OUT at Howgill Fells, near Sedbergh at the weekend, right at the furthest corners of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and a spit from Carlisle, it was interesting to be so high up and see every half hour or so the Staycation old Intercity 125 train as it made its way along the Settle-Carlisle line.

It was quite a climb to the top of one of the fells, but once there, there were smashing views including of the M6, which in the space of about 20 minutes turned from a fast moving road in one direction to a major traffic jam following an accident.

I bumped in to a couple of people on bikes who hailed from Carlisle and were nearing the end of a two month cycling trip from Canterbury visiting all cathedrals along the way.

They were sleeping rough every night, they had all their camping equipment on their bikes, and their bikes, they were keen o point out were self propelled, none of this electric bikes for them.

On the way back, I stopped off in the hamlet of Howgill which must be one of the few places left with a telephone kiosk, still with a telephone in it - we’re so used to seeing the kiosks turned into some other use now, a library, a place for a defibrillator, or as in Settle, the ‘world’s smallest art gallery’.

But to find one with a working phone in it is a real oddity; the kiosk itself could’ve done with a fresh coat of paint and the phone itself, while working, was covered in cobwebs; I was tempted to use it, for old times sake.

FURTHER to Poppy, a colleague’s cat in last week’s diary, pictured luxuriating on her own seat, next to a hot radiator; another colleague with another spoilt pet called Poppy has come forward.

Poppy the Jack Russell has her own chair, and her own ‘Cagney and Lacey’ pillow , and also likes to spend a lot of time asleep next to a radiator. It’s difficult to see which is the more spoilt.

YORKSHIRE Water is offering virtual water safety and awareness assemblies and events to schools across the region as it continues its work to keep people safe around its reservoir sites and other areas of open water.

Recent months have seen a significant increase in people, many of them unaccompanied children, visiting its sites and entering the water, despite the risks posed.

As well as water safety, the virtual events for the new school year cover key themes in the national curriculum, citizenship and water safety throughout the academic year.

Anne Reed, social responsibility and education manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “We provided a number of lessons and events in the last academic year to inform children of the dangers posed by open water. Over the summer we have been working closely with the National Water Safety Forum to support with increased education in this area.

“Our water safety education offering has been extended and we are now offering assemblies and events throughout the school year. Schools can sign up now for events in the autumn and spring terms.”

For more information and to book live events and assemblies, teachers should visit Yorkshire Water’s education site.

THIS London Routemaster bus with its ‘Peckham’ destination board must have raised a few eyebrows as it ferried people back and forth from the Skipton Building Society car park on The Bailey into Skipton recently.

It was taking people to the Ellis Clark Trains Model Railway show at Toller Court, and was photographed by Brian Stott.

Brian tells me: “The destination board shows Peckham the home of the legendary Trotter Family in Only Fools and Horses but Del Boy Rodney and Uncle Albert were not on board.”

‘SKIPPY’ the restored VW camper van painted up with scenes of Skipton, has used its ‘celebrity status’ to help boost funds on a Summer tour of charitable events around the region by some £3,500.

It started its ‘Summer of Love’ tour at ‘Brodstock’ – the annual family festival at the Old Brods rugby club at Hipperholme.

According to owner Andrew Mear the van’s starring role “went down a storm” with many of the 6,000-plus visitors lining up to take selfies with the unique VW.

Next up was an appearance at the annual Norwood Green show, which raised £8,000 for village funds and was organised by Andrew in just 10 weeks. Then it was on to Skipton where the van took centre stage at a Rotary Club fundraiser outside the Town Hall.

Andrew said: “People really seem to have taken the van to their hearts and everywhere we went, couldn’t resist having a picture taken with it because it is so unusual.

“Skippy has become a bit of a local celebrity and real crowd puller, helping to raise some £3,500 across the different events for the local charities involved as well as providing a lot of joy and raising awareness.

“In addition to making appearances, we’ve been selling T-shirts featuring an image of Skippy in aid of Parkinson’s UK and have now raised around £1,000 for the charity. They’ve sold really well as they are a way of people showing their support for the town and raising vital money for a good cause at the same time.”

REGULAR readers of this column will be aware that I’ve been doing a lot of harvesting of the hedgerows in the last few weeks; and it seems its been a common theme with previous writers of the Craven Diary column for years.

It does seem however, I wouldn’t have had the blackberry bushes to myself back in the day- and who knew, blackberrying was once known in Craven as ‘blegging’.

75 years ago, in September, 1946, under the title ‘blackberrying’ the then diary writer said: “Despite bad weather the hedge fruits promise well in many parts of Craven.

“The blackberries are hanging in heavy clusters, bending the supple branches beneath their weight. One usually finds that the bushes on the more travelled roads is gathered too soon, sometimes before it is really ripe.

“It is in the quiet lanes and round the hedges in the fields that one finds the most abundant crops at their ripest stage.

“There is a great deal of fun to be obtained in picking a godly harvest and even those who merely dabble, picking here and there for the sake of a juicy mouthful catch something of the thrill.

‘Blegging as Craven folk call it, is a great event in the lives of many youngsters, and the pie of jam tastes all the better for the scratches and torn garments.”

MEANWHILE, 100 years ago, in September, 1921, the Craven Herald reported that Skipton Parish Church clock was restarted by the Ven Archdeacon H L Cook, after a period of inactivity of about five months, during which time the church bells had been recast.

Other items to be reported in the same paper was the continuing strike at the firm of Mark Nutter Ltd. Some 220 employees were on strike over the the employment of the firm by a number of non-union operatives.

Also, in the semi-final of the Chief Constable’s Cup at College Grove, Wakefield, Skipton Police were beaten by Bradford Police by two wickets.