ROLLS-Royce at Barnoldswick is facing an uncertain future, as the aviation industry worldwide struggles to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of jobs are at risk as the company plans to reduce activities at its Bankfield site from autumn 2023 and combine its Ghyll Brow site on the border of North Yorkshire, into Bankfield .

But, 75 years ago, in November, 1945, with people still celebrating Victory in Japan (VJ) Day, it was a very different story - there was a sense of great pride in Rolls-Royce, Barnoldswick, after an aeroplane powered by jet engines built in the town set up a new world speed record.

The Gloster Meteor was powered by twin jet propulsion gas turbines designed, tested and built at Bankfield Shed - a former cotton mill taken over by the company.

The Gloster Meteor set up a new world speed record of 606.25 mph at Herne Bay, Kent on November 7,1945. The plane was piloted by Group Captain H J Wilson and over the same course an identical Meteor flown by Eric Greenwood averaged 603mph.

The Craven Herald reported at the time that both airmen easily beat the previous record of 462.22 mph set up by a German ME109 six years previous. During the flight a velocity of 611 mph was reached, but only the average for four runs which both pilots made received official recognition, reported the paper.

The Herald sent a reporter along and recorded that news that the record had been broken caused jubilation in Barnoldswick, especially at Bankfield Shed, but that work went on as usual.

The works manager, a Mr I W Buckler said Rolls-Royce had gained quite a number of speed records in the past and they did not look upon this new one as anything special. Production of the Derwent jet units had been part of their normal work, and he did not think there would be any specific celebrations at Bankfield Shed.

“We have factories in different parts of the country and we don’t discriminate between one and the other,” he told the reporter.

Mr Buckler however went on to express his admiration of the adaptability shown by the Bankfield work people, many of who had never been in an engineering factory until a few years previous.

Asked who the guiding genius behind the new Derwent aero engine, the chief engineer, Dr SG Hooker said credit was due to a number of people. But, he added; “You can’t give too much praise to Air Commodore Frank Whittle. “He was the man who sat down with a blank sheet of paper in front of him and designed the first jet engine. The others have developed from that. They are the same in basic principle. Whittle’ s calculations have been proved absolutely right.”

Meanwhile, at the monthly meeting of Barnoldswick Urban Council, it was resolved that the hearty congratulations of the council be tendered to Rolls- Royce.

The meeting also heard of complaints about the noise caused by running aero engines on test at the Bankfield Shed. It was revealed that Rolls -Royce had spent nearly £20,000 on silencers in the previous 18 months.

Representatives of Rolls -Royce told councillors they had done all in their power to abate or minimise the nuisance complained of.

They were anxious to do all they could to meet the convenience and comfort of the residents of Coates - surrounding the site - but there would be some noise from time to time and they asked for the indulgence of the residents.

MOVING up to date, the picturesque Settle-Carlisle railway line is to feature in a new episode of Channel 5’s The World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys series.

A film crew was aboard the steam-hauled Northern Belle train when it ran over the route recently. Movie star Bill Nighy, who presents the programme, was not thought to have travelled with them.

But passengers who paid more than £300 to dine in the luxury train’s 1930s-style Pullman carriages found themselves as unwitting “extras”.

One said: “It was the cherry on top of a wonderful day out. Just a pity that we didn’t see Bill Nighy on board.

“I’m sure he would have loved the wonderful dinner we all tucked into during the journey.”

Previous programmes in the Channel 5 series have featured railways all over the world from Sri Lanka to Mexico, and Australia to Canada.

But few are more spectacular that the 72-mile route between Settle and Carlisle cutting through the Yorkshire Dales and crossing the 24-arch Ribblehead Viaduct.

A few years ago it was voted into second place in the World’s 10 Greatest Train Journeys behind South Africa’s Blue Train.

A spokesman for the Northern Belle said: “We were delighted to have the film crew on board especially as the train was being pulled by famous steam engine Princess Elizabeth.’

The train will be back in Yorkshire during December for several slap-up Christmas Lunch Specials. The fare, including a seven-course meal with wine, is £289.

For further details see or phone 01270 899681.

WELCOME to Yorkshire says people have been ‘flocking’ to its website ever since All Creatures Great and Small hit our screens just two months ago.

Since its premiere on September 1, the hit adaptation - most of which appears to have been filmed in Craven - has been a ratings winner for Channel 5.

Based on the best-selling Dales tales from the much-loved Yorkshire vet James Herriot - real name James Alfred ‘Alf’ Wight - the series showcases the breathtaking countryside and picturesque villages and fans are keen to find out more.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s website traffic has seen a 75 per cent increase year on year for September to, with its Dales pages showing a 90 per cent rise in views between September 1 and September 16 compared to the same time last year. As for Grassington itself, which doubles as Darrowby, its dedicated pages showed an increase of 187 per cent increase in page hits, peaking on the launch of the series.

James Mason, Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive, said “The power of TV and film shot in the county and its impact on audiences across the globe is colossal. Visitor numbers to Yorkshire increased rapidly pre-Covid-19, following the success of hit productions such as Gentleman Jack, Victoria and Downton Abbey spectacularly showcasing wonderful heritage buildings and stunning scenery.

“All Creatures Great and Small captures a positivity and a love of the awe-inspiring outdoors, which is welcome now more than ever. It’s no surprise that after seeing Yorkshire on screen, people then want to experience its beauty and drama first hand, which is a real positive for tourism businesses and also as an incentive to encourage people to not only choose Yorkshire as a place to visit, but to live, work and study.”

Interest in the county from American audiences is also set to increase in 2021 when All Creatures Great and Small will be seen across the USA.

As well as Grassington, the series is filmed at the Bolton Abbey estate, Broughton Hall and Arncliffe.

The six part series, has come to an end, with the exception of a Christmas special has been Channel 5’s biggest success, in terms of TV share.