RETIRED teachers and doctors, farmers, voluntary workers, a dry stone waller, an archaeologist and a cave rescue volunteer are amongst the 30 people from North Craven whose hands and words feature in a unique exhibition in Settle.

Life in Our Hands, by Settle Stories, is the work of Indian born artist Shanthamani Muddaiah who earlier this year spoke to people from all walks of life, while making plaster cast replicas of their hands.

The result is an intriguing exhibition of hands, together with short, pithy sentences from the owner of the hands.

They include farmer, Alistair Cook, who says about farming, “It’s a wonderful life but it requires you to be able to do anything”, and Anne Read, honorary curator of the Folly museum, who says: “I’ve always tried to marry the different aspects of the building with the work or experiences that people are having inside the building.”

Bob Swallow, a volunteer on the Settle-Carlisle Railway, says: “London is always up-line and away from London is down-line - that’s why people are always going ‘up’ to towns”, retired doctor, Claire Littlejohn, says: “Settle is a close community and the families, especially farmers, support one another.”

HGV driver, Colin Firth, on the subject of building, says “In Settle you have to stick to tradition,” while bespoke shopkeeper, Dan Nelson, says: “When I left school I knew I’d be making something - fiddling with bits of metal and wood. Might as well make shoes.”

David Johnson, landscape architect, says: “Tourists come here and think they’re seeing a natural landscape, but they don’t know that it’s been shaped over thousands of years,” and mechanic, David Stubbs, says:”In primary school I did a project about a tractor, in middle school I built my first engine and in high school I fixed a teacher’s car to get out of lessons.”

Jo Rhodes, a homeopath and founder of Settle Community and Business Hub, on the subject of homeopathy, says: “I think when people have experienced it working, the criticism by the newspapers is overruled. Personal recommendations are actually more powerful than nasty news articles.”

Sean Whittle, chairman of the Cave Rescue Organisation, on his role comments: “You’re always unprepared because you always underestimate what you’ve to take on,” while Sita Brand, of Settle Stories, says; “Belonging to a place is about what you feel inside you.”

Life in Our Hands is at The Joinery, Dawsons Court, until February 28. It is open every Tuesday and Thursday and on the first Saturday of every month, 11am to 4pm. Free admission.