“DON’T you know your 12 year old daughter smokes 10 cigarettes a day and your 16 year old has ‘slept’ with a lad in your house?” So stormed the rector of St Peters Church, Addingham, in the parish magazine, 50 years ago, in 1971.

The Rev D Shaw took to the September parish magazine to give villagers a real telling off following the removal of a fire extinguisher during a disco at the rectory, and even compared the village to a ‘modern day Sodom and Gomorrah’.

The extinguisher was returned ‘empty of course’ but the damage was done. The rector, it seems, took it upon himself to address the 50 young teenagers, and the less than grateful response of their parents prompted him to go further with his open letter to the village.

For a year, he said, young people, mainly 11 to 16 year olds, had been able to spend every other Saturday in and around his house - the rectory. But, there had to be rules, and they were ‘no booze and no necking’.

In his ticking off, the Rev Shaw made claims of underage drinking and of fights in the village - and worse.

“There is drug taking in the village, there is venereal disease in the village, there is a lot of underage drinking in the village,” he wrote.

Returning to the theft of the fire extinguisher, it did not compare to the ‘abominable crimes going on up and down the country’, but what was more important was the attitude of the parents, he wrote.

“There were 50 children present, I decided to teach them a lesson. ‘Thou shalt not touch other peoples property’. The parents response was ‘how dare the rector accuse my child’. Not one thought it was in order to offer an apology,” he wrote at the time.

And, so he continued in a way some clergy would probably like to do nowadays: “We live in a time of “I want’ children are brought up thinking to want is to have. When young marrieds scream for material aids and wives for other people’s husbands and husbands for other peoples wives.”

‘Ask and have is hardly the slogan for a secure life’, he told the village, which he had come to love, he wrote. “Security comes through discipline. Discipline is the responsibility of the parents, but if the parents are also on the ‘I want bandwagon’, in self pleasures, whether be it bingo, bridge or booze, then the discipline is hardly likely to be there for the child.

And so he went on reminding people that ‘hells angels, skinheads, hippies, dropouts, vandals, drug addicts and unmarried mothers’ were once innocent babies.

He ended his missive with pointing out that the problems of Addingham were the same all over and very likely to be worse.

"Before you write off Addingham as a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, let me remind you, the problems of Addingham are the problems of the place where you live.".

ON the day that everyone went mad and decided they needed a full tank of petrol, off I drove down south to attend a wedding in London.

It was pouring with rain and the M6 was as busy as I’d ever seen it. It took practically the whole day to get there, but despite that, or perhaps because I barely got over 50mph the whole way, I used less than a half of a tank of petrol. London was a nightmare, the ceremony was in one part of town and the reception on the other. Our Uber driver cut another taxi up and the air turned blue; boy, was I glad to head back up North having secured £20 of fuel from a petrol station in Henley-on-Thames to where traffic jams are caused by sheep and not angry motorists.

KILDWICK Church, the ‘Lang Kirk of Craven’ recently received the welcome news that it had been successful in being awarded rare ‘major parish church status’.

The 700 year old Grade one listed St Andrew’s joined an exclusive club of around 300 churches of ‘exceptional significance’ in the country, including Bolton Priory at Bolton Abbey, allowing it access to funding streams closed to others.

The news was very much welcomed by friends of the church, which just two years ago was open just one day a week for Sunday services and under possible threat of closure.

And it wasn’t the first time the church had been under threat of closure. 75 years ago, in 1946, the then vicar, Rev Arthur Thomas Walden, who had been at Kildwick for 14 years, had announced his retirement and his intention to go as soon as possible.

Congregations were down and income was insufficient to keep the ancient church open, reported the Craven Herald at the time.

The expenses of about 5 guineas a week were not being met by more than a half.

It would be a terrible shame if the church was to close, said the paper, pointing out Kildwick and Kettlewell were the only two parishes in the deanery of Craven mentioned in the Domesday Book. The church was almost entirely destroyed by the Scots in 1272 and memorials inside the church include an effigy of Robert de Steventon or Steeton, who died in 1307, added the Herald.

Following the meeting attended by about 100 people, it was however announced that the church would not close after all.

The rural dean of South Craven Canon Peters said it was quite impossible to shut an Anglican church as ‘one might shut a Roman Catholic Chapel or a Quaker Chapel.

THERE are heroes stalking our streets, but they don’t wear capes. Instead they wear their humility and ordinariness as a cloak of invisibility.

The Yorkshire Choice Awards aim to remove the cloaks to expose the ordinary heroes of our communities and high streets and allow their communities to nominate them, giving them the recognition they deserve.

Nominations will be open until December 2021 and the public vote will open shortly after.

With awards including Charitable Business, Independent Business, Inspirational Individual, Young Achiever and Volunteer of the Year, the aim is to reward those who have shown extreme courage and determination. Those who have changed their own lives and those of others.

The annual awards will be presented at a black-tie event due to be held at Centenary Pavilions, Leeds United on May 7 next year.

To nominate your local hero, go to people can go to: www.yorkshirechoiceawards.co.uk/nominatehere

THE grounds of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal are no strangers to edgy art installations, and like them or not, they are always interesting, a contrast to the traditional architecture of the abbey and guaranteed to spark debate.

The latest - Forever Home, by Richard Woods, is no exception. It shows an upturned cartoonish house - the kind of house children draw - in the River Skell, which makes its way through the abbey grounds.

The piece is the result of a teaming up with the artist, The Climate Coalition (TCC) and The National Trust to raise awareness of the growing threat that climate change poses to properties in the UK.

Fountains Abbey is one of 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites already seeing the impact of climate change, says the National Trust.

Forever Home was installed to coincide with last week’s Great Big Green Week.

The critically acclaimed Richard Woods is best known for his architectural installations characterised by cartoon-like decorative surfaces, bold patterns and vibrant colours.

He said: “I’ve always incorporated sustainability into my work, whether it’s the wood I’m using or the inspiration for the piece, it’s at the centre of everything my team and I create. This piece sits in such a beautiful landscape at Fountains Abbey, I hope it makes people stop and think about what will happen to these places if we don’t take immediate action to slow down the impact of climate change.”