ONE can only feel very sorry for the pair of pigeons, pictured, who have for some weeks now, and even before the coronavirus lockdown, been desperately trying to start a family in the ginnel next to the offices of the Craven Herald in Skipton. Thwarted by their efforts to nest on one of the window ledges by the fitting of anti-pigeon spikes, the pair took to perching on a drainpipe, and then attempted to build a nest on it.

The results of that venture are included, every carefully collected twig fell through the gap between the wall and the pipe onto the ground below. It is very tempting to stuff some newspaper in the gap to provide solid foundations for a nest.

ON the subject of birds nests, I am pleased to report that the robins which nested in my garden waste bin have successfully hatched their eggs, and are now busily collecting insects and the like to feed the chicks, which are in fact very noisy.

I hope to be able to get a picture of them lined up on the bin lid, which may be a bit difficult without the proper camera equipment, but I will do my best. Once they have fledged of course, I shall be able to get rid of all the garden waste that has been piling up, uncollected, despite having paid my subscription to Craven District Council. No matter, some things are more important.

ACCORDING to research carried out by flat-sharing website SpareRoom, the film most of us would take with them if cast away to a desert island would be The Shawshank Redemption, the film based on a Stephen King novel and based in a maximum security prison.

The list of eight films also included Pretty Woman (ok), Dirty Dancing (never got it), Pulp Fiction (good) Titanic (definitely not) About Time (never heard of), Gladiator (good) and the Matrix (hmm).

SpareRoom says it asked almost 4,000 flat-sharers to discover the nation’s eight favourite ‘Desert Island Flix’ and found that more than half of those who responded had already watched, or were planning to watch, their favourite films during the coronavirus lockdown.

Carrying out my own mini survey amongst my own working at home colleagues, threw up an entirely different set of films - probably because none of us are young enough to be sharing a flat, and with absolutely no duplications. The diverse list included Raising Arizona , the Last of the Mohicans, A River Runs Through It, Stand by Me, The Lost Boys, To Kill A Mocking Bird, Cube, and the hilarious Rita, Sue and Bob Too. I also got Groundhog Day, described as very apt at the moment, Schindler’s List, and One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

One offered up the silent German classic M, directed by Fritz Lang and staring Peter Lorre as a child murderer, and then changed their mind to the Sound of Music, which was a bit of a contrast, but definitely more up-lifting in the current lockdown.

In the way of a contrast, one of my colleagues said she had taken to listening to book readings while taking her daily exercise, and was having great fun. So far, and all within the lockdown, she had listened to Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, War of the Worlds, A Handful of Dust and Far from the Madding Crowd.

Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom director tells us: “Films are a great way to immerse yourself in another world, which is most likely something people crave more than ever when they’re limited to the same space for most of the week. We’re now deep into lockdown, and according to the survey, most of us have either watched our favourite films already, or plan on doing so. With filming on hold and many major new releases also postponed, this list will hopefully provide some inspiration for what to watch next.”

OUR readers constantly come up with some really excellent photographs, and they continue to come in during the coronavirus lockdown, with people sending in pictures they have taken during their daily exercise, or looking out from their windows.

Specialist insurance provider, Ripe Photography, is running a photograph competition based on a special place - there is the chance to win more than £500 in cash by capturing your emotional connection with a place.

The competition is open to anyone, but entries need to be in by the end of May.

The company, which launched the competition just two weeks before lockdown, says it has been getting some fantastic examples of photographers, both amateur and professional, getting even more creative than usual and submitting beautiful indoor shots and ones snapped outdoors during their daily exercise allowance.

Entries so far can be found at

The photograph can be of anything, but each entry must include an identifying feature of the place being captured; something that sums up its spirit. This could be a noteworthy building, a street sign, or any other distinguishable point of interest. The caption should provide a description of the place and why it has been chosen.

As well as giving away £350 to the winner, Ripe Photography will also award £150 to the runner up and £50 to third place.

Choosing the winner will be Ronya Galka, who was recently voted one of Britain’s top 10 street photographers and has previously been nominated for Best Photographer at the Sony World Photography Awards.

To enter Place of Pride, photographers must post an image of their chosen place on their own Instagram page, tag @ripe_photography_ in the image and caption and include the hashtag #PlaceOfPride.

ONE of the really fascinating thins about the old, back copies of the Craven Herald is the advertisements, like this one, above. I came across this advert to help sufferers of constipation in the 1945 papers, while researching just how Victory in Europe (VE) Day was reported in the paper.

THIS year’s Fellsman Hike, was due to have taken place on April 25, but along with every other event fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic, and was cancelled. But the 61 mile run, organised by Keighley scouts and first held in 1961, was held 50 years ago, in April, 1970.

The Craven Herald reported that the ninth annual hike, which starts in Ingleton and which takes in Ingleborough, Whernside, Gragareth and Great Coum as well as Dodd Fell, the dreaded Fleet Moss and Yockenthwaite Moor, finishing in Threshfield, had seen two records broken, even before it had actually taken place. It was, said the Herald at the time, reputed to be one of the country’s toughest endurance tests. 400 hikers were expected to take part - 80 more than the previous record set the year before, with organisers saying even more had wanted to take part, but that numbers had been kept to 400 for safety reasons. The second record was broken in the time it took for the entrants list to be filled. Hikers were normally accepted up until the middle of April, but in 1970, entries were closed before the end of February, and a waiting list of more than 100 created.

In 1970, the start was in Ingleton and finished 53 miles later in Grassington after ascents totalling 11,000 feet.

The race required 60 people at checkpoints, 60 people in rescue teams, 60 on radio communications, 60 on catering, and 50 headquarters staff , transport and clerical workers. Every finisher received a certificate and there were much coveted trophies to the winners.