THERE will be plenty to see at Harewood House over the late May bank holiday weekend with the Great British Food Festival.

More than 100 traders will be taking part including artisan food producers and street food vendors, making, preserving and baking. There will be jams, cakes, cheese, sausages, and all sorts of tasty treats. In addition to all the food, there will be live bands, chef demonstrations, food talks and the ever popular, man versus food competitions.

The festival will take place from May 25 to May 27. Visit: for discounted advanced tickets.

MANY congratulations to Matthew Whitwam (pictured below) , from Skipton, who completed the London Marathon, raising a very impressive £4, 212 to help sick and premature babies. Matthew, who completed the race in just three hours and 19 minutes, was running for Bliss, which was so supportive of him and his wife, Catherine, when their son, Henry, was born prematurely at just more than 28 weeks in 2015. Henry spent three months in the neonatal unit at Airedale Hospital, Steeton, after he was born. Earlier this year, the couple raised almost £3,000 for the charity at a Caribbean night at the town’s Woolly Sheep, while Catherine raised a further £370 by running a cake stall at Fisher Medical Centre.

THERE will be a sale of Fairtrade goods on Saturday, May 18 from 10am to 11.30am in Skipton at the Trinity Methodist Church in Duckett Street. In addition to Fairtrade, there will be homemade cakes and bakes, second hand books and bric-a-brac.

Organised by the Skipton Fairtrade Initiative, the aim is to raise money to buy ‘Fairtrade Town’ signs. The group hopes to raise half the amount it needs and to ask Skipton Town Council to make up the rest. It hopes to buy at least two, or three signs, depending on how much it can raise. Admission to Saturday’s event is £1.

THIS year will be a special one for Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival as it celebrates its silver jubilee - that’s its 25th year. One of the first - and biggest - in the country, it attracts thousands of visitors every year, and apart from parking fees, it is totally free, which means an entire family can spend a whole day in one of the most beautiful parts of the Yorkshire Dales for under a fiver.

From famous celebrities and sports stars to topical characters and the downright quirky, there will be plenty of scarecrows to spot in every nook and cranny of the village. There will also be two themed trails, with £1 clue sheets. To mark the 25th anniversary, organisers will be winding back the clock for the grown-ups’ trail to the personalities and news stories of 1994.

A spokesman for the organisers tells me: “Whether you remember much about 1994 or not, the scarecrows planned for the route will be easy to recognise, from the new leader of ‘New Labour’ to the president of the Unites States and icons of the Manchester music scene to momentous national events. There will be a historical twist to the children’s trail too, as we’ve amazingly managed to dig out the original clues from the very first themed trail which was nursery rhymes.”

In addition to the scarecrows, there will also be delicious homemade cakes, sandwiches, soup and more on sale at the village hall throughout the event, which runs from August 10 to August 18. Parking is just £3 for the whole day, and coaches can pre book a parking space by emailing

50 YEARS ago, in 1969, in an article ‘invaluable services the local council provides’ the then Skipton Council talked about slum clearance and its efforts to clear the area of slum houses. Since 1954. the council had demolishd 400 ‘’unfit’ houses, with another 75 to deal with. A house was deemed unfit for human inhabitation following a visit from the medical health officer. There were two ways to deal with a property in a clearance area. Either the council could make an order requiring the owner to demolish, and clear the site, or the site could be compulsory purchased by the council, which would then carry out the demolition and site clearance itself. If there were any objections, the whole process would go to public inquiry. It said: “In a service of this nature, where unpopular decisions have sometimes to be made, the local authority’s position is comparable of that of having to be cruel to be kind.”

THE Slow Food Kitchen in Otley Street, Skipton, is due to host a ‘Crafternoon’ tea event on Tuesday May 28 .There will be a modern folk art Workshop, delivered by arts organisation HART Yorkshire, and s afternoon tea of homemade cake, scones and other baked goodies with refreshments. Those signing up will have the opportunity to explore folk art design to create their own pictures using gouache paints and watercolour paper. All materials will be supplied at the event, which will be ideal for both beginners and those who have attended art workshops before. It will be colourful, it will be fun and it will be delicious., I’m told. The Workshop and Tea, from 1pm to 4pm, costs £35 per person. To book your place please visit Slow Food Kitchen or email

APPEARING before Skipton Petty Sessions 100 years ago in 1919 were several men including weavers and a discharged soldier from Barnoldswick, charged with ‘bowling stones on the highway’. The court was told how the men were caught in the act carrying out their bowling on Gisburn Road, Brogden, by a police officer, in plain clothes at the time. The two ringleaders,Edward Alton and William Lever, along with others, were heard to shout ‘ten shillings a side’ before bowling a stone to a mark some 20 yards away. The winning team picked up 20 shillings before the police officer revealed who he was and told the men they were to be reported. Many of the men were ‘the worse for drink’ and became very abusive, using obscene language. A weaver, Richard Whipp, made of across the fields, but was chased by the officer, who stopped him and threatened to lock him up, after he gave a false address. The court was told that men from all over Lancashire came to the bowls which took place every Sunday and had become a real nuisance. Alton, who had a previous conviction, was fined 25 shillings, and Lever was fined 20 shillings. The others were each fined 15 shillings. Lever, a former soldier, was fined additionally because when arrested, he had told the officer that he had been fighting in France for two and a half years, and would show him something.

OVER in the children’s court, a 12 year old boy appeared for ‘maliciously throwing down part of a wall fence, the property of Lord Hothfield, doing damage to the amount of seven shillings and six pence. The boy’s father was ordered to pay for the damage to be repaired, plus costs, while the chairman said he wished to bring to the notice of the public the serious nuisance and expense which had become general throughout the district.

ALSO 100 years ago, there was a meeting of former members of the 9th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. The intention of the meeting, which was held in Ilkley, was to maintain the comradeship formed during the war. It was decided to form an association and to call it the 9th Duke of Wellington’s Old Comrades Association. The association would meet in different towns once a month.

BBC football reporter Ian Dennis was heard again and again on radio last week commentating on the thrilling match between Liverpool and Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final. Ian, the chief football reporter for BBC Radio 5 Live, comes from Addingham and was a pupil at Ilkley Grammar School. His brother, Steve Dennis was once a reporter for the Ilkley Gazette and is now a writer based in the United States.