CHILDREN took part in the world's largest drawing festival and celebrated national Museums at Night at Craven Museum in Skipton during the half-term holiday. The museum joined in with the Big Draw Festival, inviting children to create artworks with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) powered activities. A few days later, torch-lit tours and twilight activities thrilled visitors during the Museums at Night event, which gave children the chance to make shadow puppets and lanterns, while hearing stories from the museum’s collections and seeing items not usually on display. Pictured are Lucy Cornish with her 'big draw' work, and William and Thomas with their lanterns at 'museums at night'.

BACK in November, 1966, the then Conservative MP for Skipton, Burnaby Drayson warned his fellow Tories at a meeting in the town that they needed to shed their 'grouse moor image'. Labour, under Prime Minister Harold Wilson, had been in power for two years and the Conservatives faced a battle to return to government, said Mr Drayson. At the time, there had been much talk about the party's image, and people were beginning to believe the 'grouse moor' stories, he said. But in fact, the Conservative party represented people from all sections of life, who believed in freedom and private enterprise, and not relying on the services of the welfare state.

THE eagle-eyed amongst us will have spotted some of the original calender girls on Strictly Come Dancing recently. On the Sunday results show of the hit BBC programme, they were there along with Take That frontman Gary Barlow, who performed one of the songs from his musical, The Girls - based on the story of the Rylstone WI members and their original fundraising nude calender. At least two of the original members, Angela Knowles and Lynda Logan appeared in the chorus, and very likely more of them, but the camera did not linger for long enough for this watcher of Strictly.

WEATHER conditions must have been spot on for fungi this year - if the number of interesting mushrooms and molds is anything to go by. This sprouting of fungi was spotted on a rotting tree, but despite my efforts to identify it, I've drawn a blank.

THE excellent Craven Community Cafes, held on a weekly basis in Settle and Skipton and as 'pop up ' cafes in events, such as Sutton fun day, are asking for help in securing extra funding of up to £25,000.

The cafe project, part of Horton Housing, is just one of many across the country competing for a chunk of the Aviva Community Fund. Originally funded by North Yorkshire County Council’s Innovation Fund, the cafes are an early intervention and prevention service which help to prevent problems escalating and reaching crisis level. They reduce reliance on other expensive statutory services including emergency services. Members of the public are being asked to vote for their favourite before tomorrow's deadline. To vote online go to the website

ANOTHER excellent venture, the charity, Settle Stories, is also appealing for help from the public to help it secure a £25,000 grant from the One Family Foundation to allow it to expand its work. It uses art activities to respond to the needs of the rural community where it is based and to fill a gap of almost no out of school provision, particularly for those identified as vulnerable. If it is successful, it will use the money to create a Dream Factory, a safe place for young people between four and 25 years old to develop skills and 'build their dreams'. To achieve this, the charity will carry out regular sessions in arts, crafts and theatre, and provide training. It also planned by establishing a hub in the town, it will lead to a decrease in anti-social behaviour. People need to vote before November 30 so that Settle Stories is in with a chance of securing the grant online at -

THE first snowfall in Craven last week caused the usual havoc on the roads, with many drivers turning up late - if at all - for work. The snow also coincided with Wednesday's Skipton Market, and the vast majority of market stall holders decided against braving the weather. Interestingly, the market setts outside Rackhams, now managed by Skipton Town Council, was fully occupied.

THE Yorkshire Dales National Park is offering organisers of Craven events throughout 2017 the chance of some free advertising. A special online calendar – created and managed by the authority via its website – has proved to be highly popular, and the number of entries it contains is growing every year. And if event details are submitted before December 5, they will also be considered for inclusion in the long-running and much-loved official guide to the National Park – The Visitor. Providers are invited to upload their event using the online form, which, alongside all the criteria for displaying an event on the website and in The Visitor newspaper, can be found at