About bridget...

Bridget Gubbins by signpost in FranceBridget Gubbins walking along a road in East SlovakiaLocal community gathering at the de Merlay book launch in MorpethBridget Gubbins pushing a bike through a field with cows

~ Bridget is a septuagenarian who is still going strong.  Her new book describes her rural childhood in Hay-on-Wye in the Welsh borders, before a bookshop had ever been thought of.  

~ Currently, she is busy writing about hitch-hiking all alone behind the Iron Curtain in the years of darkest Communism.  Leaving teacher training college in 1966, she packed up her rucksack and travelled through Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, meeting young people, being picked up by the frontier guards, freezing nearly to death in the mountains, and recording it all in diaries which are the basis of the current book.  During this time, she met the love of her life.  

~ When her four children were young, in the 1980s and 90s, she was at the heart of the battles first  against nuclear power stations being built at Druridge Bay in Northumberland, and later to stop RMC extracting sand from the beach. The campaigns were successful.  At that time, a teenage boy stopped her in the street, saying: “Are you the lady who saved Druridge Bay?”

~ In 2000 and 2002, she made friends with women shepherds in the Cheviot hills.  She bounced  around on the back of their quadbikes, in all weathers, and took photographs as they managed their flocks.  This work was exhibited in 2003.

~ After the collapse of Communism in eastern Europe in 1989,and the Soviet Union in 1991, she got on her bike, and took her camera to those formerly closed lands.  Following country lanes and crossing international boundaries, she travelled with shepherds, horse wagons and herders in the mountains.  She produced articles, exhibitions and reports.

~ During the 2010s, she wrote seven books on the history of the market town of Morpeth.  She researched and travelled in the footsteps of unknown women, Juliana, Alice, Ada and Isobel, whose marriages were arranged to four generations of de Merlay barons in the 12th and 13th centuries.  In parallel, she was closely involved with the Cocwudu project, a study of ancient woodlands and their plants in the land of Juliana’s dowry.

~ She’s always been a busy lass, and is busy to this very day!  

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