Settle Stories has won a £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish a new archive.

The facility will allow students and fans of the Yorkshire Dales go online to hear stories about what life was like in bygone days.

These word-of-mouth memories comprise hundreds of hours of interviews carried out by former Dalesman editor Bill Mitchell.

Born in Skipton, he worked at the Craven Herald before joining The Dalesman in 1948. He retired in 1988, but continued to write about Yorkshire, producing more than 100 books and many articles for other journals and local newspapers.

In 1996 he was awarded the MBE by the Queen and an honorary doctorate by the University of Bradford.

His recorded interviews from the 1980s and 1990s capture a social and cultural history which is dying out. Once digitised, it will enable a new generation not only to read history, but listen to it.

Settle Stories director Sita Brand said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. It will allow young people to learn about their Yorkshire heritage and will make the archive available and accessible to future generations.”

Fiona Spiers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Yorkshire, said: “This is an excellent project for the community of Settle and the Yorkshire Dales. It will make available a significant but hidden archive of Yorkshire to the public, allowing them to have access to a window on the past and learn from days gone as well as provide training and skills in research and archiving for local volunteers.”