‘KEEP death off the road’ - that was the eye-catching message of an awareness campaign that ran in Craven and the rest of the country 75 years ago.

Throughout 1946, the Craven Herald ran a series of adverts issued by the Ministry of Transport aimed at showing people the potential dangers of roads.

The extremely hard-hitting campaign, that would be unlikely to be seen today, included a series of scenarios involving young children, older people and drunken women drivers.

In one, there was a picture of a young boy with the caption ‘tomorrow’s road fatality’. It described how the young lad would soon be through with his schooling and had ‘set his heart on going to sea’. But no, ‘”Tomorrow, whilst playing with his chums.... Cold statistics tell us these awful facts! 3 to 4 children are killed on the road each day. Another 75 children are maimed or injured each day. There are few diseases as deadly to the young.”

The piece continued with safety measures, such as ‘kerb drill’ and better roads, but above all, people needed to be ‘extra cautious’ and ‘considerate’.

“Young people may sometimes be headstrong. thoughtless. We must never be”.

In another, a picture of an older man wearing a flat cap was accompanied by the words ‘will he come back alive?’. He was off on his daily journey, ‘head full of odd thoughts’.

But: “15 people who leave their home each day, cheerful and full of plans, never come back alive. The roads claim them, and each day 364 more although escaping death, are maimed or injured.”

Then there was the woman who had knocked down and killed a child, “Oh, what have I done?” she asked the police officer, who says: “When she realised she’d killed the poor boy, she got a most frightful shock. But it was no use her wishing then she’d been keeping a better lock-out. That’s the awful thing about accidents - regrets are too late.”

Towards the end of 1946, the Ministry of Transport sent out to all households a copy of the new Highway Code.

The campaign in the Herald said: “When it comes, don't treat it as valueless because it cost you nothing. Read it and re-read it until you know it thoroughly. Always follow the common sense rules of road behaviour which are set out in the code and you will be doing your part to ‘Keep Death off the road’.

The common sense advice for cyclists included not ‘hanging on to passing lorries and to resist the temptation of easy rides; for drivers to signal before pulling out, and for pedestrians to look before crossing roads.

THIS photo of an old Ribble Motor Services bus was taken at last weekend’s vintage motor rally in Skipton by Brian Stott.

“Older readers like me will remember the Ribble Bus Garage on Broughton Road by Ings School, Skipton, “ says Brian.

“This bus may even have been in there.”

The company may have come to Skipton in 1929. Brian adds: “I do know that the bus services from there were originally run by ‘Old Bill’s Motors’ who sold to Ribble .

Interestingly, according to a history of the bus attached to it at the rally, it spent a large part of its life doubling up as a caravan in woods at Chavey Down, Ascot, Berkshire.

The bus - a Leyland Lion LT2, was first registered on March 25, 1931 to Ribble Motor Services. It cost Ribble £1,199. 13shillings.

It was then sold ‘out of service’ in 1940 to Wintour of London. After a spell with the Ministry of War Transport, it was bought by Newbury and District in June, 1942. It continued in Newbury, Berkshire, even after the company was taken over by Red and White , until June, 1947.

It was then bought by a Mr Luff of Leatherhead, Surrey, for use as a coach and was last registered in December, 1949. From then, it was used as a caravan in woods at Chaney Down, Ascot, for almost 30 years.

Bought for preservation in 1980, it was returned to Leyland in 2005 for restoration. As the body was rotten, it has been extensively rebuilt using as many original parts as possible, says its now owners, the Ribble Preservation Trust Collection.

THIS rather beautiful wasp nest (pictured) was also pictured by Brian Stott. Brian tells me it is in a plastic pot in his niece’s bin store in Foulridge and had been made in about two weeks - what industrious insects they are.

CRAVEN’S first citizen Councillor Alan Sutcliffe was much impressed with a recent visit to RAF Menwith Hill, near Harrogate.

The chairman of Craven District Council compared some of what he saw during a civic visit as what might expect to see in a ‘James Bond film’.

He told the full council meeting of the council that guests had been shown inside one of the ‘radomes’, the giant antennas - or ‘golf balls’ seen from the A59. It had all been explained very well, but he did wonder if in fact it had gone over the heads of most of those present, and was all rather like ‘something from the back end of a James Bond film’, he said.

He went on to talk about the underground nuclear war shelter, that was being filled in, and a number of homes on the site, formerly used by personnel from the United States, but no longer needed, that were also destined to be demolished.

THE beautiful Parcevall Hall Gardens, Skyreholme, Appletreewick, have caught the eye of the national media once again, appearing in not one, but two glossy horticultural magazines.

Extensive coverage of the gardens appears in both The English Garden and Gardens Illustrated.

The features are accompanied with images taken by Richard Bloom and Claire Takacs, both highly respected international award winning photographers of gardens.

The magazines specialist writers were accompanied on their visits to look around by head Gardener Phillip Nelson, who tells me :“It is hugely rewarding to see Parcevall’s significance as an important UK garden, and as a special place, recognised by two such prestigious publications”.

Visitors have just until the end of the month to take a look at the gardens - they remains open daily between 10am and 6pm (last entry 5pm) until October 31, after which they will close until April 1 next year.

50 YEARS ago, in October, 1971, ‘Villa Rides’ staring Yul Brynner, Robert Mitchum and Charles Bronson was playing at the Regal Cinema in Skipton. ‘Vice and Versa’ staring Mick Jagger - both Vice and Versa, and also James Fox and Anita Pallenberg, was playing at the Plaza, in Skipton.