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Todmorden is a market and former industrial town of some 15,000 inhabitants which until 1888 was on the border between Lancashire and Yorkshire but after that date was firmly sited in the West Riding of Yorkshire, latterly the county of West Yorkshire. Situated in the valley through which the River Calder runs, it is almost entirely surrounded by moorland, a large part of which takes its name from the town. It was here in January 1997 that a somewhat-smitten Sean Skinner went walking with Samantha Failsworth, insisting that he loved fell-walking and telling Des Barnes that he’d had experience of trekking such high surroundings in Holland.
With thick snow on the ground, Sean hated the harsh conditions and was delighted to come upon the Sportsman’s Arms pub, only to discover it was closed. The day wasn’t entirely wasted though as he and Sam sat outside the premises and swapped their life stories, getting to know each other better in the process.