Memories of a year in Nidderdale

January

THE New Year got off to a good start with the news that crime across Nidderdale had dropped by more than a quarter in just one year.

According to police statistics, the number of crimes had fallen from 287 to 213.

AN OUTBREAK of kennel cough was thought to be the worst in over a decade.

Andrew Bodey of Bishopton Veterinary Group, Pateley Bridge, said he believed the illness had been brought to the area following an outbreak in the shooting fraternity in Northumbria.

TWO student film-makers from Pateley Bridge screened their debut movies at the Harrogate Odeon in front of an invited audience that included British director Ken Russell.

Ben Derrick and Timothy Reynard, both 16, former pupils of Nidderdale High School, said they were overwhelmed by the reaction to their films, which were shot in and around Pateley Bridge.

FARMER Robert William Heaton, a lifetime member of the Nidderdale Agricultural Society, died aged 100.

Born in Thornthwaite on August 20, 1907, Mr Heaton began farming in his own right in 1932 at Ridge House Farm in the village.

He was well known for his flock of Dalesbred sheep and as an Ayrshire cattle breeder.

February

DARLEY resident Keith Hardcastle and Arthur Iveson of Ripley were made life members of the Nidderdale Agricultural Society.

A past chairman and president of the society, Mr Hardcastle was given the award in recognition of his many years’ service to the Nidderdale Show.

Mr Iveson was elected to the committee 50 years ago and was a cattle steward before being elected chairman in the 1980s, later becoming public relations steward.

POPULAR Nidderdale man John Drewery died following a battle with cancer.

A horse steward at Nidderdale Show, Mr Drewery was born at Dacre Top and educated at Upper Nidderdale School where he was head boy.

A BLACK tie ball helped raise funds to support good causes across Nidderdale.

The Mayor’s Charity Ball 2008 was held at Pateley Bridge Memorial Hall and attended by 120 people, including members of the public and local dignitaries.

FEARS that Pateley Bridge cemetery could become full within six or seven years were allayed.

Concerns had been raised that only about 30 spaces remained in the Panorama Way site but investigation by the council had found 56 spaces - enough to last between ten and 15 years.

Town councillors, however, said plans for extending the cemetery should begin as soon as possible because it could take up to four years to complete.

SALES at Pateley Bridge Auction Mart were bucking the national trend after soaring over previous months.

Auctioneers reported more than 4,500 sheep sales in January alone, about ten times the figures of 2006. Cattle sales had also been impressive.

A COUNTY council grant of 527,000 was approved for Bewerley Park Outdoor Education Centre.

The money would be used for a refurbishment project including improvements to the dormitories and dining facilities.

March

THE bank holiday weekend brought a spate of vandalism to Pateley Bridge.

North Yorkshire Police received complaints about a bin and a mountain bike being thrown off the bridge into the River Nidd.

Town councillors also received reports of littering and noisy behaviour.

IN AN open letter to the Nidderdale Herald, district doctors claimed that healthcare across the Dale could be dramatically destablised if new plans for privately-run super surgeries went ahead.

The doctors raised major concerns over proposed new medical centres which would strip funding away from their practices and could lead to branch closures.

April

THE post office on Pateley Bridge High Street was officially re-opened after months of uncertainty over its future.

New sub-postmistress Mary Holdsworth was joined by journalist and television personality Janet Street-Porter to cut the red ribbon on the refurbished building.

Ms Street-Porter, who had criticised post office cuts in her national newspaper columns, said: "This is a really important part of our high street and we would hate to see it changed."

May

COUN Les Ellington became the new Mayor of Pateley Bridge, taking over from Coun Ian Skaife. Coun Ellington pledged to use his year in office to good effect, saying: “My thrust for the year will be centred on partnerships with local groups, both within and outside of the town.

“It’s really to get a closer working relationship with people and to continue to lift the profile of Pateley Bridge.”

FEARS over major cuts to DalesBus services were allayed when the company running the bulk of the routes struck a deal with local organisations to fund the scheme.

A 15,000 cut in the grant given by North Yorkshire County Council had led to concerns that some routes would be scaled down, and others cancelled altogether.

THE BIRSTWITH Family Fun Day was a resounding success as hundreds turned out for Belmont Grosvenor School’s centenary celebrations.

The event was one of many planned throughout the year by the school to celebrate its 100th birthday.

MORE than 1,200 walkers from across the district took part in the Nidderdale Charity Walk, raising 50,000 for over 100 different charities.

Organisations benefiting this year included Harrogate and District Society for the Blind, Saint Michael's Hospice, Henshaws and the Harrogate Advertiser’s Charity of the Year, Martin House.

THE first Nidderdale Book Festival attracted famous names and enthusiasts from across the country.

Held on a farm in Summerbridge, the event was organised to support the Roddy Scott Foundation, in memory of a local journalist killed while reporting on the conflict in Chechnya.

A highlight of the festival was Kate Adie and General Sir Mike Jackson in conversation.

THE Church in the Dale celebrated its first birthday at Dacre Church Field with Summerbridge and Dacre Silver Prize Band.

Frank Dean and John Belderson handed over a cheque for 2,700 which was the total raised from sales of their book Nidderdale Praise.

A 17th century carved oak chair was stolen from All Saints’ Church in Ripley exactly a year after a jewelled cross was stolen from the church.

The chair, which had never been valued, had been at the church for more than 300 years.

Last year, an antique altar cross taken from the church appeared on eBay after it was bought at a carboot sale in Wetherby for 40.

THE Conservatives narrowly missed out on taking Pateley Bridge in the local elections, but gained two seats elsewhere from the Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats’ sole victory in the rural elections was in Pateley Bridge, where returning councillor Stan Beer defeated Tory rival Kathy Sewell by 77 votes.

MAY Day celebrations took place in Nidderdale.

Summerbridge Primary School pupils and their families took part in traditional entertainments including the procession of the May Queen and her attendants.

Bank Holiday Monday saw May pole dancing and a parade at Glasshouses.

June

A SPONSORED walk from Birstwith to Pateley Bridge raised more than 2,700 for charity.

Thirty-two walkers completed The 21-mile course was completed by 32 walkers in aid of the Stuart Strange Vasculitis Trust.

PROPOSALS by British Telecom to remove Nidderdale phone boxes as part of a national cutback sparked concern among residents and councillors.

The suggestion to remove unprofitable and rarely-used phones was put before Harrogate Borough Council prior to a consultation period of 90 days.

A GENEROUS donation from former Pateley Bridge resident Alan Dean enabled 40 memorials to be re-erected at the cemetery off Panorama Way.

Philip Andrew, bereavement services manager, said: “Every little helps to get the cemetery back to what it was with all the monuments safely back in place.”

DENTAL treatment on the NHS became unavailable in Pateley Bridge when the only practice in the town was forced to pull out of the health service.

Dentist Jonathan Yates said he had tried everything to stay in the NHS but necessary modernisation to his King Street practice could not be funded by North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust.

WET weather couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of a 3,000-strong crowd as Young Farmers groups held their annual county show at the Nidderdale Showground.

Despite the rain, all the competitions at the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs’ (YFYFC) show took place, with some exhibitions and events relocated to a large marquee.

HARROGATE Borough Council announced that a proposal to develop a site at the bottom of Pateley Bridge High Street would be removed from a plan for the conservation area.

The suggestion to build on the Southlands car park and seating area had met with strong local opposition.

PATELEY Bridge man Allan Staniforth took part in the annual Harewood Hillclilmb for the 46th year.

With his 84th birthday approaching, Mr Staniforth’s interest in the event was still as strong as the day he started.

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