FORGIVE me if I am wrong, but this butterfly, pictured, resting briefly on my blue recycling bin, appears to be a comma. When I first saw it, I thought it looked a bit raggedy, as if it had been caught by a bird, and managed to escape, or perhaps caught in the wind; but on closer inspection, and following a search of my insects and butterflies book, it seemed to me it was in fact a comma, and that its raggedy look is quite normal. Interestingly, it is becoming more common in the north of the country, having previously been largely restricted to the warmer south. Thanks to regular contributor to our readers pictures, Roger Nelson, who tells me the raggedy appearance is quite normal, and the name comes from the comma-shaped mark on the hind under-wing.

THE butterfly has not been the only interesting wildlife in my garden; I currently have three young hedgehogs living, I suspect, in a pile of grass cuttings, which are only there because the brown garden bin was taken over by a robin and its chicks earlier in the year. The pile of grass cuttings is therefore, a goodly size, and very nice and warm for the hedgehog family.

The young hoglets first appeared a couple of days after I noticed an adult hedgehog dead on the busy A59 on the other side of the garden wall. All three of them appeared, during the day, wandering up and down the garden, I guessed, looking for food. A week later, and they, fingers crossed, appear to be thriving, they are getting through a can of dog food every day, have fresh water, and I’ve barricaded the garden, so they can’t get out onto the road, but can head off the other way, into open fields. Hopefully, they will build up enough fat reserves to get them through the winter, and hopefully, the winter will not turn out mild, so they are tempted to come out of hibernation in search of tasty slugs and snails.

CRAVEN performing arts school Expressions Drama is appealing for confident young people, aged between nine and 19 years old, to appear in the new series of the comedy drama Ackley Bridge. It is the second year running the arts school will have provided actors for the drama, which is set in a Yorkshire town.

Due to Covid-19, filming for Ackley Bridge stopped in March, but filming for series four is due to start again in September.

The production team says it is ideally looking for groups of people who are already in a bubble, or a household, so they can interact easily on set.

To put yourself forward, email:

ON a rare visit into Skipton last week, most of us are still working from home, I came across this very much ‘to the point’ sign stuck up on the wall of an alleyway in the centre of Skipton. There have been plenty of reports of fed-up residents of villages complaining of visitors relieving themselves where they shouldn’t, because public toilets have been slow to re-open following the coronavirus lockdown - I wonder if some people have just got used to relieving themselves whenever and wherever, even though toilets have reopened.

SKIPTON Castle, and a woman said to have been held prisoner there in the 14th century forms the basis of a book written by a Keighley doctor, Alison Harrop.

Dr Harrop’s second novel, - ‘The Mortimer Affair - Joan de Joinville’s Story’ is an account of events leading up to and including the toppling of King Edward II and his ‘alleged’ murder at Berkeley Castle in 1327. Alison, a former head girl of Bingley Grammar School, uses her maiden name, Mitchell, and her grandmother’s name, Alice as her pen name when writing. After more than 20 years as a doctor on The Wirral and in North Wales, she returned to her roots in Keighley earlier this year.

The Mortimer Affair has taken her seven years to complete, and is told through the eyes of Joan de Joinville, wife of Roger Mortimer, First Earl of March, and said to have ordered the murder of the King.

“It has always been popularly alleged that Edward II was murdered by red hot poker whilst a prisoner in Berkeley Castle. So much of what we know as history was originally written by the victors in any conflict” said Alison, “So ‘alleged’ is an appropriate word because this is probably not what happened.”

Alison says her book suggests an alternative possibility as to what actually happened, and invites people to buy her book, to find out more.

“Joan was an intelligent, literate noblewoman who had taken no part in her husband’s earlier rebellion against Edward II but was nevertheless subsequently imprisoned for five years by King Edward, first in Hampshire, and later in Skipton Castle.

Joan is deeply involved in the entire saga as an onlooker. She endured much hardship and humiliation, but found the courage to survive it all; she must have been a very strong woman,” says Alison.

The Mortimer Affair is available from You Caxton Publications and Amazon at £12.99 at:

PEOPLE in Craven will be able to give a big boost this September to three life-saving charities that have been heavily impacted by Covid-19.

Tesco stores across the region are supporting the Tesco Health Charity Partnership’s appeal to raise money for Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK until September 13. Tesco customers can make a donation by rounding up their shop in store to the nearest £1 at all manned and self-service checkouts, including pharmacies and petrol stations. And, all funds raised will go directly to the three charities.

Due to the pandemic, each charity expects to see a steep decline in its income this year due to the cancellation of fundraising events and temporary closure of shops.

Oonagh Turnbull, head of health campaigns at Tesco, said: “To support our partners and the millions of people who rely on their work, we are aiming to raise as much money as possible in our stores for these three incredible charities.

“Many of us know someone who has been affected by cancer, heart and circulatory diseases or diabetes. It’s essential that they are able to continue their ground-breaking work so that countless generations can benefit now and in the future.”

50 years ago, on September 4, 1970, the Craven Herald reported on ‘a perfect day for Malhamdale Agricultural Show’. There were ‘excellent sheep and ‘impressive cattle’ and also an ‘improved sports programme’. It was one of the best and most successful Malhamdale Shows ever. The 24th annual show and sports was described as a ‘smash hit’, enjoyed by all.

The paper also reported in the same week on Kilnsey Show, which took place in cold, showery weather. The 63rd show had people leaving the showground in mixed moods. Takings at the gate and car park exceeded £1,850 and programme takings topped the £130 mark, just slightly lower than in 1969.

FEARS were expressed at a meeting of Skipton Urban Council that the town was in danger of becoming a ‘ghost town’ following the announcement of the impending closure of Mark Nutter Fabrics Ltd at Firth Mills, Skipton, in which 250 work people were at risk of losing their jobs.

Questions were asked as to what could be done to attract new industries to the town, with some suggesting tourism could help but that it needed to go along with industrial development.