SKIPTON opera singer Bibi Heal recently took part in a trial 'song surgery' in Ambleside.

Prescription poems and remedial tunes were performed and recommended to people feeling under par or stressed out at the special event run by Bibi, pictured below by Ant Robling with a patient.

She used the initiative to test her idea of providing customised verse or soothing songs to help relieve a range of maladies and to boost wellbeing.

The event was part of the Watch This Space project from Great Place: Lakes and Dales (GPLD), the programme which uses the arts, culture and heritage to encourage younger people to settle in the area.

Bibi’s producer Jane Rice-Bowen says: “The song surgery went really well. Bibi prescribed tailored music or poetry and gave one-to-one performances to several people who reported a range of issues including anxiety, stress, lethargy, relationship worries and hassles such as dealing with ageing. A lot of people felt tired and overwhelmed with juggling things in their lives.

“One particular patient was suffering from insomnia so Bibi prescribed a song called ‘Sleep’ by the composer Ivor Gurney with words by John Fletcher.”

As well as providing one-to-ones with songs chosen to suit individuals, Bibi was joined by playwright/narrator Bridget Foreman and performing arts students from Bradford College.

The idea, which is also supported by Help Musicians UK, is in its research and development phase and the next step is to produce a full show designed to boost wellbeing. There are already plans to perform Song Surgery at The Joinery in Settle on January 24. The evening will feature a performance followed by an opportunity to talk to Bibi.

50 YEARS ago, Colin Speakman, walker, poet and countryside campaigner, with the late Tom Wilcock and other colleagues from the West Riding Area of the Ramblers Association, helped to create the Dales Way, the popular long-distance trail from Ilkley to Windermere via the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District. 

And tomorrow (Friday) he will be at Otley Courthouse, Courthouse Street, Otley, to talk about '50 years of the Dales Way'. Also called the people's path', he will talk about its continuing success and international appeal of what is now one of Britain’s most popular long-distance walks. He will offer a brief impression of the many delights to be enjoyed by walkers along the 81 mile mainly riverside

route, leading directly from the towns and cities of West Yorkshire, along Wharfedale to the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and on through Dentdale and Lune valley to the Lake District.

Colin Speakman 50 years of the Dales Way will start at 7.30pm tomorrow, tickets £10 for adults, £8 concessions.

To book tickets visit:, or call the box office on 01943 467466.

WE often get pictures sent in to us by readers of interesting fungi - which suggests there are a lot of people out there, endlessly fascinated by what a walk in the countryside can turn up. This picture (right) of an almost perfect 'fairy ring' - interrupted only by the road - was taken on a walk near Horton in Craven.

CLARE Teal recently performed at Settle Victoria Hall, some 25 years after the Kildwick born singer did a gig with her trio at Skipton Little Theatre, a reader tells me. Back then, there was an audience of 17. "Since then she has appeared at the Royal Albert Hall several times, with the top orchestras John Wilson, the Halle, BBC Big Band. At top venues all over the UK with her trio, mini big band, and big band. But despite her successful career she still finds time to come to little old Victoria Hall in Settle, where she received a welcome as warm as anywhere else." It was an outstanding programme of Jazz including standards and new material, I am told. "A vocalist of outstanding musical talent together with her superb trio. Pianist Jason Rubello bassist Simon Little and standing in at 24 hours notice the brilliant drummer Luke Townsend with only an hour's rehearsal." He continues: "Standing in the wings she allowed the trio to show their versatility. A night not to be missed next time. With a packed hall lets hope that she will be back, a local lass at the top of the music scene Brilliant." Fans of Clare Teal know of course, she can be heard on BBC Radio 2, in the Swing and Big Band Show every Sunday night.

THRESHFIELD Court care home in Threshfield recently took to the ‘wilds’, says the home, to participate in a Bushcraft themed event in its beautiful woodland grounds. In celebration, the home invited residents, families and friends to join them after the sun had set. Residents enjoyed warming hot chocolate or mulled wine, toasted marshmallows and enjoyable music – bringing back memories of gathering around the campfire.

Resident, Jean Hallam, said: “It’s a great opportunity for us to have our friends and family over to the home and enjoy an evening tucking into our favourite traditional post-bonfire night treats from when we were younger and to sit around the camp fire sharing stories”.

And, Stacey Nicholson, the home's general manager, added: “It’s great to see so many of the residents and their families wrapping up warm and braving the cold English weather to enjoy this amazing experience.”

KEELHAM Farm Shop in Skipton has expanded its range of 'taste boxes' in time for Christmas, adding seven new festive specials to its established favourites.

So, offering an original foodie present to tickle all taste buds, the expanded range includes a 'Yorkshire Chilli Taste Box' (£30), featuring fiery ales, chilli jams and spicy snacks, and 'Let the evening Be-Gin' (£45), a celebration of juniper packed with gin inspired nibbles and drinks - all handmade or distilled in Yorkshire.

There is also the 'Tipsy Cook’s Christmas Dinner Kit' (£45) or the 'Ultimate Taste of Christmas Taste Box' (£150), full of those extra special bits that make Christmas a day with a difference.

The boxes feature products from the more than 400 Yorkshire producers stocked by Keelham, as well as from its own brand range. There are 27 boxes overall, showcasing everything from Vegan Organic wines to the best Yorkshire beers, and all are available to buy online, for delivery across the UK, as well as in the shop in Skipton. Christmas specials are gift wrapped and include a message from the sender.

100 years ago, on December 5, 1919, the Craven Herald reported that Glusburn, with surrounding townships, was to apply for urban powers. The idea had started at Glusburn Parish Council, which had then invited surrounding Cowling, Cononley, Kildwick and Farnhill. It was then thought that Steeton and Silsden should also be invited.

Also 100 years ago, the work of Hiawatha was performed by Cross Hills Choral Union before a crowded audience at the Friendly Society's Hall. Hiawatha is essentially a chorus work and is only at intervals that one observes the story of Hiawatha and Minnehaha. The choral union had performed the work on a previous occasion.

A good company assembled in the Foresters Hall, Lothersdale in response to a notice that Mr Skelland, district organiser of the Workers Union would conduct a public meeting. The meeting was timed to start at 7pm, but as no speaker or official of the union arrived, the company dispersed at 7.45pm.