Bridget grew up in the Welsh border town of Hay on Wye, her family migrating to Northumberland in 1955. In 1966, she travelled alone, on foot, behind the Iron Curtain. Back home, she and her American husband raised four children and campaigned against nuclear power stations. Cold War, Warm Hearts is the second of her memoirs, following Hay Before the Bookshops or The Beeman's Family.
Where were you in 1966? Most of Bridget’s friends, in their early twenties, were settling down with jobs and/or husbands…
She, on the other hand, was wandering the highways and byways of Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia: behind the Iron Curtain. Travelling in these countries with virtually no money was not only a problem but also an opportunity: it enabled a rare and deep insight into the lives and experience of ‘ordinary’ people.
Here’s your opportunity to walk with her. In the context of the current crisis in Eastern Europe, Cold War, Warm Hearts offers a powerful insight into the lived experience which lies behind it. Recounting her tales with the freshness of a young person’s vision, she has created an appealing tale of these beautiful and troubled countries, where, most of the time, she was welcomed with open arms.
'Travel writing which is utterly authentic and restlessly curious' Max Adams, author of Unquiet Women, In the Land of Giants and The Wisdom of Trees
'This is an unparalleled account – intrepid, inspiring and as fresh as yesterday' Fiona Hall, writer and Euro MP 2004–2014
Bridget Ashton grew up in the Welsh border town of Hay-on-Wye, her family migrating to Northumberland in 1955. In 1966, she travelled alone, on foot, behind the Iron Curtain. Back home, she and her American husband raised four children and campaigned against nuclear power stations. Cold War, Warm Hearts is the second of her memoirs, following Hay Before the Bookshops or The Beeman’s Family.
Travel back in time to the vibrant 1960s, and join Bridget and her friends, students at the Hereford College of Education, as they dare to defy convention and hitchhike their way through an era of change.
Armed with sixpenny Esso road maps and thumbing rides from friendly lorry drivers, they journey through Wales, Scotland and onwards to London. Venturing abroad, they find themselves enchanted by the romance of France, navigate Spanish landscapes fraught with both beauty and danger, fend off proposals of marriage on the back of a lorry travelling through the Atlas Mountains, and revel in the soul-stirring folk music of Ireland.
Hit the Road, Gals captures a time when the roads were open, the spirits were free and a group of daring young women carved their own path through a world in transition.
Bridget Ashton is an explorer, mother, writer and photographer. Growing up in the Welsh border town of Hay-on-Wye, her family migrated to Northumberland in 1955. While at college in 1960s Hereford, she learned how to travel with only pennies in her pocket and in 1966 she spent a year hitchhiking behind the Iron Curtain. Later, she and her American husband brought up four children in Northumberland, where they still live.