks and a gig featuring local troubadours Henry Parker and Johnny Campbell. Guitar picking new folk, performed with knowledge of and obvious respect for the music of the late 60s and early 70s folk revival, as well as older traditions of the people’s music. Inspirational Yorkshire stuff.

If you’re curious for the field of right to roam-witchcraft-stone circles-nature-folk traditions, then check out what Hwaet are doing.

Hipster Twats are fans of Tripster Hwaets!

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