IT could well be argued the most important item in the collection of Craven Museum is its Shakespeare First Folio.

There are very few of the books, a collection of the Bard’s plays, about, and they are worth a lot of money - just last month, one sold at auction in New York for about £7.6 million.

Craven’s copy, which was gifted to the council of the time by the family of a late businessman in the 1930s, is not believed to be worth as much; all the folios are unique, with different properties. Craven’s First Folio is incomplete, it lacks the introductory pages and the comedy plays.

There are no plans to sell it, and it will, says the council’s cultural services manager, take pride of place when the museum re-opens, along with the rest of the town hall in the spring.

“We did see the recent sale of a Folio at auction, “ says Danielle Daglan. “however we have no plans to sell ours. It is one of the gems in our collection and is a wonderful object to have – we are so lucky to have been gifted this many years ago and it draws a great deal of interest from local and tourist visitors as one of only four on permanent display in the world. Our Folio will be going on display in a dedicated case within our redeveloped museum.”

In 2014, the First Folio was loaned out by Craven District Council to the City of York for it to be put on display at the Yorkshire Museum. York - as well as Skipton - was on the route of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, an event that was expected to bring a global audience of millions to the area. In exchange, the museum was given a pair of Iron Age bracelets to put on display.

In 2011, Star Trek star and Shakespearean actor, Sir Patrick Stewart, who used to have a house in Craven, recorded a voice over to accompany the collection of plays.

Sir Patrick first learned of the volume’s existence when he was asked to record an accompanying voiceover, and told the Herald at the time he was shocked to discover there was a copy of the Folio so close to his home in the Dales.

“When I was first approached I was astonished and doubly astonished that I didn’t know about it. I was unaware that this part-volume of the Folio existed, and I didn’t know that it existed not far away from where I’ve been living for 20 years.

“When the museum approached me about want-ing to put on a special display and they wanted a narrator, I was delighted to be asked, because Shakespeare, of course, has played a huge part in my life. Without him I’d have been unemployed for a large part of my career.”

CHRIS ‘Rhino Boy’ Green has made it his mission to raise awareness of the desperate plight of the rhino; and to do this, he runs marathons and ultra marathons dressed in a rhino suit. Chris, from Embsay, had been due to run four marathons in four days, all along a stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Kirkstall. Sadly, that had to be put on ice as it coincided with the start of the second national coronavirus lockdown; but he did manage to complete his 70th marathon so far, a couple of days beforehand - pictured here in appalling weather running along the canal towpath, trying his best not to get blown into the canal.

Chris tells me he runs everywhere, even using his feet to get into Skipton from Embsay for a haircut, instead of driving, and one of his training runs is to go to the top of Embsay Crag. He is now looking at running a ‘peak a week’, in his rhino costume of course, which he has named ‘Spike’. Chris has also written a delightful children’s book which can be bought on Amazon - Matumaini: The Rhinos’ Hope. Half of the proceeds go to the charity Save The Rhino International.

AN animal charity is hoping someone will give long standing resident, Millie (above) a permanent home, so she does not have to spend her third Christmas in the cattery.

Bentham and District Pet Rescue says Millie has been with them since 2018 and although can be a bit ‘feisty’, that is all part of her charm, and in the right home will flourish.

She is nine years old and needs a nice, quiet home, living with someone who is used to ‘feisty felines’, and a bit of ‘cattitude’. She is not especially fond of other animals or children, and could do with lots of space and patience, so she c an find her own way.

Inga, from the charity, says Millie loves to play and enjoys treats, and believes she will become calmer and a much happier mog once settled.

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A HUNDRED years ago, the Steeton with Eastburn war memorial was badly damaged by severe storms just two weeks after being officially unveiled to an appreciative audience. The monument had been built at a cost of £900 - about £40,000 in today’s money - and included a nearly 40 foot high cross.

But, in its issue of November 19, 1920, the Craven Herald reported how the ‘graceful cross’ had taken the full blast of a severe storm which had swept the Aire Valley.

It was believed that the column, with an encircled cross at its top, had been top heavy. Six of its ten sections, despite being held together with iron joints, were ‘hurled to the ground’, while the cross, some three feet across, was broken into several pieces. Despite all the weight, at its base, the column was just nine inches wide.

Village leaders decided the momument must be rebuilt, in its original state, but this time with a steel rod running through it, and for the work to be carried out in such a way to make sure another disaster would be impossible.

THERE was ‘not a cats chance’ of getting a speed limit on Gargrave Road 100 years ago, reported the Craven Herald. The then council responsible for considering speed limits in the town was musing on what areas of Skipton ought to be given a speed limit and the stretch of road from Aireville to Water Street was considered because of the presence of two grammar schools. Until, it was pointed out by one councillor that the street was only busy during school time, while for the rest it was empty.

A COMPETITION to discover a new song to celebrate Yorkshire has been extended into next year.

Organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and London North East Railway (LNER) decided the latest national lockdown and uncertainty over what restrictions will be in place for the rest of the year meant they would not be able to give both entrants and the eventual winner the celebration and showcase they deserved.

So, the new deadline for entering is now Sunday February 14, with all entries already received going forward to judging as planned.

The contest is aimed at aspiring singers and songwriters of all ages who have been invited to compose an original song, to shout loud and proud about why Yorkshire is such a great place to live, study, work and of course to visit.

Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire James Mason said: “We’re massively impressed with the entries we have received so far but these new tougher COVID-19 restrictions mean we’ve simply had to change our plans.”

The song can be performed solo or by a group, band or choir, and can be any type of music – from rap, hip-hop or soul, to pop, dance or even folk or classical. The more diverse the entries the better.

The song must be an original composition all about Yorkshire and no more than four minutes long. To enter, submit a video file online at