Craven Diary

Bill Reynoldson has questions about his father's war medal

Bill Reynoldson has questions about his father's war medal

First published in Dales Life
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An unusual First World War service medal passed down to a Skipton man has got him wondering if there are any others still in the area. Bill Reynoldson, 83, of Shortbank Road, was given the medal after his father George passed away in the 1960s. Recent attention on the centenary of the start of the war prompted Bill, a retired plasterer, to dig it out. His father had worked on the Bolton Abbey estate before joining the Army and going off to war. When he returned, George was one of several estate workers presented with the specially-struck medal by estate owners the Cavendish family. It is gold, roughly circular, and with filigree edging with entwined letters B and A on the front. Bill said: “My father never ever talked about the war. I don’t even know what regiment he was in, though I recall something about the Green Howards. I believe the medals were given to all the workers who came home, but there couldn’t have been that many struck. With such strong local connections, it would be interesting to know if any more are out there.”

Barnoldswick’s beach cats have owned up to having proper homes. After a recent appeal through the press and social media, three owners who live in the vicinity of the town square contacted Barnoldswick Beach organisers and identified four black cats that regularly tour the town centre – three of which were spotted visiting the inland beach in August. “Of the cats, Dexter was the most adventurous,” said Councillor David Whipp, a Barnoldswick Beach volunteer. “He frequently came to the beach and let older children stroke him. He even chased the ducks in our duck pond!”

A group of community choirs which performed at the official Tour de France gala dinner is inviting potential new members to come to its rehearsals. Rock Up and Sing! has a 100-strong choir in Skipton, as well as sister choirs based in Harrogate, with members aged from teenagers up to the young-at-heart. There are no auditions, so anyone who wants to sing as part of a group is welcome to join. Musical director Rhiannon Gayle said: “Singing in a choir is a very rewarding experience and a lot of fun for all our members. Our repertoire includes Fleetwood Mac, Coldplay, Abba and Queen, so there’s something for everyone. Many of our existing members have found joining a choir is a great way to de-stress or to get away from difficult times at home and just focus on the pure joy of singing.” Rehearsals for the new term begin at Skipton Girls’ High School on Monday from 7.30pm and 9.30pm. Potential new members can attend for £3.50 and, if they decide to sign up, can do so straight away. Places will not be available for new members after the first week of rehearsals.To book a place, email cath@rockupandsing.com or call 01423 508500.

Last weekend’s Burnsall Feast Sports were certainly historic. The fell race was started by 94-year-old Bob Newbould, who won the event 75 years ago, in 1939, and the prizes were presented by Shirley Hodgson, who with her husband Dave, a past winner at Burnsall, has attended more than 50 consecutive sports. But, unknown to many, there was another historic link. This year’s winner of the ten-mile road race, Matthew Whitfield won the junior fell race in 1993 and 1994 and holds the record for the course at six minutes and 25 seconds. Sports chairman Alan Stockdale tells me: “We are kicking ourselves that we didn’t recognise his name in the entries and could have acknowledged his links to Burnsall. Matthew’s father, Bob, who ran the fell race several times, was also at the sports to see his son’s success.”

Just what does having ladylike attributes mean when it comes to sheep? A prizewinning ewe at the Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders Association show and sale at Skipton was described by the judge as “exhibiting really good feminine qualities”. Which does beg the question - was it her trim ankles, her slender neck, or maybe the ladylike way she held herself? The ewe, who will be nameless, was named best female - following up from wins at the Great Yorkshire Show and Ripley Show. She was sold for 380 guineas.

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