MALHAMDALE farmer, Neil Heseltine and his hardy belted Galloway cattle featured in a special winter edition of BBC’s Countryfile recently.

Neil was filmed moving cattle to another field with the help of presenter and fellow farmer Adam Henson. And what started out as a not too bad winter day turned into a blizzard - how many of us have been caught out in just that way? The snow fell hard and heavy and drifted up against a gate, which had to be dug out before the cattle could get through. “Give me the sunny Cotswolds any day,” quipped Adam.

Neil, who is chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, and as @hilltopfarmgirl on Twitter has a very impressive almost 29,000 followers, explained how the belted Galloways are fed on grass all year round and not given any grain, which of course gives the beef its distinctive taste.

ON the subject of wintry weather, which fingers-crossed now looks to have left us until next year, what is usually a two hour walk to the top of Pendle Hill and back for me turned into something of a challenging workout because of strong winds, that appeared out of nowhere, and freezing rain. Never have I been so pleased to reach one of the shelters close to the summit to get out the savage wind and enjoy a flask of coffee before turning back before reaching the top and heading home. As always however, there were the usual two or three fell runners, hardy bunch indeed.

AND continuing with heavy snow and freezing conditions, the annual big farmland bird count was extended for an extra week this year because of the weather.

Organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, it was a chance for farmers and land managers to count the number and variety of birds on their land.

Interestingly, the 20 mile radius from my front door where I go walking has a good variety of birds, and excitingly, we are in the middle of a pandemic, that includes lapwings.

At the weekend, in a socially distanced chat with a farmer, whose land I was crossing, I discovered there were more lapwings than usual. Numbers, he told me, had been going down, but this year, he had seen more than he had for a long time. He was expecting curlews to next arrive to his farm, which has to be said is quite boggy, so attractive for the waders, and then the swallows, which he told me meant summer was on its way at last, and he could think about letting his cattle out, who were desperate to get out and feel the grass under their feet after a winter inside his barn.

MISS Victoria’s Emporium is a charity shop that supports Settle Victoria Hall. It sells an eclectic mix of donated, created and new items in the beautiful shop - and in its window, has pancake making teddy-bears, in the run up to last week’s Pancake Day.

Not to be beaten, during the latest coronavirus lockdown its wonderful volunteers have been creating handmade lampshades (pictured above) and cushions.

They are advertised on Facebook, Instagram and are displayed in windows.

A spokesperson tells me: “We also always have a emporium teddies bear window, this month they are practising making pancakes for pancake day. We also feature a local maker in our maker’s corner, and a new one every month.”

A 60 YEAR old electric guitar was the star of the show when it was sold by Tennants Auctioneers for £25,000.

The 1962 pre-CBS Fender Stratocaster was the top lot at the scientific and musical instruments sale, which also included a 1963 example that sold for £10,000.

Pre-CBS Fender Stratocasters are considered by many to be the Holy Grail of electric guitars, and these attracted interest from around the world, says Tennants.

The Fender Stratocaster, a name synonymous with Rock and Roll, was first designed in 1953 by Leo Fender six years after he had established Fender Guitars.

His first guitar, the Broadcaster - later renamed the Telecaster - was criticised for being too square and uncomfortable to use.

The Stratocaster was his response, with its sleek curves and contoured body to fit snugly against the musician, and a host of new features that set its place in musical history and influenced the design of electric guitars for generations to come.

Aided by the legendary Stratocaster, by 1965 Fender was one of the largest musical instrument manufacturers in the world, and Leo Fender sold his company to the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).

The Stratocasters made by Fender before the sale to CBS are regarded as the finest Fenders ever made. Only produced during the narrow window from 1953 to 1965, pre-CBS instruments are rare and much sought-after by collectors of vintage guitars.

The two guitars were part of a small private collection of seven guitars in the sale, which sold for a combined hammer price of £44,700. Further good guitars from the collection included a 1975 Fender Telecaster custom guitar that sold for £2,700, and a 1969/70 Fender Jaguar guitar that sold for £2,500.

MAKERS of medical programme Skin A&E are looking for people in Craven with interesting medical conditions to appear on the new series.

Following on from the success of its first series, which went out on Channel 5, it is opening the doors to its Skin A&E clinic for a second time where a team of top UK dermatologists will give participants a free consultation, advice and medical treatment if appropriate.

The team at Boom are looking for people with a skin condition who don’t qualify for treatment on the NHS, or whose treatment has been delayed. They could also be on a long waiting list.

Successful applicants must be willing to talk openly and frankly about their condition and be available for filming for one day in April or May. All must be legal residents of the UK, currently live in the UK and be aged 18 and above. Deadline is April 30.

For more information and fill in an application form please email the production company at:

50 YEARS ago, in February, 1971, the Craven Herald reported on the 25th anniversary of the Craven and district motor club and its silver jubilee dinner at the Clifford Hall of the Black Horse Hotel in Skipton.

More than 130 people sat down to an ‘excellent dinner’ reported the paper. Present at the celebration was Chief Inspector Applebee in charge of police in Skipton, who said he was privileged to attend, but added it was daring of the club to invite a policeman along.

“One section of the community who we come up against it the motorist. It is very difficult to keep happy relations between the motorists and the police. About 80 per cent of our time is spent chasing motorists and when we stop them they say ‘why can’t you catch a burglar?”

“We shall probably have less to do now that traffic wardens have been given more powers”, he said.

When it came to the motoring public, he thought they were the most patriotic in the land. They paid £25 for the privilege of being on the road, and then, on top of that, there was the tax on petrol. The evening concluded with dancing to the 'Modernaires'.