SKIPTON Girls High School has for some time now been pressing for a 20 mph speed limit along Gargrave Road, which it says will make life safer for not only its own pupils, but those at the other senior, and primary schools along the road. Interestingly, it was 50 years ago when the girls school, along with the then Aireville Secondary Modern School - now Skipton Academy - was busy pressing the then Skipton Urban Council for an extension of the 30mph limit. The council at the time responded that it would not be possible to extend the limit to the urban boundary, as requested by the school governors, could not be supported. However, it was suggested by the engineer that the idea of street lights between Harewood Road and the entrance to Aireville could be looked at. He also suggested the word 'slow' be painted on Gargrave Road, warning traffic approaching Skipton Girls High School from the west.

WHEN the esteemed headmistress of Springfield Infants School, Earby, retired in 1968, it was revealed a former pupil of hers had been Ken Dodd. Sir Ken, who died recently at the grand age of 90, and who was described as the last of the great music hall entertainer, had been a pupil of Miss E Riley's (pictured) in Liverpool. Miss Riley, who had been at the Earby school for 13 years, had taught in the Liverpool area for 20 years before moving to the West Riding. And, it was there that she taught at a school in Knotty Ash - the birth place of Sir Ken. Miss Riley told the Craven Herald 'yes, there is such a place as Knotty Ash. Kenneth was quite a bright lad. He passed his eleven plus. I remember that even then, when he was only a lad, he used to bring a big talking doll to school and we wondered why his parents spent so much on it.'

IT was good to read in the latest newsletter of the Lancaster and Skipton Rail User Group (LASRUG) that efforts are continuing to make the Bentham Line dementia friendly. As part of the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership's Dementia and Community Rail project, banners and posters have gone up along the length of the Bentham line reflecting the 'working to become dementia friendly' theme. The three main aims of the Bentham line project are to support the journeys of those living with dementia, their carers and supporters; raising awareness of dementia with staff, volunteers, and passengers, and creating dementia- friendly stations and services. Bentham Line staff and volunteers are also having two hour dementia awareness sessions with the community rail partnership and the Alzheimers Society.

THE seventh annual Ride2stride Festival is due to take place over the first week in May. As well as a varied programme of walks and the usual live music every night, festival goers will be able to enjoy a number of talks. Chris Grogan, co-creator of A Dales High Way, will give a light-hearted, illustrated talk about how her childhood on a Dentdale hill farm led to a lifelong passion for walking, and the creation of the popular, long distance walk. Bill Fraser will give a talk on the 'rocks for Ribblehead Viaduct', in which he will explain how although the viaduct dates from 1875, the materials used are a lot older. He will also lead a walk from Ribblehead Station to Littledale and on the summit of Blea Moor, where the rocks were quarried. Author and countryside campaigner, Colin Speakman (pictured) will also talk about the life and achievements of Dent's famous pioneer geologist, Adam Sedgwick. Colin will trace the life story of the Dalesman and why his work as a teacher, and historian is as relevant today as it was in the 19th century. He will also lead a walk - 'river and rocks' around Settle. The festival will take place from Tuesday, May 1 to May 7. All talks will take place at the Friends Meeting House, Settle, and will cost £3, including a cup of tea. For more details about the festival, visit the website:

AN interesting lesson on the difference between cakes and scones was to be had at a hearing of Skipton Magistrates Court a hundred years ago. A shortage of food in the remaining year of World War One brought about a government ban on sugar, which in itself led to bakers using sugar alternatives. The Earby Co-operative Society was brought before magistrates on a charge of breaching the Cake and Pastry Order. During the hearing, the Co-op's baker explained the difference between cakes and scones. A scone, he explained, was a piece of confectionary baked so that afterwards it could be divided into four portions. Under the Cake and Pastry Order, no sugar was allowed in its making, so the scone was baked on one side only. On the other hand, a cake or bun could contain a certain amount of sugar and was baked on both sides and separately. Apart from that, they contained basically the same ingredients - flour, milk, lard and baking powder. So, there you have it.

MY walking colleague tells me she is always looking out for frogspawn and toadspawn at this time of the year. Much like the sound of the curlew, a welcome sign of spring. She spotted this frogspawn (pictured) a couple of weeks ago while walking near Hellifield.