WOMEN will no doubt cringe at this advertisement of a hundred years ago for what looks like some sort of reinforced girdle. One can only imagine what sort of promises the ‘free, fully illustrated booklet’ made.

THERE are some wonderful pictures of Penyghent, but I’ve never seen one where the peak looked so much like a jelly mould before - and finely dusted with icing sugar.

A TWO year old ‘broken bred cur’ - a type of mongrel - was helping Dales farmers locate sheep caught in the heavy snow of January, 1917, reported the Craven Herald at the time. ‘Spider’ was truly wonderful and had helped save the lives of more than a thousand sheep, reported the paper. The two year old belonged to George Mattock, a corn miller from Skipton, who had bought it from a gamekeeper down south in Buckinghamshire with the intention of using it for shooting. However, Spider seemed to have a remarkable talent for adopting a ‘point’ at sheep who were caught in snow. The news of the dog’s cleverness in finding ‘overblown’ sheep quickly spread amongst the farming community who started calling on the services of Mr Mattock and Spider. Spider went on to save the lives of well over a thousand sheep and in the end starting raising money for the Red Cross, and other war related charities after farmers began donating money in lieu of his free services.

AND, on the subject of hounds, a colleague tells me her English Pointer has developed a habit of howling every time the chimes of Big Ben are sounded on the radio to announce the news. Interestingly, it has to be on the radio and it also has to be Big Ben. Apparently, the television doesn’t bring forth the same reaction, or a computer , which suggests it must have something to do with the tone of the radio.

AND, on the subject of a hundred years ago, The Craven Herald reported on the case of a mother and grandmother who somewhat carelessly left a six week old baby in the care of strangers on a train at Hellifield Railway Station. The pair got off the train in search of refreshments, and when they returned the train, and baby, had gone. Fortunately, the station master at Hellifield was able to phone through to Bell Busk and the baby was taken off the train and cared for by the Bell Busk stationmaster’s wife until mother and baby were reunited.

KEY Stage Two children at Lothersdale Primary School are celebrating after winning the South Craven School Sports Partnership Swimming Gala at Craven Pool in Skipton. Headteacher, Jo Robinson, said: “Lothersdale Primary School is extremely proud of all the children who competed and collectively achieved such a fantastic result. Each and every one of them swam to the best of their ability to achieve amazing success. Several of the children will go on to represent South Craven in the Craven area swimming gala in March and we wish them the best of luck”. She went on to say how standards of swimming across the whole of the South Craven Partnership had improved over the years, with many of the races being extremely close finishes.

I WONDER how many of us took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch over last weekend? Some of us may even have thrown tempting bits of meat out to encourage more exotic birds of prey. Organised by the RSPB, the 38th annual event is the country’s largest garden wildlife survey. Last year, more than half a million people took part and spent an hour counting and identifying the birds that landed in their gardens over the space of an hour. The information will be collected by the RSPB and the results will be released in March. The information provides the charity with valuable information about the wildlife visiting our gardens and how weather - like the recent very cold snap - can have an impact on figures. It is also a bit of fun for

A NEW member of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has been appointed to replace long standing member, Mid Craven county councillor Shelagh Marshall, who stood down towards the end of last year. John Fort has been appointed to the authority by North Yorkshire County Council as its appointee. Lancashire born Mr Fort now lives in Dacre and is a former police officer, who was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to police charities. He represents Pateley Bridge, is a member of the Nidderdale AONB and a lifelong member of the Nidderdale Agricultural Society. A second new member, Allen Kirkbride is the secretary of state appointee for the Richmondshire parishes and replaces another long serving member, Harold Brown.

GIGGLESWICK School is due to play host on Friday, March 10 to Radio Four’s Any Questions. Broadcast live from The Richard Whiteley Theatre, it will be chaired by journalist and broadcaster, Jonathan Dimbleby.

First broadcast in 1948, Any Questions? has been touring the country for more than 60 years and every week attracts more than 1.5 million listeners. The panelists are yet to be confirmed but they will be joining Jonathan Dimbleby, who has chaired the programme for more than 30 years, two days after the Chancellor’s Spring Budget. Mark Turnbull, the school’s headmaster, said: “We live in fascinating political times for our democracy and this provides a great opportunity for school pupils and the local community to put their questions directly to a high profile panel of opinion makers.”

People can apply for tickets now on a first come, first served basis, via the website giggleswick.org.uk/rwt or by calling the Richard Whiteley Theatre box office on 01729 893180.