MOST of us around 50 years old or so will have grown up watching Robert Hardy and Christopher Timothy in All Creatures Great and Small.

The series, which was on our screens from the late 70s to 1990, was essential viewing, and a great family favourite; it pressed all the right buttons, there were animals, funny and interesting characters, and the scenery was wonderful - what was not to like? For many, it kicked off a life long love of animals, I can not have been the only one to bring injured animals home to nurse back to health, or to consider a career as a vet.

So, some of us will have started watching the new Channel Five adaptation with trepidation, perhaps imagining the worse, after all older is always better isn’t it? And let’s face it, Robert Hardy as the difficult Siegfried Farnon can’t be bettered, or can he?

I’ve no idea whether All Creatures Great and Small 2020 will get families gathered around their television sets like the original did, but it is certainly a worthy successor, and I for one will be watching it; hopefully, there will be more series in the pipeline, and if so, Grassington will surely for ever be known as the All Creatures Great and Small village, be prepared for even more coach visits. And, Samuel West as Siegfried Farnon, a triumph.

WHILE on the subject of All Creatures Great and Small, in one scene, Siegfried looked wistfully at some shorthorn cattle and wondered if they would eventually be replaced by Friesian cattle, which were starting to be used by farmers in the area; commenting that it would be a shame and a great loss to see the shorthorns disappear from the Dales. It was almost exactly 100 years ago, on September 3, 1920, that the Craven Herald reported on the arrival in Craven of what was thought then to be the only herd of Friesian cattle in the district.

Thomas Butterfield, a ‘well known Bradford spinner and manufacturer’, was the new owner of a herd of 33 Friesian pedigree cattle.

Mr Butterfield had bought the herd from the executors of the late Mr H Briggs of Cottingley Manor, Bingley, and he had also recently bought Draughton Hall, Draughton, where the cattle had been transferred to the farm.

The Herald listed some of the names of the cattle, which included Dunninald Ewardine and Dunninald Erica from Aberdeen, Beccles Caroline, Hammcourt Fussy, Pomona Bell and Thorpe Pride II. There was also a famous bull calf named Gaatsomairschaap and a noted bull, Northaw Bladen Roberts.

“The Friesian cattle are noted for their prolific milk supplies and it is expected that one or two of Mr Butterfield’s cows will yield as much as 1,700 gallons in 365 days. At present, one of the herd is giving seven gallons daily.

If inter breeding with shorthorn cattle takes place, the effect on the milk supply locally will be beneficial,” reported the Herald at the time.

REGULAR readers of the diary page will be aware of my frequent sightings of fly-tipping in the area and how lockdown seemed to lead to an increase; there are also very much ‘hot-spots’ where people choose to dump their rubbish, rather than take it along to the nearest household waste site. But, never until now have I come across a discarded freezer, still with packed shelves. This, was recently dumped on a quiet road near Thornton-in-Craven; the packs of curry and pizza were slowly defrosting - lovely.

MANY apologies to Hebden Suspension Bridge for referring to it as ‘Burnsall Suspension Bridge’ in a recent Craven Herald. Although in the rather splendid picture of fungus, bottom right, taken by Stuart Gill, the bridge was not really visible, we refer to Burnsall suspension bridge being in the background, - apologies to both Burnsall and Hebden.

NOT sure if it is me or not, but this toy, pictured above - not sure if its a child’s toy, or one meant for a dog - left wedged in a wall next to the towpath along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal near Thornton-in-Craven - really gave me the creeps. Might just be that it was covered in mud, but there was definitely something about the eyes.

SEVERAL motorists fell foul of the law at Skipton police Court, 100 years ago in September, 1920, reported the Craven Herald.

Clifford Haigh, an apprentice of Cleckheaton, was summoned for driving a motorcycle to the public danger at Kildwick.

A police officer told the court how Haigh had come round Kildwick corner at a high speed without sounding his hooter. Several people had to get out of the way quickly. When attention was drawn to the speed he was travelling - between 25 to 30 mph - he replied that the people should have been on the footpath. The chairman, Mr J Morkill, told him that three miles per hour may be a dangerous speed, and he was fined £2.

Meanwhile, Joseph Dent, a boat owner, was fined 20 shillings for leaving his vehicle on Keighley Road for 15 minutes.

A fine of 10shillings was also imposed on Reginald Barnett who left a lorry standing on Swadford Street for 15 minutes. He and two friends had gone to a restaurant for lunch, the court heard.

Arthur Cowen, commercial traveller, was fined 10s for leaving his vehicle for 10 minutes on the narrow part of Keighley Road and almost caused an accident.

Over in Bowland, the rural district council put up signs on its narrow country lanes saying they were unsuitable for heavy motor traffic.

One Councillor however, Mr H C Starkie, said that road transport had come to stay and should be permitted to use any road. By restricting them to the main roads they would increase the traffic very seriously.

The chairman, Mr W Garnett, replied there were roads in the district which any man would sensibly agree were quite unsuitable for chars- a -banc, even though no one wanted to stop people from enjoying themselves.

The council surveyor listed a number of roads unsuitable for heavy traffic, including the Dunsop Bridge to Newton road, and the road from Slaidburn to Tosside. Signs saying ‘Unsuitable for heavy motor traffic’ were to go up at both ends.

50 YEARS ago on September 11,1970,the Craven Herald reported that Skipton Woods,which had been closed for several years, might soon reopen to the public.

Negotiations had been taking place between the owners f the woods, next to Skipton Castle, and the Open Spaces Committee of the then Skipton Urban Council.

It was thought that people would be allowed in between 2pm and 6pm. The main points were a suggested rental equivalent to a farthing rate, approximately £450, access points to be from a gate at the end of the raised Bailey walk and by the old saw mill entrance. The council was to employ a warden to open and close the woods and to supervise generally and collect litter. The council was to provide third party insurance and Skipton Woods Ltd to repair minor bridges and for the arrangement to be three, five or seven years. A further condition was that the council and Skipton Woods Ltd each contribute £100 initially and £50 every year to a fund for the repair of damage by vandalism.

Some councillors were unhappy with the proposed opening hours, thinking most would want to visit in the evenings, while others thought if open in the evenings, it would encourage vandalism.