I HAVE learned of another outing by the rather aptly named Thistlewhackers - staff and customers at Skipton Auction Mart who meet several times a year to play friendly, yet competitive rounds of golf at courses across the region. You may be forgiven for thinking that, with such a moniker, clods of turf might regularly be sent flying by the club-wielding agriculturalists, some of whom could well be considered to show more aptitude with scythes rather than seven irons! Not so - and some respectable scores were recorded following the latest outing at Settle Golf Club, with the talented trio of Stephen Coates, Rob Ellis and Kevin Middleton (pictured) emerging as victors, while the mart’s Pat Eaton flew the flag for the two ladies taking part when picking up the nearest the pin prize. Unfortunately, organiser Sam Bradley had a rare off day and the mart auctioneer, while highly proficient with a gavel, may well have done better with an aforementioned scythe! However, another member of his team, James Ogden, did come up trumps with the longest drive.

THERE are several charity shops in all of Craven towns, and all doing sterling work through their small army of volunteers for the varied good causes they support. Yorkshire Cat Rescue is just one of these. The charity rehomes unwanted cats and kittens and through its relatively new shop in Skipton's Craven Court, it raises the funds it needs to help it continue with its good work. It also gives advice and support. The shop is open every day, including Sundays, and stocks a wide range of donated goods. If you have something to donate, or a spare few hours to help out, just pop in - the volunteers would appreciate both.

THERE are some great cycling and weekends away in the Dales prizes on offer - and all people have to do to be in with a chance of winning one is to pay a visit over the summer to each of the five Yorkshire Dales National Park centres.

Entrants simply need to answer a question about the national park in each of the centres, which are located in Malham, Grassington, Aysgarth Falls, Hawes and Reeth, and get a ‘Wheely Good Competition’ card stamped.

Completed cards will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win either two nights’ accommodation for a family in the beautiful surroundings of Swaledale at Grinton Youth Hostel, courtesy of the Youth Hostel Association, or a fantastic day’s electric bike hire for four people -worth £200- provided by Dales Bike Centre in Fremington (Pictured by Stephen Garnett are cyclists on the Swale Trail at Gunnerside).

There is also a separate ‘Wheely Good Selfie’ competition running at the same time. People are being asked to submit a selfie of themselves in the national park, with a chance to win a helmet provided by Stage 1 Cycles of Hawes.

Cathy Bergs, centre manager, said “We are really excited about these competitions. We have done a lot of work in our national park centres recently to improve what we offer, with new ranges of locally made products, lots of walking guides and maps and yummy locally produced chocolates. We have just had a refurbishment at Aysgarth Falls and Grassington centres and are keen to show them off, so the aim of this competition is to entice people to visit each centre and find out an amazing fact about the special qualities of the park.”

Other prizes include 12 months free premium subscription to OS maps online, an annual family pass for the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes, or afternoon tea at the Coppice Café in Aysgarth Falls.

The closing date for the competitions is October 31. To find out more, go to: yorkshiredales.org.uk/competition

ANYONE interested in the National Health Service and changes over the last several years may well be interested in an exhibition (pictured) taking place until Saturday (June 8). 'How Come We Didn't Know' is a travelling photographic exhibition that has been brought to the area by the Airedale group of the on line campaigning organisation, 38 Degrees. Artist and photographer Marion Macalpine aims to show what she sees as the deteriorating state of the NHS, by exposing the growing corporate take-over, increased by the latest reorganisation under NHS England’s 10 Year Plan. The exhibition aims to highlight the ‘revolving’ door between politicians at all levels and private healthcare corporations. The group says it is a ‘must see’ exhibition for everyone concerned about the future of health and social care for all in England. Because Skipton Library is currently closed due to refurbishment, the exhibition is on at Keighley Library, which is open from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 7pm, and on Saturday, from 9am to 5pm.

THANKS to Brian Stott for this picture of a lesser known Skipton street sign, with an interesting history. Brian tells me: "This one is on a relatively new section of Keighley Road just over Pinder Bridge and opposite Christ Church. It is Tufton Place

"Peter Bewes from the Skipton History Society tells me that in the 1950s the row of houses opposite Mewies Solicitors ( and the home of Iain Mcleod, recently featured in the Craven Herald - was called Tufton Street and a street sign was on the premises which is a Tropical Fish Shop now.

Research reveals that "Tufton" was Henry Tufton the Earl of Thanet whose "seat" was Skipton Castle. This piece is about him. It reveals that his mother was Mary Sackville , hence Sackville Street nearby and Thanet's Court just across Keighley Road.

BACK in early June, 1969, change was afoot at Grassington Parish Council. Following the recent elections, two 'ladies' had been elected onto the council for the first time, although only one, a Mrs A A Pattinson attended. Mrs Pattinson was put onto the Property Committee, and Mrs P Freebury was put onto Lighting. There was also a lengthy discussion involving the proposed siting of 'old people's flatlets' at the far end of Hebden Road. A siting that parish councillors felt most inappropriate, it being too far from the village itself. Proposals to paint white lines on the Market Square to help avoid parking confusion was discussed, and 'no cycling' notices to be put up in Hardy Meadows.

OVER in Thorton-in-Craven, cricket club officials had a nasty shock in June, 1969, whey they discovered a break in at their premises. Thieves got away with four tins of crisps, four tins of luncheon meat, and 15 pint pots.

THERE was a happy event 100 years ago, when most of Gisburn turned out to congratulate Lord and Lady Ribblesdale on their recent marriage. The Craven Herald reported that a number of tenants of the old-world village assembled to loudly cheer the Lord and Lady as they swept up the drive of Gisburn Park. A reporter was sent along to interview the Lord, who was 'happily embarrassed' at the number of telegrams - the single wire to the village post office having been worked to breaking point. His Lordship had spent much time in Gisburn - the ancestral home of the Listers - and knew every inhabitant by name. His Lordship's elder son, Thomas Lister, had died in Somaliland, followed by the death in Gallipoli of his only surviving son, Charles.

VETS from Kingsway Veterinary Hospital in Skipton are echoing calls from Rabbit Awareness campaigners to ‘protect and prevent’ against a highly infectious virus, Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2.

Outbreaks have been reported across the country of the deadly strain which causes the rabbit to die from internal bleeding. There is currently no specific cure available, so in most cases it is fatal and only in rare cases do rabbits survive. Kingsway says many owners are misguided into thinking that because their rabbits are domestic they are not at risk, when actually the disease can be spread to pet rabbits from many sources in their environment, including insects, birds, other pets, car tyres and even the owner’s shoes or clothes.