BACK in May, 1929, women were preparing to vote in the general election on the same grounds as their Lords and Masters for the first time.

But, the then Archdeacon of Craven had concerns that the ladies may not take the business of elections seriously enough and he took to his parish magazine to offer some stern advice.

Under the headline ‘fears for the flapper’, the Craven Herald reported how the Canon J F Howson was afraid there would be too many ‘giggling young women’ who would simply ‘kink’ with laughter on getting their voting paper for the first time.

It was indeed a ‘horrible picture’ that was brought to mind, he wrote as he implored the millions of new women voters not to treat the 'Flapper Election' ‘frivolously’ and as a ‘sort of a joke’.

He went on:”It is a disturbing thought that a very large proportion of these new voters, so far as I can judge, think very little, and read hardly anything about the big questions. It is more than disturbing, it is almost terrifying. Are these new voters studying them at all?”

His advice to the young ladies was to ‘realise your responsibility. You are now being treated by the nation as trustees. Try to weigh up what the trust is and what it involves. Don’t be carried away’, he said, adding that women are ‘apt to be carried away’. So, his advice was to “Read more, try to think for yourself as if you were sitting on a jury and decide on your verdict. “

There were two things, he concluded that were certain to appeal to the woman voter, and they were peace and a greater control of the drink traffic.

IN May, 1929, the Craven Herald firmly nailed its colours to the mast in its coverage of the General Election, coming out decisively on the side of the Conservatives.

The election became known as the ‘Flapper Election’ because of the involvement of woman, aged 21 to 29, for the first time, owing to the Representation of the People Act 1928. Women over the age of 30 had been able to vote since the 1918 election, but in 1929 were at last equal with men.

The election resulted in a hung parliament between Labour’s Ramsay MacDonald and the Liberal’s David Lloyd George , with the Liberal’s holding the balance of power.

In the run up to the election, the Caven Herald announced it would be supporting teh Conservative candidate, Roy Bird, who had been elected MP for the Skipton division in 1924 and was to win again in 1929 with a comfortable majority and was to stay in post until 1931 when he died while in South Africa.

On the first day of the election campaign, the paper announced that it was to be fully reported ‘in accordance with special arrangements that had been made’.

Space was to be given every week to all the speeches of the candidates, of which there were three - Roy Bird, Conservative; Alderman T Wuffenden, Liberal, and Mr J P Davies, Socialist, so that readers would be able to follow the campaign, and follow the policies put forward.

However, the ‘Craven Herald is a Conservative organ and will support the candidature of Mr Roy Bird’, said an editorial on page 3 - at that time, the front page was still devoted to advertisements. “It recognises, however, that amongst its readers are men and women who hold other political views, and its news service during the coming weeks will be extended to cover the chief Liberal and Socialist meetings, as well as those of the Conservative Party.

THERE were happy scenes at Threshfield Court Care Home in Threshfield as hairdressers were finally allowed back into the home following a relaxation of coronavirus restrictions.

Just like the rest of the country, residents at the Barchester Healthcare home had been waiting patiently for months to get their hair styled and so were delighted to be able to book in for a long overdue cut and blow dry, says the home.

Stacey Nicholson, the home’s senior general manager, said: “It really has felt like Christmas today, our residents are just so delighted to be able to get a good cut and to feel like themselves again. It is wonderful to see them all so happy, we have really missed our hairdressers – it is fantastic to be able to welcome them back again.”

One of the residents added:“I can’t remember another time in my life when I had to go so long between haircuts. It feels so good to be back to my normal style.”

DURING the Spring of last year, when the country was first plunged into the coronavirus lockdown, volunteers across the country plotted a network of walking routes that connected towns and cities; including in Skipton, Cross Hills, Gargrave, Grassington and Earby.

More than 7,000 ‘slow ways’ walking routes were mapped by volunteers using the existing paths, trails and roads in their area.

Now, the team behind Slow Ways is looking for people in Craven to walk and review the routes to make sure they work in practice.

Dan Raven-Ellison, who started the Slow Ways initiative just before the country went into lockdown at the start of last year, said: “The Slow Ways walking network will be something we can all enjoy for generations to come. Working from their living rooms and kitchens, volunteers have done an incredible job of drafting the network, but now we need to make sure it works on the ground, quite literally.

“To do that, we need people to head out and walk all the proposed routes to check them. Making use of country paths, under-used ways and city streets, the idea is to make it easier for people to plan walking journeys between neighbouring places and combine routes to go on longer distance walks.

“Some people will use Slow Ways to simply see friends in neighbouring towns. Others will use them to get to a festival, for a walking challenge to raise money for charity, or as time to reflect while exploring nature.”

He added: “Millions of us love walking - it’s such a simple thing, and it benefits so many of us in so many different ways. What if we had a proper national walking network that inspired more people to walk more often, further, and for more purposes?”

Thousands of people are needed to put the Slow Ways network through its paces whilst assessing routes for accuracy, safety and accessibility. To find out more and to help simply visit the Slow Ways website :, choose a route, walk it and leave a review.

ON the subject of Gargrave, and Slow Ways, the village’s public toilets have remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic, offering a very welcome service for local walkers, cyclists and key workers. The toilets are maintained by a hard-working team of villagers, including ward councillor and deputy leader of Craven District Council, Simon Myers.

The ladies toilet - I have no knowledge of the gent’s facilities, is also the only public convenience I have ever visited to include a copy of a national newspaper (pictured) along with the occasional poem.

50 YEARS ago, the Howard Hawks Western, Rio Lobo staring John Wayne was playing at The Plaza, Skipton, while The Ritz, Keighley, was playing the wartime romp Kelly’s Heroes, staring Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas and Donald Sutherland.