A Craven Diary with Lesley Tate looks back at the devastating flood that hit Skipton in the summer of 1979, and was described at the time as a ‘once in a 100 years event’. Except it wasn’t, the town was hit by another devastating flood a short three years later.

AMAZING what you can find in Skipton’s charity shops; this little treasure, a photograph of a badly flooded Skipton town centre, for example.

The picture was taken on June 13, 1979, according to a note written on the back, so a summer rainfall that ended up in the flooding of Keighley Road and Swadford Street, and around the corner, Caroline Square.

Not sure if the Transit van was swept out into the road, or if its driver decided it was worth seeing if the vehicle was up to the task - but what a photograph of a situation we can only hope will never be repeated, following all the flood alleviation measures of 2016.

In his book, The History of Skipton, former Craven Herald editor Ian Lockwood writes about how the town suffered from appalling flooding right up to when steps were made to put it right by the Environment Agency with the building of a flood barrier at Skipton Golf Course.

Many people will remember the summer 1979 flooding around Caroline Square which was waste deep and actually claimed the life of a pensioner who was trapped in her home.

The flood was described by the council at the time as a ‘once in a century’ event, but three years later, on a Sunday afternoon, it happened again.

The Craven Herald reported: “Mercifully this time there were no fatalities, but the council came under severe fire for not carrying out sufficient work.

The second flood struck after two hours of torrential rain fell left the centre of Skipton under five feet of muddy water.

Hundreds of homes and shops were flooded but the worst affected were the old people’s bungalows in Petyt Grove, Brookside, and the shops on Caroline Square and Swadford Street junction.

Eyewitnesses said the floodwater roared into the centre of town like a tidal wave and pensioners of Petyt Grove suddenly found themselves sitting in deep water but prompt action by neighbours and passers-by helped prevent a tragedy such as the one in the first flood, when a 90-year-old spinster drowned as the water swept into her home.”

IT will come as no surprise to most that people get into arguments with their neighbours for any number of reasons - I once got into a serious row with someone who I had got on with for ages about political posters.

My neighbour had took it upon herself to put a poster on my railings at local election time; not sure what annoyed me more, the use of my railings, or that she thought I shared her own political views.

According to We Buy Any Home, almost a quarter of people who have sold their home said that having bad neighbours contributed to their reasons for selling their home.

In a survey of 2,000 UK adults who have sold a home, a whopping 60 per cent said that they had had a dispute with a neighbour, and that the dispute left them feeling negatively about them.

And the top reason for disputes? Being too noisy at anti-social hours. Also topping the list was disputes about boundaries, arguments over pets, and ‘impolite behaviour’.

JUST last week, it was announced that North Yorkshire County Council was looking at the possibility of banning cars outside schools at dropping off and picking up times; something that will no doubt cause a lot of angst for busy parents, but be very much welcomed by many who live close to schools.

However, it is far from something new. 50 years ago, on February 25, 1972, the Craven Herald reported on how the then Chief Constable of the West Riding had taken parents to task and had asked for their co-operation when collecting their children from school in cars.

Chief Cons Ronald Gregory was at a council meeting in Skipton, responding to earlier complaints about the parking of cars near to the entrance of the town’s Water Street Primary School.

He pointed out that the increase in the volume of traffic had its effects on casualties to schoolchildren and that there had been a rise of 21 per cent in those killed or injured in the past 10 years.

The increasing congestion around schools was making things worse he said, asking parents to stop well away from the school entrances and to take a one way route if at all possible.

And, it wasn’t just the school, the same meeting heard from the English Sewing Company, Belle Vue Mills, how its employees were being put at risk from cars using Brewery Lane, and could something be done ‘as a matter of urgency’.

AT the risk of bringing bad luck on the current Craven Herald, and really, none of us is perfect, I could not resist repeating this apology that appeared in the same edition of the paper in 1972. Under the headline ‘prison visit’, the paper apologised for replacing the word ‘prisoners’ with ‘pensioners’. While reporting a visit to Armley Prison by the Settle Amateur Operatic Society’s concert group, it had mentioned instead of prisoners, the group had entertained ‘pensioners’ at the prison. It had also got the name of the society member who had organised it wrong too, Michael Beard was a chef at the prison working in the officers’ mess.

FOR anyone interested, at time of writing, February 16; I have completed 233 miles of my attempt to walk 2,000 miles in the year.

I need to do around 167 miles per month, about 39 miles a week - no easy task when its pouring with rain and starts gets dark at 4pm.

I’m a bit behind, but I’m hoping to catch up once the days get longer.

I shall be raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society, and our mountain rescue teams, the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association and the Cave Rescue Organisation. You can follow my progress on Twitter @ltcravenherald #Hermes2000