IN the light of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us will be getting used to working from home . If we are lucky, we might already have a home office, or at least a decent table and chair of suitable height. However, there are others of us who have never liked home working, may have given it a go, rejected it and headed back to the sanctuary of office life as soon as possible.

But with the Craven Herald having moved for the foreseeable out of the office and each of us packed off to our homes, my first task was dusting off the old lap-top. Having removed several council agendas, a rubber rat, two pieces of Lego and a bit of the original wood flooring of Dewhurst’s (Belle Vue) Mill, I detached it from ‘the other, office computer’, put it into its bag, miraculously still under my desk, and prepared to work from home.

It didn’t start well. I got to Keelham Farm Shop, on the edge of Skipton, and noticed the laptop was missing from the passenger seat. I must have left it on the roof, I thought, heart racing, imagining the trouble I’d be in, especially after all those hours of security training. Thankfully not, no expensive piece of kit in bits in the middle of the road, it was where I left it, by the coats in the office.

So, how is home working? I have relocated to the ‘dog room’ where at least there is a table, and a high back chair - much better than the coffee table and the sofa, in front of a roaring fire; and I start the day with a brisk walk, otherwise, its out of bed, into some tracky bottoms, turn on the laptop, and work solidly for 10 hours until 6pm; which isn’t good for anyone. One thing is for sure, home working is going to take some getting used to.

WHILE we are on the subject of homeworking, and also social distancing, and self isolating, I was interested to see the RSPCA’s advice on what to do with pets, cats, dogs and even horses, if you are forced to stay at home. Now, I have two dogs, one more more elderly than the other. The older whippet is completely nonplussed, but the younger pointer spends a large part of his day looking at me, in a distinctly ‘pointerly’ way.

Government advice is people can go out for a walk, if you stay two metres away from anyone else you may spot while out and about; but there is no evidence to suggest that pets can be carriers of coronavirus, or indeed can become ill themselves, says the charity.

It’s animal welfare expert, Dr Samantha Grimes, is urging pet owners not to panic and definitely not to abandon their dogs and cats. “The latest ‘social distancing’ advice does not have a huge impact on pet owners, but dog walkers do need to follow Government advice and keep two meters away from others while they are out for a stroll,” she says.

“Pet owners who are not showing any signs of coronavirus themselves or living with anyone who has symptoms should continue to interact with their pets but adopt good hygiene practices including washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching them, their food, toys and bedding.

“This is good advice at any time and not specific to the coronavirus situation. Avoid being kissed or licked and sharing food with your pet.” Indeed.

WHILE out and about walking, I am always coming across areas of recently planted new trees, and even hedgerows. On one recent walk through Otterburn, I spotted several deer very close to a new plantation, presumably looking to nibble the tops of the juicy saplings. That’s what the plastic tree guards are for, I thought.

INTERESTINGLY, although we are seeing a lot of trees being planted now, it was also taking place almost 50 years ago. In April, 1976, the final phase of quarry owner Tilcon’s £100, 000 scheme to improve the entrance of its quarry at Giggleswick, involved the planting of 150 semi mature trees and 750 smaller trees and shrubs. An area of 15,000 square yards had already been planted with grass. Tilcon - Tiling Construction Services Ltd - had carried out a programme of excavation and landscaping to bring the entrance to its site up to road safety standards. Planting was carried out by Dales Forestry Ltd, pictured left, fixing a tree with what does look like a plastic tree guard, are Alan Roskell and Neil Manning.

I WAS fascinated to see this memorial, above right, at the junction of two paths on Salter Fell, a short distance from Salterforth, in the Forest of Bowland. The memorial was one of two placed in 2014 following a project by members of the Clitheroe Youth Forum to honour 25 people killed in 15 air crashes between 1940 and 1949 in the Ribble Valley. The teenage forum members placed stones at all the crash sites, with a memorial boulder to all 25 victims.

On the same day, and in appalling weather, two services took place, the first at Pendle Hill, in honour of an Australian pilot who died in 1942, and an American pilot, who crashed in 1944. Later in the day, a service took place at Salter Fell, remembering nine airmen from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Poland. Sgt WR Coveney, RAF, and P/O J M Gilmer, of the New Zealand Air Force, crashed in April, 1940 at Dunsop Fell; four men from the USA Aire Force crashed at Burn Fell in January, 1945; two more from the USA crashed in January, 1943 at Dunsop Fell, and two airmen from the Polish Air Force crashed in February, 1945 in Bentham.

Members of the forum had been researching local people killed in action during both world wars when the came across the stories of the airmen who had died in the crashes on the fells.

50 YEARS ago, in March, 1970, Bentham Agricultural Society was preparing to stage its centenary show. Following a meeting at the town hall, it was decided to have a section for accredited cattle. In the sheep section, the most popular of the classes in the show for several years, it was decided to increase the prize money. Special features were to include an ‘It’s a Knockout’ contest, which had proved successful the previous year, children’s sports and a five a side football competition. It was also hoped to put on a display of vintage horse drawn vehicles.

SETTLE’ S 21st drama festival drew to an end with extra seats having to be found to accommodate the very large audience with the Victoria Hall filled to capacity. The festival cup was presented to the Fylde Coast Players with This Happy Breed.

SKIPTON Music Festival was also celebrating another successful event held in the town hall.

SKIPTON MP Burnaby Drayson met with members of the Horton-in-Ribblesdale Women’s Institute 50 years ago to discuss the closure of the village’s railway station and what measures would be put in place. A count of passengers using the line had found that in June, 1969, over three days the total number of passengers joining trains at Ribblehead was eight adults and one two children. One of the adults was a holidaymaker, one a worker who said he made the journey infrequently, and the rest were shoppers. It was considered that a more frequent bus service would be needed, but the bus operators were not prepared to run the additional services with their own resources and it was so open to local authorities to make contributions.

IT was the worst melee I have seen for some years” a police sergeant told Skipton Police Court in a drunk and disorderly trial in March, 1920. Three men, all in their early 20s and all from Barnoldswick, were in court facing charges of being drunk at Earby Railway Station. The officer, following a complaint from the station clerk, had gone to Earby where he and a colleague had found the three men in the company of about 10 others, all very drunk and using ‘vile’ language. One of the men was seen to strike another man in the face, and this had led to a fight on the platform, with about six men falling in a heap. The three men were taken into custody where one of them collapsed with a badly damaged right eye that needed treatment from a doctor, who was summoned to the police station. The men had been acting ‘like wild beasts’ said the officer. One of the men was fined 20 shillings, and the other two were fined 10 shillings, the doctor was awarded costs to pay for his time.