The English Viking...?

Of course just about everyone born in Britain has some Viking blood in them. And some Saxon. And some French, and some Celtic. Sometimes you might wonder what 'British' means at all.

"Oh, you're from England - are you Scottish?"

No, I'm 100% English. Actually I was born in Edinburgh, but that was an accident of the War.

But a funny thing happened the first time I went abroad: properly, I mean, not just across the channel. There I was in the middle of Hardanger Fjord: I was in a country I'd never been in before, and suddenly I have this overwhelming feeling that this is where I belong; this is where I came from...


Drawing: Robert Micklewright/Readers' Digest

Then when I got home I did some digging. OK, I knew that Kettlewell is a village in Yorkshire. But it turns out that my grandfather's grandfather actually came from Kettlewell.

I thought my father said he was the station master there, but it seems there's no railway... Ah well.

But the first 'Kettle' was a Norwegian called Kjetil, and the 'well' was 'vall' - this was his farmstead before the French came in 1066 and messed everything up...


Though actually it seems they were Norwegian Vikings, too. Funny business, really, History.

Or do I mean Geography?

The Kettlewell Family

Kettlewell village