I AM indebted to a reader who sent in a fascinating front page of a Craven Herald, printed on silk (pictured).

The Friday, March 9, 1962 front page was one of not a huge number, so it seems, that were printed specially for the upcoming Trades Fair. Organised by the Skipton Chamber of Trade, it took place over three days from March 17 in the Drill Hall in Otley Street. It included daily demonstrations, competitions and a cafe and both parking and entry was free.

The paper still had advertisements on the front page at the time, they were not to move inside for another 40 years or so, and there were a lot of them, this was of course pre-internet, and local papers had the monopoly on adverts.

So, printed on the front page almost 60 years ago, was an advert from the Imperial Ballroom, Nelson, announcing dancing to the music of Jazz singer Cleo Laine. A week after Cleo Laine appeared at the Ballroom, it was ‘Dick Charlesworth and his City Gents’.

Gargrave Village Hall Dramatic Society was about to perform ‘Here we come a gathering’ a comedy by Philip King and Anthony Armstrong, while over at the Skipton Plaza, 60s heart throb Steve McQueen was staring with Brigid Bazlen and Jim Hutton in one of his lesser known films, The Honeymoon Machine.

Also playing at The Plaza was ‘another sizzler’ Some Like it Hot, with Julie Wilson, and at the other end of the scale, Agatha Christies Murder She Said with Margaret Rutherford and James Robertson Justice.

‘Magical entertainer’ ‘Mystico’, a member of the Northern Magic Circle, was offering to appear at parties, concerts and dinners; and there was a cookery demonstration going on at the gas showrooms in Keighley Road, Skipton.

Alan King was giving an illustrated lecture on the geology of Settle and district at Settle High School, and there was a dance at the Tosside Institute featuring the Silver Keynotes Dance Band.

Over in Grassington, the Skipton division of the Young Conservatives was staging a ‘twist competition’ with ‘excellent’ prizes, while the Craven Area Youth Committee was staging an annual drama festival at Aireville Hall.

Skipton Music Festival was also taking place over three days and featured a children’s concert and a grand finalists’ concert on the last day in the town hall.

Gisburn and District Young Farmers Club was holding a whist drive and dance at the Festival Hall, Gisburn where dancing would be to Johnny Ball and his band; while Settle farmers were being invited to go along to a talk on ‘milk problems’ given by a Mr E R Greenwood, regional member of the Milk Marketing Board.

London Midland Railway was advertising ‘trips by train’ which included the sixth round of the FA Cup to see Sheffield play Burnley, and also to see Burnley play Tottenham.

The special silk front pages were printed by the Craven Herald, which from its High Street premises was also booksellers, stationers, printers and of course publishers.

This one has been sent to us by Alex Horner, whose father owned Foster Horner’s at 85 High Street, and who was presented with it in connection with the trades fair.

By a very strange coincidence, I was recently contacted by a reader from Barnoldswick who also has one of the silk front pages and who had been given it by an honorary freeman of Colne.

He was keen to find out more about his front page, which is in not as good a condition as ours, someone having burned it a bit while attempting to iron the creases out presumably.

BY an weird coincidence, one day last week I was writing a story about Bewerley Park, one of North Yorkshire County Council’s outdoor education centres, and then, later on I came across what can only be described a Bewerley Park frog, or toad, not sure which. It was covered in dust at the bottom of a pile of soft toys in the room which my now 20 year old son has vacated for pastures new.

I wonder just how many other mums or dads like me have such a cuddly toy with ‘I’ve been to Bewerley Park’ stamped on its chest.

I’m definitely hanging onto mine, who knows it might be worth something one day, an Antiques Roadshow find perhaps.

DO you have a garden that needs a television makeover? I’ve been contacted by the makers of a new show who are looking for people in Craven and Pendle to put themselves - and their gardens - forward. Undertaking the work will be Ilkley born gardener and presenter, Alan Titchmarsh, and a team of expert gardeners.

A spokesperson for Spun Gold TV tells me: “We are looking for people whose garden is in need of a makeover but who needs a helping hand? Alan and his trusty team of experts are here to help them achieve the best garden for their money.”

To apply, email some information about yourself, your garden and your budget to: savemoney@spungoldtv.com

Applicants should include pictures of themselves and their current garden.

75 YEARS ago, in July, 1946, everyone in Craven was off on their holidays. The Craven Herald reported on how the Skipton ‘exodus’ was the heaviest for many years, and even before the Second World War, with large numbers of people leaving the town at the start of the annual ‘holiday week’.

Increased railway fares seemed to have little impact on bookings and on the first Saturday, holiday makers and their children with buckets, spades, sailing yachts and all the ‘impedimenta’ of a seaside holiday left Skipton railway station in coast-bound trains.

'Stay at homes' - today's 'staycations' had little in the way of additional entertainment reported the Herald. There were attractive programmes at the cinemas, the swimming baths at Moorview, Skipton, had attracted the energetic while beauty spots at Malhamdale and Bolton Abbey had been an attraction.

But, it was nothing compared to the delights of Blackpool and Morecambe, the favourite destinations of Craven folk. Some also ventured to the East Coast, and others went all the way to Scotland or London. Cricket fans also headed to Manchester to see England play India at Old Trafford in a test match.

Day trips to Harrogate for the West Yorkshire Road Car Service , which was suffering from a lack of buses, along with day trips to the coast and to the Dales.

Shops were also closed for the week, apart from those selling food and bread, which reopened earlier.

IN ‘A Craven Man’s Diary’ of July, 1946, the writer described how the the area had lost huge amounts of trees during the Second World War, and that is was hoped they would be replaced.

“During the war years, considerable areas of Craven and elsewhere have been stripped of big timber, and will, we hope, be replanted. Meanwhile, much of the small wood that was left and will have to be cleared at some point, lies wasting or rotting while the fuel shortage continues. It is understandable that many landowners who would have thrown open the woodlands to anyone who cared to collect this firewood have feared that their hospitality would be abused, as it has been done in the past. But, it should surely be possible to devise ways by which this useful fuel could be gathered up and sold at reasonable prices at a time when fuel is needed.”