ONE of the events at the fast approaching Grassington Festival will be Studs and Crooks, which will aim to bring to life Kilnsey Show, which this year marks its 120th anniversary. Writer of Studs & Crooks, Victoria Benn, reports.

Some people are born to talk; conjuring up images and pictures with their words and holding listeners rapt in delight with their humour and expression.

Two such raconteurs, who Craven has in its midst are, former Ermysted's Master, Ian ‘Adge’ Douglass from Hebden, well known for entertaining club fans and visitors at Wharfedale Rugby Club in his unmistakable Somerset burr. The other is Craven Herald regular, ‘Mr Sport’ himself, Roger Ingham, whose broad tones have commentated at innumerable sports, fetes and fell races over the last thirty years.

What both have in common – apart from being great friends – is that they are both to take part in one of the forthcoming Grassington Festival events celebrating the history and heritage of the Yorkshire Dales.

The event in question is Studs & Crooks, to be held on Monday June 19 in The Octogan Theatre, Grassington. This illuminating event aims to bring to life ones of the Yorkshire Dales finest institutions, Kilnsey Show, which this year takes place on August 29, celebrating its 120th year.

With anecdotes drawn from the recently published book Studs & Crooks, the entertaining event will take audience members behind the scenes of this unique show, which draws competitors from all over the north of England and attracts in excess of 12,000 visitors. The show’s history is an illustrious one show-casing a roll call of great names from the world of running and equestrian events, not least the great Bill Teasdale the legendary Lakeland shepherd and fell runner from the 1940s, 50s and 60s who won the iconic Crag Race seven times; and Olympic showjumper Harvey Smith and three times Grand National winner Brian Fletcher, who both cut their teeth in the show’s ring back in the 1950s.

Roger Ingham who is well known for his encyclopaedic memory and whom already boasts an entertaining chapter in the book, will be sharing the first hand memories of his earliest shows, and his fascinating recollections about the many iconic sports people who have starred at the show.

Ian Douglass, one of the most recognisable voices of the show, will also share his stories and recollections from over twenty years of keeping the tannoy warm, as well as some of the thrills and spills which have made the show especially memorable to him.

The author Victoria Benn and collaborator Jamie Roberts will also be attendance with Jamie taking role of question master and Victoria reading excerpts from the book. Victoria said, “The talk at Grassington Festival with Roger and Ian is a great way to bring the history of this wonderful Dales event to life. Studs & Crooks captures the stories behind everything from sheep shearing and drystone walling to sheepdog handling and local produce – and what better way to share this than through having two of the best loved voices from the day tell their own stories in their own words.”

Another event exploring the heritage of the Dales, is Rails in the Dales to be held on Friday June 23. David Joy whom has written the book of the same name is a well-known local author who’s written more than 40 books – mainly on railways and the Dales – and who was also a former editor of the Dalesman.

David’s enthusiasm for railways started at Grassington station during its last years, when he was allowed to ‘help’ in the signal-box and ride the footplate on the daily goods train. In this talk David will share his in-depth knowledge about the railways in eight Yorkshire Dales, detailing the diverse lines that once served the region along with those planned but which never came to fruition. With David’s rich anecdotal knowledge this will most definitely be an entertaining and illuminating event.

Studs & Crooks and Rails in the Dales will both be available to purchase at the event. For further information visit