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Dales farmers tend to be taciturn, a word which has been summed up as "the ability to say nowt for a long time." This, too, was a reflection of a remote life. Many of the farm tasks involved one man and his dog. There was no one to talk to as he strode across the hills attending to his sheep or spend a summer day in isolation, mending a gap in one of the famous Pennine drystone walls - really two walls in one, bound together by long stones called "throughs" - with which the land has been divided up for stock-rearing.

The old-time Dalesfolk were characters - each with a distinctive outlook on life, brought about by the isolation, for at the dalehead were just a few well-spread farms, at the end of rough tracks. The farmer often left his family at home when, once a week, he went off to market in a horse and trap. They met up with others at the local chapel or church on Sunday.

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