TOWN ambassador, Judy Probst, usually to be seen helping to keep thing moving smoothly in Skipton, was one of several people with fond memories of Silvio’s bakery, pictured below from the Rowley Ellwood Collection of photographs. The bakery and next door gift shop was on the site of the former Kings Arms pub which was said to have been demolished in 1967.

Judy tells me she worked at the bakery as a ‘Saturday girl’ for two years, from 1978 to 1980. “It was a high class bakery and confectioner, I learnt how to cut up huge Black Forest Cakes , and had to wear a white coat and small red apron,” says Judy.

FANCY growing a cheery sunflower? Morrisons supermarkets say they are giving away 25 million sunflower seeds to its customers across its branches with the aim of spreading hope and lifting the spirits.

The sunflower seeds will be offered to customers in packs of ten at the checkout, after they have finished their shopping and will also be included in online shopping orders. Morrisons ‘community champions’ will also be working with schools, care homes and community groups to distribute the packs and plant the seeds in their areas.

They are however not the giant variety, the dwarf sunflowers can be expected to reach a height of between six and 14 inches.

Rose Morgan, pictured below, community champion at Morrisons Peckham store, in London, who came up with the idea, said: “Everyone is emerging from lockdown in different ways and I wanted to give my customers fresh hope and food for the heart by putting smiles on as many faces as possible. “

To continue to spread messages of hope, the stores’ community champions have also launched the ‘Little Sunshine’ award - to recognise those who have gone above and beyond in their local community throughout the pandemic.

All 497 Morrisons stores will deliver ‘Little Sunshine’ certificates and gifts to hundreds of children nationwide who have been nominated for their contribution to supporting the local community through the pandemic.

IT will come as no surprise to learn that a record more than a million people took part in this year’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch.

Organised by the RSPB, the annual survey, held at the end of January, asks people in all parts of the country to record all the birds they see landing in their garden during an hour during birdwatch watch weekend.

It is the world’s largest wildlife survey and gives RSPB scientists insights into how garden birds are faring both across the country and specific bits, such as in North Yorkshire.

There was a ‘phenomenal’ response to this year’s 42nd annual survey, says the RSPB.

Over the first three days of submissions alone, numbers were up 85 per cent compared to the same time period last year.

The results showed that once again, the house sparrow was the most common visitor to gardens across the country, with 16 out of the top 20 bird species showed declines in average counts compared to last year.

Starling slid down the ranking from second place for the first time since 2010, with numbers down 83 per cent since 1979. Further national declines were recorded for greenfinch and chaffinch, with the lowest average for both types of bird ever recorded.

Only robins, blackbirds, carrion crows and the song thrush saw an increase on 2020 across the UK.

In North Yorkshire, the house sparrow was found in nearly 70 per cent of gardens.

Meanwhile, blackbirds and blue tits joined house sparrows to form the top three most sighted birds in North Yorkshire as local people enjoyed watching the wildlife found in their gardens.

For a full round-up of all the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results and to see which birds were visiting gardens where you live, visit 

A FORMER editor of the Craven Herald was a fan of a good malt and once invited me to drink a glass of one of his favourites while we were on a staff Christmas do. I can still remember how my throat felt on fire.

Anyway, I was reminded of my old boss with the arrival of a press release from Leyburn based Tennants Auctioneers and its fine wine and whisky sale, due to take place tomorrow (Friday).

Highlight of the whisky section of the sale is a private collection of Ardbeg. Included is a bottle of Ardbeg 1978 Cadenhead’s cask strength bottling with an estimate of £1,500-2,000, an An Ardbeg 1975 16 Years Old Cadenhead’s Special Individual Cask Bottling, distilled in 1975 and bottled in 1991, offered with an estimate of £400-600, and an Ardbeg 1974 Connoisseurs Choice bottling, bottled in 1995 is offered with an estimate of £500-700.

For wine lovers, there are nine bottles of Château d’Yquem Lur Saluces 1945. Chateau d’Yquem is arguably the world’s most famous dessert wine, and this good group of early bottles, says Tennants, is offered with an estimate of £4,000 to £5,000.

75 YEARS ago, on April 19, 1946, the Craven Herald reported on how there were many signs that things were starting to return to normal in the countryside following the dislocation experienced during the war years.

The car park at Bolton Abbey was to be open throughout the summer with a full-time attendant on duty.

The car park, with the exception of its ‘water undertakings’ was the only thing run by the then Skipton Rural Council that raised any revenue and in pre-war years was quite an earner for the council.

The car park was closed in the years of the Second World War and in 1945 opened at certain busy periods, with 3, 521 vehicles making use of it. “While 1946 might not prove to e comparable with the years before 1939, it is confidently anticipated that a very substantial number of motorists will make the most of the facilities”, reported the Herald.

IN the same edition of the paper, the Herald took what it described as ‘flower snatchers’ to task for coming into the Dales and ripping up the wild flowers, such as bluebells.

The countryside was ‘looking its best’ in the spring of 1946, with primroses, celandines, and anenomes. There were also daffodils and narcissus in many a glad, said the paper, and before Easter was over, the bluebells would be out. But, it was unfortunate that there were some who came out into the countryside who were not happy to just leave it as they found it, but took bits home.

“They insist on pulling it up - often by the roots - and carrying it off, only to find it dead or miserably bedraggled by the time they get home.”

They gain nothing, and all the rest of us lose out, said the Herald.

“This robbery of beauty has already begun in Arncliffe and Hawkswick woods where private property has been invaded by the destroyers,” said the Herald, which added that Miss Hammond, who bestowed her flowers to the hospitals and the sick, and who was well known, had been compelled to take ‘drastic steps’ to protect the floral beauty of her woods, and other public owners may be compelled to take similar steps, said the paper.

Elsewhere in the paper, audiences were being encouraged to visit the Regal Cinema in Skipton to see the shocking ‘The Wicked Lady’, starring Margaret Lockwood and James Mason.